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Posts posted by nmoore6

  1. Hi,

    I am trying to break into the astrophotography realm. Currently I have Nikon D3300. I have a few questions regarding some things i have been looking at for a rig, any help would be appreciated. I am thinking about getting the Bresser EXOS-2GT mount linked here 


    Seems like a nice entry level EQ mount that could support a camera or my orion ED 80mm. Just wanted some general opinions on it for entry level brighter DSO imaging.

    I also have a sigma 150-500mm telephoto lens that I love. Would this be powerful or sharp enough to do some basic DSO imaging? I was thinking of getting one of those cheap 75-300mm lenses, but I won't if i dont need to. I am looking to keep the setup as cheap as possible. I'd like the mount and any new glass I get to ideally be under 600 dollars. Im not trying to get on the cover of Sky and Telescope magazine. Some practice snapping and stacking Orions nebula, pleidias, andromeda, really bright stuff like that is all im really trying to do.

    Any advice on these items or suggestions for others would be a big help, thank you!

  2. Hi all. 

    I'm trying to get into astrophotography in the cheapest way possible. I have a Nikon d3300, a vanguard tripod that I believe can handle up to 13lbs, and a sigma 150-500mm lens. I'd like to try my hand at long exposure shots on dso's without spending all kinds on money on a new mount. I've seen these skytracker devices from ioptron and was wondering if I would get good data with these. I have a feeling my lens might be the bottleneck, if so, any ideas for a good affordable DSO lens (under 300 bucks)? Any help on info on the guider or better lends would be appreciated!

  3. 4 hours ago, John Baker said:

    These are all single shots, apart from the second which was a panorama of 4 shorts which were then blended.  For the first shot a friend pressed the shutter, as it allowed me to get in the right position. I occasionally blend shots where I follow the 500 rule for the sky, but then do a long exposure, especially  where I have a very dark foreground which is a long way away. For close objects I do quite a lot of light painting, normally with a small flash gun as it gives white light and I can adjust the output - I find it is easy to darken things post processing than to try and pull back details which are not there


    Thats awesome! do you mind me asking what your camera settings are for foreground shots when you do separate photos? I'm having trouble nailing that down. And do you use photoshop to blend them together?

  4. Hi all,

    Wasnt sure if this was the right place to post this, but Im new to nightscaping, and had a question. Im learning the ins and outs of photoshop and lightroom. I have taken some shots of the milky way that, to this point, i have been happy with. But id like to learn how to do two separate exposure of the foreground and milky way so i can get one of those awesome shots where everything is in focus. can anyone explain in simple terms the way to blend two images together to achieve this?



  5. 5 hours ago, John Baker said:

    Hi Tom, good luck with your shooting, the trick is to get out find some decent locations and give them a go. We do struggle in this country with cloudy skies, but I am amazed at the recent run of clear night - hopefully out again tonight, but I must admit it is starting to catch up with me...

    Many thanks for all the kind comments, I was really pleased when these shots were used by several of the UK National papers, as always they did not get the detail quite right, but at least they are showing some astro photos which has to be good...


    Hey awesome shots! Just wondering, did you take two separate shots of the foreground and milky way and then merge them, or are these a single exposure?

    • Like 1

  6. On 7/30/2016 at 12:56, Alien 13 said:

    If you are using a refactor without a diagonal as you would when fitting a DSLR then you need a two inch extension https://www.firstlightoptics.com/adapters/t2-extension-tube-set.html, this can be a threaded T adapter or if the scope has a 2 inch focusser you can use a camera adapter like this https://www.firstlightoptics.com/adapters/skywatcher-2-inch-t-adapter.html.


    Hey, sorry to restart this thread, and thanks for your help but I had another quick question. I got the 2 inch extension, should be here soon. With the orion shortttube 80, would i connect my camera to the extension, and then connect that directly to the scope? Or should I include a diagonal in the equation?

  7. 2 hours ago, Alien 13 said:

    I hadn't noticed that you had a 127SLT already but the 90 has a shorter focal length and the whole disc fits in the frame of my APS C sensor for still shots but clips it slightly when using the camera in video mode. The 90 is also light and compact enough to fit on a photo tripod.


    I also bought the Orion 80mm refractor, got it used for a good price. I cant seem to focus on the moon with my camera through it, though. is there some sort of piece I can buy, like an extender or something?

  8. 15 minutes ago, Alien 13 said:

    The cheaper tele lenses will often disappoint, I can get reasonable images with an L lens and TC but expensive. 

    I would personally recommend a Celestron C90 Mak or similar, I get good lunar shots with it and has a nice focusing action, it does vignette slightly with a DSLR but nothing that cant be corrected in post processing.

    There is a shot  taken with the Mak in this thread. 

    This thread is also worth a look.



    Ill check those threads out, thanks! I tried imaging with the nexstar 127SLT, but i cant fit the whole moon in and have to resort to making a stitched image, I'd like to get away from that. Would i have the same problem with the 90?

  9. Hi all,


    Wondering what some opinions are for a cheap lens that can get my decent closeup pictures of the moon with some above average detail. I've mainly been into landscape stuff but I really want to give this a try. I've seen Rokinon/samyang make those crazy 650-1300mm lenses for really cheap. Does anyone have any experience with those?



    Also have been looking at this:



    My budget would ideally be in the sub-$300 range. I'm not trying to win any awards, I just want to take some decent pictures of the moon. I have a Nikon D3300 if that helps.


    Thank you!!



  10. Hey guys,


    I was thinking about trading in my celestron nexstar 127SLT for the iOptron Cube-A-R80 (link below). Does anyone have an opinion on the quality of one vs the other. Id be looking for an upgrade, and I want an EQ mount as i dip my toe into the astrophotography pool. Wanted to know if this scope was the way to go for a novice. Any help appreciated. Thanks!!



