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Old 28-03-2008, 01:55 PM
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ETX-125 for astrophotography

Hi all

I'm very intereseted in buying an etx but before doing so, i wanted to know if it is at all suitable for astrophotography?
Also the ones here who own one, are the views of the planets and dso's reasonable?


Cheers
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Old 28-03-2008, 02:26 PM
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The ETX will be a bit of a challenge but not impossible. It has along focul length that will make things harder. A guy in our club does sensational imaging with a DSI 2 and 3 using an LX200R but when he goes away in his caravan takes his ETX125 and gets great results but he is a very experienced imager and uses a focul reducer. I love using mine for grab and go visual stuff. Planets,moon and brighter deep sky stuff is sensational. The optics are spot on and have really impressed me and alot of other people who have looked through it. Execellent on planets but you will be limmited to about 250X magnification before image breakdown because of the small aperature. The goto works real well and if your drives are trained it will always put the target in the field of view. I am going to use mine with a astro video camera to chase down the fainter fuzzies. I have no experience with them and imaging but for visual use and 5 inch size it is a sensational little scope.

Matt
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Old 28-03-2008, 02:27 PM
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Hi

I own one, and whilst you can do it you cant do very long exposures with it as the mounts motors are not that great. You get better sucsess if you polar align the scope as it only uses one motor. Dont get me wrong It's a great beginners scope (im a beginner) and it has taught me a lot. It's a breeze to set up and align and is fairly accurate as a goto scope.

If your a beginner I'd recommend the scope with out hesitation. For photography I'd say no. I never bothered getting into photography with mine because of the gears on it. I'm ready to branch out now and now have my etx on an EQ5 mount. Check out CouldyNights etx forum some of the guys there get some great photos with the scope so it can be done, but they have a fair bit of experience.

Have fun.


My 2c
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Old 28-03-2008, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maksutover View Post
Hi all

I'm very intereseted in buying an etx but before doing so, i wanted to know if it is at all suitable for astrophotography?
Also the ones here who own one, are the views of the planets and dso's reasonable?


Cheers
G'Day,
I have a ETX 125 which I use when I'm at my weekender and I would say that the views of the Planets and DSO are very reasonable however not sure about Astro photography.I would be inclined to get a 8" LX 90. I'm sure there are members here who would be more experienced than me.
Cheers
Arthur
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Old 28-03-2008, 02:40 PM
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Thanks for the info guys. Im more of a visual observing person and i might consider getting into photography later, but not straight away.
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Old 31-03-2008, 05:42 PM
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is wondering what a etx is
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Old 31-03-2008, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen View Post

is wondering what a etx is
http://www.meade.com/etx/index.html
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Old 31-03-2008, 07:11 PM
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Go to Weasner's site - he's the ETX nut in our universe. There isn't much he doesn't know - and there are links to photos taken with his at the bottom of the page.


http://www.weasner.com/etx/menu.html
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Old 01-04-2008, 12:51 AM
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If astrophotography is where you want to go - get an ED80 to start off.
Although, I've done that and I'm moving back into camera lenses for wide field stuff!! But that's me!!
Good luck - walk before you run though in this game!
Doug: thumbsup:
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Old 01-04-2008, 11:56 AM
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Could the people who have the ETX tell me how portable the scope really is? In terms of how long to set up completely, alignment and also time to reach equilibrium with ambient temperatures?
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Old 01-04-2008, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by maksutover View Post
Could the people who have the ETX tell me how portable the scope really is? In terms of how long to set up completely, alignment and also time to reach equilibrium with ambient temperatures?
G'Day,
I only use my Meade ETX 125 for visual,but it's a breeze takes minutes to set up and start viewing as far as the temperature is concerned,it all depends on how hot or cold it is,lets just say as it's a small mirror so it cools down much quicker.and it depends also where you had it stored during the day.My advice to you would be try and find a Astro club and go out to where ever they view usually during new moon that way you will have a better idea on various scopes and how they cool down and what the different sizes can see Planets.DSO etc.Do a search on Goggle for Astro clubs in SA
Cheers
Arthur
Opps dont know why I put SA your in Sydney,there's lots of Astro clubs there.

