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O-RICH

DSLR recommendations

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Okay, having officially been defeated in my quest to get a mount to start my astrophotography by my financial circumstances I have decided it is probably best to get a DSLR and start that way. I have seen photos of galaxies and the like taken with just a DSLR and i feel it would be a better investment at this stage. I am aware I can buy them pre-modded but my knowledge of cameras is poor. I have the book 'Making Every Photon Count' so i have absorbed some knowledge but i was wondering if anyone on here has any first hand advice for DSLR's and any makes /models in particular that have produced some profound results.

A secondary question is just how difficult is it to find an NGC with a DSLR on a tripod? It seems you would be weaving through the skies via the LCD screen so I don't know how difficult starhopping is this way...

Any advice is welcome as always, and if you're a bank manager, can i have a forgiven loan?  :embarassed:

Check the NGC7000 image here for a reference on what I'm looking to capture.

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Ill just add that i know NGC7000 is impossible to capture from England :lol:

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I guess reall;y it is budget what is the available pot to dip into.

You could also look to build a barn door tracker DIY to get longer exposures. I am about 75% finsihed building mine on a wooden base as I have no tripod from some chip board scraps.

Canon are popular and there is good support to connect a Canon to a laptop.

I have a Canon 1100d I picked up for a really good price, the only thing it does not have is a moveable screen which can make focusing easier but I connect my camera to my tablet and get a huge screen that way.

You might get more for your budget second hand.

Edited by happy-kat

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Ill just add that i know NGC7000 is impossible to capture from England :lol:

.

? It is no problem from the UK. It's overhead to west through the evening at the moment in Cygnus.

Edited by Owmuchonomy

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.

? It is no problem from the UK. It's overhaed to west through the evening at the moment in Cygnus.

Bush%20confused.jpg

i thought that there were certain DSO's that were specific to regions, or is a hemispherical thing? I'll check my notes...

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If you getting a DSLR I would suggest a Canon with live view. Canons are well supported for astrophotography with software like Backyard EOS with which you can connect your camera to a laptop to be able to frame and focus etc. Without a driven mount your exposure times will be quite small. If you download Stellarium it should help to find targets.

Peter

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Well, I'm 19 miles away from you so unless you've transported the City to the Southern Hemisphere? NGC7000 is next to the bright star Deneb in The constellation of Cygnus which sits over my house at dusk right now and heads west through the night of course.

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You probably want a Canon due to good software support and relative ease of modding if you decide to go down that route. Models from the 450D onwards have liveview, which makes focussing much easier. I'm very happy with my 1100D, which I had modded by Cheap Astrophotography recently. It doesn't have a flip-out screen though, which would be handy when the camera is pointing up.

When you say "finding an NGC from a tripod" are you talking about shooting from a fixed tripod? How difficult it is to find objects depends on their surface brightness, the speed of your optics, field of view and light pollution/seeing conditions. Some are bright enough to show up on short framing exposures. Are you thinking about starting out with widefield imaging?

Sometimes start hopping by looking through the eyepiece is quite easy but it gets tricky when pointing up towards the zenith.

Ill just add that i know NGC7000 is impossible to capture from England :lol:

Am I missing a joke here? If not, NGC 7000 is in Cygnus and visible for much of the year. It's quite easy to find, being close to Deneb.

Edit as my post crossed with yours...

i thought that there were certain DSO's that were specific to regions, or is a hemispherical thing? I'll check my notes...

Yes, there are some DSOs that can't be seen from the northern hemisphere and vice-versa, for example you need to travel south if you want to see the Magellanic Clouds.
Edited by Knight of Clear Skies

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Well, I'm 19 miles away from you so unless you've transported the City to the Southern Hemisphere? NGC7000 is next to the bright star Deneb in The constellation of Cygnus which sits over my house at dusk right now and heads west through the night of course.

So why is it called the North American Nebula? Is there a North Yorkshire Nebula? There was an alien sighting at Ilkley Moor...

