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Wide Field Ambitions . . . . . .



Hi all,


So a quick blog today, just to keep things ticking over, and to keep track of my ideas etc – more for me to look back on more than anything else!


Foot is a lot better now – I am getting around ok, and have even started a new fitness ‘regime’!! I have lost 6lbs in one week, by cutting out crisps and flapjacks, and doing 20 minutes of high interval training each morning! Go me!!


I’m still scopeless, and will be until at least Autumn I think. Had my hours knocked down at work from 5 days to 4 days. We can still cope on the reduced income, but it means my scope will be delayed slightly!


I’m not too upset about the lack of OTA right now. Nights are still short, and the weather isn’t exactly brilliant either. It will give me time to finally settle on what I actually want to set – newt or frac!! Its either a 130p-ds or ST102. Both have their pros and cons, and I can’t guess the amount of reviews etc I have read on both scopes!!


In the meantime, I have decided to set myself up with a widefield DSLR rig. Budget is key here! I already have the mount (EQ3-2), DSLR with fast and wide lens, and a means to mount it on the EQ. I just need a polar scope and a motor kit. I am keeping my eyes peeled for them to come up on ABS, AB or on SGL (remember key word – Budget!!). The mount is still due its MOT, which hopefully I will carry out later this month. I want to have it all together for my trip to Pembrokeshire in mid August.


With this set up I am hoping to get my first astrophoto’s of the Milky Way, and perhaps some of the larger constellations. From what I’ve been told here on SGL, 2-4 minute subs should be achievable if PA is good, and LP is not too bad. I will update this blog as each stage is completed, and hopefully with my first photos as well, however they turn out!!


I have been doing a lot of reading up both on SGL, and the wider t’interweb about DSLR widefield, and it’s something I can get into fairly easily, and with minimal outlay. As a keen landscape shooter, I am hoping I can use my current skills to create some pleasing images. We shall see - this blog could well turn into a ‘How To Take AP With No Money’ blog!!


Well, that’s all for this entry – thanks for reading, and sorry it a bit dull this time!! Next entry I am hoping to blog about my mount MOT, along with photos!! Ooooo!!!!

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Glad to hear you are on the mend.


Your choices make sense and it will be a good, cheap way getting started.

Look forward to seeing some results once you get everything sorted.


Good luck in finding what you need. It may be worth posting a wanted advert for the items, most people will have stuff laying around unused



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Hi Rob,


From the research I have been doing on DSLR WF photography, and the results that are possible from such a humble set up I think it’s well worth a shot. Good idea to post a wanted ad – can’t do it on here yet as don’t have enough posts, and can always pop one on ABS!





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As getting your hands into things seems to suit you how about a manual barn door tracker, the set up where one turn of a screw thred per minute matches the rotation rate - you then turn the screw head following the second hand on a watch.


May not be the most accurate but should be easy and you can/could post plans up in the DIY section.

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Good luck putting your widefield rig together. I can get 2 minute subs consistently at 135mm with my EQ3-2, there are a few images I've taken with my rig here if you are interested.


If you're on a budget there are some great 2nd hand M42 lenses available.

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Thanks for he replies!


@Ronin – I have looked at the barn door tracker idea, and I am always amazed at something so simple can be so effective! I may well have a go at making on when I get my new shed! Currently don’t have an area inside where I can bang, drill and saw without upsetting my other half!!


@Knights – you have some amazing shots on your website! I am really taken by the difference between a modded SLR and a standard one! The view you have taken of Orion shows this difference very well indeed! To think that’s all there, but unseen to the eye! The more I think about, the more I think that maybe I will leave getting  a scope for a while, and concentrate on WideField AP. I have seen a used modified Canon 100D for £199, and I already have the lens . . . . . . .

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