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Soo hard to get the right info, feeling frustrated is an understatement !


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Hi, 

I have a Pentax K-7 with the standard 18-55mm lense i also have a 50-500mm telephoto lense.

i need someone to basically tell me what i should be buying as far as mounts are concerned i want something that will track the night sky i believe in reading up on certain things but when one does not know were to start all i know is i need am equatorial <------ ???? 

i would very much appreciate some kind advice on were i should be heading because im really thinking of giving this up before i even start getting info is such a hard thing lately 

any help would be amazing and very much appreciated 

kind regards 

Ash 

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Yes, something like that would work too. On the ETX mount, you'd have to rig a board or something to fit between the forks that the camera can be attached to. Why not get a scope with an Equatorial mo

Astrotrac EQ5 HEQ5 You'll need this Vixen Style Photo Dovetail to connect the DSLR to the mount(near the bottom of the page) Also a time release for your DSLR

Software wise I'd suggest APT. http://www.ideiki.com/astro/Download.aspx

Hi, 

I have a Pentax K-7 with the standard 18-55mm lense i also have a 50-500mm telephoto lense.

i need someone to basically tell me what i should be buying as far as mounts are concerned i want something that will track the night sky i believe in reading up on certain things but when one does not know were to start all i know is i need am equatorial <------ ???? 

i would very much appreciate some kind advice on were i should be heading because im really thinking of giving this up before i even start getting info is such a hard thing lately 

any help would be amazing and very much appreciated 

kind regards 

Ash 

Look into some used Equatorial or even Al-Az fork mounts that are computer driven (by a hand held controller). Check out E-Bay for some options...

Here's one I found that you might be able to mount your camera to...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Meade-ETX-90mm-Telescope-Fork-Mount-Base-GOTO-Nice-/131002026925?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1e80544bad

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Look into some used Equatorial or even Al-Az fork mounts that are computer driven (by a hand held controller). Check out E-Bay for some options...

Here's one I found that you might be able to mount your camera to...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Meade-ETX-90mm-Telescope-Fork-Mount-Base-GOTO-Nice-/131002026925?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1e80544bad

how would the camera mount to that ? and also would i need to buy a pod for the mount to sit on ? i found something like this any good at all ?

http://www.365astronomy.com/ioptron-smarteq-pro-portable-goto-german-equatorial-telescope-mount-p-3062.html?gclid=CIDitqWd9LkCFTLMtAod1jYAag

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how would the camera mount to that ? and also would i need to buy a pod for the mount to sit on ? i found something like this any good at all ?

http://www.365astronomy.com/ioptron-smarteq-pro-portable-goto-german-equatorial-telescope-mount-p-3062.html?gclid=CIDitqWd9LkCFTLMtAod1jYAag

Yes, something like that would work too. On the ETX mount, you'd have to rig a board or something to fit between the forks that the camera can be attached to.

Why not get a scope with an Equatorial mount and mount your camera on top of the scope? Or mount the camera in the focusing end of the scope and use the scope as the lens? Then you can use it for photography and/or viewing.

You have lots of options. 

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Yes you will want an EQ mount. If you get a fork mount then you will have to get a wedge for it as well. Otherwise you wont be able to take pictures with it. 

If all you are wanting to use is your camera and lenses then you wont need a heavy duty EQ mount b/c you wont have a ton of weight on it. But if you are wanting to shoot at 500mm then you'll need a mount that tracks well. So you will be looking at at least an EQ5 or HEQ5. Another option would be to look into the Astrotrack. Great little set up that is ment to be used with a DSLR and lenses.

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Yes you will want an EQ mount. If you get a fork mount then you will have to get a wedge for it as well. Otherwise you wont be able to take pictures with it. 

If all you are wanting to use is your camera and lenses then you wont need a heavy duty EQ mount b/c you wont have a ton of weight on it. But if you are wanting to shoot at 500mm then you'll need a mount that tracks well. So you will be looking at at least an EQ5 or HEQ5. Another option would be to look into the Astrotrack. Great little set up that is ment to be used with a DSLR and lenses.

well i thank u guys for ur replies i guess im eager to get going but have not got the know how lol is there any chance of ugiving me a link for the above equiptment u sudjested please    :smiley:

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There is an astronomy club in Abingdon, if you have not tried then contact them and ask if there are any imagers in the club. Getting information direct is the best option generally. Like you they had to start somewhere, so don't worry overly if their equipment has moved on since starting.

Easiest would actually be stick the camera with standard type lens on a camera tripod and take a 20 or 30 second exposure.

Fully manual, f/4, 30 sec. ISO 1600, manually set focus to an infinite object. See what comes out.

You would need a remote release to avoid camera shake.

Find a nice DARK place to do it, light pollution will upset things a lot.

Try aiming at Casseiopia, or if you can work out the following: Just "above" the Plough are 2 red stars in Draco. Only guidance I can give is use the other 2 stars in the pan as pointers and follow them "up" somewhere up the line is a red star, the other is a bit higher and more left. Take a 30 second shot of these and see if the colours come out. Would expect them to. Think both are in Draco but Draco is difficult to see, these 2 are fairly visible however.

