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Old 23-10-2021, 11:25 AM
DennisArch
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Converting photographer

Hello, after a few weeks of reading some of the posts I would like to ask what is probably a basic question.

I am, at the moment a lunar photographer. Using what is really off the shelf gear. Canon 90D camera, 400 prime lens and a 1.4x teleconverter. I would like to buy a useable scope with a suitable focal length. The camera set up tops out at 560mm. There are factors that can add 1.6x to this, thus around 960. I am not a believer.

I would like the scope and tracker to be around $2k. Second hand scope is fine.

The question - is this a reality? Probably a refracting instrument.
Thank you Dennis Arch.
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Old 23-10-2021, 04:41 PM
Drac0 (Mark)
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It really depends WHAT you want to capture. A camera & lens is very suitable on a decent mount for now for deep sky objects like Andromeda, Orion and such. I've used my 70D with a 70-200mm, Sigma 150-500mm and more recently a 300mm. A lot of very good, fast astrophotography scopes are in the 250mm-800mm focal length range.

For around $2k you can easily get a decent mount & a good scope if you feel you need it, especially 2nd hand. Some people will tell you to get a tracker but from experience I think you would be better off going straight to an EQ mount - for portability if moving around something like an EQM-35 Pro (I currently use one of these) or perhaps something like a HEQ5 Pro - a little beefier with a higher payload capacity.

Either of these mounts if you can grab one 2nd hand will leave you plenty for a very nice 2nd hand scope in the 61mm to 100m size range - that's aperture size, not focal length, look for something under about f/7.

But from my personal experience, I consider getting a good mount from the get go is the most important start point, even if you need to continue using the camera lens for a while longer.

Good luck with it all.
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Old 23-10-2021, 05:11 PM
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xa-coupe (Jeff)
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I moved from doing 'regular' photography too ... and to give you the benefit of my experience I'll give you tips that I wish I had of known.


If you want to image deep space stuff (nebulas etc) then you'll want to keep the focal length relatively short. The other advantage of shorter focal lengths is it is more forgiving as you learn polar alignment and such.


If you want to image planetary, then you'll want to get something with a decent focal length but you will be lining yourself up for a difficult time earning polar alignment and so on.


The moon, well, it's usually so bright you almost don't need a mount.



Get a mount that will survive your learning phase, or else you'll just re-buy one. Something in the vicinity of the HEQ5 will get you going for a looong time. Your mount can be used for your current camera and lens, so if you want to spend a little more on the mount, you won't be left with a great mount that you can't use.



Second hand stuff comes up all the time, but be quick when you see them as they tend to go quickly with all the COVID induced shipping delays for new stuff.
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Old 24-10-2021, 03:53 PM
DennisArch
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Thank you

Thanks for the reply.
I am thinking I have made a thought error. It is the EQ device that I want, I thought that was a tracker. I have taken quite a few shots of the moon. Following the and resetting the moon can hold things up a bit. I finish up with a max of 10 images to stack when all runs well.
If the telescope won’t particularly aid the photos I am more than happy to wait awhile and further explore the lens option. The EQ mount would allow for some lower power lenses to catch images for me.
I have joined an astro group and now feel I may ask a couple of sensible questions.
Many thanks, Dennis Arch
Camera gear:
Canon EOS 90D camera,
Canon EF 400 f5.6 lens
Canon EF 300 f4 lens
Canon 1.4x and 2x teleconverters.

Last edited by DennisArch; 24-10-2021 at 03:54 PM. Reason: Alteration
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Old 24-10-2021, 05:57 PM
Drac0 (Mark)
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What's called a "tracker" usually applies to small portable devices designed primarily for using with a DSLR & lens or a small, light scope, generally maxing out at around 5kg payload. They only track on a single axis (DEC) and require you to manually point the camera/scope at the desired target first. They ARE good for what they are designed for but I found them restrictive & really for not much more cost you can get a better mount.

A GOTO EQ mount has higher load capacity - most common ones for the amateur astronomer are between 10kg and 20kg - allowing larger scopes & other equipment (guide scopes & cameras, focuser's, etc) to be used and move in both DEC & RA axis's.

As I said earlier, your current lenses will be fine for starters unless you really think you need a scope straight away. They have no problem with a lot of popular DSO objects - they work perfectly well for things like Andromeda, Orion, Witches Head, etc - it's not all about focal length but the field of view & the light capturing ability.

Cheers.
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Old 31-10-2021, 09:14 AM
AdamJL
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If you see yourself in this hobby for the long term, then investing in a good mount at the beginning is the best advice. The scope will come later. Your camera lenses will perform adequately until you’ve more capital to spend on them.
The HEQ-5 is a good starter. Personally I’d recommend the EQ6-R but it pushes your budget out unless you can find one second hand
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