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DSLR for astrophotography


A4Andromeda
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Sorry if this topic has been covered elsewhere, but just getting to know my way round the site.

I want to try astrophotography initially with a DSLR (prime focus) rather than anything more complicated involving hooking up to a laptop.

I have been considering an astro-adapted Canon EOS 600d which, although expensive, has had good reviews, and I like the idea of the variable angle monitor. Interested in any comments.

May also try piggybacking, in which case, what's the best lens?

 

Thanks

A4

 

Celestron 9.25 SCT

AVX mount

Various eyepieces

William Optics binoviewer

A sense of wonder

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Hi and welcome to the forum.

The flip out screens on Canon cameras are very useful I couldnt manage without mine now, as for the choice of lenses I have fount the "kit" ones (18-55mm and 75-300mm)to be very good performers if a little slow.

The ideal focal length for a lot of targets with a camera lens is around 135-200mm and there are a lot of good old M42 type lenses out there that can be picked up very cheap and work well with an adapter. The alternative is the Canon L series lenses but these come at a price.

Alan

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Hi A4,

DSLR AP is a great hobby and good place to start.

I personally wouldnt bother investing straight away in a Modded camera and instead just buy a standard 600D. 

You can achieve some amazing images with a standard DSLR and it gives you a change to see if AP is for you. 

If you dont enjoy AP then you still have a perfectly  good 600d to take on holiday with. 

And if you really get the bug you can go ahead and get it modded at a later date

Craig 

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If you piggyback look at older Ashai/Takumar lenses. They are quite affordable and the way they are designed and dampened they stay focused no matter the angle. Also older Nikkor ones. The 180ED is a great one. I use inexpensive EOS adapters for all these.

I found this 200mm Takumar for under 100 dollars. Great lens.

post-28595-0-57877700-1423585012_thumb.j

Using it wide open tracking on Betelgeuse here on my Zmount. 

post-28595-0-41130200-1423585842_thumb.j

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I wouldn't worry about modding it yet. The new bodies (since the 450d) do gather a fair amount of red, especially if you can either achieve longer exposures or get the lens wider than f/4. (5 minute subs at f/4 gets me the Horsehead with my unmodded 450d). The tilty screen is useful, but if you have an android device, that supports USB OTG, then connecting a 7" tablet to the camera and using DSLR controller is a much better bet. And you can use it to focus your lens, which allows for a lot more control than trying to use the focus ring. 

If the 600d fits in your budget, then go for it. If not, then check out the 1000d or 1100d from somewhere like http://www.mpbphotographic.co.uk/ and go from there. Alternatively, check out http://cheapastrophotography.vpweb.co.uk/Available-Cameras.html, I've heard good reports, but have no experience. 

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There are quite a few places to get 2nd hand Canons, modded or not. Should be able to get something for sub £400 easily - I got my 550D for <£200, and its been great. The flip screen is a nice idea, but as John said if you USB to a screen, that easier still. Happy hunting!

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I wouldn't worry about modding it yet. The new bodies (since the 450d) do gather a fair amount of red, especially if you can either achieve longer exposures or get the lens wider than f/4. (5 minute subs at f/4 gets me the Horsehead with my unmodded 450d). The tilty screen is useful, but if you have an android device, that supports USB OTG, then connecting a 7" tablet to the camera and using DSLR controller is a much better bet. And you can use it to focus your lens, which allows for a lot more control than trying to use the focus ring. 

If the 600d fits in your budget, then go for it. If not, then check out the 1000d or 1100d from somewhere like http://www.mpbphotographic.co.uk/ and go from there. Alternatively, check out http://cheapastrophotography.vpweb.co.uk/Available-Cameras.html, I've heard good reports, but have no experience. 

MPB is a great place for good mint cheap bodies and lenses.

There are big savings on mint lenses.

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