If your budget allows you to go as high as 2000, I can put together an equipment list that would approximate my setup. The sky's the limit at that
point. Lunar, planetary, solar (with additional full aperture filters), deep space, even satellites, no problem. The catch is that there's a
learning curve, but if you're patient you can make some great shots.
First you need a base telescope on which more telescopes and cameras can be mounted. I use and love the 8" LX200. The 8" uses the same gear system
used for the 10" and 12" models, so it has plenty of extra payload capacity to spare.
Here's a classic 8" for $1,200:
I would recommend keeping an eye on the used market, but aim to spend between $1,000-1,400 on the scope. $1,200 is fair price imho.
For long exposures of deep space objects you'll need an equatorial wedge, figure about $170:
For autoguiding and widefield imaging I use one of these, a simple achromat, but it's surprisingly good for $120:
Of course, you need a way of mounting it on your LX200, so you need to get these parts as well:
Dovetail plate ($69):
Dovetail adapter (you need 2 for a total of $50):
To offset the weight of the 80mm scope you need a counterweight system ($125):
And to autoguide you need an autoguider (since you already have a DSLR, you might find this to be your best option, $239):
Final price? $1,993. This is essentially my setup with a few slight changes. I've spent way more than this over the years experimenting with
various things that didn't work, but for just under $2,000 you can replicate what I use now for still photography (I also do a lot of deep space
video, but that's a separate issue). With this you can photograph not just the moon and solar system but deep space especially well. For the planets
I'd recommend getting a dedicated solar system imager, either webcam based or video camera based (the SDC-435 does quite well). That will require the
use a laptop in the field though.
edit on 1-2-2012 by ngchunter because: (no reason given)