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Canon 1100D + SW150P EQ3-2 with RA motor


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Hi, I'm new to astronomy and have been using my SW150P since March (as much as the british weather allows :)) and have quite impressed myself that I can actually see all kinds of objects from my garden (into the small hours). Now i'm becoming interested to see if I can take some half decent images through my setup. The best option for me is the Canon 1100D DSLR as I could also use it for normal/family photography (also helps justify the spend to the wife :)). Has anyone else used this setup? I'm not yet going to go down the guidescope route(yet) and intend to just polar align and rely on the mounts clock drive for tracking. I'd be interested if anyone has any tips or has any photos to share that used this setup? Attached here is a nightscape I took at the end of may of the Mercury/Venus/Jupiter conjunction using my Samsung compact on a tripod. Also what would be the best lenses to do nightscapes and piggybacking? post-31009-0-91911200-1373451813_thumb.j

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I don't know if you will have focus issues using a DSLR with the 150P, but I'm sure someone here has tried it. It is also asking a bit much of the EQ3 to handle the weight of a scope and camera, but I know that some people have been successful.

You can get some nice results mounting the camera directly on your EQ mount and using both the stock 18-55 lens and a longer zoom lens. See here for my experiences with a Sigma 70-300mm APO http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/189203-imaging-with-a-70-300mm-zoom-lens/. All you need is a short bit of dovetail and a tripod screw to mount it, or you could buy a fancy L-bracket. I also find a red dot finder useful as targeting with the camera is difficult. I took a hacksaw and a file to a cheap red dot finder so it fits in the camera flash hotshoe, but I'm sure you can buy the bits from Ebay to do a more professional job.

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Agree with the above, depending on what you're intending to take images of:

Lunar/Planetary: get a webcam and use the 150p & EQ3

DSO: DSLR with 150p & EQ3 (not sure how long exposures you'd be able to achieve though)

Widefield: get some cheap manual SLR lenses off eBay etc, such as Olympus OM Zuiko 28mm F2.8, 35mm F2.8 or 50mm F1.8 and an adaptor to fit them to your 1100D. Then mount the DSLR on a short dovetail (with or without a ball head) and put directly on the EQ3.

£170 for a refurb 1100D on eBay:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Canon-EOS-Rebel-T3-EOS-1100D-Digital-SLR-Camera-Body-/400506820656?pt=UK_CamerasPhoto_DigitalCameras_DigitalCameras_JN&hash=item5d40111830

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Thanks guys, DSLR straight onto the mount sounds like a road to go down if I can't get any luck with the camera/telescope combo. I've read that a lot of people use the next mount up from the one usually sold with the scope to gain stability. Hopefully being an entry level DSLR the 1100D will be lighter (?). I'll not be able to upgrade my mount for quite a while so i'm gonna give it a bash even if it means stripping the mount and putting some decent lube on the components to get a smooth ride :) Webcam also sounds interesting and cheaper but i'll have to acquire a laptop or a really long wire to my pc :) DSO's are what i'm really interested in though.

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The 1100D is a great camera, I'm sure you will be happy with it. Some people on this forum are getting good results with the EQ3, it must take a lot of care and patience but certainly can be done. Just need to see if you can get focus using a DSLR with the 150P.

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Further to some of the suggestions here I would also recommend a cheap programmable remote control for the camera. By 'cheap' I mean around £12-20 from amazon which will take the guess work out of setting up and timing exposures. (no link, but enter 'remote control canon 110D' and quite a number of possibilities come up) I use one of these for my 500D and it takes out a lot of hassle of programming the camera and works equally well attached to the scope or the mount.

