Astronomy

Trying to use Canon 60D DSLR with Skywatcher 130P. Can't focus image

Trying to use Canon 60D DSLR with Skywatcher 130P. Can't focus image


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I have a Skywatcher Heritage 130P FlexTube Dobsonian Telescope. It works well, I can see lovely stars, planets, moons of Jupiter etc. It came with two eye pieces (1.25 inch): 10 mm and 25 mm.

I also have a Canon 60D camera.

I've been trying to attach the camera to the telescope using a Celestron 93640 1.25 Inch Universal Barlow and T-Adaptor which I originally bought for a Celestron Travelscope.

I have never been able to get any kind of decent image out of the camera when attached to either telescope. Am I doing something daft? (This is all new to me).

Steps I take:

  1. Set up and focus the Skywatcher scope on some nice stars using the 25mm eye piece.
  2. Remove the eyepiece.
  3. Insert the camera with Barlow and T ring where the eye piece was.
  4. Diddle around with the focus. Try and take some photos. Get nothing remotely in focus, not ever a blurry star.

I suspect I have the same issue as described in Astrophotography - Unable to achieve focus with current setup If so, please could someone advise the adapter I would need for the combination of camera and scope I have? I'd prefer to use the DSLR than buy a digital camera if possible. (Many thanks, and sorry if this is a daft question.)


As you suspected, the problem is probably that, as with most Newtonian telescopes, the image plane is too close to the outside of the tube, so you can't physically get your camera sensor close enough to the image plane.

There may or may not be adapters that will solve this problem for your specific telescope and camera. Barlow lenses help but aren't always enough. Luckily your telescope is collapsible, so you should be able to bring the image plane far enough out by collapsing the telescope a little. Attach your camera to the telescope as before and slowly collapse the telescope. You should see the image gradually come into focus.


Trying to use Canon 60D DSLR with Skywatcher 130P. Can't focus image - Astronomy

In a recent video, I shared my results using a $200 DSLR for astrophotography. In a hobby known for being very expensive, I think it is very interesting that such results can be obtained using an old, inexpensive camera.

In this post, I’ll prove to you that incredible astrophotography results are possible with an old, used, entry-level DSLR camera. And no, it doesn’t need to be modified to achieve impressive results. (I’ve got plenty of unmodified DSLR astrophotos to prove it).

You can pick up a used Canon EOS Rebel T3i (600D) DSLR for under $200 on eBay, and it will likely include a kit lens (18-55) with it. This will, of course, be a stock model of the camera, but you can modify it by removing the internal IR cut filter (more on this a little later).

I’ve been using a Canon EOS Rebel T3i for astrophotography since 2016.

This particular camera helped me capture stunning images of the night sky for the past 4 years, whether it was through a telescope, or with a camera lens attached.

Since picking up the 600D in 2016, I’ve used some powerful cameras for astrophotography (including a monochrome CCD), but I still find uses for this old DSLR today.

In 2020, the T3i is still one of the most popular DSLRs being used for astrophotography in the amateur community. Not bad for a camera that launched in 2011.

I was surprised to see how many members of the AstroBackyard Facebook Page are still using the Canon 600D for astrophotography. It validates my personal success with this camera and its relevance in 2020.


Can't focus DSLR on Dobsonian

I managed to connect my D3300 to my 8" Odyssey last night. All I wanted to do was see if I could image a bright star to make sure I was able to take images in focus. I encountered my first problem already! (I'm not surprised. )

I got a 1-1/4" T-ring/Barlow from Celestron and the necessary adapter for my camera. I had no trouble attaching the camera to the telescope other than balance, which I will deal with later.

My Odyssey has a larger 2" eyepiece holder with an adapter for the 1-1/4" eyepieces. I have no trouble focussing with the eyepieces. I successfully focussed on a star using the 6mm Plossl + 2x Barlow. I was quite surprised I was able to do so, although I see the need for a rack/pinion focusser.

When I attached my D3300 (remove camera lens, attach adapter ring, screw onto T-ring/Barlow, slide into telescope), I seemed to be unable to bring the camera apparatus close enough to the secondary to achieve good focus. It felt like I was 1mm away from getting everything in focus. If I could have gotten the camera 1 or 2 mm closer, I'd have been able to focus the image onto the camera sensor.

So, I must be doing something wrong. Can anyone tell what it is?

#2 Larryjb

Hmm, should have done the google search first. I may have found my answer here:

#3 Madratter

Not an uncommon problem with Dobs. First order of things to try is see if you can move the primary mirror forward slightly by using the collimation screws for the primary. If you are truly just 1 or 2 mm away, that may get you enough to be in focus.

