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Hello from Wales


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Hi everyone.

I am Mark, 31 and live just outside Aberystwyth in west wales.

Living where I do means I have some really dark skies pretty much surrounding me.
I have a passion for photography and have been doing wide field astrophotography for a few years.

Having just started a new job I am now looking to get into photographing more deep space objects and currently looking for a telescope and mount without breaking the bank.

Here are a few that I have taken recently local to where I live.

21654671498_c185f9def3_b.jpgDSCF5981-Edit by Mark Illsley, on Flickr

21842538885_0d904a8498_b.jpgDSCF5898 by Mark Illsley, on Flickr

21830717352_1fcb7bbacb_b.jpgDSCF5794 by Mark Illsley, on Flickr

Thanks everyone in advance and I look forward to speaking to you all further. 

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Hi everyone. I am Mark, 31 and live just outside Aberystwyth in west wales. Living where I do means I have some really dark skies pretty much surrounding me. I have a passion for photography and hav

Hi Mark and welcome to the forum. As others have already said, those are some great shots and I personally like the terrestrial widefield views so well done and thank you for illustrating them here. The imaging section has a serious amount of information and experience to set you in the correct direction for some deep sky fun. I suppose the easiest thing to do is to check out the equipment that many members list in the signatures to see what people are using and to get a feel of possible costs. Mount wise, my personal suggestion would be at least a HEQ5 as that will give you the accuracy that you will need for longer exposures. They do come up for sale occasionally on the UK Astronomy Buy & Sell website if you want to look for a good deal at a reasonable price. 

Please don't hesitate to post a couple of questions over on the imaging sections as everyone there is eager to help. 

Clear skies and enjoy the forum

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Hi Mark and welcome to SGL, those skies in your pictures remind me of many years ago, of the nights spent Sea Trout fishing on the R. Towy above Llandovery, and on up into the Mountain area, the skies were amazing. Enjoy the forum :)

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Welcome to SGL. Some great introductory shots there, looks like you're in an excellent location for astrophotography. Looking at the EXIF data on Flickr I see you're shooting with a 12mm f1.0 lens, what is that please?

Its not a f/1 lens but is actually a f/2 Samyang 12mm attached to a fuji XT1.

As far as I am concerned Samyang make some of the best glass around for this type of photography.

Their 14mm f/2.8 on a full frame camera is simply fantastic.

They also do a 10mm f/2.8 but I opted for the extra light instead.

All of these lenses give fantastic images and very little coma even wide open (pretty much where they live).

The only downside is that their focusing ring can sometimes be a little off and it takes a few shots to figure out where infinity actually it.

Hi Mark and welcome to the forum. As others have already said, those are some great shots and I personally like the terrestrial widefield views so well done and thank you for illustrating them here. The imaging section has a serious amount of information and experience to set you in the correct direction for some deep sky fun. I suppose the easiest thing to do is to check out the equipment that many members list in the signatures to see what people are using and to get a feel of possible costs. Mount wise, my personal suggestion would be at least a HEQ5 as that will give you the accuracy that you will need for longer exposures. They do come up for sale occasionally on the UK Astronomy Buy & Sell website if you want to look for a good deal at a reasonable price. 

Please don't hesitate to post a couple of questions over on the imaging sections as everyone there is eager to help. 

Clear skies and enjoy the forum

I am glad you have said this. I was actually looking at the smaller 3-2 setup along with something like skywatcher explorer 150.

Is the the EQ5 that much better? I was thinking along the lines of the larger one as a future proofing but the initial outlay is a fair amount more.

Can I just go with extra single axis motor for the tracking or do I need the whole setup?

Hi Mark and welcome to SGL, those skies in your pictures remind me of many years ago, of the nights spent Sea Trout fishing on the R. Towy above Llandovery, and on up into the Mountain area, the skies were amazing. Enjoy the forum :)

Thanks. I must admit the skies around here are great and getting even better now they are upgrading a lot of the lighting to LED instead of the old sodium lights.

The Elan Valley is only around 45 minutes away from me which has just been given dark sky status but to be fair there are a few places within a half hour drive that have really dark skies (those are the ones in the photo).

The scope will mainly live in the back garden and short of a single light on the corner of the road there is very little lighting for about 1/2 mile at least.

If anyone is ever up this way then feel free to give me a shout and I would be more than willing to show you a few slightly hidden places to get some nice dark skies.

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