View Full Version here: : Hi from a newby
06-07-2005, 09:36 PM
G'day all, This site is just what i was looking for to get me started in astronomy.
I am only just starting out in my new found hobby, and was over the moon (so to speak) when i came across your site and found the wealth of knowledge and info i was searching for was all here.
I will be purchasing a scope within a month, and have decided on either an ETX125, or an LX200GPS.
I would like to know what i should be paying for these scopes, as there are obvious pitfalls for a beginner with little knowledge of what's a fair price.
I am keen on setting up for imaging also, and may attempt to build my own CCD, from plans on the net.
If i bought the ETX125, would i be happy with it's perfomance for a while and then want the LX ?
Is the LX a better scope ?
What would the overall cost of a setup be with the ETX125, some extra ep's and other essentials, to enable me to view without cutting too many corners ?
And what would the cost be for the LX200GPS with similar accs. ?
I could stretch the budget to around $5000-7000
Where would be the best place to purchase the scope from, i am in Melbourne.
Any help will be greatly appreciated.....
Thanks again for this great site:astron:
06-07-2005, 09:51 PM
They are both good scopes, (I had until recently an LX200 8") though if you're looking at getting into astrophotography then the LX is more the way to go. You can do photography with the ETX but you are limited with the amount of weight of accessories it can carry. The LX is a good imaging scope though you'll need to get either an equatorial wedge or a field derotator, (my preference was for the wedge.). If you decide to get into astophotography there are a miriade of accessories that can be purchased.
There are three suppliers down your way that I know of, there may be others. Bintel in Sydney, Astro-opticals from Melbourne and Adelaide Optical from Adelaide. If you do a google search for LX200GPS in Australia they will probably be the first three that come up. Their prices vary so do a bit of shopping around. As to price it depends on what size scope you're looking at.
slice of heaven
06-07-2005, 10:21 PM
Are you on the way in, or going out.....or maybe on a dodge?
2 great hobbies youve chosen :thumbsup:
06-07-2005, 10:44 PM
:hi:Thanks for the welcome[1ponders] and slice of heaven, I am undecided on the 8" or the 10" in the LX model.
Price would surely be the deciding factor in my final choice.
What would be the off the shelf, in the box cost of just a basic LX200GPS 8" and the cost of the 10" ?
What would be the cost of the field derotator, and the equatorial wedge ?
Just to get an idea of the outlay that will be needed to have at least a half decent setup.
Thanks again for the welcome,
06-07-2005, 10:49 PM
:welcome: TidaLpHasE. I've got an ETX-125 and they're a good little scope. If I had my time again I would've gone straight to something bigger rather than starting small and then upgrading as I've just done. The positives for the ETX are that it's compact and light, but it's capabilities are limited. With the budget you've indicated go bigger than an ETX. Have a look at https://www.bintelshop.com.au/ to give you an idea of the price, then shop around. Good luck with your choice. :)
06-07-2005, 11:06 PM
If you are strongly considering astrophotography is there any particular reason you want the LX200?
07-07-2005, 02:52 AM
Welcome TidaLpHasE; you should also consider the LX90 as well which is available in 8, 10 and 12 inch models and has almost identical OTA's to the LX200's. :D
07-07-2005, 05:53 AM
Hey Tidal! :welcome: to the site!
How did you hear about us/find out about us?
I think there's quite a difference between the ETX125 and the LX200.. they both serve their purpose but it depends on your budget and your ultimate aim for the scope. If you're serious about astrophotography, then a LX200 OTA on a GEM will be the best setup to get you the best images.
But you'd be looking at least $5000 to start. There's a few threads (by Daemon in particular) in the Equipment section forum that talks about a similar setup for astrophotography, but his budget is $10k. Anyway have a read and i'm sure you'll find some valuable info in there.
You're more than welcome! Tell your friends :P
07-07-2005, 09:06 AM
hello Mr tidal, welcome to the forum.
enjoy your stay....:)
I hate head colds... :(
07-07-2005, 05:20 PM
08-07-2005, 04:42 PM
08-07-2005, 05:59 PM
Hi Tidal and welcome to the forum mate.
08-07-2005, 07:12 PM
I won't hold coming from Melbourne against you though. :rofl:
The more astronomers the merrier, :thumbsup:
A good friend of mine is moving to Melbourne next month, but he is a Magician, not an astronomer. His shows are Astronomical though...LOL
Welcome to the forum. (sounds strange me saying that as I'm so new myself :) )
What about something as simple as a Skywatcher ED80 on a HEQ5 Skyscan and a 300D (or similar). You could easily change the OTA later for something bigger but the images I've from a 300D and ED80 pretty much knocks spots of every thing else. Massive FOV's pin point stars, excellent colour correction.
