Old 07-31-2016, 02:50 AM #17
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Default Re: Good telescopes to buy

Excellent advice from Rivem and I agree 100% !

Most certainly a good pair of binos and then a nice Dobsonian will get you started in visual astronomy.
Just keep in mind that you won't see colour, or at best, a little bit of colour in deep sky objects.
This is because the cones and rods in our eyes aren't sensitive enough to pick up colour in very faint conditions, which is what we're looking at when we view deep sky objects.
The colour images on the box of a telescope are not what you will see when you view through it.
It's fine for lunar and planetary viewing, you'll see craters on the moon, you'll resolve some detail on Jupiter (with larger aperture scopes), you'll pick up some moons of Jupiter, and you should be able to see the rings of Saturn (bigger aperture will reveal them better obviously).
Needless to say, don't ever look through a telescope directly at the sun.
You wouldn't stare down the beam of a 7W laser would you?

But when you view deep sky objects (ones outside our solar system) they will appear dull grey with diffuse muted whites.
It's the structure that you will discern, not the colours.

To pick up some colour (limited) you'll need a much bigger scope.

This is why I bypassed visual astronomy altogether and went straight into astrophotography.
With a camera you can pick up structure and colour almost immediately with a long exposure image.
This is because the sensor in a camera works in a cumulative fashion, building up an image over time and is able to capture colour and detail.

This is a whole different branch of astronomy and requires a good mount.
The quality of the scope is secondary to the quality of the mount when doing astrophotography because your mount determines how well you track the stars (due to the earth's rotation).

Just to show you that you don't need a good scope for astrophotography, here's an image I took with only a camera and a 135mm lens on a tracking mount, it's 2 hours worth of exposures (16x8 min).
I've posted these shots in other threads.

See this thread: No, I didn't use a Telescope.




And one I did recently of the Milkyway with just a camera and 16mm wide angle lens on a stationary tripod below:




So it's a fun hobby and very gratifying but it's also a slippery slope and your wallet will come out second best, just like our laser hobby.

Hope you enjoy !


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Old 07-31-2016, 05:24 AM #18
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Default Re: Good telescopes to buy

Quote:
Originally Posted by RB astro View Post
Excellent advice from Rivem and I agree 100% !

Most certainly a good pair of binos and then a nice Dobsonian will get you started in visual astronomy.
Just keep in mind that you won't see colour, or at best, a little bit of colour in deep sky objects.
This is because the cones and rods in our eyes aren't sensitive enough to pick up colour in very faint conditions, which is what we're looking at when we view deep sky objects.
The colour images on the box of a telescope are not what you will see when you view through it.
It's fine for lunar and planetary viewing, you'll see craters on the moon, you'll resolve some detail on Jupiter (with larger aperture scopes), you'll pick up some moons of Jupiter, and you should be able to see the rings of Saturn (bigger aperture will reveal them better obviously).
Needless to say, don't ever look through a telescope directly at the sun.
You wouldn't stare down the beam of a 7W laser would you?

But when you view deep sky objects (ones outside our solar system) they will appear dull grey with diffuse muted whites.
It's the structure that you will discern, not the colours.

To pick up some colour (limited) you'll need a much bigger scope.

This is why I bypassed visual astronomy altogether and went straight into astrophotography.
With a camera you can pick up structure and colour almost immediately with a long exposure image.
This is because the sensor in a camera works in a cumulative fashion, building up an image over time and is able to capture colour and detail.

This is a whole different branch of astronomy and requires a good mount.
The quality of the scope is secondary to the quality of the mount when doing astrophotography because your mount determines how well you track the stars (due to the earth's rotation).

Just to show you that you don't need a good scope for astrophotography, here's an image I took with only a camera and a 135mm lens on a tracking mount, it's 2 hours worth of exposures (16x8 min).
I've posted these shots in other threads.

See this thread: No, I didn't use a Telescope.




And one I did recently of the Milkyway with just a camera and 16mm wide angle lens on a stationary tripod below:




So it's a fun hobby and very gratifying but it's also a slippery slope and your wallet will come out second best, just like our laser hobby.