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When you say "finding an NGC from a tripod" are you talking about shooting from a fixed tripod? How difficult it is to find objects depends on their surface brightness, the speed of your optics, field of view and light pollution/seeing conditions. Some are bright enough to show up on short framing exposures. Are you thinking about starting out with widefield imaging?

I basically want to take photos of things like M13, Ring nebula and NGC's that I could never see with my 10" scope.. Triangulum & Andromeda would be nice but i don't know if that is achievable via DSLR alone. I live in a low light-pollution area if that helps, although thanks to Leeds, lowdown in the south has a orange tint to it.

Am I missing a joke here? If not, NGC 7000 is in Cygnus and visible for much of the year. It's quite easy to find, being close to Deneb.

Edit as my post crossed with yours...

Yes, there are some DSOs that can't be seen from the northern hemisphere and vice-versa, for example you need to travel south if you want to see the Magellanic Clouds.

I just checked my notes and Yes, it is hemispherical differences i was thinking of. I have been studying honest  :embarassed:

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North American from West Sussex.

North American for obvious reasons, next to it too the right is the Pelican.

ic7000port.jpg

Edited by wxsatuser

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So why is it called the North American Nebula? Is there a North Yorkshire Nebula? There was an alien sighting at Ilkley Moor...

I may be answering a rhetorical question here, but it's called the North American Nebula, because the outline looks like the coast of the USA.

d6457a6c68378d7df4ecba7cbd7841aa.jpg

Stu

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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So why is it called the North American Nebula? Is there a North Yorkshire Nebula? There was an alien sighting at Ilkley Moor...

Look at the shape of it.......

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No problem, it's a lot to get straight when starting out on imaging and some mistakes are inevitable. NGC7000 is shaped like North America (sans Alaska), I'll leave you to guess what the California Nebula looks like. ;) It's often a case of, aping the monkey, 'astronomer see, astronomer say'.

Andromeda is doable from a fixed tripod (if that's what you are aiming to try) but is so much easier with a tracking mount - this is a single 20 second exposure with a 135mm f3.5 lens, from a dark site.

14955147618_555db9defa_b.jpg

I'll give this a go sometime from a fixed tripod but it I expect it will be a struggle to match the result above. Lots of short subs will introduce quite a lot of read noise into the stack.

M13 and especially the Ring Nebula are quite small and need plenty of focal length, so aren't good targets for camera lenses.

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No problem, it's a lot to get straight when starting out on imaging and some mistakes are inevitable. NGC7000 is shaped like North America (sans Alaska), I'll leave you to guess what the California Nebula looks like. ;) It's often a case of, aping the monkey, 'astronomer see, astronomer say'.

Andromeda is doable from a fixed tripod (if that's what you are aiming to try) but is so much easier with a tracking mount - this is a single 20 second exposure with a 135mm f3.5 lens, from a dark site.

14955147618_555db9defa_b.jpg

I'll give this a go sometime from a fixed tripod but it I expect it will be a struggle to match the result above. Lots of short subs will introduce quite a lot of read noise into the stack.

M13 and especially the Ring Nebula are quite small and need plenty of focal length, so aren't good targets for camera lenses.

That image is incredible. Well I'm hoping you're going to tell me that i don't need to spend £500 on a HEQ5, and that ill need a smaller more affordable mount?  :shocked:

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Everything ( or parts of) you listed is visible easily with a 10" scope. Some faint nebulas won't be though. I'm not sure what you are trying to achieve? To take most DSOs you will need a very capable mount. The choice of camera is not as important and comes second.

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I may be answering a rhetorical question here, but it's called the North American Nebula, because the outline looks like the coast of the USA.

d6457a6c68378d7df4ecba7cbd7841aa.jpg

Stu

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Right- i see that now. Added to my notes  :grin:

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Everything ( or parts of) you listed is visible easily with a 10" scope. Some faint nebulas won't be though. I'm not sure what you are trying to achieve? To take most DSOs you will need a very capable mount. The choice of camera is not as important and comes second.

