21475Re: What would you buy with $10-12,000?
- Jan 1, 2004Here's my stab:
You can easily spend most of your time polar aligning and focusing,
so you want to buy equipment to minimize that.
Some deep sky objects can be difficult to find, a goto scope will
save you time.
Having licked those problems, you can get on with imaging.
What works for me:
Takahashi EM-200 Temma PC Jr. mount (save money by getting the Jr, if
you don't care about 700x slewing). $4,100 new (you may need
dovetail plate hardware for the OTA)
EM-200 Tripod $600.00 new
SBIG ST-2000XM with CFW-8a. $4,500 new
If you can buy the above used, you can save some for the OTA &
Depending on the OTA, you will want a motorized focuser to use with
FocusMax (freeware). For refractors you can probably just get a
RoboFocus. For SCTs you may want a Crayford add-on.
The OTA comes down to preference, get the largest aperture you can
afford with the remaining money, but leave some money for
accesories. But if you get a refractor, make sure it is an APO.
Celestron has a deal: 5 eyepieces & filters for $99 with the purchase
of one of their scopes (OTA's count).
Make sure the OTA isn't too much for the EM-200 to handle (ask the
group). I think most OTAs in your remaining budget should be OK. I
like the EM-200 because it is easy to polar align, itsets up quickly
and is portable (the counter-weight shaft retracts into the mount
The FS-102 sale is continued until June, but that scope will probably
push you over budget with all the accessories.
Kendrick Heaters and / or dew shields
Optional finder scopes.
Powermates (instead of barlows)
If you have existing 35mm lenses, you could consider buying one of
the lens adapters for the ST-2000XM (one of the 3rd party ones that
supports the CFW-8a). That can give you the wide-field views, then
you can use a longer focal length for your OTA.
Hopefully you find some or all of this useful,
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