#4 tjschultz2011

If you could rig up a 2" system instead of 1.25" you could remove the 2" to 1.25" adapter and gain the thickness of the adapter in inward travel. Otherwise, as stated above, you can always try moving the mirror forward slightly with collimation screws or if it's not enough then you would have to move the whole primary mirror cell closer to the secondary mirror to push the focal plane further out of the focuser.

#5 Alex McConahay

>>>>>>All I wanted to do was see if I could image a bright star to make sure I was able to take images in focus.

Actually, had you managed to focus on a star, all you would have proven is that you can focuson a star. That is not the same as being "able to take imagesin focus." The big deal will be getting the dob to track equatorially. MOving the primary up a bit, or getting a shorter focuser is a relatively easy fix to getting focus on a newtonian. But if that newt is mounted on a alt-azimuth, the problem is the tracking. YOu may get images of the moon, but really, taking deep space images requires some tracking.

#6 Larryjb

>>>>>>All I wanted to do was see if I could image a bright star to make sure I was able to take images in focus.

Actually, had you managed to focus on a star, all you would have proven is that you can focuson a star. That is not the same as being "able to take imagesin focus." The big deal will be getting the dob to track equatorially. MOving the primary up a bit, or getting a shorter focuser is a relatively easy fix to getting focus on a newtonian. But if that newt is mounted on a alt-azimuth, the problem is the tracking. YOu may get images of the moon, but really, taking deep space images requires some tracking.

Alex

Tracking is long into the future for me! This beast weighs in at 20 lbs, so an equatorial mount that would support this thing would be more than I'm willing to pay to set this thing up for tracking, at least for the moment.

And that was all I wanted to prove, that I could focus on a star. I believe a star is an ideal test subject for this purpose because it is bright enough to image (I do have to boost the ISO a little), and being a point source I know that it should appear as a point source as an image. After proving that I can focus on the star, my next plan is to image the moon. Part of my personal challenge is to see how far I can push my equipment without getting too fancy

I am considering making my self a 5 or 6" Newtonian. The equatorial mounts would be much better in my price range, and would be more portable for travelling.

#7 Larryjb

If you could rig up a 2" system instead of 1.25" you could remove the 2" to 1.25" adapter and gain the thickness of the adapter in inward travel. Otherwise, as stated above, you can always try moving the mirror forward slightly with collimation screws or if it's not enough then you would have to move the whole primary mirror cell closer to the secondary mirror to push the focal plane further out of the focuser.

Interesting. it does have a 2" eyepiece holder with a 1.25" adapter. But then I'd have to buy a 2" Barlow with another T adapter and hope that the 2mm I gain from losing the 1.25" adapter is enough, I assume.

#8 Larryjb

Not an uncommon problem with Dobs. First order of things to try is see if you can move the primary mirror forward slightly by using the collimation screws for the primary. If you are truly just 1 or 2 mm away, that may get you enough to be in focus.

I'll look into this. At first I discounted the idea because I wasn't sure how much room I'd have, but if all I need is 1 mm, maybe I can get it.

BTW, I saw the ISS through the 17mm. It just went zipping by in less than a second, but I believe I actually saw the solar panels!

#9 Larryjb

From the thread I referenced, I noticed that I probably need a coma corrector. This is an 8" telescope, probably F/4.5 because the focal distance appears to be about 800mm. So, will a coma corrector push the camera out even more?

#10 tjschultz2011

At f4.5, which is what my scope is too, many people would recommend a coma corrector. 4.5-5 seems to be about the cut off so I would say it isn't absolutely necessary but it will likely improve your views. And yes, it will help with focus (possibly). I use a DSLR camera with a t ring hooked to a TV paracorr II coma corrector via a special adapter that TV sells here.

The bottom portion of the coma corrector (with the optics in it) screws off of the part that allows you to insert an eyepiece and the optics half screws onto the adapter. This is what I use for my setup and it allows me to reach focus. I believe it has a magnification factor of 1.15x so if you're trying a 2x barlow and it isn't working, then I'm not sure if this solution would work for you or not. On the plus side, it does take care of the coma in your images. And you would be at 2" so you wouldn't need the adapter and you would be using all of your scopes light.

One note though, this set up is made to fully illuminate a APS-C crop sized DSLR sensor. It will vignette with a full frame camera, as my Canon 6D does in mine, but I just have to crop my images to get rid of that. My Astrobin account link is in my signature if you want to check out what I've been able to do with my tracking dob so far since starting astrophotography recently.

Edited by tjschultz2011, 18 May 2020 - 01:18 PM.

#11 Larryjb

At f4.5, which is what my scope is too, many people would recommend a coma corrector. 4.5-5 seems to be about the cut off so I would say it isn't absolutely necessary but it will likely improve your views. And yes, it will help with focus (possibly). I use a DSLR camera with a t ring hooked to a TV paracorr II coma corrector via a special adapter that TV sells here.

