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O-RICH

DSLR recommendations

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It only costs about £80 to get a Canon modded and there's usually a quick turnaround (within a week) :)

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It only costs about £80 to get a Canon modded and there's usually a quick turnaround (within a week) :)

What I'm saying is that once you mod the camera you stuff it up for day-time photography. And there are plenty of pictures to be taken with a normal DSLR and a sturdy tripod... The first one is the Tarantula Nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud and the second is the Lagoon Nebula together with Trifid Nebula as examples.

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I'm not too fussed about daytime photography to be honest, I would be fine buying a DSLR just for AP.

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What I'm saying is that once you mod the camera you stuff it up for day-time photography. And there are plenty of pictures to be taken with a normal DSLR and a sturdy tripod... The first one is the Tarantula Nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud and the second is the Lagoon Nebula together with Trifid Nebula as examples.

Hi

Um, not necessarily! It depends which mod you go for. The example pics are nice but in the wrong hemisphere for uk folk...

Louise

Edit: http://cheapastrophotography.vpweb.co.uk/

http://www.astronomiser.co.uk/eosmod.htm#mods

Edited by Thalestris24
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Be warned, this is a slippery-slope!

I started with a DSLR/Lens and short-exposures, dabbled with a barn-door tracker, and ended up getting a cheap 'scope/drive/guider.

Note that for anything other than the larger DSO's (such as NGC7000, M42, M31 etc) you'll need a longish focal length, and a decent, fastish (f/4-5.6), telephoto lens (300mm-600mm) which will set you back at least £500 (third-party such as Sigma/Tamron), possibly £1-5k if you go for the best marque brand glass.  If you're chasing dim DSO's and you don't have a tracking-mount then you'll also need good sensor sensitivity to allow short exposures (particularly if you have a cheaper/slower lens) so you're then looking at full-frame cameras (Canon 6D or 5D) or the better crop-sensor models (70D or 7Dii) which will set you back another ~£750-£2,300.  That's a lot of cash!  Finding DSO's can be a right royal pain too as the live-view screens aren't that sensitive and taking a series of high-ISO 2-3 second exposures to locate your object is time consuming. 

Alternatively you can pick up a cheap 'scope with GoTo mount for ~£500 and then use GoTo to find you subject and the tracking to give exposures of 60-seconds or so allowing you to get by with less sensitive (and cheaper) cameras like the 1200D (£250).  Add a guide-camera and finder for £300 or so and you'll be able to take 300-600 second sub frames at the cameras base-ISO for maximum quality, and the total outlay will be less than a decent telephoto lens!

My advice would be to find a friendly local purveyor of all-things telescope and talk through your aspirations with them, I did exactly that and found their advice invaluable.

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For comparison (and I'm nowhere near as adept at astrophotography as the other contributors here), here's a comparison between techniques on M42 in my first month of astrophotography.  Increasing sub exposure length and commensurate reduction in sensitivity (ISO) really improves the detail of the image, and you really need a motor driven mount for that.  The longer focal-length and faster telescope gives a sharper and more detailed overall image.

Getting light onto the sensor is the key, and for that a motor-drive is the cheapest and most effective option.

First a simple 20 second exposure using a DSLR/Celestron 6" Newtonian

11904838364_2e20ddda33.jpgOrion by S.J.P, on Flickr

Now around 1 hr of 1 minute sub-frames using a DSLR/Sigma 150-500 zoom at 500mm (Forgive the colour-cast!)

13888857818_83ac13890a.jpgM42 Sigma Zoom by S.J.P, on Flickr

Then 40 minutes of 1 minute sub-frames using a DSLR/6" Newtonion

12883552453_7e2afec730.jpgM42 Edited by S.J.P, on Flickr

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

I am afraid that your assertion is not correct, it is a very popular target even in Autumn here in the UK.http://www.astrobin.com/103468/

Regards,

A.G

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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...

Maybe a little, but mostly I'm just surprised that more people aren't taking widefields as it a satisfying and relatively cheap route into astrophotography. A sub £500 budget is achievable and worthwhile for mount, modded camera and a couple lenses if you're willing to make some compromises. There are a fair number of targets in reach of my camera lenses and I'm some way from getting the best out of them. I've picked up a few tips along the way but my processing skills are limited.

It's a learning curve and it does take a bit of time and persistence to get decent results, but it's not that difficult either. I only got my tracking mount in June.

Edited by Knight of Clear Skies

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What I'm saying is that once you mod the camera you stuff it up for day-time photography. And there are plenty of pictures to be taken with a normal DSLR and a sturdy tripod... The first one is the Tarantula Nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud and the second is the Lagoon Nebula together with Trifid Nebula as examples.

This is definitely not the case. I use my modded 60D for both astro and daytime. All you do is set a custom white balance and its fine.

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Camera and mount is looking like £450 which isnt too bad, i just feel sorry for my scope :(

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By the way, it's actually the North America Nebula - it doesn't belong to North America!! (or anyone else)

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