Firstly, on equipment. For 12 years or so I had a Meade Classic 8" LX200. While it was being used for visual observing it was fine, however, astrophotography proved more challenging. As is common with this sort of instrument, image shift and mirror flop were issues to deal with, but with care I managed to get passible images.
I have a number of other telescopes now, an ETX-80 for example which is optically OK for a low cost instrument, a good telescope to put in the back of the car when going away, or to lend to people who are interested in seeing a few objects for themselves.
I bought a Celestron CGE1400 in December 2007, and some of these pages describe my experiences with this instrument as I learnt to use it. This is an ongoing process! This instument is used for detailed views of objects and spectroscopy.
For wide field work I have a William Optics FLT98 which gives some really stunning views of the sky, both visually and photographically.
This picture was taken with the Classic 8" LX200, a f6.3 focal reducer and an unmodified Canon 350D.
Light pollution is a problem where I am and I have taken a background photo and subtracted it, which also removed alot of the vignetting you get with the focal reducer. More on this later.
More to follow.
Celestron CGE1400 page one Pictures taken between 2007 and March 2009
Page 1 contents: M3, M81, M51, M63, M33, M42, M109
Celestron CGE1400 page two Pictures taken from March 2009 onwards
Page 2 contents: M86 (comment on seeing/resolution), NGC4435 & 4438, NGC2903, NGC3184, M91, M106, M57, Crescent Nebula (NGC6888), NGC7331
Celestron CGE1400 page three Pictures taken from September 2009 onwards
Page 3 contents: M27, M106, NGC4631, NGC3395 and NGC3396,
Canon 350D (unmodified) with 18-55 lens