  11. Hey guys,


    So I got a great deal on a 14mm f/2.8 lens, and I'd like to try my hand at a milky way shot. I'm getting very conflicting information online as to when milky way "season" is, and was hoping someone could help me out. I live on the east coast of the United states (massachusetts). Thank you!

  12. 19 hours ago, Ruud said:

    You recorded the light from the nebula well, though the stars show some camera shake during the exposure. Maybe the shutter release cable will solve that. Mirror lock-up might help too. The camera's self timer may provide a further improvement. A black piece of cardboard in front of the lens that you remove once everything has come to rest will help as well. It'll give you a very manual and shake free control of the exposure time.

    You made a good start!



    20 hours ago, tomato said:

    Nice first time shot, you have a well framed, bright image of M42, I can't remember how many attempts I took to get there! A big +1 for the remote shutter release or use the delayed exposure feature on the camera. Try as you might there will some judder if you are pressing the button at the camera and the mirror moving out of the way in the camera can cause a hefty tremor.

    Thanks for the advice guys! I have been fiddling with the remote shutter now that I have it and am already noticing a difference. Also saves me from standing in the cold! I'll definitely look into the mirror lockup, and I think finally using an EQ mount will make a difference. Appreciate the feedback!

    • Like 1

  13. 8 hours ago, Mr Spock said:

    It's a tough task getting an image with an alt-az mount, you've done well.


    8 hours ago, hitmanh said:

    Not bad at all. If you don't have a shutter release, see if you're camera has a self-timer (normally 2 or 10 seconds delay), which is very handy for avoiding motion blur...


    8 hours ago, cjdawson said:

    That's an excellent result from an Az mount.   Before going nuts on getting lots of kit, try the shot again, but use a cable release.  If you don't have one, buy an intervalometer.  They're less than £20 on amazon/ebay.  Use that in conjuction with the mirror lock and the 2 second self timer built into the camera.     Whilst you are limited with the exposure time, you'll still be able to help control those pesky vibrations, which will help reduce some of the star trailing that you are getting.

    If you do that, you'll be able to see what real star trails are like as opposed to camera shake.

    In addition, turn the ISO up as high as you can.  Then take lots of frames and try to stack them using Deep Sky Stacker.  It'll be interesting to see what comes out the other side of that.

    Great image, fantastic start, and there's some easy wins :)

    Really appreciate the feedback, guys. I'm so glad I found this site, a lot of helpful and nice people. And being from the US, it's cool to chat with people from mostly the UK!!

  14. 3 hours ago, Astrosurf said:


    2 hours ago, PeterCPC said:

    Welcome to the dark side. It would be worth investing in a remote shutter release or taking images with a timer delay because I think you have a bit of camera shake on that.



    1 hour ago, MARS1960 said:

    Well done, still much better than my attempts.

    Amazon do a great "Aputure" intervalometer for about £15, it's dead simple, got a few features and works a treat, and about £100 cheaper than the very similar canon alternative.

    thanks guys! The shutter remote just came in last night. I'll be trying many more times once the clouds are gone

  15. single 30 second exposure through a 5" reflectordateposted-public, alt az mount, no shutter remote. A little fiddling in Lightroom. Im really happy with this, not perfect by any stretch at all, but it came out way better than I thought it would, especially without a shutter remote! I'll be using friends' bigger better scopes and EQ mounts soon, so hopefully I can hone my skills and learn stacking. Thanks for the advice from all of you going into trying this shot!large.orionm42.JPG.da528fb01d895c9f51f8e

    • Like 7

  16. If you check out this thread, you can see all the issues i had with it, and my attempts to fix it. http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/236667-first-light-m42/

    Thanks for the info. Having not attempted DSO imaging yet, if i can come up with shots like those I will be overjoyed, those are awesome! From a price point perspective, the Orion seems to be significantly cheaper than the skywatcher, so as an entry short tube for imaging I'll probably go with that. I like the idea of having it as a guidescope down the line when I h ave better equipment as well.

    Thanks for your help! :smiley:

  17. It really depends on the camera. The trick is to make sure you have some identifiable feature, ie crater, in each shot and use this as a reference point for the overlap. So you would take a shot with the reference crater at say the left side of the viewfinder and then move the telescope for the next shot so that the crater is at the righthand side of the next image and so on until you have covered the whole of the moon. With a dslr and your mak you should be able to do this with about 8 shots.

    thanks. I do have one more question. After I start with moon shots, I was thinking of getting the orion short-tube 80mm refractor. It has f/5. Can this be put on the nexstar mount by itself (does it have a dovetail?) and if so, could i use this for some decent 15 or so second exposures?

  18. The programme is very easy to use. All you do is select the photos you want to use in the mosaic and the software does the rest.

    Sounds promising. How many overlapping photos does one typically take for the program? Two halves, four overlapping photos, 20 shots of the moon that all have a small piece? Sorry for the questions, I am not terrific with computers, but am really hoping to get into simple photography without getting too frustrated.

  19. Use a full frame camera that might help.

    Looking to invest as little as possible. Im probably going to end up trying to learn that ICE program, hopefully its not too difficult. Was hoping maybe there was a cheap tube out there or maybe a cheap lens 

  20. It would be cheaper to take a series of overlapping images and combine them using Mice, the results would be better too. This is how lunar imaging is done using dedicated imaging cameras that have smaller sensors than a DSLR. The final image can have a much greater resolution and greater detail than a single shot taken with a DSLR.

    Cool, thanks guys. Much appreciated!

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