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Interested in astrophotography, but no idea where to start


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I am in the same boat, Ben - a beginner who is interested in astrophotography, but a bit overwhelmed by all the possibilites. The 3.5" mak that I have on the way will be my first non-junk telescope and so I have even more questions than you.

With your permission, I'll be reading over your shoulder.

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I would suggest "Making Every Photon Count" by Steve Richards (usual disclaimer) - obtainable from FLO. It leads you gently through the processes of astro-photography including how to avoid expensive pitfalls.

Oops! Scarlet beat me to it!!

Edited by Bizibilder
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Astrophotography is pretty expensive.

You need tracking/GoTo mount, telescopes usually used for astrophotography are APO's, you will also need DSLR camera or special astrophotographical camera.Also, you need some skill in PS or other photo-editing software.

All of this may cost you over 3000$.

With your telescope and a webcam you can take photos of Sun (with filter), Moon and planets.

But this also requires practice since it isn't easy to get webcam focused and you need to constantly track the object you are filming.

And again, you need to know to use Registax and PS.

With your Samsung ES55 you can take afocal pictures of the Moon (the picture of the Moon on my avatar was taken with old C220 Zoom) and Sun (with proper filter, of course).

But i doubt you can take any planetary pictures that way.

Anyways, you can forget about DSO.


This was edited in PS, forgot to mention.

Edited by Dob
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The priorities for AP are:

1. Mount

2. Mount

3. Mount

The level of accuracy for tracking required is higher than visual work and is defined by what you use on top of the mount along with the target.

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Yes, agree with above, no matter how good your telescope is, if you don't have a suitable mount you'll get star trails.

You can do planetary imaging as this uses a video and if the object moves the frames can be stacked on top of each other in Registax, so the mount is less important. You can achieve Moon and planetary with a webcam (+telescope adapter). Have a crack at this initially, it's not expensive and will give you a taster.

For DSO you'll need an Equatorial Mount capable of tracking and guiding accurately (so will need a Guide port).


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Yep - I think I've (far too!) slowly come to that [mounting?] conclusion! :)

I've been through MANY stages: Alt-Azimuth mounts, "planetary" imagers, etc. BUT underlying all that, I sense my fundamental need was, for half-decent mount? With a reliable mount - I've stretched my (chronically!) limited budget to an HEQ5 on a Skywatcher pillar, the rest begins to look vaguely possible. :eek:

That said, I mostly messing with "intermediate expense" VIDEO imaging... :)

Edited by Macavity
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