Re: need learning aids for astrophoto

Don Anderson

I looked at his original post. His scope is a 12" Meade.

Don Anderson

On Tuesday, May 5, 2020, 03:22:20 a.m. MDT, Geof Lewis <geoflewis@...> 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 (mine was the Nikon D90) as that is exactly how I started out. Of course the route that I followed is not recommended, but the first thing I did (that is within a few days) after taking early retirement in 2012 was purchased a pre-owned 10" Meade LX200, at which point visual observing, not photography was my main ambition. However, it didn't take long (about 3 months) for me to try attaching my Nikon camera, then a guide scope + guide camera, focal reducer, etc, etc.. For sure the LX200 mount had terrible tracking and PE, so yielded poor shape stars, but I was excited and pretty pleased to get some reasonable DSO images, plus I learnt a lot on the way. For planetary and lunar imaging where accurate tracking is less of an issue the 10" Meade performed extremely well.
All of that said, it is FAR easier to get better results with a smaller refractor, even piggy backed on the Meade and of course I ended up parting with the LX200 in favour of a pre-owned Astro-Physics AP1200 mount, which is an absolute joy to use, but these are rare items to find, certainly in the UK where I'm located.
Good luck and above all have fun.


From: <> on behalf of Cheng-Yang Tan via <cytan299@...>
Sent: 05 May 2020 01:04
To: <>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] need learning aids for astrophoto
Hi Dick,
   I'm not sure that an old 10" LX200 OTA is the correct scope to start with for astrophotography. Its focal length is too long for a beginner even with a focal reducer. It also has mirror flop which means guiding should be done with an off-axis guider.
   I'd consider a nice f/6 100 mm to 130 mm refractor. AP sells top of the line refractors -- but getting one new will require a long wait.

  IMO, I'd really recommend buying cheaper equipment to see whether you like astrophotography first before sinking in more than $10k to $20k and then discovering you don't really like it.


On Monday, May 4, 2020, 06:39:19 PM CDT, fastqx . <fastqx@...> wrote:

thanks, charles, for the advice.    i'm a "re"-new watcher, so i appreciate all new comments.

dick fast

On Mon, May 4, 2020 at 4:34 PM Charles Thompson via <> wrote:

Dick, there is a choice you will have to make up front on cameras. Either one shot color like the ZWO ASI294MC Pro or monochrome with red, green and blue filters like the ASI1600MM. These are the only two I have used personally and they both have pros and cons.  

For the mount, I would go with the 1100GTO.  Mach2 is over a year wait if you get on the list now. I have a 10" truss RC and it's a little bit much for the Mach1 as well as an 11" RASA. I ran these on the Mach1 and it did ok but I could tell they would be better suited to the 1100.  You call also get absolute encoders on the 1100 but I have never felt like I needed to use them. This subject could get controversial. 

Hopefully that helps some.


Sent from mobile device.

-------- Original message --------
From: Stuart <stuart.j.heggie@...>
Date: 5/4/20 5:37 PM (GMT-06:00)
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] need learning aids for astrophoto

Dick, get ready for the deluge of advice! LOL! This is THE list for getting help with premium gear. 

I'm pretty certain that an AP1100GTO would be more than adequate for the 12" LX200 OTA. You can get on the list for the Mach2 which I think would be awesome but not sure the wait time for those. Karen or Marj will know.

As for cameras ... if you look in this list's archives there was a very recent lively discussion about the move away from ccd to cmos and which cameras people are favouring.

As for books: you can't go wrong with the classics like Terry Dickenson's Backyard Astronomers Guide but newer resources might be more useful when it comes to gear. 

Camera choice will come down to what you want to photograph. You going to go after planets? One camera. Deep sky? A different camera. 

On Mon, 4 May 2020 at 17:30, fastqx . <fastqx@...> wrote:
i'm an old guy who, after 25 years absence, (now at N 59.5 degrees) wants to watch the sky again. can you help me find a book/course/tutorial that would update me on modern amateur astrophotography? i am building a new dome, and have an old meade 12" lx200. electronics are eff-ed, but ota is just fine. i'm looking for a solid equatorial mount and the requisite "go-to" and tracking software.

dick fast
atlin bc canada



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