After this level you should consider adding an equitorial mount, an Alt/Az is fine for planets but for the sky shots an EQ is best.

Assuming you carry on then the problem is which EQ.

You can put the camera on a bar and mount that on the EQ, at least initially. You will have to learn how to set up and aligh an EQ mount, and the more accurately the better, but that is all and not impossible.

A "simple" AP set up could be: Driven EQ mount (EQ5? maybe small), small refractor ED (70/72 possibly 80), camera and assorted attachment bits. OK not the greatest but a start. The catch is that if you progress then you will in time want/need to upgrade just about everything. However it is either start small and upgrade if you carry on, or buy the bigger (expensive) stuff first off.

For planetary imaging buy an Alt/Az mounted Mak/SCT and stick a webcam in the focuser, take a movie (.avi file) and process through Registax or similar. That is over simplified but a close idea.

One bit of information, quite a few of the images that we see will have been produced by people with £20K or equipment and 5-10 years of doing AP. Met one imager who used the ED80 as a guide scope, because it was a reasonable guide scope, the imaging scope cost about £3K. Some images that an "amateur" produces may have come from Hubble image data they have reprocessed - no scope in Oxen will produce Hubble like data to start with. Basically be realistic on what you expect to produce, at least at first.

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I'd research the Astrotrac well if you're thinking about it.  I seem to recall that you can end up needing to buy additional bits and pieces.

If you're just wanting to take pictures with the camera and lens rather than mount a telescope then you may well find that an EQ3-2 (the GOTO model) is sufficient.  I managed unguided four-minute exposures using EQ3-2 with dual axis motors (probably less accurate than the GOTO) with a 450D and 200mm lens.  Depends on the weight of your bigger zoom lens though.

I'd also investigate what kind of exposure times you can get with the K-7.  Ideally you'll need some sort of programmable remote shutter release unless it can be controlled from a laptop.  If the maximum exposure time is limited however then it would make sense to look at what you can achieve with the camera and buy kit to suit that rather than spending loads on gear that you can't exploit fully because the camera isn't suitable.

James

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i would very much appreciate some kind advice on were i should be heading because im really thinking of giving this up before i even start getting info is such a hard thing lately 

any help would be amazing and very much appreciated 

kind regards 

Ash 

Hi Ash, SGL is a great place for info and helpful advice.  There are also lots of useful resources on the internet.  If you were genuinely thinking of giving up then you probably should before you spend a lot of money.  Astroimaging is technical, challenging and at times extremely frustrating.  It also costs plenty.  To get anywhere you need a high level of perseverance and dogged determination.  Getting good info is the least of your challenges!  If you want a sample use the advanced setting of the forum search and look for threads containing the words "giving up" in their titles.

Members here will support you all the way, provided you aren't a quitter!

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Hello, I am an imager and a member of Abingdon Astronomical Society and I can talk for hours about it. Why don't you come to one of our meetings, we also meet afterwards in the local pub to discuss our interests.

Mmmm.  Beer.  Beer is good for astronomers.  If you get one that's cloudy you can take it back for a clear replacement.

James

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Yes you will want an EQ mount. If you get a fork mount then you will have to get a wedge for it as well. Otherwise you wont be able to take pictures with it. 

If all you are wanting to use is your camera and lenses then you wont need a heavy duty EQ mount b/c you wont have a ton of weight on it. But if you are wanting to shoot at 500mm then you'll need a mount that tracks well. So you will be looking at at least an EQ5 or HEQ5. Another option would be to look into the Astrotrack. Great little set up that is ment to be used with a DSLR and lenses.

The ETX fork mounts with an Autostar controller do not need a wedge. They will lock in and track even in Alt-Az mode, which is why I suggested that little one on E-Bay without the scope. 

But you are right about everything else. 

Ashley...just look through the many posts in this SGL site...there are so many helpful tips and lots of people willing to help you with what you want to do. Patience is definitely one of the most important things to acquire in this hobby! ;)

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The ETX fork mounts with an Autostar controller do not need a wedge. They will lock in and track even in Alt-Az mode, which is why I suggested that little one on E-Bay without the scope. 

Surely they don't allow for field rotation though?

James

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Surely they don't allow for field rotation though?

James

Even Meade's largest scopes used for imaging are situated on Alt-Az mounts. The computer calculates the necessary movement in both Dec and RA.

Although I'd hardly call the mounts for the ETX line anywhere near the quality of this...

(I drool everytime I see one of these...Meade's LX200-ACF 16")

image002n4_enl.jpg

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Even Meade's largest scopes used for imaging are situated on Alt-Az mounts. The computer calculates the necessary movement in both Dec and RA.

I can't see how the mount can account for the rotation of a target relative to the camera over a long exposure though.  Unless you put it on a wedge, in which case the az axis effectively becomes an RA axis (or you fit some sort of camera rotation unit).

James

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