Re: need learning aids for astrophoto

Mike Dodd

On 5/5/2020 5:22 AM, Geof Lewis wrote:
Hi Dick,
I tend to agree with most of the advice you've been getting, BUT I want
to say that it is not so difficult to get images with a 10" Meade LX200
and a stock DSLR....
...parting with the LX200 in favour of a pre-owned Astro-Physics AP1200
mount, which is an absolute joy to use....
I'll weigh in again with a few more comments about equipment, not learning aidss.

1. I agree 100% with how wonderful the AP1200 is. I too started imaging with a 10" LX200, then quickly moved to a 9.25" SCT on a GEM, then another GEM, and finally a second-hand AP1200 that I still use. It is a wonderful mount, and imaging with it is MUCH easier than with any of the other mounts I've used.

I use a separate guide scope and camera <> that typically yield guiding errors less than 1 arcsec with the AP1200.

2. IMO a DSLR is a good choice if you're just starting out. But I think buying a cooled CMOS astronomy camera is a better choice if your budget allows. Consider:

A) A CMOS camera is powered from the USB (usually USB 3.0) cable, not from an internal battery that might not last through an imaging session.

B) A cooled CMOS camera has lower noise than an uncooled DSLR.

C) ZWO offers an off-axis guider (OAG) that mounts in between the OTA and the imaging camera. A small lightweight (and inexpensive) camera screws into this OAG. You can easily add autoguiding without needing a separate guide scope and camera. (I use a separate guider for specific reasons related to my imaging goals.)

There's a lot to think about; I hope you're not overwhelmed.


Mike Dodd
Louisa County, Virginia USA

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