Author Topic: New to the Hobby  (Read 124 times)

acbrawexel

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New to the Hobby
« on: December 24, 2017, 02:45:24 PM »
Hello,
I just Bought the Celestron NexStar 127SLT 127mm f/12 Maksutov-Cassegrain GoTo Telescope out of B&H Photo.  I also bought the attachments to use my Canon T5i dslr with it.  Except for a junk telescope I bought at a rummage sale a couple of decades back, that is my first entrance into this new pastime.
I have assembled it, and am excited about getting outdoors with it this weekend!  I have read through the manual, so far I only have2 questions.

Do I must go through the alignment with a few celebrities every time I bring it out, or even if someone needs to bulge into the tripod?  It will seem like I'd need to, since I will likely not have the tripod legs placed in precisely the same place each viewing session.

I have entered the gps coordinates for my own backyard.  Do I must look up the coordinates for every place I transport it to?  Say I take it into the house of a family member 2 miles off. . .or into Devils Lake State Park, which is probably 4 miles off.



tessacubadc

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Re: New to the Hobby
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2017, 03:19:42 PM »
Welcome to CN and to the hobby. To answer your questions, yes you need to do an alignment every time and sometimes more alignments throughout the night. Should that discourage you? Absolutely not, it quickly becomes second nature and soon becomes "not a big deal." However, you will be fumbling around the first couple times as you're learning. Celestron has many videos online on how to do these procedures among others like setting up your spotting scope. They have a youtube channel https://www.youtube....EARb28wBG3wRXow

Your GPS question is yes, you would have to enter it if it does not store your location. Do you need to do this for a 2 mile radius? Naw, you should be fine. However, the good thing about your scope is you can get the optional GPS adaptor and you won't need to put a date or location in the hand controller anymore. Keep your expectations realistic, have patience, and you'll have fun.

inmactoopho

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Re: New to the Hobby
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2018, 04:46:20 AM »
Change coordinates if you move 100 miles or more.

Use Auto 2-star align. Use Polaris as your first star. It will select and automatically slew to the second star. Sky Align uses 3 stars but does not give more accuracy.

Come visit the NexStar forum.

seucamthepo

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Re: New to the Hobby
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2018, 11:11:28 AM »
Yes and Yes

Nathan Roberts

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Re: New to the Hobby
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2018, 01:08:27 PM »
One other thing to keep in mind... there are 2 types of alignments that we do... one is a Polar Alignment, the other is a Multi-Star Alignment...

The Polar Alignment keeps the object in the center of the eyepiece/camera/FoV.... the better the Polar Align, the more steady the object... the less drift over time... the longer your exposures can be...

The Multi-Star Alignment makes your go-to more accurate.... the better your Multi-Star Alignment, the closer to the center of the eyepiece/camera/FoV the object will be when you use the go-to functionality to slew to the object...

I've gotten used to doing the best of both that I can do... it only takes a little bit longer, but I find the results much better, and I like the consistency... also, for the Multi-Star Alignment, I recommend a lit-reticle eyepiece so that the stars that you use for alignment can be more perfectlycentered....

I also recommend the GPS units for the mount if available... I believe that many of them not only do the Lat and Long, but also Altitude, and I'm thinking date and accurate time...

coepupinsynch

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Re: New to the Hobby
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2018, 06:37:07 AM »
Mount stores the LOCATION, but NOT the TIME and the DATE. The date and the time need to be loaded in every time you align. Recommend the 2-Star or Auto 2-Star. After a few times - you can align this scope in like two minutes. Becomes a snap. M11Mike

Jasper Banks

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Re: New to the Hobby
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2018, 12:36:33 PM »
Do NOT recommend the GPS unit - gets in the way, needs to be unplugged or you will have "cord-wrap" issues.Provision to attach to the tripod is "shotty" at best. Always seems to be IN THE WAY. IMO not worth the $100. If you're going to be using the scope in the same 50 mile radius area - there's no need for GPS - the mount stores the location you input the first time. You only have to put in the date and time - that takes 30 seconds. IMO, the NEGATIVES here outweigh the POSITIVES. Save your $$$ for a good high-end wide-field eyepiece - a much better telescope improvement. M11Mike

Marvin Neboet

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Re: New to the Hobby
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2018, 03:11:59 AM »
Quote
One other thing to keep in mind... there are 2 types of alignments that we do... one is a Polar Alignment, the other is a Multi-Star Alignment...