The bottom portion of the coma corrector (with the optics in it) screws off of the part that allows you to insert an eyepiece and the optics half screws onto the adapter. This is what I use for my setup and it allows me to reach focus. I believe it has a magnification factor of 1.15x so if you're trying a 2x barlow and it isn't working, then I'm not sure if this solution would work for you or not. On the plus side, it does take care of the coma in your images. And you would be at 2" so you wouldn't need the adapter and you would be using all of your scopes light.

One note though, this set up is made to fully illuminate a APS-C crop sized DSLR sensor. It will vignette with a full frame camera, as my Canon 6D does in mine, but I just have to crop my images to get rid of that. My Astrobin account link is in my signature if you want to check out what I've been able to do with my tracking dob so far since starting astrophotography recently.

The Nikon D3300 uses the APS-C anyway, so that won't be an issue. It doesn't sound like your set up would correct my focus issue, so unless I could attach a 2x Barlow, it would probably make things worse.

That said, what about a 3x Barlow?

Can you use a Barlow with a coma corrector?

Sorry if these seem like Noobie questions, but, well, they are Noobie questions. No way around it.

#12 Larryjb

Okay, post #5 from the link below seems to answer one of my questions. The use of the Barlow pretty much eliminates the need for a coma corrector.

#13 Larryjb

Not an uncommon problem with Dobs. First order of things to try is see if you can move the primary mirror forward slightly by using the collimation screws for the primary. If you are truly just 1 or 2 mm away, that may get you enough to be in focus.

At first I wasn't sure how much I could move this mirror, and I've been thinking of it some more.

The mirror is held with three 1/8" machine thread bolts, using a second set of 1/8" machine thread bolts to adjust the primary when collimating. If I use slightly longer adjustment bolts (I could buy 3 more, then cut them slightly longer than the original) I may be able to push the primary even farther.

I'm still wondering about a 3x Barlow. I'll do a little more searching.

#14 Madratter

My sincere advice is forget about imaging with this scope, other than trying for the Moon if you can get the primary in far enough with the collimation screws.

Dobs are unsuitable for astrophotography for a number of reasons and I'm afraid you are going to dump money into a project without a reasonable expectation of a return.

IF you were an experienced imager, and IF you were experienced as a Amateur telescope maker, you might continue to pursue this on a lark. But there are many things standing in your way, some not very obvious. For example, Dobs tend to have very thin mirrors, and they tend to have the primary suspended by a sling. That works great with an alt az mount but that method of holding the mirror is completely inappropriate and problematic if moving to an equatorial mount that will track.

Dobs also tend to have small secondaries which are good for visual, but are lousy for astrophotography because of the large amount of light fall off towards the edge of the frame. And the list goes on.

If you really want to do more than the Moon, my advice is to use this scope for what it was intended (visual work), and get something else for Astrophotography. For example, if you have camera lens for that DSLR, then you could buy a tracker and start off with that.

#15 tjschultz2011

Yeah I think since the barlow is mainly using the center of the field the coma won't be as noticeable. I'm not sure though if the paracorr would work better since it's 2" compared to your 1.25" barlow.

I know Televue makes a 2.5x barlow cuz I have one. But I'm thinking that you may want to be at 2" with your whole setup if your goal is to try taking nice photos. I think you might be losing some light by keeping everything at 1.25". If your budget allows it, check out televue powermates. They are an improved type of barlow that are well corrected and many people use them for image amplification in astrophotography.

But, as pointed out above, DSO imaging with a dob is difficult. I've had good success with it but that isn't the norm. You need very accurate tracking and one of the reasons it's worked for me is my scope is very large. It's a lot of trial and error and you need to be comfortable modifying the scope.

#16 Larryjb

My sincere advice is forget about imaging with this scope, other than trying for the Moon if you can get the primary in far enough with the collimation screws.

Dobs are unsuitable for astrophotography for a number of reasons and I'm afraid you are going to dump money into a project without a reasonable expectation of a return.

IF you were an experienced imager, and IF you were experienced as a Amateur telescope maker, you might continue to pursue this on a lark. But there are many things standing in your way, some not very obvious. For example, Dobs tend to have very thin mirrors, and they tend to have the primary suspended by a sling. That works great with an alt az mount but that method of holding the mirror is completely inappropriate and problematic if moving to an equatorial mount that will track.

Dobs also tend to have small secondaries which are good for visual, but are lousy for astrophotography because of the large amount of light fall off towards the edge of the frame. And the list goes on.

If you really want to do more than the Moon, my advice is to use this scope for what it was intended (visual work), and get something else for Astrophotography. For example, if you have camera lens for that DSLR, then you could buy a tracker and start off with that.

