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Guest Adam J

Adam and Helen From Lincoln / Waddington.

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Guest Adam J

Hi,

 

We are a couple from Lincoln looking to get involved in the local astronomy / astrophotography scene.

 

We are about ready to buy some equipment and have been scouting out some potential dark sights to make sure we have some place to go before we spend too much cash on equiptment, we went down to Metheringham airfield tonight and to my eye at least it looked great.

 

We are thinking about getting a HEQ5pro mount and a Skywatcher 150p DS F5 reflector with a canon 550D for mainly deep field astrophotography but hopefully with a little bit of planetary on the side.

 

is Metheringham Airfield a good sight? Will other people be there at any point, are there any better places within a 30min drive of Lincoln.

 

Adam and Helen.

 

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Tweedledee

Welcome to EMS Adam and Helen. :)

 

I've never been near Metheringham airfield at night, but I'm sure it is much darker than my backyard in Mansfield.

 

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Guest Adam J

We could see the milky way tonight and a little fuzzy object in Orion that I assume is the Orion nebula.  :) so yeah way better then my back yard too.

 

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Daz Type-R

Hi Adam (and Helen).

 

Not many of us have been out that way as it is too far to travel but there is the ELAC sub site on here (and they have their own website and Facebook page).

 

Tfey are based out of Badger Farm which is proberbly closer to you than our dark sites.  They hold meets at least monthly, so you will meeting like minded folk quite often.

 

In the meantime, post any quedtions you have in the relevant section and I hope you enjoy the forum.

 

With regards to your potential purchase, the mount sounds good but you may want to think about increasing your appature, while you will get good results with a 6", you would get better with a 8" but keep an eye on the weight, better to have a real good mount and a medium scope than a real good scope and a medium mount.

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Guest Adam J

The HEQ5 pro is about the best that i can afford at the moment.

 

I did consider a 8 inch aperture 200pDS but after reading up I was put off for three reasons:

 

1) I was told that for astrophotography it is important not to overload the mount or to present a large cross section for wind, eventually i will get a guide scope, but initially i will have to run it unguided due to cost.

2) I want a scope that will comfortably fit inside my car (fabia) so that i can get it to dark sights.

3) I see lots of people using 80mm refactors for Astrophotography so i got the impression that 150mm would be just fine at F5.

 

I could be wrong though on all counts, have only really used a 4.5inch newt before now so its hard to get a feel for the size.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Brantuk

Hi Adam and Helen welcome to EMS :)

 

A 150PDS on HEQ5 is a perfect starter for observing, and some imaging as well. You may find a coma corrector helps with imaging using Newtonians. The HEQ5 is considered the minimum starter for AP and will last a fair few years into the future with it's superior tracking and stability.

 

You can put different scopes on the mount and various guiding solutions, so long as you ensure you are within the mount weight limits - including counter balances. An ED80 on a dual bar with an ST80 guide scope for example will also be perfectly doable - but do consider finder guiders for larger OTA's.

 

Lots of luck with your new hobby - feel free to ask any questions - and enjoy the forum. :)

 

(Do look in with the guys at ELAC - they're a great bunch of very friendly and helpful folks)

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Guest Adam J

Yes I did wonder if the 130pds would be better for that reason. Less mass so better able to accommodate a guide scope in the future. But then again its not so good for observing and the difference in mass between the two is minimal.

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BAZ

Hi Adam & Helen, a warm welcome to EMS.

I am sorry I can't offer any advice on imaging, I am a visual only monkey, but it will do just fine for visual work.

There is also The Lincoln Astronomical Society near you, https://www.eastmidlandsstargazers.org.uk/forum/96-lincoln-astronomical-society/

 

And here's another dark sky map that might be useful finding somewhere to park the scope.

 

http://www.lightpollutionmap.info/#zoom=10&lat=6944595.71974&lon=-108724.33523&layers=B0TFFFFTT

 

If you get stuck with something, just shout up and someone will be along to help out. In the meantime, enjoy the forum. :)

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Brantuk
7 hours ago, Adam J said:

Yes I did wonder if the 130pds would be better for that reason. Less mass so better able to accommodate a guide scope in the future. But then again its not so good for observing and the difference in mass between the two is minimal.

 

Yes the 130PDS is a great imaging scope - but more aperture means you can peer deeper into space - so sometimes you have to make compromises and get the scope that best suits your aspirations. :)

Edited by Brantuk

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Smithysteve

Hi Adam and Helen, welcome to EMS.

I guess you have Lincoln to the north and the airfield to the east. Do you have a back garden, if so which way is it facing? My point is that you will be surprised what you can see from your own back garden despite street lights, and distant light pollution, especially if you have a south facing aspect ?. 

i am glad to see you doing some research before you buy your first setup. Keep us informed how you are doing and ask away if unsure about anything.

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Guest Adam J

My garden is due south. I am off station road just down the hill from waddington. South from my house is nothing but feilds.

 

I have alot of street lights but 90% are the old low preasure sodium type (yellow) so was hoping that I might still get some decent results in my garden with a Skywatcher 2" UHC filter.

 

Here is the list of things that I am planning to get and some questions: 

 

 

 

 

Initial Purchase:

 

1) 150pds Newt:  http://www.firstlightoptics.com/reflectors/skywatcher-explorer-150p-ds-ota.html

 

Helen wants to observe Jupiter + Satern I was going to get a 2.5x Barlow and shoot for about a 200x mag. Would that be sufficient / within the scopes capability?

 

2) HEQ5 Pro Mount:  http://www.firstlightoptics.com/skywatcher-mounts/skywatcher-heq5-pro-synscan.html

 

Will I be able to mount a ST80 later in addition to the 150pds or will that be too much for the mount?