The skyscan has massive slewing speeds, goto and is PEC trainable.
For me if I was starting again from scratch that would be the way that I went.
Just my 2p's worth
13-07-2005, 09:35 PM
G'day all, thanks for the :welcome:
I have been researching as much as i can about astrophotography and have been blown away with all the info, tips, tricks, and knowledge that's out there.
Man, all i was intending to do was take a coupla happy snaps of the moon, easy peasy, so i thought (silly me)
I will be getting an LX200 GPS 10", i suppose because i just like it, and have read many good reviews regarding it's quality, i am yet to see any bad comments about it, although i am sure there would be some around.
I am also intent on getting quality images from my purchase, and feel as though the LX200 will give me that.
I like the images from the ToUcam Pro 840k, and would like your opinion on this matched with the Meade.
I am still not sure on the equatorial mount, and was taken back with the price of a losmandy G-8:eyepop:
I will need to do more research to figure out my needs.
I will be driving to more suitable sites to view a clear sky, so portability is a major factor as well in wanting the LX200.
If i was to buy the Meade, and the ToUcam, what would be your suggestions on the type of wedge or mount to compliment this combo ?
I could put a little more $ to my budget of $7000,
(putting aside say 150 for a decent swag after the misses kicks me outa the house):scared3:
Thanks again for all the welcomes and advice.....
iceman, i was surfing the net loking at astro sites when i clicked on the best link of all www.iceinspace.com.au (www.iceinspace.com.au)
13-07-2005, 09:50 PM
The Toucam has a pretty small chip size, combined with the long focal length of the LX means you will only be able to image very small subjects , ie a narrow field of view. Great for imaging planets, but you wont be doing widefield photography of dso's with that combo.
13-07-2005, 09:57 PM
350D, 20D or D70 even a Pentax 1stDS is good. You can piggyback and use standard lenses for widefield and you can take pix during the day...:camera:
23-07-2005, 09:00 PM
Hello all, and thanks for the advice and suggestions:thumbsup:
I am set on getting an LX200 GPS 10", Canon EOS 350D,
a cheapo lap top that can handle the tasks needed, DSI PRO, and an eq mount.
I am still a little confused about GEM's and wedges, and what would be the best option for my new setup.
I want good quality images, without the need for an associate diploma to operate my little toy.
Am i on the right track here with my choices in equipment
or should i research more before i make my purchase ?
Any suggestions regarding a decent mount would be greatly appreciated, also a decent pair of binnox to add to my expanding invoice :eyepop:
Thanks again.....cheers TidaL.....
p.s. I just bought my first copy of Australian Sky & Telescope.....whooohooo:thumbsup:
23-07-2005, 09:38 PM
If your going to take long exposures with a DSLR then you will definately need either a wedge or a field derotator. Review of the derotator....not real crash hot. go the wedge. You'll need to add a couple of cheap mods to it to bring it up to speed but it is the way to go. If you are serious about imaging then my sugestion would be to consider seriously the EQ mounts rather than the fork mounted LX200. The OTA takes a great image but the wedge can be a bit of a pain to align, especially if its not permanently mounted, though the Ezi AZ mods do make it substantially easier. I suppose its what you get used to. I sold an LX200 for the same ota and an EQ mount. I do miss my old LX, they are a great scope, easy as for finding things and getting round the sky. $7000 sounds like a fair starting amount to get into this madness.
23-07-2005, 10:10 PM
At the risk of upsetting a lot of people on this forum, can I be so bold as to point out that a SCT is not necessarily the best choice if your prime interest is in astrophotography? I would agree with Ant's suggestion...Why not get as good a mount as you can afford, an ED 80 and a canon 350D as your entry into astrophotography?