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Pop on to E-bay and get yourself a remote timer for the 1100D, there cheap around £12 and will allow for up to 99 imaged over the 30 second 1100D limit, with a interval any length between images, will also work in the garden on a bird feeder (wifes like this idea) ...:)

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I started imaging using the 150p-eq3-2 with a Canon 40d at prime. I could achieve focus with a couple of mm spare travel, even with a sw coma corrector. I'm led to believe it is only with the 'newer' black diamond scopes that have sufficient travel though. The eq3 is a fiddly mount to work with but it is just enough to get you started with the brighter objects. 60s subs is what I could practically max out at after drift aligning (others have had longer and also had great success with the combo). Even in good working conditions, I was throwing away a good percentage of subs, so you have to take care with setting up and be patient with the right conditions to get the best out of it. It wasn't long before I upgraded the mount but you should have fun trying! Here are a couple of pics. They are not award winning but it made me happy that I got something and it should do the same for you. Good luck. post-16545-0-48165200-1373548506_thumb.jpost-16545-0-52412900-1373548537_thumb.j

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I started imaging using the 150p-eq3-2 with a Canon 40d at prime. I could achieve focus with a couple of mm spare travel, even with a sw coma corrector. I'm led to believe it is only with the 'newer' black diamond scopes that have sufficient travel though. The eq3 is a fiddly mount to work with but it is just enough to get you started with the brighter objects. 60s subs is what I could practically max out at after drift aligning (others have had longer and also had great success with the combo). Even in good working conditions, I was throwing away a good percentage of subs, so you have to take care with setting up and be patient with the right conditions to get the best out of it. It wasn't long before I upgraded the mount but you should have fun trying! Here are a couple of pics. They are not award winning but it made me happy that I got something and it should do the same for you. Good luck. post-16545-0-48165200-1373548506_thumb.jpost-16545-0-52412900-1373548537_thumb.j

Nice one Bri, If I can get similar results as you have I'll be over the moon! :) Great images. I have the newer SW150P so hopefully i'll get a good focus and i'll buy a polar scope at the same time. :) Thanks

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No problem. Another couple of things I used to do were to keep the legs fully retracted as they are far from sturdy! The downside to this is you will have to get very low down to look through the polar scope properly while shining a red torch down into the other end to illuminate the reticule. This was very uncomfortable for me to start with and gave me eye fatigue and neck ache. Plan your seating position to prevent this! :) I also made sure the legs were completely spread by pulling the feet outwards, then placed something heavy on the undertray just to keep it a little more 'planted'. Have you got, or getting the camera adaptor and T ring too?

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No problem. Another couple of things I used to do were to keep the legs fully retracted as they are far from sturdy! The downside to this is you will have to get very low down to look through the polar scope properly while shining a red torch down into the other end to illuminate the reticule. This was very uncomfortable for me to start with and gave me eye fatigue and neck ache. Plan your seating position to prevent this! :) I also made sure the legs were completely spread by pulling the feet outwards, then placed something heavy on the undertray just to keep it a little more 'planted'. Have you got, or getting the camera adaptor and T ring too?

That's some good tips Bri :) I'm still in the planning stage before taking the plunge so all this info is great! I believe I'll just need a T ring adapter which fits into the bayonet of the camera while the other end screws into the focuser on the telescope after taking of the eyepiece holder holder. So at the mo my shopping list is canon 1100D, T ring, Polar scope, programmable shutter remote and winning lottery ticket! :) Did you use a coma correcter for your shots?

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Glad to help. If I remember correctly, yes you can use the supplied part to screw the t-ring onto but...... The outward taper that slots into the focuser is rather shallow and doesn't give much security because you have to rely solely on the focusers tiny thumb screws to hold a heavy camera in place. They eventually work loose and the camera sags. I would recommend the camera adaptor from FLO though as it slots snuggly and deep into the focusing tube. It IS secure and up to the job. A few extra quid will potentially save you dropping and destroying your new camera. If you can't buy one yet, wrap the neck strap around the finder scope to give you a failsafe. The 1100d might be a little lighter than mine so try as you suggested and see what you think. Those 2 images were taken before I purchased the corrector. And yes, once it was fitted, it did remove the coma (had to buy a different t-ring to fit it). These 2 images were test shots and are corner crops of similar size. As you can see it does correct nicely right to the edges (ignore the star trails though!). The shopping list is good, but if the bug bites, the list will grow. Trust me! :) Laptop, bahtinov mask, coma corrector, bigger mount, guide scope, ccd, more scopes, upgraded focusers, observatory......sigh, one day I'll get there myself :) If there is anything else, just ask and I will help if I can.post-16545-0-89838800-1373695627_thumb.j post-16545-0-12515200-1373695649_thumb.j

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