The Polar Alignment keeps the object in the center of the eyepiece/camera/FoV.... the better the Polar Align, the more steady the object... the less drift over time... the longer your exposures can be...

The Multi-Star Alignment makes your go-to more accurate.... the better your Multi-Star Alignment, the closer to the center of the eyepiece/camera/FoV the object will be when you use the go-to functionality to slew to the object...

I've gotten used to doing the best of both that I can do... it only takes a little bit longer, but I find the results much better, and I like the consistency... also, for the Multi-Star Alignment, I recommend a lit-reticle eyepiece so that the stars that you use for alignment can be more perfectlycentered....

I also recommend the GPS units for the mount if available... I believe that many of them not only do the Lat and Long, but also Altitude, and I'm thinking date and accurate time...


Polar alignment won't be an issue in the OP's case as the Nexstar 127 SLT is an alt-az scope.

Which brings us to the next point...  I'm not sure what sort of photography the OP was hoping to do with his DSLR and telescope, but a 127mm Mak on an SLT mount is not at all well-suited for astrophotography.  Even for visual, the scope is pushing the mount's capabilities. Furthermore, as an alt-az mount, the SLT will produce field rotation on anything but short exposures, and the drive does not have the sort of precision necessary for long exposures at 1500mm-ish focal lengths.

There are some folks who have used SLT/GT mounts with homemade wedges to do wider-angle long-exposure astrophotography with DSLRs with moderate telephoto lenses. Or with the scope/DSLR combo, you can probably get some nice lunar images.

I'm not knocking the 127 SLT-- it is a heck of a lot of telescope for the money.  It just isn't a suitable setup of astrophotography (nor is anything else in that price range).

Junee Hunt

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Re: New to the Hobby
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2018, 01:00:19 AM »
I told the sales expert at B&H that my main interest was in photographing the moon. This was what he recommended for my price range.
Other than that, I will just be observing planets and learning what else out there is interesting to see.

I've had the Nikon P600 bridge camera for a few years, and it takes great lunar images. That's what got me interested, seeing that the moon was more than just a white disc.
Once I picked up the Canon T5i, I found that a decent lens to take similar lunar photos would be more than I wanted to spend, so I decided to go in this direction. I can explore the universe, learn, and improve my lunar imaging.

exmartata

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Re: New to the Hobby
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2018, 10:04:39 AM »
Quote
I told the sales expert at B&H that my main interest was in photographing the moon. This was what he recommended for my price range.
Other than that, I will just be observing planets and learning what else out there is interesting to see.

I've had the Nikon P600 bridge camera for a few years, and it takes great lunar images. That's what got me interested, seeing that the moon was more than just a white disc.
Once I picked up the Canon T5i, I found that a decent lens to take similar lunar photos would be more than I wanted to spend, so I decided to go in this direction. I can explore the universe, learn, and improve my lunar imaging.

That a great starter scope,, You can get great photo's of the moon just by using a I Phone held up to the eyepiece,, It does take practice

Unfortunately scopes get bumped, kicked, and grabbed... So you may have to do a couple alignments over a night of viewing.. Especially with a lighter scope setup..

When you can put up/take down your scope in complete darkness,, You know your there....

djl

Darren Hatch

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Re: New to the Hobby
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2018, 08:06:31 PM »
I have the Nikon B700 superzoom and have used it on the moon myself. Does a pretty good job. As others have said, unless you permanently mount the scope in location you do need to do an alignment at the start of each session. But once you have the process down it goes very quickly. Likewise if the scope is bumped significantly.  But this is all so that the scope can be accurate, which I assume you want.Asbmr528 notes, you can take some pretty nice photos through the eyepiece with your smart phone. This is called afocal photography.  A smartphone frame can help make this easier.Non-DSLR imaging - perhaps more suitable for your set-upOrionhttps://www.youtube....h?v=fz63FnLnswEWEBCAM ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY - PLANETSIntroductory astrophotography using a Webcam for planetary imaging -https://www.youtube....h?v=5yUNMnIBOVMhttps://www.youtube....vid=CeHj6qT5JSEhttp://www.universet...g-on-the-cheap/This is Mars in a 9.25" Telescope. He does some color processing/filtering.Then shows some processed stills for comparison. He shows a simulatedeyepiece view too. This is better than the view from my light pollutedlocation in my 8" telescope.https://www.youtube....h?v=kuXAxY3uZjkIf you want to take some pictures or movies from your telescope you mighttry starting with a telescope web cam. If you go to Amazon and search onTelescope Webcam you will find several. This is one example:http://www.amazon.co...elescope webcamBasically you capture the video to a USB port on your computer. Then youuse software to clear it up for videos or to create pictures.

indepmontla

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Re: New to the Hobby
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2018, 09:31:16 PM »
The scope is good for the moon, and the planets, but not the best option for when you go for DSO imaging. The equipment is basically different. Has the same names but different.

