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Old 20-10-2020, 09:06 AM
cjpops (Craig)
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suggestion - 8" newt or ed80

Hi all.


I previously had a 12" dob and now looking into getting involved in Astrophotography. Being able to get deep sky objects (nebulae etc) and planets. With most of the scope items out of stock due to covid etc I've got time to have a think about my setup plans.



I'm trying to decide between a SW ED80 or a 8" SW Newt, but I've been reading that a Newt might be much more challenging for a beginner.



I'll be using a Nikon 7100.


It will be on either on a HEQ5 or EQ6 mount (still deciding on this one too)


I should add, I would like the ability to use the setup for non-astrophotography as my kids like to have a play and view the planets - my understanding the ED80 would be unsuitable for those kind of viewing?


Would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks all!
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Old 20-10-2020, 09:20 AM
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multiweb (Marc)
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An ED80 is a great grab and go scope for imaging. I had one for years and used it a lot.
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Old 20-10-2020, 10:14 AM
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Ryderscope (Rodney)
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Craig,

One thing to consider is that deep sky and planetary imaging are two separate disciplines each with their own technical requirements and challenges. Either the Newt or the ED80 can get you started on both but longer term you would find the need to diverge into a set up that is dedicated to one or the other. In terms of visual observing of planets at longer focal lengths, the 8" Newt would be a better choice.

The native field of view with the Nikon 7100 and either the Newt or ED80 would be such that planetary images would be very small. A 2x or 3x barlow would be required to get a reasonable field of view. This isn't a reason to not do this but is just something to be aware of.

My view FWIW, is to start on deep sky with an ED80. Either the HEQ5 or the EQ6 would do the job though the EQ6 will give you more room for growth so if the budget supports this I would go there first.

Whilst I haven't used the ED80 for imaging I would assume that the out of the box configuration for this OTA will not have a flat field so you will find that the stars on the edge of the field of view will be curved or elongated. For getting started with imaging my view is that this is fine, it may be necessary though to crop out the nasty edges to get a good image. Again, this is ok but good to be aware of when you see the first images rolling off the production line.

As a future growth item it would be good to plan for the installation of a focal reducer which can help to improve the flat field. This also throws in additional challenges with the need for very accurate spacing so no need to go there until the time is right.

There are other issues as well to take into account such as lens mount adapters and spacing for backfocus to be sure that you can reach focus with the camera connected. This will depend on which OTA you go with. It is good to be aware of this now rather than bumping into it later if you can't reach focus with the camera connected.

So there you have it. Good luck on this journey Craig.

Clear skies,
Rodney
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Old 20-10-2020, 10:19 AM
Startrek (Martin)
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For Astrophotography Ive used 6 and 8 newts write from the start , still use them after nearly 4 years
Also used a 10 dob at the start for visual and now have a 12 Goto dob for visual
An 8 f5 Bintel newt on an EQ6-R mount is what I use for imaging at my dark site on the south coast NSW and in Sydney I use a 6 f6 Bintel newt on an EQ6-R mount
Got nothing against refractors expect they are costly , require more accessories, flattened , f reducers and the like and restricted a little by aperture and focal length. My 8 f5 newt cost me $455.00 2 years ago , the 6 f6 cost me $299 just over 3 years ago . A good triplet APO refractor at 80 to 100 is going to set you back +$2000 then add the accessories
Both newts are easy to collimate , clean and lifting is no issue ( Im 60 yrs old , only 65kg wringing wet )
Now if you go for a newt and choose an f4 as a beginner then its going to be more difficult to use and collimate etc.. I wouldnt recommend an f4 newt as a beginner, f5 is the sweet spot for me now and in the future
My recommendation is a newt only because Ive used them successfully over the last 3 years or so

