Best All Rounder

C9.25 SCT

The best all round telescope would zoom into the planets with ferocious detail and be fat enough to reveal the huge faint whispy deep space nebula and galaxies whilst being small enough to put on a tracking mount for astrophotography. I think the SCT comes closest and I think the 9 ¼ inch Celestron SCT hits a sweet spot…

Tracking Mount for Astrophotography

 Sky-Watcher EQ6-R PRO Go-To 

US: https://bit.ly/EQ6RProUS

UK: https://bit.ly/EQ6RProUK

Celestron C9.25 XLT Optical Tube

US: https://bit.ly/C925US

UK: https://bit.ly/C925UK

The SCT is fat and short. It’s fatness gives it fantastic resolving power which is why it’s the scope of choice for the world’s best planetary photographers. It’s fatness also makes it a good light bucket and although optically the combination of corrector plate and mirrors and a larger obstruction make the view not quite as good as a similarly fat but cheaper Newtonian… like my 40 year old, 10” F6 newtonian big bertha (see pic)  –  I think you can see that the SCT’s shortness makes the SCT much easier to handle and hide from Mrs Biscuit and much, much easier for astrophotography.

Unfortunately every little breeze sends big bertha into a spin making her useless for deep space astrophotography

You could argue that a fancy glass refractor makes space look more contrasty...

     

   ... and you’d be right. Which is why some people prefer to spend their money on better optics at the expense of a larger aperture. These scopes won't show you as much but what you see will look crisper. If this floats your boat I would argue a simple 4 or 5 inch doublet with fancy glass is hard to beat.

Photographing the moon and planets is fairly simple. To start with just a camera and a barlow lens for extra magnification. Some dslr’s like my canon 600D are excellent planetary cameras. You can get an overview of planetary photography here. Note the quality of the mount is not critical for this kind of photography.

What extra stuff do I need to take pictures of the moon and planets with my SCT?

Best Barlow: Baader VIP Modular 2x

US: https://bit.ly/BaaderVIPBarlowUS

UK: https://bit.ly/BaaderVIPBarlowUK

Best budget planetary Camera ZWO ASI120MC

US: https://bit.ly/ZWO120mcUS

UK: https://bit.ly/ZWO120mcUK

Best Camera for planets ZWO ASI290MC

US: https://bit.ly/ZWO290mcUS

UK: https://bit.ly/ZWO290mcUK

My Planetary camera is the ZWO ASI178 its nearly as sensitive as the 290 but it has a larhger sensor and therefore better at bagging big targets like the moon and sun.

US: https://bit.ly/ZWO178mcUS

UK: https://bit.ly/ZWO178mcUK

(Mrs Biscuit finds out how much this set up costs Eeeek!)

What extra stuff do I need to take pictures of deep space through my SCT?

Hmmm. Taking shots of deep space through an SCT is tough because the SCT’s high magnification means your tracking has to be excellent. You could try reducing your magnification by using a hyperstar lens  like Deddy Dayag in Israel or you could bite the bullet, and go for it... 

Here is a list of additional equipment needed to take the shot of the whirlpool galaxy above.

Celestron 0.63x reducer/corrector

(optional but a good idea)

US: https://bit.ly/SCTReducerUS

UK: https://bit.ly/SCTReducerUK

If your getting serious choose a mono camera which is can be used also be used for inner city narrow band imaging...

Mono camera   Asi1600GT with internal filter wheel

US: https://bit.ly/MonoCameraUS

UK: https://bit.ly/MonoCameraUK

LRGB Filterset for mono camera

US: https://bit.ly/LRGBfiltersUS

UK:https://bit.ly/LRGBfilterUK

Celestron off axis guider

US: https://bit.ly/CelOAGUS

UK: https://bit.ly/CelOAGUK