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astrophotogrphy basics to start


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Hi all, i know i havent really got the equipment for extremely good images but with what i have, can i expect to get anything as a starting point? just to get by until i can afford more desirable equipment.

the equipment i am using is a skywatcher 130/900 (spherical mirror) barlow x2 (as not able to achevie focus without this) eq2 mount with motor drive. canon 300d dslr.

im not expecting brillient images as im aware the mount is unstable. but am i able to get any deep sky images?

any help with this is mst apreciated and if anybody has similar equipment images taken would be highly sort after .

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Does your eq2 mount track objects? If it does you can do some prime focus photography with 2-3 minute exposures. Going further would require a new mount and autoguiding. You can get some detailed DSO, but like you stated it wont be hubble quality. We all started somewhere and you should do as much as you can with the equipment you got.

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You will struggle a little with imaging deep sky objects using this focal length on an EQ2 mount BUT have you considered using the telescope for observing and imaging the Moon and perhaps planets with a webcam and then attaching your camera and camera lens directly to the mount for taking widefield deep sky images?

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thankyou for the quick response, yes i can keep stars in a exposure of up to about 5mins without star trails, would this be sufficent enough for maybe m13 or other more distinguished targets ?

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Does your eq2 mount track objects? If it does you can do some prime focus photography with 2-3 minute exposures. Going further would require a new mount and autoguiding. You can get some detailed DSO, but like you stated it wont be hubble quality. We all started somewhere and you should do as much as you can with the equipment you got.

+1. Just dont start buying ep's and stuff for it if you plan to drop it soon. keep saving as much as you can as the sky will always be up there for you lol.:eek:

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the images i have obtained from the moon are quite good, however i tried with saturn and just couldn't get the image close enough! even with stacking 2 2x barlows together! as from what i have read in order to take images of the planets, a webcam is the 1st place contender in this#! but my main objective is Deep sky objects,. but fear im trying to run before i can walk !

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no plans of dropping this!! the sky at nght is amazing i started with binos for about a year getting to know what was up in the heavens. (plus someone told me if you dont enjoy it with binos DONT buy a scope !!) so i saved and saved done loads of research and bought my first scope. even if i have to just stick with the observing for know, im happy with that. its just i cought the buzz sore what other people was acheving and wanted to try. problem with this hobbie is its a drug ! you get addicted and want more, then realize its 4am and have to be up in 2 hours for work !!!!

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you are really going to struggle with ds photography, and to be frank I would be surprised if you could get a 5min exposure without star trailing, however in the event I am wrong have you tried stacking your 5min exposures with deep space stacker. If you can get 5min exposures and stack them you will certainly be able to get some product from the brighter m numbers

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i have tried, however it just seems way to noisy, and just have a unusable image, admitadly there needs to be no wind and i cant walk anywhere when taking the exposure and its only happened a few occasions so out of maybe 20 exposures 4 of them will be usable ! as a definite 1 1/2 to 2 mins is the best i can get with consistancy. i have tried lowering the iso however then i see that the image is to dark ! with 2 min exposeures would i expect anything

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I have tried with prime focus 25 sec at ISO 800 exposures on the Orion nebula and had decent results "exposure wise" but had star trails probably due to having had to rotate the OTA after "rough polar alignment" and 3 star alignment. Unfortunately I will have to wait again until late Autumn to try again. I'm in the process of setting up Stellarium and EQMOD to control the mount and will try other DSO's hopefully in the near future.

Neil

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thats good to know, i cant wait till orion comes back up, really a amazing view

glad that someone else has tried short exposure, and still getting results. guess best thing is to keep at it !

and save save save !

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Before you part with any cash for new imaging gear, I would strongly recommend you get a copy of Making Every Photon Count, by our own Steppenwolf - there is a link at the bottom of his post above. Best value AP accessory I have bought so far. It could save you making some very expensive blunders.

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Before you part with any cash for new imaging gear, I would strongly recommend you get a copy of Making Every Photon Count, by our own Steppenwolf - there is a link at the bottom of his post above. Best value AP accessory I have bought so far. It could save you making some very expensive blunders.

I have read Photon book above, really excellent. It stopped me from going into deep sky astrophoto, which is a good thing as I realized I won't have the resources (for now) - mantra: it's all in the mount

Next I read Mobberley's Planetary Imaging, again excellent, it makes clear that for me this is personally more achievable - mantra: it's all in the focal length

Edited by ismangil
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I'm in total agreement with Demonperformer regarding Steve Richards book - it is a 'must have' purchase with regards to astrophotography. I always recommend to people who want to get into this area of astronomy that they should read this book FIRST in order to obtain the necessary overview to calculate what they will be able to achieve with their kit and available budget. I have come across a number of people who try to image the hard way rather than the smart way, as they resolve to prove that it is possible to produce a decent image that way. The problem is that even if it could be achieved, the effort required simply isn't worth it and will certainly limit them to a handful of objects. Imaging involves too many parameters - even for those with all the kit find there are no guarantees. My advice would be to hold fire, get the book, discover what kit you need and more importantly, why you need it before doing anymore imaging. If effort alone guaranteed a good image we would all be doing it but I'm afraid cost eventually has to be factored in. The cost of collecting 'data' to form your image is one thing but there is also a cost regarding the processing as not all the programs needed are free.

James

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