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Advice for an Astro Photography Setup [ THE OTA - THE TUBE] - Choosing a NEWTONIAN reflector 8" F5 (perhaps F4) FOR photometry

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gblasco's picture
Advice for an Astro Photography Setup [ THE OTA - THE TUBE] - Choosing a NEWTONIAN reflector 8" F5 (perhaps F4) FOR photometry

This is a branch of another post which makes an intro about my project and needs:



In this post, I will  mark the questions I WOULD like to be answered with this emoticon  and italics, to make a little easier to identify my questions .. Of course, you are invited in all comments you like,but this are the questions I would made if this were a conversation.

Why did I choose a Newtonian??

APERTURE -> Looking for the biggest newtonian the mount can support and my budget could afford gives me more photons for stellar astrophotography (NOT INTERESTED IN EXTENDED OBJECTS ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY LIKE NEBULA), and  . I know about COMA aberration, so My choice would be 8" - F5 but I can read another options. My CMOS camera choice (based on Iis a very small chip so I think the COMA is not a problem. I know there are good coma correctors so I can improve my setup in the future with a very portable accessory (but not very cheap). RC are better in image but the price per photon is expensive. About the collimation in newtonian, I think I will be capable. I KNOW is a must to do collimation...  But I can bear that, if there is an OTA with the screws to do this easily. If I use the central part of the newtonian F5 with a small sensor, I think I will be fine... What do you think?


  • A lot of photons.
  • Cheap
  • A lot of options in the market
  • I don't care much about coma aberration . because I am not making artistic pretty pictures...
  • Coma problems can be fixed somewhat afterwards
  • I don't have condensation like in the SC


  • Long tube: problems with wind
  • Many of them are heavy and need expensive or sturdy mounts.
  • Somewhat difficult to put in equilibrium over the mount

I want to buy a tube and a mount. But I want a reflector for these goals:


  • Stellar astro photometry /astrophotography of Variable Stars, Supernovae, and Near Objects (NEO) asteroids, and other stellar objects
  • Astrometry or measurement of  position, of asteroids , NEOs, 
  • Occultation observation of stars by asteroids
  • Observations of far - faint comets
  • Other transient events
  • Precise photometry of exoplanet transits
  • Measurement of orbits of faint moons of outer system planets
  • Measurement of proper motion of fast moving stars
  • Parallax experiments

IMPORTANT! WHAT ARE NOT MY GOALS! .... (but I can do very rare if the gear allow to, btw)

  • Color artistic / cosmetic photography
  • Nebula photography
  • Direct observation by a viewfinder
  • Planetary
  • Solar
  • Near big comets

I want to make astro photography with photometry with a IMX178 based camera like the QHY 178M Monochrome Astronomy Camera # QHY178M, the ZWO ASI178MM or an Orion StarShoot G4 Monochrome

 A NON-HEAVY TUBE with A LESS EXPENSIVE MOUNT.  Is a good idea to accomplish the budget?




Ok, I am between two diameter sizes, 6" and 8". I will try to fix my budget with a 8" option. BUT the mount usually is more expensive and heavy so It is a but difficult to find a kit.... Can you help me to find the option...  


 SPECIFIC OPTIONS (in not very specific order)


Orion 203mm f/4.9 Reflector Telescope Optical Tube Assembly
PROS: is very lightweight, 2" focuser. Weight under 16.5lbs (will be this weight true????)
BONUS PRO: Is one of the most lightweight options, so I can buy a cheaper and less expensive mount.
CONS: it doesn’t seem a high quality product. Perhaps a generic mirror. It is a main stream budget product as far as I know.. I have doubts if I can colímate this

GSO 8" f/5 Newtonian Reflector Telescope - Steel OTA (White) # GS630

PROS: IF the info on the site of GSO is correct, GSO seem a very qood quality maker. So I will have a quality OTA. 2" focuser, good for collimation. FAN for cool air inside the tube
CONS: HEAVY. I need a bigger mount,because is over the 20lbs. Second hand market will be more difficult with a not so know brand

sidenote: If i cannot afford a mount for this last one, I can choose the 6" F4 option:, or the F5 62 GSO option:

CELESTRON 203mm F5 tube WITHOUT the ADVANCED VX MOUNT KIT. or WITHOUT IT (much dificulty to find because I think is not in catalogue now, can you know if this OTA is in Celestron catalogue and I can ask for it separately of the mount)
Around USD350

PROS: I think is a good price for the kit. And is a good brand. Good reference, many users. Good warranty and aftersales support, am i right?

Lightweight : If I can buy the OTA not the mount, I can put it in and less expensive mount

Is fitted perfectly to the mount. Is designed for it. I like the mount but is a heavy one.

CONS: Is not a specific astrograph. It has Big boxes for the shipping. I think I will have quite problems with the transport. Easy aftermarket value: celestron is a well known brand
NOT very much info about the quality of the tube: Is a begginer telescope for astrophoto. So i have doubts about the quality compared with the GSOs. I think is a clone of the ORION OTA I mentioned above, because is an aluminium tube in the same weight around 14-15 lbs. .Do you know more about this OTA and the quality compared with GSO? 
Is not a double speed eyepiece. This can be improved afterwards but this focuser are usually built in budget telescope what do you think? 

I am open to other brands of 8" telescopes, but I think GSO is a good choice.

What other options are available to me?


This is a branch of another post which makes an intro about my project and needs:


CrossoverManiac's picture
If you go with a fast

If you go with a fast Newtonian, you will need a coma corrector.

So, you're looking at another $250-$500 for your set up.  Going by reviews and prices, the Baader Planetarium 2" Mark III Multi Purpose Coma Corrector, though I did see one being sold in Europe for $850+ sold by TS Optics that also acts as a 0.73× focal reducer for fast Newtonians.

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