I totally hear what you are saying. Tracking will definitely be a no go, and I'm fully aware of that. As long as I limit my astrophotography efforts to efforts only, and not dump a ton of money into it, I'll be learning along the way. I know I can't afford to do a lot of trail and error with new equipment for a telescope that is not designed for that purpose. Last week I was toying with the idea of buying an Equatorial mount for my Odyssey, but I'd be spending thousands on a mount for the weight, so that idea got nixed. I saw one person who actually made a motorized equatorial mount for a Dobs, which I find intriguing. I'm also toying with the idea of making a 6" telescope that would be lighter and more convenient for travel. As long as the total weight is below 20 lbs, I see there are more affordable equatorial mounts. But that is definitely not happening now.

For my current Odyssey, the T adapter and camera adapter didn't cost me much, and it came with a set of Plossls for me to try. I got a glimpse of the ISS going through the 17mm Plossl. I found (quite by accident) a binary star system (Capella) and my son was quite excited to see it and started looking for other things to find. I got my kids to practice sighting and finding specific stars. My 12 year old daughter successfully focused in on Arcturus, my son on Dubhe.

I'm not sure what you mean by a thin mirror, how thin is thin? When I cleaned the surface of the mirror, I didn't think to measure the thickness, but as I recall it was somewhere around 3/4" thick, maybe thicker if I recall correctly. What is a sling? My primary is glued to a wooden backing plate, which is held and adjusted with machine screws. However, the mirror did have very fine scratches on it from a previous owner. The mirror is glued to a particle board backing so I don't want to immerse this mirror in water to clean. I did set the mirror on the counter and poured a detergent solution into the "bowl" of the mirror and let it sit for while. The mirror did come out cleaner, but not perfect by any means.

So, yeah, I've got a ton of limitations. But I came by this telescope for free, so I'm just going to see what I can do with it. As I learn, I'll figure out what I will want and able to do in the future. If I can get an in-focus image on this thing, I'll be more than happy!


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NINA With A DSLR?

Post by Juno16 » Fri Jun 28, 2019 11:40 am

I see quite a bit about the new NINA software and have tried it, but I can’t connect to my Nikon dslr (D3300). I know that the D3300 does not play well with imaging apps, but it is my camera and a new one is not in the budget any time soon.

Before I give up because of lack of knowing what I am doing, I thought that I would ring it by my friends here for their comments.

I read in the documentation that the camera needs to be ascom . I have had no success throwing to use the open source ascom for dslr with my camera.

I have read here on the forum, that some NINA users do use a dslr . Does a dslr have to be connected through another imaging app to work with NINA?

I use DigicamControl for imaging because it’s the only imaging app that I have found that will work with my model Nikon. Digicamcontrol works for dithering, but I get multiple dithers (sometimes up to four) then the last one finally settles. Apparently, DigicamControl isn’t updated to dither well with PHD2. I have tried PHD Dither (works, but I have to set a timer to stimulate a dither, and DitherMaster (works off a file save, but has no dither settling parameters. I just have to guess when it has settled sufficiently and set a delay time in DigicamControl.

I’m I SOL? That’s fine, if so. I can use my current collection of work arounds.
I just want to make sure that I am not missing a good opportunity to use this software.


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  • "Center ROI" button to locks the ROI to the image center allowing alignment.
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Replacing the OTA of a Skywatcher 130P AZ Goto with a 130PDS

I want to use a DSLR with it but cannot get prime focus. It's a known problem. I've considered many fixes, and decided I want to upgrade the OTA to a Skywatcher 130PDS which does offer prime focus with a DSLR.

However, to help me decide, try as I might I can't get the answers I need to three fairly straightforward but important questions, not from other forums, and not even from my local dealer who never answers my emails.

* Can the mount for the 130p handle the PDS (ie dovetail fitting and weight)?
* Is the PDS OTA good for observing too, as well as imaging?
* Does the Skywatcher auto focuser work with its focuser?

Any ideas? Can anyone help? If not, does anyone know a supplier who might know?

Edited by BrendanC, 24 November 2019 - 09:06 AM.

#2 BrendanC

Sorry to bump this one but I have a chance to get a cut-price 130PDS, but I really must know the answers to these questions first, if ANYONE out there can help:

* Can I put the 130PDS (ie dovetail fitting and weight) on the mount for this: https://www.tringast. scope-528-p.asp
* Is the PDS OTA good for observing too, as well as imaging?
* Does the Skywatcher auto focuser work with its focuser?

#3 johnpeter2

I have a 130pds. It is excellent for visual. The mount I use is an Orion Starseeker IV, which looks very similar to what you have (except the tripod tray looks a little different). The scope is rock solid on that mount. I don't think there is a significant difference between the 130pds and 130p, as far as weight is concerned. Dovetail should be the same, too, Vixen style. Sorry, I can't answer your last question about the auto focuser.

