80mm and the Leo Triplet

This will be my first spring summer season with astrophotograpy. I have an 80mm f6 triplet refractor. I would like to try imaging the Leo Triplet. Is that possible? Would I be better off using a reducer to achieve 384mm @ f4.8 or no reducer with 480mm @ f6. I am using a Orion EQ-G mount no guiding (yet)? And there is another question. Should I get into guiding? I guess more data the better. But would I get that much more time in at f4.6 than f6. My assumption is that at f6 I would need to double the exposure time and or increase ISO. I have a full frame Canon 5d mark IV and a 90d cropped sensor. I would likely use the 90d to have 1.6x the reach of the MK IV

Have you used tried using the telescope simulator in Telescopius? If you search for one of the triplet galaxies eg M65, and then enter your scope and camera details in the telescope simulator area in the middle of the page you will be able to see the field of view that you get with your different camera and reducer options.

In terms of guiding, Iā€™d recommend to start your astrophotography without guiding. It adds another level of complexity to the whole set-up. You should be able to achieve good results just by taking multiple short exposures and aligning and stacking afterwards in software. The maximum individual exposure length will likely be determined by how good your polar alignment is (to ensure round stars with no trailing) but with an 80mm refractor on an EQ-G with PEC you should be able to achieve at least 60s, perhaps as long as 300s.

Gordon

1 Like

Will do. Thanks for your help!