One possibly minor concern is getting images of the moon. This usually performed by getting a video of the moon, via a webcam type camera, then loading into software and selecting the best (say) 200 frames and having those stacked, you then process the result. What is not generally done is you go and get a single image.

Now there may be a video option on the DSLR and you intend to use that, I do not know.

Another area is hanging a DSLR off the end of a scope on the mount may be a problem. It might attachable but that is not always a great idea. Kind of 4 bags of cement in the trunk of a car may push the rear wheels down more but it doesn't really do a lot in useful terms.

Concerning the alighnment: Yes it will be necessary every time. The location data is generally retained between uses. If only a few miles then no need to redo the location. I only alter mine for changes of around 20 miles. Not even sure that is necessary but I use it at 2 places and I have the locations saved for both in the scope.

ruesonecrai

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Re: New to the Hobby
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2018, 04:53:44 AM »
Quote
The scope is good for the moon, and the planets, but not the best option for when you go for DSO imaging. The equipment is basically different. Has the same names but different.

One possibly minor concern is getting images of the moon. This usually performed by getting a video of the moon, via a webcam type camera, then loading into software and selecting the best (say) 200 frames and having those stacked, you then process the result. What is not generally done is you go and get a single image.

Now there may be a video option on the DSLR and you intend to use that, I do not know.

Another area is hanging a DSLR off the end of a scope on the mount may be a problem. It might attachable but that is not always a great idea. Kind of 4 bags of cement in the trunk of a car may push the rear wheels down more but it doesn't really do a lot in useful terms.

Concerning the alighnment: Yes it will be necessary every time. The location data is generally retained between uses. If only a few miles then no need to redo the location. I only alter mine for changes of around 20 miles. Not even sure that is necessary but I use it at 2 places and I have the locations saved for both in the scope.

I'm just starting to try astrophotography for the first time since film, but while small sensor "webcam" cameras and image stacking is a great idea for planetary work, I'm not sure it's the approach I'd want to take for whole lunar disk photography.  At 1500mm focal length, a webcam-type camera won't have a large enough sensor for a picture of a full lunar disk. So you'd have to do sections and then paste together a mosaic.

The moon is big enough that single-frames are plenty good (if shot well); here is a few:
https://stargazerslo...ame-luna-shots/

I remember a friend of mine shooting B&W film with a 35mm SLR and a 3.5" Questar back when I was in college and getting results that still looked great when blown up to 8x10.

But yes, the OP's DSLR has video capability, and shooting and stacking HD video would be another way to go (although I presume that video will be cropped to 16:9 and that may be cutting things pretty close at 1500mm on a 1.6X crop-factor sensor).

geblusandde

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Re: New to the Hobby
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2018, 11:52:34 AM »
Quote

Asbmr528 notes, you can take some pretty nice photos through the eyepiece with your smart phone. This is called afocal photography.  A smartphone frame can help make this easier.
Have you done afocal photography? Is there an ideal eyepiece for this, or will most any work?

renjaysunsdis

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Re: New to the Hobby
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2018, 03:52:15 PM »
Quote
Quote
Asbmr528 notes, you can take some pretty nice photos through the eyepiece with your smart phone. This is called afocal photography.  A smartphone frame can help make this easier.
Have you done afocal photography? Is there an ideal eyepiece for this, or will most any work?

Hi Jeff! Any eyepiece will work, but something in the 25mm to 15mm has worked best for me. I also use this smartphone adapter to hold the phone onto the eyepiece for best results. I also use this remote shutter for eliminating any chance of shaking the phone while snapping the pic.
^^^ Taken with my 10 inch Dob mounted Newt and my 25mm Paradigm...
^^^ Taken with my 4 inch refractor and my 15mm Paradigm...

Please note that this is as far as I want to delve into astro pics! I want to have fun, without turning it into a career!

I had fun with this... you can too!

Keep looking up!

CB