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Hello Everyone,

 
My name is Forest Fernandez.
I am a hobbyist Photographer that just started getting interested in Astrophotography.
I started last year in 2016 with my current set up, a Canon 5D Mk3 w/ a Rokinon 24mm on Tripod with a shutter release. 
In my about me section you can go to my facebook where i have some of my photographs that i've taken. 
I will try to include some of them in this post as well. I went out every night last summer to take photos, 
really diving in to try to learn as much as i could. I fell in love!
I am now interested in buying a Telescope that i can adapt my Canon 5D Mk3 to.
 
Ideally: 
I'm looking for a telescope that will allow me to photograph Nebulae specifically. 
Galaxies would be great, but i know that only one or two are visible to beginner to intermediate telescopes.
So far this is what i've learned that i need from researching telescopes:
 
LARGE Aperture, more light i can pick up the better.
Telescope that can pick up low light objects in the sky, i.e. Nebulae.
Equatorial Mount, for the Photography element.
Dobsinian i've been told is the way to go for low light Nebulae's and such.
 
ADVICE:
I am looking for advice from experienced astrophotographers here on the following things:
 
- Any other factors i need to take into consideration to get what i'm looking for. That would be great.
- I'd like to be able to make decently sized prints of these photographs, but i know that often times lower budget telescopes don't have great print quality. Any advice?
- Telescope suggestions to pair with my Canon 5d Mk3. I have roughly a budget of 3,000$.
 
I'm looking forward to hearing everyone's input.
Thanks!

InsomniacSeries13(Recent Edit1).jpg

Insom3 2.jpg

Insom3.jpg

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My first bit of advice would be get hold of the book 'Making Every Photon Count' - Its available in the FLO website book section. Something of an imagers bible for Deep sky, read it once, twice and thrice..... think abut what you need and why...... If you don't know then read it again! Do not spend a penny until you understand what you need and more importantly why. The book will save you many expensive mistakes over time.

The odd thing about astro imaging is that all your daytime photography goes out of the window....... In fact the main bit of astro imaging isn't even about the camera or the telescope... it's all about the mount, mount and mount...... Did I say that the mount is important? :) Start with a good mount, the best that you can afford that offers you motors to guide with, because in order to get good images you benefit hugely from long exposures and a number of them. Guiding will help you get the long exposures.

Also, never ever underestimate the time that this crazy hobby takes :D It can take me in excess of 8-10 hours in processing one image :) Take a look in the imaging section, people normally say what kit they used..... That will give you an idea for starters. A short focal length refractor will be a good choice. As plug and play as you can get and less frustrating as it places the least stress on the mount.... You don't want to be throwing out hard earned exposures because of a breeze or guiding errors.

Get the book - It explains it all :) Hope that helps!! Above all, enjoy it, it's a great hobby and has become a way of life for me :)

Edited by swag72

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LARGE Aperture, more light i can pick up the better.
Telescope that can pick up low light objects in the sky, i.e. Nebulae.
Equatorial Mount, for the Photography element.
Dobsinian i've been told is the way to go for low light Nebulae's and such.
Large aperture is generally No.
Dobsonian is certainly a No in regards to astrophotography.
Equitorilal with motors but preferably goto is the required mount and the mount has to be stable.
Telescope needs to be good but that means a relevant reflector or ED/APO refractor.
 
Large aperture implies large weight and that implies a large mount, usually people go to the smaller scopes.
Dobsonian is certainly out of it, wrong type of mount.
 
To get faint object you "simply" take more exposures, so 20 exposures instead of 15. Then you stack the 20 exposures to build up you final result.
Usually scopes are f/5 or thereabouts, f/6 is OK but rarely f/7.
F/5 reflectors may need a coma corrector to reduce mirror edge problems.
f/5 refractors are likely to need a flattener.
 
What you describe is a visual appraoch, a large scope for viewing but not the general requirements for AP.
 
Without guiding you will likely be limited to 40-60 seconds per exposure, with good polar alignment. Do not get an Alt/Az mount even a goto Alt/Az the mount is the wrong type for AP.

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Being you're in Fairfield, IA, try asking your question on Cloudy Nights as well, a US-centric forum run by Astronomics in Norman, OK.  There might even be someone nearby who could help guide you in person.

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Hello and a warm welcome to the SGL. Lots of good advice already given, but do not be afraid to ask more questions.

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Welcome to sgl and the dark side.

+1 for Sara's advice. What she didn't tell you is that, once you have a good mount, you can use the gear you already have, to start imaging. Good wide fields can be stunning, and they don't require any major investment. Wide field astrophotography with daytime gear, will get you up and running faster, and give you more time to consider and save for further investments.