Good luck with your choice
PS: check out some of my images in the beginners Astrophotography section over the past couple of months
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Old 20-10-2020, 10:31 AM
Startrek (Martin)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Startrek View Post
For Astrophotography Ive used 6 and 8 newts write from the start , still use them after nearly 4 years
Also used a 10 dob at the start for visual and now have a 12 Goto dob for visual
An 8 f5 Bintel newt on an EQ6-R mount is what I use for imaging at my dark site on the south coast NSW and in Sydney I use a 6 f6 Bintel newt on an EQ6-R mount
Got nothing against refractors expect they are costly , require more accessories, flattened , f reducers and the like and restricted a little by aperture and focal length. My 8 f5 newt cost me $455.00 2 years ago , the 6 f6 cost me $299 just over 3 years ago . A good triplet APO refractor at 80 to 100 is going to set you back +$2000 then add the accessories
Both newts are easy to collimate , clean and lifting is no issue ( Im 60 yrs old , only 65kg wringing wet )
Now if you go for a newt and choose an f4 as a beginner then its going to be more difficult to use and collimate etc.. I wouldnt recommend an f4 newt as a beginner, f5 is the sweet spot for me now and in the future
My recommendation is a newt only because Ive used them successfully over the last 3 years or so

Good luck with your choice
PS: check out some of my images in the beginners Astrophotography section over the past couple of months
Forgot to mention I do both Planetary and Deep Sky imaging with both newts
Cheers
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  #6  
Old 20-10-2020, 11:22 AM
glend (Glen)
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Go with the Newt, but buy a GSO imaging newt, the SW newts do not have the same mirror quality in my experience.
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Old 20-10-2020, 11:27 AM
cjpops (Craig)
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Thanks for all your input guys much appreciated.


Would i be crazy if i get the Skywatcher ED80 for deep space astro and a saxon 8" newt for planetary viewing and astro?
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Old 20-10-2020, 11:35 AM
RyanJones
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Hi Craig,

My advice would be to decide which mount first. I run an 8 f/4 on a HEQ5 pro and although not impossible, it has been hard work and taken a reasonable amount of time testing etc to get it to run smoothly and consistently because of the weight. Like I said, not impossible but Id imagine quite frustrating for a beginner. I sometimes think if Id had my time again if I would have either bought an NEQ6 or stuck with a 6 f/5 which would also have been easier to collimate. I havent used an ED so I cant speak for them.
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Old 20-10-2020, 11:35 AM
Startrek (Martin)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjpops View Post
Thanks for all your input guys much appreciated.


Would i be crazy if i get the Skywatcher ED80 for deep space astro and a saxon 8" newt for planetary viewing and astro?
No you wouldnt be crazy but disappointed
The 8 f5 newt will expose so much more detail on most Deep Sky objects, even a 6 newt will expose more than the ED80
Check my images out in the beginners imaging section and Im still a beginner
I started with a Canon 600D DSLR which I used for both Deep Sky and Planetary. I still use the DSLR for planetary.Now I use a new cooled OSC camera which is unbelievable in both newts !!!
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Old 20-10-2020, 11:52 AM
cjpops (Craig)
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Thanks again everyone. Martin, I've checked out your pics.. impressive!! hope to eventually achieve the same.



I have my eyes set on a bundle at astro anarchy - a Skywatcher newt 8" with a Neq6 mount but it's on pre order and no ETA as yet - looks like the other stores are out of stock too.
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Old 20-10-2020, 12:04 PM
Startrek (Martin)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjpops View Post
Thanks again everyone. Martin, I've checked out your pics.. impressive!! hope to eventually achieve the same.



I have my eyes set on a bundle at astro anarchy - a Skywatcher newt 8" with a Neq6 mount but it's on pre order and no ETA as yet - looks like the other stores are out of stock too.
Strongly recommend the Bintel GSO 8 f5 newt on an EQ6-R mount for imaging ( see if Bintel can do you a deal !
GSO newts have slightly better mirrors and their focusers are so much better
I have both GSO newts and Skywatcher newts so I can confirm from experience with both. Dont scrimp on a few bucks saving if you can help it
My 2 cents....
PS most telescope suppliers are waiting on stock from China anyway
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Old 20-10-2020, 12:12 PM
astro744
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There is absolutely nothing wrong with viewing the planets with the ED80. The views are impressive up to 150-180x given the right eyepiece. In fact there would be many a night when the ED80 would show a better image than an 8" Newt. Of course under very good seeing conditions the Newt would excel.

Note the ED80 can be considered as a poor mans Tele Vue TV76/TV85. I don't own a TV76/TV85 but do have the TV60, ED80 and TV101 and visually I do prefer the clean views they give with almost no cool down time required. The only thing lacking in a refractor is the brighter images capable in a larger instrument at the same magnification.

