Society for Popular Astronomy

Telescope for deep sky astrophotography
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Author:  Phigla [ Thu Sep 05, 2019 2:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Telescope for deep sky astrophotography

Good evening,

First let me present myself.
I am Philippe retired in China, in Jiaxing near Shanghai.

At 70 I have decided to restart astronomy observation but this time I would like to explore deep sky.

Reading the net I reach the conclusion that a telescope diameter 250-300 mm would be necessary together with an equatorial mount.

For the moment I am busy making my shopping list.

I have few questions:

1. Living in China, is a member knows a good Chinese brand where I can buy a Schmidt Cassegrain with the necessary accessories for observation and astrophotography ?
2. I read that a guiding scope will be required, I don't understand why as far I will look for a motorized equatorial mount and what will be the specification ?
3. I plan as imaging system to use CCD what are the most important factors I have to take into account ?
4. Later I would like to upgrade the telescope for photometry and/or maybe spectroscopy.
This can be done later or some points have to be included for the telescope I will buy now ?
If yes what I need have implemented for a later installation ?

I am sorry if they are trivial questions but , please understand that here in China my source of information are restricted: twitter, facebook, other social media, foreign forum as well Wikipedia, Quora and other encyclopedia are blocked by the authorities.

Thanks in advance and regards


Author:  David Frydman [ Thu Sep 05, 2019 8:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Telescope for deep sky astrophotography

Hi Philippe and welcome.

Is there a local astronomy club that you can ask advice?
Even a professional observatory could help.

I don't know what is available in China.

Do you have a dark sky?
For instance, can you see the Milky Way?

I know that good galaxy images are taken here in towns, but I am not an imager so cannot help.

I think that Celestron and Skywatcher scopes are made in China and owned by the same Chinese company.
These are generally more favoured than Meade at least in the U.K.


For a 250mm to 300mm scope and heavy mount, an observatory or run off shed observatory will probably be needed.
Do you have a garden or secure viewing location?
A good mount is essential for good images.

Perhaps a Celestron C11 would be suitable or maybe a 300mm Newtonian.

I did planetary photography with a 317mm Dall Kirkham, but not deep sky.
This was with film not digital.

Bearing in mind the age mentioned, heavy equipment cannot be carried around.
So anything heavy must be fixed and easy to handle.
Because of this a Celestron 8 or Celestron 9.25 might be better.
I think that you need focal reducers for long exposure work, even with stacking.

You may need to know how to collimate the scope.
This can be difficult without help with big scopes.

Author:  Phigla [ Fri Sep 06, 2019 4:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Telescope for deep sky astrophotography

Dear David and members,

Thanks for your reply.

I have a dark sky and I am living in the country side of Jiaxing, therefore I'don't have too much concern about light contamination.

I do not plan to transport the material but to let it in place in the garden storage where I intend tov modify the roof and to isolate for thermal reason

I think that I have to give more explanations about the reason of my questions.

Long time ago I had a simple telescope to observe planets, Since few months now i'm reading and learning about stars: magnitudes, color, classification, HR diagram and so on.

Like that, the desire to go to observe deep sky occurred.

I have looked via the net what are the probable telescopes on the market meeting what I want to do.
I found a nice one (according me) the Schmidt-Cassegrain Celestron SC 356/3910 EdgeHD 1400 CGX-L GoTo....
Till I saw the selling price here in China.

I would like to equip this telescope with CCD for imaging and later on upgrade it for photometry for me to exercise the magnitude and flux density.

Maybe I will (i'm still thinking about) install a spectroscopic system.

As said before I'm making my shopping list, reason of my posts on this forum.

My main question is in order to keep my budget what will be your recommendation for the needed equipment. And if nobody knows a Chinese brand.

I would prefer to buy local Chinese brand for economical reason, local for aftersales sales, training if needed and repair.

I read somewhere that a Chinese brand called SYNTA provide Celestron, Orion, Skywatcher with parts...unfortunately I did not find them anywhere in China (maybe they are just parts manufacturer and provider.

Thanks in advance to give me some light for the telescope selection, accessories and upgrade I would like to do later on

Best regards


Author:  David Frydman [ Fri Sep 06, 2019 4:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Telescope for deep sky astrophotography

Hi Philippe,

What brands are made in China?
Are Meade scopes made in China?
If so, they may be less expensive than Celestron.
A Celestron C14 is expensive everywhere.

The reason you didn't find Synta is probably because they are in a part of China not recognised by mainland China.
Synta bought Celestron and own Skywatcher as well, I think.
They are a large corporation making complete telescopes in large quantities for sale worldwide.

A simple good quality Newtonian is the best value, with a good mount.

Do you really need a Celestron C14?
A smaller SCT or large Newtonian are cheaper?
Locally made and supported must be best.

Do you have the scientific background to deal with the more complicated ventures?


Author:  David Frydman [ Fri Sep 06, 2019 6:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Telescope for deep sky astrophotography

Ningbo Sunny Electronics of China seems to own Meade Instruments Corporation or at least the telescope division.
They may or may not make the scopes in Mexico.
Meade has had a troubled history but so has Celestron.

I am not sure what scopes are made in China, but I did come across a firm making scopes up to 2 metres aperture for a professional Chinese observatory. They made a vast array of optics.


Author:  Phigla [ Sat Sep 07, 2019 2:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Telescope for deep sky astrophotography

Dear David and Members,

David, thanks a lot for the information concerning Ningbo Sunny is effectively attached to Meade, from what I can read on the Chinese Chamber of commerce of Zeijang Province.

Im going to contact them Monday to know if they are producing telescopes in Ningbo.
As it is 25 kilometers from where I'm living, I will try to visit them to try to obtain a "factory price" ...never know.

But Ive no idea about the quality of this brand.

Again thanks for the info.



Author:  Phigla [ Sun Sep 08, 2019 3:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Telescope for deep sky astrophotography

Dear Members,

Thanks for your replies.

I have an other question, sorry for that

Is somebody has some information concerning the telescope Meade LX200 ACF:
- Is it suitable for deep sky observation and astrophotography ?
- Reading what I can find on the net about it, it has no equatorial mount, do I am right or wrong?
- From the picture I can see, the mount looks to me "light"
-I do not find any information concerning the CCD

I saw another one Meade LX850, called German Equatorial mount telescope system with starlock
- Is this one suitable for deep sky observation and astrophotography ?
- I don't find any information about diameter and focal length
- I don't find any information concerning the CCD

For both of them is it possible later on to upgrade it for photometry or spectroscopy

Thanks for your help

Best regards


Author:  Brian [ Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Telescope for deep sky astrophotography

Hi Philippe,

I'm not sure that you will find many owners of these Meade telescopes here. My advice is to ask on the UK site "Stargazers Lounge" , which has a much larger worldwide membership:

I am making an assumption that the site will not be blocked to you. Of course let us know how you get on, and don't leave us entirely :D


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