#4 BrendanC

Great stuff, thank you so much! Really appreciate the response. I reckon I'm going to do it!

#5 vkhastro1

My Sky-Watcher 130 PDS is a terrific scope optically.

I stated a CN conversation on its Deepsky capabilities in a “Refractor Forum” posting.

#6 BrendanC

Thank you. I have seen a thread on its capabilities before and the images are simply stunning. I've seen some with a very similar DSLR and mount to mine too, which made me jump up and down and point and squeal like a small child.

Quick question: will I need an extender for viewing, or should it come with one?

I ask because I'm picking the scope up on Sunday from a private sale, and I want to make sure everything is included that should be!

Edited by BrendanC, 25 November 2019 - 08:45 AM.

#7 johnpeter2

My 130pds came with extenders for 1.25" and 2" eyepieces. The 1.25" extender is about 35mm long and the 2" is about 50mm long. You will need to supply your own 1.25" eyepieces. Mine came with only a 28mm 2" eyepiece of dubious quality.

#8 sg6

Almost 100% sure they are the same scope with the primary just a little further up, or the secondary+focuser a little further down. So same weight. Secondary could be a little larger also.

Should be fine for visual with a small extension at the focuser to get the eyepiece a little further back.

No idea about the autofocuser. Would expect it to but Skywatcher may do it different. They might have a "Newtonian" version for £200 more.

OK looked at mount - why the PDS ? That is for imaging, the mount is Az, so not in itself for imaging.

If thinking of setting the angle somehow to Eq (guess around 52 degrees for Tring Astro) then some Skywatcher mounts identify themselves as Az and will only operate as Az mounts immaterial of what you do.


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In the 1960s, Celestron’s founder, Tom Johnson, created groundbreaking new telescopes never before seen on the consumer market. Today, our world-class team of optical and electronic engineers continues to push the boundaries of technology. From the SkyProdigy, a telescope so smart it can align itself, to our high-performance EdgeHD optical system, we’ve revolutionized the hobby of astronomy for beginners and advanced amateurs alike. Go behind the scenes with Celestron’s product development team and learn more about our award-winning and patented innovations

Sky recognition technology that has revolutionized the manual telescope by eliminating the confusion common among beginners and enhancing the user experience for even seasoned telescope users.


U nleash the full pointing accuracy of your Celestron computerized telescope with a specialized telescope control software suite. control and Sky Viewer display makes selecting your target easy. CPWI has an extensive object database, employs PointXP mount modeling, and more.

The new Lithium Phosphate (LiFePO4) battery chemistry has significant advantages over other battery chemistries, great for for those Astronomers on the go.

WiFi technology encircles the globe in a web of connectivity, knowledge, and information. Now, Celestron is using that same technology to allow star gazers to connect to the night sky and enhance their experience of the cosmos in fun and unique ways.

Planetarium software package which provides easy-to-understand explanations and impressive visuals of all kinds. Learn more about extra solar planets imagery, 3D Star rendering, observation planning, telescope control, multiple-panel printing, and much more.

Celestron’s aplanatic EdgeHD optics revolutionized astroimaging. This award-winning optical system reduces visual defects like field curvature and coma, creating an ultra-flat field for pinpoint stars all the way to the edge of today’s largest imaging sensors.

Fastar Technology allows imagers the option of drastically increasing the speed and sensitivity of their Celestron optical tube, allowing bright, detailed images with short exposures.

Our patented SkyAlign alignment technology makes setting up a computerized telescope simple, fast, and accurate. Just point the telescope at any three bright objects—stars, bright planets, or even the Moon—and your telescope can orient itself with the night sky.

Celestron’s patented StarSense™ Technology makes it easier than ever to locate objects in the night sky, even if you’ve never used a telescope before. Turn it on and push ‘Align.’ In about three minutes, you’re ready to observe!

Get ready for a night of astroimaging with your mount faster than previously thought possible with All-Star Polar Alignment. This innovative software solves the time-consuming problem of trying to pinpoint the North Celestial Pole.

One of the most important factors in a telescope is its transmission—the percentage of light that reaches the focal plane. Our proprietary StarBright XLT optical coatings dramatically increase transmission, up to 97.4% on our Schmidt corrector lenses.

ED stands for "extra-low dispersion," which refers to the composition and optical properties of the glass used for the lenses. ED glass is specially formulated and contains rare-earth compounds that greatly reduce a visual defect called chromatic aberration.

This telescope control software replaces the hand control and allows the user to remotely control their Celestron computerized telescope from their personal PC or laptop.

EclipSmart solar products feature Solar Safe filter technology providing the ultimate protection from harmful solar radiation, including both IR and UV light, and filters 99.999% of visible light. Celestron Solar Safe filter technology is GUARANTEED SAFE for direct solar observation and has been independently tested by SAI Global Assurance Services.

