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#AskPS: NexStar 6SE and Hyperstar, or stick with my Stellarvue refractor?

R asked:

I have been doing visual astronomy for about 4 years now. I use a Stellarvue SV60EDS on an AVX mount. I’ve never astrophotographed before, am looking for a camera, i.e. DSLR, mirrorless, Specialty CCD, CMOS, the choices are daunting.

But most of all, I am fascinated by the fast imaging f/2 HyperStar lens assembly. According to the Celestron video, it is up to 25 times faster than regular AP setups. So I might buy a Nexstar 6SE and a CCD/CMOS specialty camera instead of attaching a DSLR or mirrorless to my Stellarvue. It seems this speed would greatly reduce or eliminate field rotation issues.

What is your opinion of this approach for a novice?


Hi R,

Honestly, for a novice, if I were you I would start with a DSLR or mirrorless camera on your Stellarvue, as it’s already pretty fast at f/5.5.

Also, with your AVX you won’t have field rotation issues anyway. The Canon Rebel series DSLRs are always good choices and not that expensive for AP, especially for a beginner. But, that being said, just about any prosumer-level camera brand is going to give you nice results. Just remember the red Hydrogen alpha is blocked on these, but that’s where almost everybody starts, and it’s not a waste of money.

Moving to a Hyperstar setup can be a bit daunting until you have more practice, so I definitely wouldn’t recommend something like that for a novice! I would not recommend the Nexstar 6SE over your current setup at this point.

All the best, and clear skies!


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About the author

Cory Schmitz

Co-founder of PhotographingSpace.com, co-owner of several telescopes and mounts, too many cameras, and not enough hard drives, Cory is an American expat living in South Africa with his wife, Tanja Schmitz.

An avid astrophotographer for timelapse, deep-space imaging, lunar, planetary, and star trail imagery, he is an all-around jack-of-most-trades for night-sky photography.

He is also an internationally published and commissioned astrophotographer, where his photos have been used in multiple online and print publications.

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