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Imaging with a Dob, what are my options?


Starjust
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Hi all

Only unpacked my new skyliner 200p last Wednesday and never really had any intentions of doing any imaging beforehand.

Then I experienced first light on Friday looking at Saturn......

"Wow, I need to show people this" I thought.

Now I know I don't have the scope for imaging but I figure there must be at least some ways of visually recording what I'm seeing :)

I wonder if I might bother you all for some guidance?

I can see 3 options, any others will be appreciated as will your opinions.

Webcam - I've seen the SPC and all the trimmings but not really sure how it works yet.

Compact - I have a Canon powershot camera, no idea if adaptors exist though or if it would even work.

DSLR - I have access to an Olympus DSLR, as I understand it I would just need a T ring to fit it to the focuser?

My question is then... Which of these options should I be persuing?

Not looking to do anything fancy (yet). Really just looking for a way of simply capturing what I'm seeing.

Thanks in advance for any info.

Justin

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spc 800/900 webcam will get you the best results. Not easy with a manual mount but people have got some decent results. Basically you try and keep the image on screen for about 5-6 mins and capture as many video frames as possible.Once these are stacked in the free Registax software you will have a decent image. DSLR cameras are not good on Planets. The compact camera can be used using its video setting but the adapter needed to fix it to the eyepiece would cost as much as the webcam with poorer results.

Edited by Space Cowboy
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I have a Dob as well and have taken pictures for the same reason as you have described, "to share what I have seen with others". I use my video camera. I then use the program RegiStax that stacks all the video files together to create a picture. My pictures are nowhere near those seen in this forum but they suit my purposes. In the end, my passion lies in the discovery, not necessarily in photography. Using what I have mentioned above, I was able to capture this:

marchmoon11.jpg

Mind you, this was my first shot and I will definitely try again. Good luck with the imaging and I wish you many clear nights!

Isabelle

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I have a Dob as well and have taken pictures for the same reason as you have described, "to share what I have seen with others". I use my video camera. I then use the program RegiStax that stacks all the video files together to create a picture. My pictures are nowhere near those seen in this forum but they suit my purposes. In the end, my passion lies in the discovery, not necessarily in photography. Using what I have mentioned above, I was able to capture this:

marchmoon11.jpg

Mind you, this was my first shot and I will definitely try again. Good luck with the imaging and I wish you many clear nights!

Isabelle

Nice one, I'd be very happy with that :-)

Just what I'm after really :-)

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Possibly not what you are looking for, but your best option would be to buy an EQ mount and attach the dob OTA to it using tube rings. Maybe a longer-term solution ...

Ultimately that might be where I go bit I've only had the scope a week :)

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you can get decent moon images with a point and shoot digi camera e.g below but for planets you really need webcam imaging I think. for other targets you need more sophisticated mounts and cameras etc.

you can use quite quick shutter speeds on the moon but keep your magnification down, use your delayed shutter and time it so the camera fires as the moon drifts across (unless you have a tracking / auto dob).

Personally I prefer the dob mount to an EQ mount for visual and don't really image (the photos below are literally my only attempts - I felt that the camera was hogging the scope!:)) but made an equatorial platform which helps observing at higher powers. may also help with imaging with webcam too.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Justin, The Skyliner is a fantastic scope isn't it, I've got the 300mm and am currently using an EQ platform with it. I would reccommend going down the webcam route.

I use a fusion webcam with my 12 incher and am quite happy with the results. I don't have any pics to show done with the fusion as they're all on my desktop and that won't turn on at the moment (don't ask :icon_eek:) but I do have some pics with the atik 2-hs which is sort of like a souped up webcam.

Hopefully it will show that you can get ok-ish results even with a webcam and a single drive EQ platform along with the Skyliner, either that or my images will give everyone a bit of a laugh :). As Dob owners we can even dabble in some dso photography at its most basic, you can get some snaps just for fun and leave the jaw dropping images to those with better setups (for the time being anyway).

EQ platforms have the advantage of being cheap, especially if you build your own. Whatever you decide to do, one thing is for sure, you're onto a good'un with that scope, you'll have alot of fun with it and get to see alot of amazing objects.

Matt

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Edited by Mamsoth
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