Take at look at the presentation made by Chris Venter at the South Pacific Star Party where he says pretty much the same thing;he also has some suggested configurations for various budgets
(click on the link to the SPSP presentation to view a copy of his Powerpoint slides)
Once you have a good mount then you can always upgrade your OTA later. A premium apochromat, or if that is out of budget, a Maksutov Newtonian -(just look at the fantastic work Eddie Trimarchi does with his Mak-Newt, plenty of examples in this forum)-would be I suggest better choices for an OTA compared to an SCT
After all Phil Harrington has this to say about SCTs in Star Ware (quote reproduced from another forum):
"What about optical performance? Here is where the Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope begins to teeter. Due to the comparatively large secondary mirrors required to reflect light back toward their eyepieces, SCTs produce images that are fainter and show less contrast than other telescope designs of the same aperture. This can prove especially critical when searching for fine planetary detail or hunting for faint deep-sky objects at the threshold of visibility."
"Image sharpness in a Schmidt-Cassegrain is not as precise as that obtained through a refractor or reflector. Perhaps this is due to the loss of contrast mentioned above or because of optical misalignment, another problem of Schmidt-Cassegrains."
I am still waiting to see what the new Meade RCXs can deliver in the hands of amateurs, but in your budget that may be worth considering..
my 10 c worth
23-07-2005, 10:57 PM
:confused: I did read about the optical misalignment with the LX200's while i was surfing astro sites tonight.
This is getting a bit confusing as i know very little about telescopes full stop, so it's getting harder and harder to understand the differences between models.
I think i should surf around and compare combinations and the images that they take of the same object.
I am itching to purchase a set-up and start experimenting with exposures, and settings.
I need a scope that can be transported and setup reasonably easy, as i have way too much light polution here in the burbs, and will be driving bush often.
Thanks for all advice given, i'm off to research some more astro sites to see if i can compare images with various set-ups.....cheers.
23-07-2005, 11:07 PM
Sorry to butt in on the conversation but have you heard about the Star Camp yet?
As you are in Melbourne it's not far for you to come to.
See this link: http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=2590
23-07-2005, 11:48 PM
:2thumbs: Yes i did read about it here, and saw it today on page 96 of AS&T.
It would be a good way to learn some basic tips and also some tips from the pro's
I hope i will have my scope by then, and will pop up for a day.
23-07-2005, 11:52 PM
Pro's? Who . . . us?
Would be great to have you come up. Just a day!! you'll get hooked and stay all 4 nights Lol!
We ALL learn heaps from Star Camps and Star Parties. I hope to.
24-07-2005, 10:11 AM
Seeker that presentation is great and can go a long way to pointing newbies in the right direction.
I really get concerned when newcommers ask about buying their first telescope with astrophotgraphy as a prime goal. These people should be directed to read the SPSP presentation and see that with anything less than 3k budget you just wont be able to do it properly, and then its with a scope that isnt likely to satisfy visually.
24-07-2005, 12:53 PM
If you have extra in the budget, it might be worth considering the RCX400, being new, there have been a few with teething problems, but they appear to deliver as promised for imaging and I have read quite a few glowing reports. Add to that the RCX has cooling fans, electronic collimation, no mirror shift, ultrawiide EP and inbuilt dew heater.
24-07-2005, 01:03 PM
Those pics with the ED80 are great, and what i would be more than happy to achieve.
O.K., if i bought the losmandy G-11, DSI PRO, Canon 350D,
and the needed accessories, what would be the choices of scope i could match with this ?
Scope budget would be around $3-4k
Should steer away from the SCT's ?
I just don't know where to go from here, so many choices and info to consume, it's a choice that i need to have confidence in, so all your opinions are appreciated and welcomed.....
24-07-2005, 01:24 PM
Why get both the DSI Pro AND the Canon? You won't go wrong with the Losmandy G11, its a great mount. Pricey though. No goto unless you get the Gemini. Maybe look at alternatives like an argo narvis. Mind you with the Gemini you can then at least attach to a laptop and use that to drive the mount. (My experience with the gemini, limited as it is, as a got controller it's a pain. Not very intuitive)
24-07-2005, 01:51 PM
[1ponders], I think cos i'm greedy:D, no i love taking lanscapes and ocean pics, i currently have a Canon S45,
which is o.k, at 4mp, but would like the extra 4mp and higher resolution.
I can get some nice detail in A4 size, but does reduce quality on zooming in.
I will look at the argo narvis, thanks for the tip :thumbsup:
As for the RCX, i think it would blow the budget, limting my purchase of other required accessories.
I am ready to go with the purchase,,,,,,,,,just don't know what to buy:bashcomp:
Thanks for the replies.....TidaL.
slice of heaven
24-07-2005, 02:10 PM
Thats a great article seeker. Great to see a well laid out and understandable (for me) write up like that.
Thanks Chris, much appreciated :thumbsup:
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