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Would like to complain a bit...


Manok101
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I mistakingly thought that all I had to do was ask a few questions and get a basic setup for astrophos basic being the key word in every site (besides this one) I asked basically no one would tell me the basic settings to look for and learn to do the process myself. I either got the speil that I need 10 grand etc etc, why are astronomers so down on anyone trying out astrophotography?

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Well, you're on the friendly, helpful site, so maybe it doesn't matter about the others!

If it's any comfort I've found the same thing. A lot of astro forums are a bit overcrowded with folks preoccupied with fancy kit rather than what they do with it. You'd think that would be the case with a British forum, where the weather prevents most of us from using our scopes more than a few days of the year, but that isn't the case. I've honestly found this to be the nicest forum, by which I mean populated by nice people who enjoy helping other people as much as they do astronomy/astrophotography.

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Well, you're on the friendly, helpful site, so maybe it doesn't matter about the others!

You got that right.

Try some of these links;

http://stargazerslounge.com/photography/130933-photography-101-beginners-guide.html

http://stargazerslounge.com/beginners-help-advice/136799-what-buy-astrophotography.html

http://stargazerslounge.com/imaging-tips-tricks-techniques/48674-dso-imaging-budget.html

Hope they help or at least give some info that you are looking for and where to go.

Or as a stated on another thread;

"I wouldn't hesitate to post questions on one of the relevant imaging sections. We are all learning and all need help. No one will resent your presence there, of that I am quite certain."

Olly

Good luck

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I'm sure this has already been recommended, but have you got a copy of Steve Richards "making Every Photon Count" (FLO £19.95). A great book, well laid out with plenty of info on what you need, why you need it to get the best out of your imaging. Data collection is one thing, data processing is another which has a fair learning curve at the start. Readng the whole book first is important in my view as it will lay out before you what you are letting yourself in and what will be involved, especially on the expense front. ;)

I don't know if people are deliberately being hard on you and I hope its not personal. I guess it's some people's way of giving it to you straight as they perhaps have made the same journey, though I agree with you that it could be done in a different way.

Hope it works out.

James

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The only stupid question is the one that never get's asked!

We LOVE helping in this forum. Some of us are still learning and ask questions all the time.

---

- TheThing.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I mistakingly thought that all I had to do was ask a few questions and get a basic setup for astrophos basic being the key word in every site (besides this one) I asked basically no one would tell me the basic settings to look for and learn to do the process myself. I either got the speil that I need 10 grand etc etc, why are astronomers so down on anyone trying out astrophotography?

I'm not too sure which of your posts you are referring to. If it's this one about having to spend $2000 to get started, you got an answer that £30's worth of extras may be all you need (depending on what you already have) and other posters remarked that trying to use your Dob wouldn't give good results for DSOs and someone else suggested this would allow you to start imaging planets and the moon.

You might not have got the answers you were hoping for - but you can't say that people weren't helpful

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No not here, I was complaining about elsewhere. But I do have ideas from some posts here, though I'm not sure if it will work, good thing I have a cheapo cam (non dslr) to try it out with. I don't have the budget for another scope or mount sadly. Had I known I'd be interested I'd have bought another scope. Must be nice to be able to afford nice things...

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I think that people on here are very helpful - On the flip side of that, it goes a long way if you come back to a thread you started and acknowledge and thank people for their contributions - Manners are cheap compared to a $2000 astro setup!

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You can take some astro photos with modest equipment. The trouble is that of expectation. You only have to look at the top of this page to see wonderful deep space photos and more often than not, other photo you see online have been taken with Hubble or some very expensive observatory camera. The most important thing is to understand what is possible with which equipment and make the most of what you have.

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The problem is that astrophotography is not inexpensive.

Look at what is used:

Good refractor, say the new WO GT-81 that has just come out and is aimed at AP, cost £680. Add in the necessary flattener at £260.

Next good solid equitorial mount, HEQ5 minimum EQ6 very much reccommended, fully motorised. Say £800.

Next DSLR body, say £450.

Assorted attachments and bits, allow £200.

That is often looked at as the bottom line, not top end. Only about £2,400 so far.

After that comes guide camera, guide scope, heavier mount for the extra, laptop.

Someone on this site said thay had spent £10,000 to £12,000 so far and hoped to have the right setup by the time they had spent £15,000

Problem is that the equipment needed is specialist, even M42 is DIM and needs long exposures, and that is one of the brighter. People get a picture of some landscape using 1/250 sec but astrophotography uses exposures of 10 minutes and has to track very accurately over that period. Ever tried keeping a plane exctly centered for just 1 minute on a camera?

People could say buy an EQ3-2, stick a motor on it, get a decent aperture scope (150P) and a DSLR and off you go.

It is a trade off between not putting you off and being damn honest.

Everyone joins this forum saying they want to see the deepest part of the universe, every planet, every satellite, our moon, every other moon, every DSO and take pictures to shame Hubble, and all on a single scope costing less then £400, preferably less then £250.

Even in photography there are "budget" lens by Tamron, Sigma and the manufactures, I have some. Now look at what photographers use, their lens cost £2000 to £4000 easily and that will be one lens for one application. Looked up the cost of a good f/2.8 400mm.

Those picture at the top were taken on setups that far exceeded to cost mentioned above.

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Astrophotography can be as expensive as you want to make it but to put your mind at rest, I won Astronomy Now's picture of the month award several years back with an image taken with an old unmodified Canon 300D (available second hand for under £150 these days) and a telephoto lens and that was for a deep sky object.

