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What do I need for Sony A58 to start astro-imaging?

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I have recently got a Sony A58 DSLR and have enjoyed experimenting with wide field long exposure images of the milky way using the supplied lenses.

Hopefully I will be able to use my scope for imaging but not sure what I need.  I have a Skywatcher 130 newtonian on an EQ mount.

So, what should be on my shopping list to get astroimaging?  My main interest is to point to deep sky objects and try and image them.  I believe I'll need a T mount and an Celestron barlow lens?  Do I also need a motor to drive the scope?


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You are about the third person this week that has said thay have a barlow for DSO imaging - for DSO imaging people use a reducer to make the image smaller and brighter, not a barlow to make it bigger and dimmer.

You need a T-Ring for the Sony, check the FLO website.

The 130P will not supply sufficent inward travel on the focuser to get an image of the camers, so mirror will need to be moved up the tube, or replace the focuser.

What is the EQ mount?

If not something like an EQ5 it will be too unstable, the mount needs to have motors.

To operate the camera you will need a Remote Timer, (Amazon about £25 made by Shoot and others).

The Sony will take a "dark" for noise reduction on exposures over 1 second.

So if you set the remote timer to take 10 30 second exposures you need to set the following:

Set it for a 30 second exposure then a wait time of 90 seconds. then repeat the cycle 10 times.

That brakes down to: 30 seconds for the expousre, 30 seconds for the camera to take the "dark" and 60 seconds for the chip to cool down.

Being honest if the mount you have is not an EQ5 then I would seriously suggest you purchase a kit that will do the job, simply you will need a mount of that specification and the motors, and you will have to start altering the present scope. By the time all that is accomplished simply a setup that does the job is a lot less trouble.

If you are thinking of EQ3-2 then that it will hold the scope and will track, but you could end up throwing away 3 of every 5 exposures. The EQ5 you may throw 1 in 5 as it is just that much more solid.

Edited by ronin
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Thanks for the reply, Ronin.  I'm probably not confident to mod my scope (new mount, moving the mirror etc) so I'll probably wait until I upgrade my scope.  I didn't get my A58 primarily for astro but got some nice widefield results with the included lenses in a dark site, which got my curious about getting kit to do astro.  I'll leave the imaging to the experts  :smiley:

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you DON'T need to mod your scope!

if you get the skywatcher barlow lens and remove the lens part ,use the tube screwed into your t-ring

and insert into focuser,on the 130 you will then have enough outward travel to reach focus

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