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Compact astrophotography?

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Hi there

Some help for a newbie please. I did start a different thread a couple of weeks or so ago but have changed my mind (sorry!) on a couple of things.

Very quickly, I am a keen photographer looking at getting into astrophotography (mainly planets and maybe more later) and am looking for a telescope to suit my needs and pocket.

Looking at the advice I got last time (all really good thank you), I ended up looking outside my price range and expertise.

So, to bring myself back on track...

... can somebody please recommend a telescope which is:

1) Portable and compact

2) Suitabe for astrophography

3) In the £100 to £200 price range

I realise I am not going to have a world class setup for this but I'm just looking at something to suit a beginner.

Thank you.

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i`m not a ap man (but would like to at some stage) but you`ll struggle to get any kind of ap set up for that price, an ed 80 refractor ota will cost you nearly twice your upper budget and then more than that again for a suitable tracking eq mount

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I think, given your budget its no wonder your previous thread had responses that blew it.

You say your interested in planetary imaging so that means a webcam and high magnifications. Given your budget I would be tempted to maybe start with widefield imaging and have a look at something called a barn door tracker, just to get into it - would be light, portable and good for AP with a DSLR. Also get a copy of Making Every Photon Count as well.

For comparison this 'basic' set up is over budget: http://www.firstlightoptics.com/reflectors/skywatcher-explorer-150p-eq3-2.html

and that's without any camera etc.I would have a trawl through FLOs website to get a feel for costs as well.

HTH a little.

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I think, given your budget its no wonder your previous thread had responses that blew it.

You say your interested in planetary imaging so that means a webcam and high magnifications. Given your budget I would be tempted to maybe start with widefield imaging and have a look at something called a barn door tracker, just to get into it - would be light, portable and good for AP with a DSLR. Also get a copy of Making Every Photon Count as well.

For comparison this 'basic' set up is over budget: http://www.firstligh...150p-eq3-2.html

and that's without any camera etc.I would have a trawl through FLOs website to get a feel for costs as well.

HTH a little.

Thank you, yes.

I looked on that site and saw these two telescopes:

- Skywatcher Heritage-90 Virtuoso

- Skywatcher Heritage 130p Flextube

Are they any good?

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Have you considered mounting a dslr on a mount for widefield ap? I've only just come to that decision myself - after much researching & help from the guys on the forum.

Figure if I get the mount, the rest will follow. (Unfortunately we've chosen a very expensive hobby!)

Good luck, and let us know what you decide anyway.

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Thank you, yes.

I looked on that site and saw these two telescopes:

- Skywatcher Heritage-90 Virtuoso

- Skywatcher Heritage 130p Flextube

Are they any good?

ones a dob and the other and alt-az, so you should be able to get something planetary but other than that you might struggle. I would seriously take a look at the book I mentioned above and see if you can maybe save a few more pennies. I'd hate for you to buy something and be disappointed. I'm sure others will chip in with advice as well, these are just my thoughts :D

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Have you considered mounting a dslr on a mount for widefield ap? I've only just come to that decision myself - after much researching & help from the guys on the forum.

Figure if I get the mount, the rest will follow. (Unfortunately we've chosen a very expensive hobby!)

Good luck, and let us know what you decide anyway.

Any particular mount you would recommend please?

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Any particular mount you would recommend please?

For your budget, taking star trail on a sturdy photographic tripod will be the best you can do.

A basic EQ3-2 with a RA drive, a polar scope and a 1/4" adapter will cost you just over £300, and that's only good enough for imaging with wide angle lens.

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planets require a different setup than deep sky.

Typically;

Planets - fast shutter, many frames, eg webcam, long focal length eg. Mak, reasonable tracking for convenience, but can be ALT/AZ approx 300-500GBP+

DSO - long exposure (3-5mins), low noise, eg DSLR, scope or good lens, fast scope or lens (faster = shorted exposures), mount that's easily capable of carrying scope/camera etc, excellent polar alignment, excellent tracking, possibly guiding. 1000GBP+

However, having sold most of my kit, I now dable with DSO imaging with a Panasonic FZ200 compact camera (600mm f2.8) on a Celestron SLT mount. A compact setup and the camera is mostly used for daytime stuff, but that alone is 400GBP.

Edited by sgazer

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I'd have to agree here. You're really going to struggle with that budget. What i'm afried is going to happen, if you buy something very cheap, is you'll get dissapointed and either give up the whole thing, or have to buy more expencive equippment to get satisfied anyway ( = waste of money on the first setup).

You might be surpriced by what deep sky objects you can capture with a static tripod and a wide-ish and bright lens though (typically 100mm or wider, F/2,8 or brighter), if you just stack enough frames.

This is if you go for wide-field DSO instead of planets.

What camera and equippment do you allready have?

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For £170 you can buy this http://www.firstlightoptics.com/reflectors/skywatcher-explorer-130m.html £165 and a cheap XBox cam for less than a fiver, modify the cam & you'll be able to get pics like this

post-26695-0-36852600-1356463171_thumb.p you'll have to take a laptop out with you but for that type of money its a good start.Its a good start at basic AP & It'll be great for lunar & the bigger planets, Jupiter & Saturn.

Steve

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I'd have to agree here. You're really going to struggle with that budget. What i'm afried is going to happen, if you buy something very cheap, is you'll get dissapointed and either give up the whole thing, or have to buy more expencive equippment to get satisfied anyway ( = waste of money on the first setup).

You might be surpriced by what deep sky objects you can capture with a static tripod and a wide-ish and bright lens though (typically 100mm or wider, F/2,8 or brighter), if you just stack enough frames.

This is if you go for wide-field DSO instead of planets.

What camera and equippment do you allready have?

I mainly use my Canon 600D.

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The 600D is a very good start for AP. Even unmodded you'll be able to have a lot of fun. It's not ideal for planetary, but with the 640*480 crop video mode you'll be able to simulate the small sensor a webcam have, and will give you very high magnification. This will help when it comes to planetary.

For deep sky, if you already have some lenses 100mm or wider, you really don't need anything but a normal tripod to get started - but you'll have to take tons of exposures though as you'll be limited to short exposures with high noise level.

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