 

3) T - Mount: http://www.firstlightoptics.com/adapters/flo-2-inch-t-mount-camera-adapter.html 

 

Will the thread on this allow me to screw it directly onto a Cannon 550D EOS? Or Do I need the specific Cannon EOS T-Ring adapotor? 

 

4) 2" UHC filter:  http://www.firstlightoptics.com/uhc-oiii-visual-filters/skywatcher-uhc-filter.html

 

Planning to mount it in the t-mount is that correct?

 

5) Am looking at a 550D EOS on ebay for about 100pounds: Is this a ok choice?

 

 

 

 

Purchases Planned for further down the line:

 

6) Coma Corrector: http://www.firstlightoptics.com/coma-correctors/baader-mpcc.html

 

How does this fit into the optical path with the UHC and the T-Mount etc?

 

7) Auto Guider: http://www.firstlightoptics.com/guide-cameras/skywatcher-synguider-autoguider.html

 

Is that a good budget choice?

 

8) ST80 guide scope for the auto guider: http://www.firstlightoptics.com/startravel/skywatcher-startravel-80-ota.html

 

Again will the mount take the weight of both scopes + other stuff?

 

9) I may also look at getting the belt mod for the HEQ5Pro much later on.

 

 

 

I have been researching this for about a month now. But I am still not quite confident enougth to go through with it as its alot of money for me and I dont want to be disapointed in the results.

 

What can I expect from the above setup? I suppose my min expectations are to be able to take a shot of things like M31 and the Orion Nebula that I would be happy to hang on the wall at home, can I acheive this in my location with this equiptment?

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glider

You could just buy the mount and put the camera straight on it and get decent wide fields. Worry about a scope and guiding and all the other tech later.

 

Learning how to use the mount and the camera and how to process images will be enough of a learning curve.

 

 

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Guest Adam J

Glider if it was not a steep learning curve then it would not really interest me. If all you had to do was point and click that would be really dull.

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Brantuk

Glider's suggestion is actually quite good Adam. It's not really point and click that he's talking about - though I understand it's easy to assume that. His suggestion would give you chance to gather your first long exposures and stack and process them. The set up is less involved but  forms a solid basic step in the process for when you use eventually a telescope.

 

You'll need to learn how to set your iso, sub length(s), add bias frames, darks, lights, derotate, polar align, pick targets, align the sky, find and track effectively, plus all the other stuff that goes into imaging. After learning the imaging process you might well change your mind about guided imaging which combines all that and more lol - but it is a step you'll need to go through which will help enorrmously. :)

Edited by Brantuk

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Guest HykehamObservatory

Hi Adam and Helen,

 

Welcome to EMS. I probably pass your house each week as my mother is uphill Waddington. I don't know if you are interested but Lincoln A.S. are open this weekend for Stargazinglive- see www.lincolnastronomy.org  Your view west should be better now that the Brant Road junction has the new LED lights fitted, but if you are on the south side of Station Road you should be able to image a lot of deep sky objects from the garden. Lincoln's observatory is now very much light polluted so we go out to Graham's at Bassingham. You can see what images he is taking on the observations page. Before you buy anything it may be worth talking to him as I think he is using pretty much what you are thinking of buying.

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Smithysteve

Hi Adam and Helen

another place to check out is an astronomy second hand buy and sell site, called Astrobuysell.

http://www.astrobuysell.com/uk/propview.php?minprice=&maxprice=

Buy second hand and get more more for your money, it's free to join the site and you are dealing with like minded fellow astronomers...

cheers!

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stash

Hi Adam and Helen,

 

Just down the road at Cranwell. As someone else has said ELAC have Badger Farm - you can see it from your house if you can see the Belton tv mast.  Metheringham airfield should be ok except for Lincoln - so NW? skies , but there are other places near by as well - again as someone has suggested look at the dark skies map and also go for a late night drive to check out the skies - Lincolnshire has some create little spots near to you.  But it also maybe your back garden is fine for certain directions. I have to ignore NW for Lincoln and S for Sleaford unless high Alt angle.  

 

Gliders comments are spot on but it depends what you are looking for.

 

Check this site they have some bargains at times and can be "new" items with backup as they are owned by Sky and Scopies? http://www.astroboot.co.uk/AstroBoot

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Guest Adam J

Am sure he is spot on, however my DSLR - Cannon 550D was bought from Ebay and came as just the camera back and no lense. So I would have to purchase a camera lense, assuming we are talking about a 200mm focal length then it might cost me nearly as much as a 130pds @ about 160 pounds. It could be argued that I would also have a camera if i did this, but I have never had much interest in terestrial photography. 

 

I guess the other thing is that 70% of the cost of the equiptment is the in the HEQ5Pro so to me its a case of in for a pound in for a penny. 

 

I will have a look at the web pages you mentioned, never know there may be a good mount going!

 

Philip: We will be at the stargazing live event on friday :) 

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Doc

I would start off with a basic 18-55 lens after all you want the wide side of the lens to capture full milky way shots. A 200mm lens would be good for zooming into areas around say M42 for example.

 

Look at the wide angle stuff captured by PhilJ. His a member on this forum who uses a bog standard 18-55 mm Canon lens.

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philjay

Hi both and welcome. Another vote for the 130pds for imaging, its one heck of a good imaging scope for the price and I have seen some fantastic images taken with them. At SGL 2015 starparty the guy on the next pitch was imaging with one (uranium235 off sgl) and his images are stunning. All that from a 200 quid scope.

 

I recommend a nifty fifty lens for imaging straight from the camera. At 80 quid the Canon 50mm f1.8 lens is very versatile and takes superb wideish fields but with plenty of detail in them which can be lost in wider views such as 18 - 28mm fl

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