A T-Ring is one of the first accessories you will need if you want to take pictures through a telescope or spotting scope. If you have a Canon EOS camera body, the Celestron EOS T-Ring is the one for you.

To use the Canon EOS T-Ring, remove the lens from your camera, and attach the T-Ring in its place, just as you would if you were mounting a lens. The telescope side of the T-Ring has threads that will accept a variety of camera adapters, including the Celestron T-Adapter or Tele-Extender. The adapter you choose depends on the type of photography you wish to do.

You can take pictures of terrestrial and/or celestial scenes by using a simple T-Adapter to turn your telescope or spotting scope into a large telephoto lens. The #93633-A T-Adapter is the best choice if you own a Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope with standard rear cell threads. If you have a refractor or spotting scope, the Universal T-Adapter (#93625), with its 1.25” barrel insert, is probably the best choice. There are also special T-Adapters for the EdgeHD optical system: one for the 8-inch EdgeHD (#93644) and one for the 9.25, 11, and 14-inch EdgeHD (#93646).

Prime focus photography is popular for short exposure images of terrestrial objects as well as celestial objects like the Moon.

If you need extra magnification beyond that which your Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope provides, a Tele-Extender (#93643) will allow you to insert an eyepiece inside the barrel before attaching it to the telescope. A Tele-Extender is used most often for high power images of the Moon and the planets.

Browse the Series

2" to 1.25" Adapter with Twist-Lock

48mm T-Adapter for EdgeHD 9.25”, 11”, and 14”

T-Ring for Canon EOS-EF Mount Camera

T-Adapter, (EdgeHD 925, 11 & 14)

T-Adapter for Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescopes

Universal Barlow and T-Adapter - 1.25"


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So I have had these Skywatcher Slow Motion Cables for all of 5 minutes and after the damn thing fell off the a second time in as many minutes I tightened it better and the screw sheared off. Fantastic. Any ideas? Drill it out I guess? Send angry correspondence to Skywatcher.
Its now stuck to my Scopetech Mount Zero.

For the life of me, I cannot figure this out. Got to take out my setup last night for only the second time as it's been cloudy for weeks and I've been trying in vain to align my Skywatcher AZ-GTi mount to no avail. I'm using it in ALT-AZ mode for now, and I've probably researched every article and watched every Youtube vid I could find and still nothing is working. I feel like I'm stupidly dense or something because there is something just not clicking in the cranium.
I thought I was supposed to point the dang thing north to start so that's what I did, err, I think anyway. Am I pointing the wrong end north? See picture. Also, I'm reading that the actual scope has to be mounted a certain way on the mount correct? Which way would that be? I've read all of this left/right stuff and those directionals mean nothing to me as it depends on someone's viewpoint. When I aimed north to start, I attempted to align by directing SynScan to go to the Moon first, and that took it so far off course it wasn't even close, it was basically pointing at the ground. I reset and tried again with another start (Vega I believe). again, wasn't even in the realm of close. I made sure my location settings were correct in the app so that wasn't the issue.
Here's how I got something to "work". I had it track to the moon and when it was essentially pointing at the ground and who knows how many degrees from my actual target, I picked the whole thing up, turned it around, manually aligned to the moon and then clicked OK on the app. I felt like a ridiculous clown doing that but somehow it actually managed to do the trick but something tells me that isn't right on a long term basis.
I'm thinking about getting SkySafari to control the mount but I should probably master the basics first.
Tips/tricks appreciated.

Skywatcher illuminated reticule eyepiece. It has a red crosshair pattern. I think it’s 24mm rather than the newer 12.5mm models. Great condition. Looking for £35 including postage from France. Thanks.

Hi All,
I am currently researching which setup to purchase as my first proper scope (once they are back in stock).
I thought I had settled on the Skywatcher Explorer 130ps AZ GTi but then I saw the Skywatcher Star Discovery 150i for just a little more money.
Could anyone please tell me the difference between the 2 OTA's (other than the different aperture size), and also the difference between the 2 mounts?
I realise that the AZ GTi can be modified to run in EQ mode whereas the Star Discovery can't.
Can the Star Discovery view all the way to the zenith or does the OTA catch the mount or tripod before it gets there?

I've been trying to image a couple of galaxies per night, one pre and one post flip. On early Saturday morning at 1:30am I changed over to M82, and acquired 63 x 3 mins subs, OSC, totalling 3 hours and 9 minutes of data.
Camera: ZWO 2600MC at -10 deg C, gain 100, offset 50
Telescope: Skywatcher 250PX (blue tube), 1200mm F4.7
Mount: Mesu e200
Guiding: ZWO OAGv2, 290MM, PHD2
Filters: None
Software: APT for capture, APP and PS for processing

I havent really had a chance to get much use out of this camera since I bought it in December, and I havent processed many OSC images before. I've a bit of work to do, but still very happy with the quality of the data for just 3 hours of integration time. I would like to add some Ha to this, but purposely didnt bother during the recent clear spell, as it was moonless nights and I gathered some broadband data on other targets instead.