Don't get me wrong, this is not a low cost enterprise but if you're expectations are sensible, there is a world of celestial photo opportunities out there to be had for very little money, especially if the Moon appeals to you.

Deep sky imaging starts to make the cost climb because you do need a half decent tracking mount - and there's really no getting away from that.

I have seen appalling snobbery on some forums involved with astro-photography but I don't think you'll find too much of that here on SGL.

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Capricorn, I agree entirely. I always recommend "Making Every Photon Count" to all beginners to help them get the necessary overview before committing any money. Mind you, I can't blame new people believing that it is fairly easy to get great results, when the BBC's Stargazing Live included some deep sky images to illustrate widefield imaging using a DSLR on a tripod! Of course collecting imaging data from the equipment you have listed is one expense, data processing is another and although there are plenty of free software programs out there, equally there are many others that have to be paid for. I enjoy what imagers on here do but I don't image myself because I know the costs involved and I also want to fund other interests.

It's a shame that good imaging is a costly hobby but it is certainly cheaper than buying and launching your own Hubble. :smiley:

James

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I contribute on several blogs and forums here in the States and, I must agree, my fellow amateurs across the big pond are the friendliest and most helpful bunch I hang with! I rarely post on Cloudy Nights imaging forums anymore, no patience with folks just trying to make their way.

All of the points above are right on, but I must agree with Vulcan....understand what you can and cannot do, set a budget, and take what you have to the limit. You'll be a happier astronomer, and not spending your time covetting thy neighbor's kit.

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Oh I understand partly I just want a setup for a way to have some record of things I look at, decently clear, enough detail to say yes indeed that is a globular cluster, and again I would like to thank people on this forum for not treating me like an idiot because I dont know what to ask or how.

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The problem is that astrophotography is not inexpensive.

Look at what is used:

Good refractor, say the new WO GT-81 that has just come out and is aimed at AP, cost £680. Add in the necessary flattener at £260.

Next good solid equitorial mount, HEQ5 minimum EQ6 very much reccommended, fully motorised. Say £800.

Next DSLR body, say £450.

Assorted attachments and bits, allow £200.

That is often looked at as the bottom line, not top end. Only about £2,400 so far.

After that comes guide camera, guide scope, heavier mount for the extra, laptop.

Someone on this site said thay had spent £10,000 to £12,000 so far and hoped to have the right setup by the time they had spent £15,000

Problem is that the equipment needed is specialist, even M42 is DIM and needs long exposures, and that is one of the brighter. People get a picture of some landscape using 1/250 sec but astrophotography uses exposures of 10 minutes and has to track very accurately over that period. Ever tried keeping a plane exctly centered for just 1 minute on a camera?

People could say buy an EQ3-2, stick a motor on it, get a decent aperture scope (150P) and a DSLR and off you go.

It is a trade off between not putting you off and being damn honest.

Everyone joins this forum saying they want to see the deepest part of the universe, every planet, every satellite, our moon, every other moon, every DSO and take pictures to shame Hubble, and all on a single scope costing less then £400, preferably less then £250.

Even in photography there are "budget" lens by Tamron, Sigma and the manufactures, I have some. Now look at what photographers use, their lens cost £2000 to £4000 easily and that will be one lens for one application. Looked up the cost of a good f/2.8 400mm.

Those picture at the top were taken on setups that far exceeded to cost mentioned above.

At the moment I do not have a dslr, but a digital camera my dad gave me awhile back, it has the 1/250 etc (don't remember the exact numbers) what exactly is that setting and what does it mean?

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it has the 1/250 etc (don't remember the exact numbers) what exactly is that setting and what does it mean?

Hi Manok, I believe 1/250 etc are shutter speeds or exposure times, for example 1/250 is equal to 250th of a second and 1/125 a 125th of a second and so on. For normal daytime photography these exposures are fairly normal.

Any moving fast moving object such as a passing car will be blur free at exposures of 1/250 and above (providing your focus is good). by dropping to 1/125 and below fast moving objects or backgrounds my be blurred depending on how you track the object with your camera. As you reduce down through the numbers ie 1/60, 1/30, 1/8 you are allowing light to hit the sensor for longer periods of time (exposure time) and anything below 1/60 (60th of a second) you will probably need a tripod to steady the camera so blurring (camera shake) will not be too evident.

Not too sure what camera you have and what settings it can do but if its got night landscape or iso1600, iso3200 settings you may be able to squeeze something out of it on a dark night with no light pollution. what make is your camera?

Edited by whooshbang
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I think that people on here are very helpful - On the flip side of that, it goes a long way if you come back to a thread you started and acknowledge and thank people for their contributions - Manners are cheap compared to a $2000 astro setup!

I second this and seems like you got lots of useful advice in the other thread.

Your scope is designed for observing, but you say it tracks, so you should be able to take 30-60s exposure with a DSLR attached if it tracks reasonably well. all you need is an adapter. Take lots of short images and stack them. If you don't have a DSLR then you'll need a compact camera which can take 30-60s exposures, but the noise level will be rubbish.

Sorry, can't change the laws of physics and unfortunately with the current technology on earth, it costs money to do these things well and astrophotography is a niche market. So the people saying you need $2000+ were probably assuming you wanted good results. I think they were also conservative in their estimate.

Edited by sgazer
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