Backyard astronomy gear has progressed since the days on having to grind and polish one’s own mirror from a glass blank. Mind you, if you have aperture fever, building your own telescope is still the best solution.
Telescope manufactures now offer almost turn-key solutions where you can start imaging straight out if the box. But most backyard astronomers still build up their gear one piece at a time seeking the ultimate setup.
My current setup is for unguided photography, therefore exposures higher than 30sec is difficult, but not impossible.
William Optics Gran Turismo 71 (71mm air-spaced FPL53 triplet refractor, 420mm focal (F/5.9))
Skywatcher 80ED (80mm double lens, APO, 600mm focal (F/7.5), modified with Williams Optic 1:10 focuser and Orion right angle 9×50 finder)
Vixen GP mount with Meade LXD75 AutoStar goto
iOptron Cube Pro
Canon Digital Rebel XTi (EOS 400D)
Canon EOS 80D
QHYCCD Planetary and guiding camera (QHY5III290C) (NEW)
Antares camera adapter
IDAS LPS filter (used only on exposures above 30sec)
Thousand Oaks Optical R-G solar film
Baader UV-IR filter (for planetary use with Televue 2x or 3x barlow)
Previously owned equipment:
LMDA 130mm F7.7 short tube Newton (spherical mirror with barlow lens ahead of secondary)
Skywatcher EQ3 (motorized)
Philips Vesta PCVC675 webcam