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DSLR and focal reducers - an idea to connect everything

Post by Kanadalainen » Sun May 12, 2019 3:17 pm

I am working on means to set up some AP with my meagre store of goodies.

I have an FR , a DSLR , a couple of adaptor tubes, a Crayford Focuser on my 80mm frac, and a fuzzy idea of general direction.


Not my image, but something to approximate what might work for me. The p/n's below are taken from the Scopestuff website. I realize that each FR has its own sweet spot for placement before the sensor and the camera itself has internal distance to add on to the focal length. Here is a rough model:

Stellarvue 70T f6 - triplet
"Mark Mk. II" -60 mm Tasco guider
C80 frac with 2" focuser, f11.4 - long doublet
"Frosty m. II" - the 14.5" strut dob f4.5 with a ZOC optic, US digital encoders, Nexus II wifi + Moonlite focuser


Mounts - Ioptron Skyguider pro, SW NEQ6 pro (with upgraded bearings)

Cameras, lenses - ASI2600mc OSC, ASI290mm mini (guiding), Canon 60D modded for UV/IR cut (09/2020)- Rokinon 10mm 2.8, Rokinon 135mm f2

Software - Photoshop and Lightroom 2020, GIMP, Skysafari 6 Pro, Astro Pixel Processor - using Mac tablet and ASIair pro to run the AP rig.

"Mothers! It is there!" - Rafael Gonzales-Acuna, 2018.

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Re: DSLR and focal reducers - an idea to connect everything

Post by UlteriorModem » Sun May 12, 2019 4:50 pm

The main thing with a focal reducer is to find the distance required to the focal plane. Most (but not all) are designed to be used with around 40-50mm, which just happens to natch most DSLR 's.

Here is a handy website with a calculator.

Current Equipment:
Mount: Celestron CGX-L
Scope: 8" f3.9 "Astrograph"
Cam: ASI071mc-pro

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Re: DSLR and focal reducers - an idea to connect everything

Post by Kanadalainen » Sun May 12, 2019 9:01 pm

35mm to the sensor inside the camera).

I can put 2" filters before the reducer so that there is no change in this geometry.

That is a very handy website!

Stellarvue 70T f6 - triplet
"Mark Mk. II" -60 mm Tasco guider
C80 frac with 2" focuser, f11.4 - long doublet
"Frosty m. II" - the 14.5" strut dob f4.5 with a ZOC optic, US digital encoders, Nexus II wifi + Moonlite focuser


Mounts - Ioptron Skyguider pro, SW NEQ6 pro (with upgraded bearings)

Cameras, lenses - ASI2600mc OSC, ASI290mm mini (guiding), Canon 60D modded for UV/IR cut (09/2020)- Rokinon 10mm 2.8, Rokinon 135mm f2

Software - Photoshop and Lightroom 2020, GIMP, Skysafari 6 Pro, Astro Pixel Processor - using Mac tablet and ASIair pro to run the AP rig.

"Mothers! It is there!" - Rafael Gonzales-Acuna, 2018.

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Re: DSLR and focal reducers - an idea to connect everything

Post by KathyNS » Sun May 12, 2019 11:00 pm

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Re: DSLR and focal reducers - an idea to connect everything

Post by UlteriorModem » Mon May 13, 2019 1:46 am

Current Equipment:
Mount: Celestron CGX-L
Scope: 8" f3.9 "Astrograph"
Cam: ASI071mc-pro

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Re: DSLR and focal reducers - an idea to connect everything

Post by Kanadalainen » Mon May 13, 2019 1:48 am

I noticed that I miswrote my previous message.

What I meant to say was that the Celestron 6.3 FR has a focal length of 240 mm, according to that site.

Stellarvue 70T f6 - triplet
"Mark Mk. II" -60 mm Tasco guider
C80 frac with 2" focuser, f11.4 - long doublet
"Frosty m. II" - the 14.5" strut dob f4.5 with a ZOC optic, US digital encoders, Nexus II wifi + Moonlite focuser


Mounts - Ioptron Skyguider pro, SW NEQ6 pro (with upgraded bearings)

Cameras, lenses - ASI2600mc OSC, ASI290mm mini (guiding), Canon 60D modded for UV/IR cut (09/2020)- Rokinon 10mm 2.8, Rokinon 135mm f2

Software - Photoshop and Lightroom 2020, GIMP, Skysafari 6 Pro, Astro Pixel Processor - using Mac tablet and ASIair pro to run the AP rig.