Hope you enjoy !
Good to see you pal. I was waiting for your input.


RB brings up some good points that I left out.

Definitely don't go in with huge expectations of NASA quality views through telescopes. RB is totally correct in saying color doesn't work out. A lot of amateur objects aren't even visible unless you're in a very dark place with a big scope.

Before anybody asks about astrophotography though, the cheap method is to use a DSLR on a mount for long exposures as RB suggests. You can also fairly easily take planetary and moon shots through most telescopes using various camera adapters. If you want a telescope that can take great, colorful photos of dim deep sky objects objects, we're getting into used car and more price ranges. There are people that set up observatories worth more than the houses they're next to in search of better astrophotos.

Personally, I have been, am, and will be a visual astronomer until I either get a job at an observatory or own property that I could build my own on.
And have a good, steady income.
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Old 07-31-2016, 05:38 AM #19
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Default Re: Good telescopes to buy

I'd just like to add that you can look at the sun through a telescope, but you need a solar filter. Those things are pretty cool. But you have to be careful with them. If they even get a tiny pinhole in them, you can damage your eyes. Pre-checks with those filters, before you use them, is a must.

Also RB astro, what tracking bases would you recommend for digital photography? I have a decent camera, and I already do basic tripod shots. But I want to be able to do longer exposures and not get tracing.

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Old 07-31-2016, 10:24 AM #20
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Default Re: Good telescopes to buy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rivem View Post
Before anybody asks about astrophotography though, the cheap method is to use a DSLR on a mount for long exposures as RB suggests.
If you want a telescope that can take great, colorful photos of dim deep sky objects objects, we're getting into used car and more price ranges.

There are people that set up observatories worth more than the houses they're next to in search of better astrophotos.
'Ain't' that the truth brother.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrisbee View Post
I'd just like to add that you can look at the sun through a telescope, but you need a solar filter. Those things are pretty cool. But you have to be careful with them. If they even get a tiny pinhole in them, you can damage your eyes. Pre-checks with those filters, before you use them, is a must.

Also RB astro, what tracking bases would you recommend for digital photography? I have a decent camera, and I already do basic tripod shots. But I want to be able to do longer exposures and not get tracing.
Spot on Chris, unless you have a high quality solar filter don't even think about ever looking at the sun.

Now, as for a starter tracking mount, depending on how much you would like to spend, you can look at an EQ3 or EQ5 and polar align to minimise trailing.
Or even start with a Vixen Polarie star tracker or an iOptron SkyTracker.

Polar aligning is essential though to minimise trailing and enable long exposures, as you know.

Best to do a search for a dealer near you.

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but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
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Old 07-31-2016, 03:23 PM #21
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Default Re: Good telescopes to buy

Another thing to worry about with solar filters is that they have to be very carefully secured. I know of people that have been instantly blinded when they fall off due to a bump or wind.

Personally, I don't have a filter, and a friend has a nice dedictated h-alpha solar telescope I get to look through. That's good enough for me.

If anybody ever sees the suggestion of eyepiece projection of the sun onto a paper, don't do it. Most modern scopes and eyepieces can't take it without damage.

On tracking for photos, I'll throw in that if you're handy, they can be fairly simple to make. Tons of guides online on how to do it too. Check this out: 6 DIY Star Trackers for Perfect Night Sky Photos | Make:

Also, getting an older used equatorial mount can be an easier cheap way to get a tracking mount. A lot of old equatorial scopes still have drive motors. Newer scopes with mounts unintended for astrophotography will be fine as long as you take the scope off the mount and only use the camera. Plenty adapters are available online for camera mounting directly to the mount's dovetail.
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Old 07-31-2016, 05:50 PM #22
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Default Re: Good telescopes to buy

I've been familiar with these tracking scopes from looking for scopes in years past. You can get into spending quite a lot of money if you want to in search of a better astral photograph. I never intended to spend anywhere near the money they ask for some of these computer tracking scopes. They are a marvel to behold and certainly something to put on your wish list if you ever become wealthy enough to afford them.
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Old 08-01-2016, 01:29 AM #23
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Default Re: Good telescopes to buy

Quote:
Originally Posted by paul1598419 View Post
I've been familiar with these tracking scopes from looking for scopes in years past. You can get into spending quite a lot of money if you want to in search of a better astral photograph. I never intended to spend anywhere near the money they ask for some of these computer tracking scopes. They are a marvel to behold and certainly something to put on your wish list if you ever become wealthy enough to afford them.
Just get youself a Takahashi EM400 or Astro-Physics 1600GTO mount.

