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Paul2015

Poor mans setup (kinda)

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So I'm in the market for an upgrade in the nearish future and I was initially thinking of getting a 150pl but Im aware its pretty useless at imaging. 

Imaging is something I would like to take a stab at and Im quite happy investigating dso's. 

So I'm thinking the EQ5 pro synscan mount with a st102t would be a good start. I know its not going to be amazing but will it be ok for a begginer?

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Hi Paul,

There's a couple of ways to approach this, the eq route and the alt-az way. Take a look on the No EQ Challenge thread to see what can be done with relatively cheap gear and perhaps items like cameras you may already own and keep costs down further. This approach let's you dip your toe in the imaging world and will open your eyes to what modern advances with mounts and cameras can achieve.

Good luck however you decide.

Best regards,

Steve

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2 hours ago, SteveNickolls said:

Hi Paul,

There's a couple of ways to approach this, the eq route and the alt-az way. Take a look on the No EQ Challenge thread to see what can be done with relatively cheap gear and perhaps items like cameras you may already own and keep costs down further. This approach let's you dip your toe in the imaging world and will open your eyes to what modern advances with mounts and cameras can achieve.

Good luck however you decide.

Best regards,

Steve

As it happens i was just checking out that thread. So those images are taken with no tracking?

If so I assume its a matter of lots of short exposures to prevent star trailing?

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If you're on tight budget then camera lenses will likely give the best results, shorter focal lengths and faster focal ratios allow good data to be collected without guiding. If you're interested here's some examples of images I've taken using cheap lenses, costing between £18 and £65. 

An ST102 will give worthwhile results on brighter targets, such as open & globular clusters and a few of the brightest nebulae.

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Just now, Paul2015 said:

As it happens i was just checking out that thread. So those images are taken with no tracking?

If so I assume its a matter of lots of short exposures to prevent star trailing?

Hi Paul,

No, there would be tracking involved but done by means of an Alt-Az mount. Depending on the mount you can get individual eposures of 30-60+ seconds and stack them then process the master image. You could point your DSLR to the sky on a tripod but your exposures without tracking would be limited further.

 

Hope that helps.

Cheers,
Steve

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4 minutes ago, Knight of Clear Skies said:

If you're on tight budget then camera lenses will likely give the best results, shorter focal lengths and faster focal ratios allow good data to be collected without guiding. If you're interested here's some examples of images I've taken using cheap lenses, costing between £18 and £65. 

 

I do like your wide field images -)

Thanks for sharing.

Cheers,
Steve

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There is a very well written and explanatory book, "Astrophotography on the Go Using Short Exposures with light mounts" by Joseph Ashley ISBN 978-3-319-09830-2, which is very definitely worth a read. Joe is a great guy and thoroughly explains using lightweight Alt-Az and Eq mounts, including matters such as field rotation.

Cheers,
Steve

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21 minutes ago, SteveNickolls said:

There is a very well written and explanatory book, "Astrophotography on the Go Using Short Exposures with light mounts" by Joseph Ashley ISBN 978-3-319-09830-2, which is very definitely worth a read. Joe is a great guy and thoroughly explains using lightweight Alt-Az and Eq mounts, including matters such as field rotation.

Cheers,
Steve

Great stuff. Thanks for all the advice everyone. The book is ordered and Ill get it read. 

 

 

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Going back to the mount, people usually recommend an HEQ-5 or up for imaging with, say, an ED80 or 130PDS + guidescope. However, people do use the EQ-5 (the pro model has the required stepper motors) successfully, I found this site with some example images taken with an ED80. If you open the images up there are some problems with elongated stars but I think this is because no flattener is being used. So an EQ-5 pro would give you some room for upgrading if you wanted to move to guided imaging further down the line, just be aware that getting it running smoothly could be tricky.

1 hour ago, SteveNickolls said:

I do like your wide field images -)

Thanks, glad you like them.

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1 hour ago, Knight of Clear Skies said:

Going back to the mount, people usually recommend an HEQ-5 or up for imaging with, say, an ED80 or 130PDS + guidescope. However, people do use the EQ-5 (the pro model has the required stepper motors) successfully, I found this site with some example images taken with an ED80. If you open the images up there are some problems with elongated stars but I think this is because no flattener is being used. So an EQ-5 pro would give you some room for upgrading if you wanted to move to guided imaging further down the line, just be aware that getting it running smoothly could be tricky.

Thanks, glad you like them.

That site has some really amazing photos,

I think the eq5 may be a good shout 

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So just considering my options again and I was just thinking if I had a sky t mount i could mount a st-80 on one and maybe a mak or larger reflector on the other for planetary and visual

My question is for widefield dso's using prime focus how long could my exposures be? Around 30 seconds?

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I have a 150PL and it hasn't been a write off, but many DSOs have been better suited to my 400mm tele lens.

For that reason I will be buying a 130PDS at some point in the future, but keeping the 150PL for planetary work and it is good for globulars and galaxies.

 

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As far as I know a sky t mount is static so exposure would be limited if using a crop sensor camera crudely be 400/camera lens giving number of seconds before trailing so no where near 30 seconds. 400/18 = 22 seconds using a kit lens on a static mount. Depending where pointed might get slightly longer.

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Also have a look at the SW Star Adventurer. You'll need a sturdy tripod. It'll take a small frac. Nebulae can be very large so a small frac is best plus camera lenses of various FLs for DSOs and widefield.

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/skywatcher-mounts/skywatcher-star-adventurer-astronomy-bundle.html

For the emission nebulae you will need to have your camera modded to collect the hydrogen alpha emissions. This guy's good:

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

Good luck!

Alexxx

 

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Hi Paul,

My suggestion would be to put all your funds into the mount and get the HEQ5. It will sort of future proof your setup. I started like this and regret now  that I didn't go for the NEQ6... but that's another story. You can use the mount with a camera and there are plenty of targets for just a camera lens. I've got a post with the camera and a 50mm lens on the HEQ5 (

) to give you an idea what this kind of setup can do. The HEQ5 will also allow you to carry a 80ED with a guide scope and cameras and it will reach its limits with a 8" reflector (without guide scope). For imaging the mount is the heart and soul of your equipment and a good mount is expensive :(

Good luck!

HJ

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