As for astrophotography, when the ED80 first came out it was the instrument of choice for many (mainly due to low cost). You will need a reducer/corrector/field flattener of some sort. (The older model William Optics 0.8x (II) works well).
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Old 20-10-2020, 12:14 PM
Wilsil (Wilco)
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I use the ED80 as a beginner and love it.
Surely I want a bigger scope to go "deeper" but first I want to learn how to do it.
Also the ED80 is easy to take with you to a dark site as it is reasonable compact.
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Old 20-10-2020, 02:38 PM
cjpops (Craig)
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Thanks guys - would I be right thinking the Star Adventure 2 wouldn't be able to handle the weight of a ED80/8" newt and other bits and bobs on it?


** edit, Actually no.. I'll have to be patient for the eq6 mount stock to become available or a 2nd hand.

Last edited by cjpops; 20-10-2020 at 03:04 PM.
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Old 21-10-2020, 08:32 AM
cjpops (Craig)
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I've noticed there's a new Skywatcher Evolux ED82 refractor, was wondering if this would be a better option over the ed80? it's a couple of hundred dollars more.
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Old 21-10-2020, 09:41 AM
jahnpahwa (JP)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjpops View Post
I've noticed there's a new Skywatcher Evolux ED82 refractor, was wondering if this would be a better option over the ed80? it's a couple of hundred dollars more.
Those have been slated for imminent delivery for a fair few months now. I haven't seen anyone review them. Theyre still doublets by the look of things, maybe nicer focusers? Still in the same boat regarding flattener, etc.

If it was me, I'd go the ye olde ED80, with runs on the board and available. But I'm conservative in most ways other than politics.
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Old Yesterday, 12:54 PM
cjpops (Craig)
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Is there any difference with the 'Evostar' and 'pro series' Skywatcher ED80's?


Been reading up reviews online and noticed some of the SW ED80 has Evostar on the side and some don't.
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Old Yesterday, 01:46 PM
Startrek (Martin)
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Craig
Since your keen on starting out with a small refractor for Astrophotography eg ED80 just keep in mind your total payload on the mount you select and whether in the future you may go for a larger scope at some stage
General rule of thumb or recommended max payload for AP ( telescope , imaging camera , guide scope, guide camera , flatterers , adapters , finder scope, dewheaters, cables , hubs , power supplies , dove bars etc. etc..... ) should be no heavier than 60% to 65% of the total rated payload of the mount
Examples
Skywatcher HEQ5 mount max payload rating 13kg ( recommended max AP payload rating 9kg )
Skywatcher NEQ6 mount max payload rating 20kg ( recommended max AP payload rating 13kg )
Skywatcher AZEQ6 mount max payload rating 22kg ( recommended max AP payload rating 15kg )
Skywatcher EQ6-R mount max payload rating 20kg ( recommended max AP payload rating 15kg ) *** this mount has a slightly higher AP payload rating than the previous older model NEQ6 or EQ6

The types of refractors your looking at to get started with are only around 2.5 to 3.0 kg then adding your AP gear would bring the total AP payload to around 5 to 6 kg
So the HEQ5 would suit your needs now but if you decide later on to buy an 8 newt then you would need a larger mount like a EQ6-R mount as the AP payload on an 8 f5 newt is around 14 to 15kg
Hope the above makes sense and provides some insight into Astrophotography payloads and sizing the most appropriate mount
Good luck with your choice and hope your get up and running soon
Cheers
Martin
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Old Yesterday, 03:10 PM
cjpops (Craig)
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Thanks for that info Martin much appreciated, I've got my eyes set on the NEQ6 Pro but after your information i might have to consider the EQ6-R model for future proofing.
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  #20  
Old Yesterday, 04:28 PM
Startrek (Martin)
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Originally Posted by cjpops View Post
Thanks for that info Martin much appreciated, I've got my eyes set on the NEQ6 Pro but after your information i might have to consider the EQ6-R model for future proofing.
Craig
EQ6-R mount Excellent choice , I have 2 of them
The later model (2019 onwards) have an additional USB3 port so you can cable direct to your laptop with a USB3 cable to control the mount
The older models only had the RJ45 data port ( hand controller port ) which required a special EQ direct cable ( Shoestring Astronomy ) to allow the mount to communicate to the laptop
I have both models the old and the new
Also Skywatcher mounts are designed to use EQMOD to control them via your preferred planetarium or capture software, another plus for Skywatcher mounts
Cheers
Martin
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