Honestly, I'd be happy with an AVX mount and ecstatic with a CGEM or Atlas mount. Takahashi scopes and mounts are amazing in my experience, but no way can I afford one anytime soon. RB on the other hand.
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Old 08-01-2016, 02:00 AM #24
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Default Re: Good telescopes to buy

Years ago I had a buddy that had a fully computerized tracking setup. Had his laptop hooked up to the tracker and the camera. Laptop had integrated star-chart software. He just used the software to tell the mount where to point, set the exposure time, and took the pictures, without even touching the mount or camera. Way cool setup! Too bad I'll never afford it.
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Old 08-01-2016, 02:17 AM #25
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Default Re: Good telescopes to buy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrisbee View Post
Years ago I had a buddy that had a fully computerized tracking setup. Had his laptop hooked up to the tracker and the camera. Laptop had integrated star-chart software. He just used the software to tell the mount where to point, set the exposure time, and took the pictures, without even touching the mount or camera. Way cool setup! Too bad I'll never afford it.
They're also great for mounting lasers on.
(see up top, my 20 MegaWatt Blaster, well 20mW pointer anyway).


Here's my setup Chris, it does exactly what you describe.
It truly is beautiful to see it slew across to whatever target you choose and lock on.
hmmm, I could start my own Aussie "Star Wars" SDI defence program...

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Old 08-01-2016, 04:21 AM #26
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Default Re: Good telescopes to buy

Well, I ended up buying the middle pair of celestron binocs I linked to. I might still buy a Zhumell scope in the future though. Gotta try to attend a star party or two first to get some experience.

Thanks for all the help Rivem.
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Old 08-01-2016, 06:00 AM #27
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Default Re: Good telescopes to buy

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They're also great for mounting lasers on.
(see up top, my 20 MegaWatt Blaster, well 20mW pointer anyway).


Here's my setup Chris, it does exactly what you describe.
It truly is beautiful to see it slew across to whatever target you choose and lock on.
hmmm, I could start my own Aussie "Star Wars" SDI defence program...

For anybody that doesn't immediately recognize RB's excellent taste in telescopes, these are among the best of the best amateur grade scopes that you don't have to custom order or make.

It also will cost around 100 times the original price point of this thread, but it's well worth it if you can afford one and are serious about astrophotography.

You can get a computerized scope as Chris describes going for around $1,000 though, so not too bad.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Razako View Post
Well, I ended up buying the middle pair of celestron binocs I linked to. I might still buy a Zhumell scope in the future though. Gotta try to attend a star party or two first to get some experience.

Thanks for all the help Rivem.
Glad I could help Razako. Make sure you get a good scan of the summer Milky Way as soon as you get them. Try to shoot for Jupiter too. Download a good sky chart app to your phone to really help with identification and suggestions. I'm partial to SkyPortal even though I don't have a telescope that uses its major features. It's pretty much just a good free version of SkySafari.
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Last edited by Rivem; 08-01-2016 at 06:01 AM.
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Old 08-01-2016, 09:30 PM #28
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Default Re: Good telescopes to buy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Razako View Post
Well, I ended up buying the middle pair of celestron binocs I linked to. I might still buy a Zhumell scope in the future though. Gotta try to attend a star party or two first to get some experience.

Thanks for all the help Rivem.
Good one Razako, you can't go wrong with Rivem's advice.
Good luck and I hope you enjoy.
Yes attend a star party, you'll love it and you'll get even more great advice and encouragement to join the 'money pit'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rivem View Post
For anybody that doesn't immediately recognize RB's excellent taste in telescopes, these are among the best of the best amateur grade scopes that you don't have to custom order or make.
That's my biggest downfall my friend.... expensive taste.....
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