I have seen Ring Nebula and M13 etc but i wish to photograph it. This is where i found out that the mount i need to get results with my scope is £500. So it seems logical to me to instead buy a DLSR and photograph what i can, doesn't necessarily have to be Ring Nebula (as i now know its too small) but something as cool as the Andromeda pic in this thread.

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I would not recommend a modded DSLR when you are on a budget and just starting. An un-modded camera can be used during the day as well and there are plenty of objects you can capture where the near-IR is not crucial. A word of warning, the NGC7000 was taken with a f/1.8 lens. A good fast lens will cost as much as a mount. I personally have a Pentax K-30 with a couple of kit lenses and I am very happy with it. The Pentax has the live view with zoom function which was mentioned before. And Pentax has another gadget - a GPS unit (O-GPS1) which has a star tracking function. It works by moving the sensor inside the camera by utilising the shake reduction function. For short focal length the tracking can be extended to 3 minute subs, even though I take shorter exposure times. By the way, DSS can read Pentax RAW format.

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Glad you like it. The image above was taken with my EQ3-2, which cost me £120 second hand and another £30 for the polar scope (I like to ignore postage costs as it makes everything sound cheaper ;)). It's not ideal as a imaging mount as it tracks a little unevenly and I end up throwing away some subs, but you can see some of the results I've got with it in the Widefield Imaging Forum. Possibly an EQ5 would have been a better investment but there is a good home for the EQ3 if I outgrow it.

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So why is it called the North American Nebula? Is there a North Yorkshire Nebula? There was an alien sighting at Ilkley Moor...

it's in the shape of North America !  Gulf of Mexico, Florida etc.  Not aware of a North Yorks nebula yet, but I'm sure there'll be one that fits the shape.

As a Nikon DSLR owner, I'd echo others' comments and say get a Canon, preferably with liveview, the software support is much better.

I'f you're not imaging through a scope, then you need to consider the angular size of your targets.  The Ring Nebula is definitely far too small, M13 probably too small as well, but nice widefields can be done of NGC700, Andromeda etc and I dare say the Triangulum too.

edit:  oops, didn't see the other replies before posting mine.  As they said...

Edited by glowingturnip

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I would not recommend a modded DSLR when you are on a budget and just starting. 

tumblr_mshu4tqNKs1spr6bso1_500.gif

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I have seen Ring Nebula and M13 etc but i wish to photograph it. This is where i found out that the mount i need to get results with my scope is £500. So it seems logical to me to instead buy a DLSR and photograph what i can, doesn't necessarily have to be Ring Nebula (as i now know its too small) but something as cool as the Andromeda pic in this thread.

If you check, Knight of CS image was just a single 20 second sub, no requirement for an expensive mount.

With wide angle lenses on a DSLR and standard tripod, you won't get too much star trailing on short subs so could attempt some of the large object such as M31. NGC7000 is big but quite low surface brightness but may work.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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 A word of warning, the NGC7000 was taken with a f/1.8 lens. A good fast lens will cost as much as a mount. I personally have a Pentax K-30 with a couple of kit lenses and I am very happy with it.

I like my old Takumar M42 lenses, they are 40-45 years old. The Andromeda above was taken with a 135mm f3.5 Super-Takumar that cost me £18 off eBay. This is probably my best effort with it, 30 minutes of data (2 minute subs) on the Heart & Soul Nebulae, with the Double Cluster on the right.

15147147820_89347b3d5e_b.jpg

Edited by Knight of Clear Skies
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I like my old Takumar M42 lenses, they are 40-45 years old. The Andromeda above was taken with a 135mm f3.5 Super-Takumar that cost me £18 off eBay. This is probably my best effort with it, 30 minutes of data on the Heart & Soul Nebulae, with the Double Cluster on the right.

15147147820_89347b3d5e_b.jpg

stop it now, you are just showing off  :evil: Ill swap you all your equipment for some oceanside property in Arizona i own? But then i guess i have to obtain your knowledge too...

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