"Mothers! It is there!" - Rafael Gonzales-Acuna, 2018.

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Re: DSLR and focal reducers - an idea to connect everything

Post by Kanadalainen » Mon May 13, 2019 12:04 pm

This is another look at this hypothetical rig. Again, not my drawing, but it serves nicely. The camera distance to sensor (with ring, as Kathy said) will be 55 mm. The length of the tube immediately behind the F6.3 FR in my case will be about 25 or 35 mm, which will yield 80 or 90 mm in all. The 25mm adaptor part from Scopestuff is #TASS, along with a 10 mm extension. This should allow for the nominal focal reduction in my case and provide a distortion free image.

We'll see how this works out when my adaptors arrive.

Stellarvue 70T f6 - triplet
"Mark Mk. II" -60 mm Tasco guider
C80 frac with 2" focuser, f11.4 - long doublet
"Frosty m. II" - the 14.5" strut dob f4.5 with a ZOC optic, US digital encoders, Nexus II wifi + Moonlite focuser


Mounts - Ioptron Skyguider pro, SW NEQ6 pro (with upgraded bearings)

Cameras, lenses - ASI2600mc OSC, ASI290mm mini (guiding), Canon 60D modded for UV/IR cut (09/2020)- Rokinon 10mm 2.8, Rokinon 135mm f2

Software - Photoshop and Lightroom 2020, GIMP, Skysafari 6 Pro, Astro Pixel Processor - using Mac tablet and ASIair pro to run the AP rig.

"Mothers! It is there!" - Rafael Gonzales-Acuna, 2018.

TSS Photo of the Day

Re: DSLR and focal reducers - an idea to connect everything

Post by OhNo » Wed May 15, 2019 12:22 am

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Re: DSLR and focal reducers - an idea to connect everything

Post by Kanadalainen » Sun May 26, 2019 3:42 am

Accurate guess Brent. I recieved all the goodies on Friday and the sky opened up.

Still I'm excited to try all this nice stuff.

Stellarvue 70T f6 - triplet
"Mark Mk. II" -60 mm Tasco guider
C80 frac with 2" focuser, f11.4 - long doublet
"Frosty m. II" - the 14.5" strut dob f4.5 with a ZOC optic, US digital encoders, Nexus II wifi + Moonlite focuser


Mounts - Ioptron Skyguider pro, SW NEQ6 pro (with upgraded bearings)

Cameras, lenses - ASI2600mc OSC, ASI290mm mini (guiding), Canon 60D modded for UV/IR cut (09/2020)- Rokinon 10mm 2.8, Rokinon 135mm f2

Software - Photoshop and Lightroom 2020, GIMP, Skysafari 6 Pro, Astro Pixel Processor - using Mac tablet and ASIair pro to run the AP rig.

"Mothers! It is there!" - Rafael Gonzales-Acuna, 2018.

TSS Photo of the Day

Re: DSLR and focal reducers - an idea to connect everything

Post by OhNo » Sun May 26, 2019 4:12 am

Re: DSLR and focal reducers - an idea to connect everything

Post by Don Quixote » Mon May 27, 2019 6:38 pm

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Re: DSLR and focal reducers - an idea to connect everything

Post by Kanadalainen » Mon May 27, 2019 8:44 pm

I have made a few spacing calculations, and have all my adaptors in hand.

For my 11.3 focal length frac and the Celestron f6.3 reducer:

80 mm (adding in the camera's 55mm distance: eg, spacer plus 55mm) gives me f 7.5
90 mm gives me f 7.1
100 mm gives me f 6.6

And, all of these spacing scenarios require differential in-focus distances, respectively. I see now how sensitive is placement of the spacers. Scopestuff was a big help with practical advice. This evening I will experiment with the DSLR and just take some real life pics without the reducer and then with it, and calculate my empirical focal ratios to see how they match what the formulae gave me.

Stellarvue 70T f6 - triplet
"Mark Mk. II" -60 mm Tasco guider
C80 frac with 2" focuser, f11.4 - long doublet
"Frosty m. II" - the 14.5" strut dob f4.5 with a ZOC optic, US digital encoders, Nexus II wifi + Moonlite focuser


Mounts - Ioptron Skyguider pro, SW NEQ6 pro (with upgraded bearings)

Cameras, lenses - ASI2600mc OSC, ASI290mm mini (guiding), Canon 60D modded for UV/IR cut (09/2020)- Rokinon 10mm 2.8, Rokinon 135mm f2

Software - Photoshop and Lightroom 2020, GIMP, Skysafari 6 Pro, Astro Pixel Processor - using Mac tablet and ASIair pro to run the AP rig.



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