Good luck!

(And don't forget to show us your results. At sgl, as at Hogwarts, help will always be given to those who ask for it.)

 

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Hi again guys, thank you all for your responses! I apologize for the long delay. Work has been busy. So, i'd like to just recap what i got out of your replies, and then ask some more questions.

RECAP:
On 1/27/2017 at 14:25, swag72 said:

My first bit of advice would be get hold of the book 'Making Every Photon Count' 

 it's all about the mount, mount and mount...... Did I say that the mount is important? :) Start with a good mount, the best that you can afford that offers you motors to guide with, because in order to get good images you benefit hugely from long exposures and a number of them. Guiding will help you get the long exposures.

- I will definitly be getting this book, thank you for the Rec!

- Mount is the most important aspect when it comes to AP.

 

---From Ronin---

- Dobsonian is NOT the way to go for photographing Nebulae and deep space. It has the wrong mount.

- Instead, a Reflector or a ED/APO Refractor would be ideal.

- LARGE Aperture is also not the way to go. (By large i meant as wide as possible), still not sure why large/wide is bad.

- Goto mount is a good mount to go with for photographing, that or an equatorial with motors.
 
 
 
On 1/27/2017 at 15:53, Louis D said:

try asking your question on Cloudy Nights as well

- Made an account, and will post there as well, thank you for the Rec!

 

On 1/28/2017 at 03:00, wimvb said:

+1 for Sara's advice. What she didn't tell you is that, once you have a good mount, you can use the gear you already have, to start imaging. Good wide fields can be stunning, and they don't require any major investment. Wide field astrophotography with daytime gear, will get you up and running faster, and give you more time to consider and save for further investments.

- Great Idea! 

NEW QUESTIONS:

- In response to 'Ronin' (I don't know how to quote him), why is a Large or Wide Aperture bad for photographing deep sky objects such as nebulae? Wouldn't it allow you to better capture these low light objects?

- Mount being the most important thing, I'd like to gain some more info on the different types and what will be best for AP, does anyone have any advice/resources? (Perhaps the book 'Making Every Photon Count' includes info on mounts?)

- I like the idea of starting out with a mount and my daytime gear, but looking ahead, i'd still like to have an idea, or a direction at least in which to research. Ronin mentioned either a 'relevant reflector, or an ED/APO Refractor. What makes these good for AP, and photographing deep sky objects like Nebulae? Research resources anyone?

- I came across an unusual looking camera that is dedicated to AstroImaging. The QSI583ws. It's quite pricey, but from the quality i've seen it produce it seems worth it. What is everyone's opinion on this camera? Would this be a good investment (down the road, and paired with a complimentary telescope) for photographing nebulae? 
 
- My end objective is still is to be able to make as high quality prints as i can from these images.
 
Thanks again everyone for your advice!
-Forest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Ardennes

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A mount suitable for astrophotography with a 10" Newt might run $4000 or more.  That's a lot of weight and moment arm to control in a reliable manner for hours on end while capturing photons.  The bigger aperture will come with a longer focal length, so you'll be better positioned to image small nebulae, globulars, and galaxies at higher magnifications, but at what cost?  Since Cassegrains have a much shorter tube for a given aperture, the mounting requirements are simpler to deal with, but the f-ratio will be higher requiring longer exposures than with the Newt setup.  The fast APO has a shorter tube as well and thus relaxed mounting requirements relative to the Newt.  Image scale will be much smaller, but you'll be able to image larger nebulae.

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I think the only investment you should rush at the moment is the book that was suggested earlier. Most of your questions will be answered by reading.

As for any other investment, it depends very much on your budget, your intentions for use, and your site (including light pollution, etc) That's why I suggested you start with the gear you already have. Unless you have unlimited funds (unlikely), this will get you started fast and give you enough time to consider where and when to make your next investment. As someone wrote earlier in this forum: Buy once, cry once.

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1 hour ago, wimvb said:

I think the only investment you should rush at the moment is the book that was suggested earlier. Most of your questions will be answered by reading.

As for any other investment, it depends very much on your budget, your intentions for use, and your site (including light pollution, etc) That's why I suggested you start with the gear you already have. Unless you have unlimited funds (unlikely), this will get you started fast and give you enough time to consider where and when to make your next investment. As someone wrote earlier in this forum: Buy once, cry once.

I agree, that's a good point. I don't plan on rushing into any purchases at the moment. Even a mount. I'd like to research them more first.

Thanks Wimvb.

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