Pulled the trigger on the dream rig

1 minute read

That brings us to today.

Like many aspiring astrophotographers, I had my dream setup planned out. Like many plans, it was somewhat “fluid”.

Out for Delivery
Out for Delivery

Over the next couple of days weeks I will go through a set of “unboxing posts” (not as much fun as videos, but hopefully informative none-the-less), along with a brief description of what other choices were on my radar and what “tipped the scales”. I researched and researched. Analysis paralysis started setting in, and finally I made up my mind and pulled the trigger. Where applicable, I will also let you know what stuff went back.

Keep in mind as you read these (if, in fact, anyone does) that I am really new to all of this. I hope to catalog my journey, my progress, and my mistakes. Hopefully as I go the former will start to outweigh the latter :wink:.

I knew that my wife wouldn’t let me buy this stuff again; I had to do it right. She is a portrait & pet photographer, so she is often “gear shopping” (in fact I know that earlier today she was looking at the Nikon 105mm f/1.4E lens), so she does understand. To an extent.

I had a bullet list of the bigger things that I needed:

  • Sturdy, automated, go-to mount
  • Small(ish) refractor, preferably apochromatic, either with a flat field, or a flattener available
    • Bonus points if the system allowed threaded (vs compression) connections in the imaging train
  • solid, automated focusing (focus, as mentioned in other posts, was a touchy area for me)
  • A monochrome, cooled camera
    • Preferably with a large sensor
    • I had no CMOS vs CCD bias (see what I did there? bias?)
  • A filter wheel for said camera
  • Filters that would not cause halos
  • A guiding system
    • at the start I wasn’t sure on on or off-axis guiding
  • A way to control all of this
  • A way to power all of this
  • Dew prevention

Yeah, there are many other little things here and there. But how much could those things add up to :moneybag:?