questions about meade etx-125pe and accessories?
it has the go to function. i know what this is, but i was wondering if it also worked like an equatorial mount. (as in when using it to take pictures will it rotate so you do not get alot of trails)
is this a good telescope to start off using?
also, i have found a t adaptor for this scope, but no t ring specifically for it. can i use any t ring with the adaptor?
dark skys are no problem for me.
If your tripod includes a "wedge" the scope will be equatorially mounted.
Each type of scope has advantages and drawbacks.
A drawback to SCTs and MAKs is the corrector plate tends to collect dew. If you get much dew in your neck of the woods it will be important to get a good dew heater and a dew shield. This can easily add a couple hundred dollars to the cost of your system. It can also mean you'll need a heavier battery.
This type of scope is very compact, and possibly the easiest type to take on planes. But you end up lifting the optical tube and the fork mount at once, so they tend to be a bit heavier to carry and set up than types where the mount and optical tube easily come apart.
An F15 scope is going to be a bugger to image with. The long focal length means any errors in tracking will seem worse than they would with a shorter focal ratio scope.
You can get focal reducers, but they involve other tradeoffs.
Fork mounted scopes often have somewhat limited room to mount a camera. (It'll be worst when you're within several degrees of the celestial pole) Adding a focal reducer could make things more cramped.
No matter what scope you use, if you're looking to take great pictures of deep sky objects, you'll need an autoguider. This means mounting a second optical tube on your scope or using an SBIG camera with a built in guide chip. The SBIG cameras have large housings. I'm not sure the mount could handle the weight of either of these options.
The T ring needs to fit your brand of camera. Almost any decent camera store will sell them. The T Adapter will fit any brand of T ring.
Otherwise, Meade scopes tend to have a lot of quality control issues. Of three people I know who bought one in the last five years one got 3 in a row that were DOA and the other two needed a warranty repair after a few uses. The most common problem seems to be the drive motors in the mount. Once repaired, they seem to hold up well.
An alternative scope you might consider is the Meade SN6. It uses a German equatorial mount, and has a much faster F ratio. It still has the corrector plate, but there will be plenty of room for a camera and a guide scope if you need one.
You might also look at what Orion has. They offer traditional newtonians (no corrector plate) and you can select a heavier duty mount for imaging.
If you look at my avatar, that's a TMB 115 apo refractor on a Astro-Physics Mach1gto mount, with an SBIG ST2000xm camera attached. It was used to take most of the images on this page:
< http://www.picturetrail.com/sfx/album/view/13640785 >
backyard observatory -Meade ETX imaging
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