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who's into telescopes?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by smslavin, Mar 18, 2018.

  1. Mar 18, 2018 at 5:11 PM
    #1
    smslavin

    smslavin [OP] On a plane...

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    My youngest and I got to talking about telescopes the other day. Figured it would be fun to grab something decent to take out on truck excursions and/or camping trips this summer. Just started digging around but my lens knowledge stops at Canon's 1200mm f/5.6...

    [​IMG]

    So, I've been looking at Celestron and Meade. Kind of leaning towards this one from Meade at the moment. 1000mm, computer controlled, Newtonian reflector. There is a camera mount available. Does anyone have any input?
     
    OceanSkyWolf, SR5 AZUL and Njmike13 like this.
  2. Mar 18, 2018 at 5:51 PM
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    SouthBoundSteve

    SouthBoundSteve New Improved Ron/ Driverdog 2020!

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    We have one but it’s packed away getting ready to make the trip south. We bought it years ago and it has been a blast. We actually could see Saturn and the outline of the rings.
    We spent some $$$ and bought it at a camera store that has since gone under...
     
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  3. Mar 18, 2018 at 6:31 PM
    #3
    RangerBP

    RangerBP SC Expat

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    On the Arkansas, between Parkdale and Pueblo
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    I don’t have experience with smaller scopes so I’m not much help in that regard, but the Gunni and CB libraries offer a variety of nice scopes for checkout or loan.

    Unsure about Denver, but it’s worth looking into whether there’s something similar available there, as a test drive. If the libraries don’t offer them, Denver Astronomical Society may have some leads on loaners to try out before committing to one.
     
  4. Mar 18, 2018 at 6:40 PM
    #4
    Njmike13

    Njmike13 New Member

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    Find the nearest observatory (hope is not that far) they usually have weekly events. It's a great place to get input from people in the know. I did this before I bought on for my wife and was able to by a used one from someone there. Got it for about half price because the guy was upgrading.
     
    SouthBoundSteve likes this.
  5. Mar 18, 2018 at 9:00 PM
    #5
    UTTundra

    UTTundra New Member

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    I think it depends on what you want to do with it. Just observe? Imaging? I started dabbling in imaging deep space objects a couple years ago. There is a ton to consider, it can be overwhelming to start out. The simplest option I think is a refractor telescope. It is essentially a manual focus telephoto lens and does a decent job for imaging. I don't think they are the best option for observing though due to their limited light gathering abilities. The Canon 1200mm could certainly be used for imaging. If you already have one, that's awesome. Don't they run like $100k+? You could probably set up a pretty awesome observatory for that price. 1200mm is a pretty long focal length if you're just getting started. Even 600mm is a bit long.

    I have a Skywatcher ProED 80mm refractor. It's decent and affordable. It is 600mm. With telescopes, the mm measurement in the model name refers to its aperture. It's equivalent to a f7.5 (600mm focal length / 80mm aperture = 7.5 ratio). I have a Celestron Advanced VX equatorial mount. It's also entry level and fairly affordable. Some people will tell you it sucks, but it works. I started using an older 300mm Nikon lens last year just because it is easier to image since everything needs to be less accurate with the shorter focal length. I autoguide as well, but not confident my autoguiding setup is very accurate. Autoguiding refers to using a secondary camera and computer, hooked up to your mount, that tracks a single star in the sky and communicates with your mount to make continuous adjustments to the mount's movement for more accurate tracking. Makes my head spin just thinking of all this. The processing of a stack of images is a whole other rabbit hole to go down.

    I don't know much about other types of scopes (Newtonians, Dobsonians, etc.). From what I understand, they aren't quite as user friendly as refractors, are better than refractors for observing, and can still be used for imaging but require better technique. One good place to go to for info is the cloudynights.com forums.

    Pleiades w/ 600mm refractor

    [​IMG]

    Andromeda w/ 600mm refractor
    [​IMG]

    Rho Ophiuchus region w/ 300mm lens
    [​IMG]

    Part of Milky Way with Eagle and Omega nebulae w/ 120mm lens
    [​IMG]

    Orion constellation w/ 50mm lens
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2018
  6. Mar 19, 2018 at 1:41 PM
    #6
    smslavin

    smslavin [OP] On a plane...

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    thanks for the info. great photos.

    no, i don't own a 1200. there's only like 8 in existence globally and they're all registered with the governments for the country they reside in. canon hung onto a few and bring them out for certain events. like the olympics. b&h had one for sale awhile back. surfer magazine got to borrow one once when i was submitting to them. it's a crazy set up.

    i'll poke around cloudynights. i saw it referenced in a few other spots as well.
     
    UTTundra likes this.
  7. Mar 19, 2018 at 1:55 PM
    #7
    UTTundra

    UTTundra New Member

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    If you already have some decent Canon/Nikon glass, you can already get into some imaging with just an equatorial mount or something like an Astrotrac and beefy tripod.
     
  8. Mar 19, 2018 at 2:37 PM
    #8
    GodlessPro

    GodlessPro Bougie BASTRD

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  9. Mar 19, 2018 at 2:42 PM
    #9
    tundraj

    tundraj New Member

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  10. Mar 19, 2018 at 2:48 PM
    #10
    AxelsHumanDad

    AxelsHumanDad Galactica Actual

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    I had a lead on a Nikon 800mm a couple weeks ago. I don't think the extra 200mm over my 600 is enough to justify $14,000.00...o_O
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2018
    UTTundra likes this.
  11. Apr 19, 2018 at 1:04 PM
    #11
    AxelsHumanDad

    AxelsHumanDad Galactica Actual

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    Finally got all my parts together. I've spent a week and a half looking at my ceiling because I poured money into this and now every night is effing cloudy. :spending: :frusty:
    [​IMG]
     
  12. Apr 19, 2018 at 4:27 PM
    #12
    tundraj

    tundraj New Member

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    Shot the eclipse with my iPhone attached to my Meade ETX. Here's a composite, not sure how it's going to work on this site. This is a reduced size version that's 40 inches wide. The original is 80 inches wide. Clicking on it doesn't make it full size. Not sure why.
     
  13. Apr 19, 2018 at 6:46 PM
    #13
    tundraj

    tundraj New Member

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    And one shot of the moon, again using the iPhone attached to the telescope.
     
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  14. Apr 19, 2018 at 6:51 PM
    #14
    UTTundra

    UTTundra New Member

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    Where did you view the eclipse from? I was up in the forest midway between Pinedale, WY and Jackson, WY. It was awesome. Glad I went.

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Apr 19, 2018 at 6:56 PM
    #15
    tundraj

    tundraj New Member

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    I went to Kentucky and was able to get right on the centerline of the path of totality. It was one of the most amazing sights I've ever seen. The photos, as neat as they are, don't do it justice, what the naked eye sees. Looking forward to the next one in seven years. My telescope has seen better days and my motor died during the eclipse. So I had to hand adjust it, so it's a tad off-center.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2018
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  16. Apr 19, 2018 at 7:08 PM
    #16
    UTTundra

    UTTundra New Member

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    I agree. Had no idea it would be so insane...not even 20 seconds before totality. The second it hit we were all pretty much speechless.
     
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  17. Apr 19, 2018 at 7:17 PM
    #17
    tundraj

    tundraj New Member

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    Exactly. I spoke with friends who were close, saw 95% totality and said it was interesting, not realizing they missed the entire show because they didn't go far enough into the path. Completely different experience from seeing 100%. Close doesn't count in an eclipse.
     
    UTTundra likes this.

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