Last edited by nightsky; 01-04-2008 at 08:42 PM.
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Old 01-04-2008, 08:26 PM
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I dont have the Mak so I cant answer for the ETX 125

however set up and alignment 15 to 20 minutes
probably will take twice or three times as long if you are a complete novice
cool down-any Mak needs 30 minutes min? just guessing probably even longer


be warned the people who have taken decent images with an ETX 125 have -many of them-mounted the OTA piggyback on another scope/mount

the ETX is hardly designed for long exposure imaging

much better on planets though

also be warned that the ETX will not support the weight of a digital SLR at prime focus-you could quit easily do serious damage to the gears-which are after all nylon. You can piggy back a DSLR though and take some nice widefields
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Old 01-04-2008, 08:27 PM
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They are really portable, I just got a large plastic box from bunnings, linned it with foam from clarks rubber and place the fork and OTA into it. This then just gets packed with all the camping gear in the camper trailer. The tripod goes into the bag that came with the scope. Setting up is a breeze, just fold out the tripod, screw the fork OTA assembly to it, the new versions have the magnetic north and leveling sensors in them and they have worked flawless for me over the last 10 camping trips in last 18 months.

Setting up is just a matter of getting a rough level, park the OTA in the home position, slightly to the left of north( you don't have to be too accurate with this if you have the newer versions) plug in 12 volt supply and go for auto align. Let the scope do it 5 minute dance finding north and its various levels then it will slew to a bright star, just centre the brightess star that is in the view finder to the middle of field of view in a 20mm eyepiece or thereabouts then press enter, the scope will then slew to next brightess star center this and you then become aligned. Works 99% time for me . To improve accuracy of the goto enter a well known object such as sirus, goto it, when the scope has finished slewing centre it in a high powered eyepiece such as a 9mm then hold down the enter button for 5 seconds and the control will say sync, you press enter again and this will sync it. Go to another object on the other side of the sky and do the same and if the motor drives are trained well you will have near perfect goto's. Sounds hard but in practice is really easy.
Anothe feature I like about Autostar on my various meade scopes is the high pricission pointing this works even more accurate but I won't bore you with it.
The ETX 125 only has a 5inch Mirror so unless you pull it out of a hot car it only takes upto 1 hour most of the tim to start showing very sharp images of objects. I was astounded at how sharp things appear in the eyepiece. Alittle dimmer to my 8inch newt but alot more pleasing to look through and alot more fun with the goto.

At home if I don't feel like setting up the 12 inch 200R I just pick u the EtX125 fully assembled and plonk it out in the yard, very light and I am up and running in 5 mins.Great when friends are over for a quick visit or the kids pestering for alook at the moon. Just remember that it only has a 5 inch mirror so dimmer objects will be less intresting but plantnets, lunar and brighter deep sky stuff is great and for ultra portable its great. If you want portable more aperature maybe consider a 8inch LX90 or 8inch CPC scope, all these are good buying at the moment.Hope this helps.

Matt.
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Old 01-04-2008, 08:59 PM
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My understanding is that Mak-Cass mirror size is less of an issue for cooling than the thick corrector plate of the objective. However, catadioptric scopes are sealed systems, so heat escape/transfer is always relatively slow and the mirror is well buried inside them.

In my experience with an ETX-125, cool-down is likely to take around 45-60 minutes, depending on the difference between storage and ambient temperatures.
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Old 01-04-2008, 10:08 PM
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Thank you all for your help! I will now seriously consider going to bintel and buying it since its on sale at the moment, unless someone in sydney has a second hand one that they are willing to sell!?!

Thanks again everyone for the information.
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Old 01-04-2008, 11:58 PM
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Originally Posted by maksutover View Post
Thank you all for your help! I will now seriously consider going to bintel and buying it since its on sale at the moment, unless someone in sydney has a second hand one that they are willing to sell!?!

Thanks again everyone for the information.
G'Day
Check this video out from Meade it will give you a good idea on how most of the Etx and LX scopes are set up,also you should consider buying a second had one,because your going to want a larger scope later later on
believe me
http://www.meade.com/educational/etx...os/chap17.html

Cheers
Arthur
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Old 02-04-2008, 12:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Jen View Post

is wondering what a etx is
G'Day Jen,
Check out this video from Meade as how to set up the ETX 125
http://www.meade.com/educational/etx...os/chap17.html
Cheers
Arthur
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Old 02-04-2008, 04:49 AM
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With the ETX - the mount quality versus the high focal length will get you in trouble. I would suggest (as Doug did) an ED80 and an EQ5 as a good minimum for imaging work. You'll have no lack of new friends with exactly that popular combination of gear.

If you go down the ETX route you will probably get some OK shots with lots of effort but your ratio of good to bad shots will be so low you will probably lose enthusiasm quickly. It's not impossible just not a good beginner's option.
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Old 02-04-2008, 04:46 PM
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G'Day Jen,
Check out this video from Meade as how to set up the ETX 125
http://www.meade.com/educational/etx...os/chap17.html
Cheers
Arthur
Arthur thank you for the link
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