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M Astronomy

Imaging with a Star Adventurer

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Hi all,

The images you guys have taken and presented on this thread are amazing and now I'm feeling a lot happier about my decision to purchase the Star Adventurer Astro-photo bundle earlier today. I was feeling a bit unsure as to whether I'd made the right decision in purchasing but after viewing this images it's dissolved any of that.

I am a total and utter newbie when it comes to astro photography, but not photography in general. Therefore I was wondering if any of you would be so kind as to help me out and offer some advice so that I can avoid any frustrations by not having the right equipment before setting out to do my first astro imaging by not being able to because I am missing certain gear. We are forecast for clear skies on Saturday night and I was thinking of having a first go then.

I have the following lenses and equipment - please could you tell me which lenses would work best for AP and which I should leave out. 

My gear and lenses lenses are as follows: 

Canon 80D DSLR
Remote Canon Shutter release
Manfrotto 055CXPRO3 Tripod 
Manfrotto 3-Way Tilt Pan Head MHXPRO-3W

Canon 24mm f/2.8
Canon 50mm f/1.8
Sigma 105mm f/2.8
Canon 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6
Canon 55-250mm f/4-5.6
Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3

Do I need a good ball head instead of the 3-Way head I currently have?

If I want to take longer exposures to obtain more detail and better colours what would you recommend in terms of auto guiding ? There are so many options and I have no idea what would be suitable etc.. I have a laptop I could use for AP.

Do I need an intervalometer ? 

I can't modify my Canon 80D as it's my only DSLR but in the future and if I pursue this hobby I could invest in another DSLR and have it modded, I started out with a 700D so know the older rebel series quite well.

 

Any advice greatly appreciated.

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Welcome to the forum @smr!

I can help you with the Star Adventurer as an experienced user of it!

Feel free to send me a message with any question!

Some images done with the Star Adventurer+600D+200mm lenses (135-200 i used)

FB_IMG_1511218717762-1.jpg

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FB_IMG_1511550827437-1.jpg

FB_IMG_1511477304001-1.jpg

FB_IMG_1511273527553-1.jpg

FB_IMG_1510513859729-1.jpg

Edited by serbiadarksky
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Stunning images! 

I received my Star Adventurer today. I am a bit confused though as how to set it up - do I use the equatorial mount or my tilt pan head ?

 

1549523.jpg

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1 minute ago, happy-kat said:

Did you buy the bundle and did what your ordered come with the wedge?

Yep bought the photo bundle which comes with the wedge.

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The wedge needs to be screwed directly to the tripod i.e. remove the pan/tilt head..

Alan

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29 minutes ago, smr said:

Stunning images! 

I received my Star Adventurer today. I am a bit confused though as how to set it up - do I use the equatorial mount or my tilt pan head ?

 

1549523.jpg

The wedge is the bridge betwen the mount and tripod and it can really help you with the polar alignment, however if you own a Polemaster you dont need the wedge! :D

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Ok I think I'm getting there. 

One thing though, I want to slide the 'fine tuning mounting assembly' into the mounting assembly but there are no indentations or anything to lock the mounting bolt into it.. it would be screwing metal into metal - damaging the paintwork in the process. Or is that just the way it is?

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14 minutes ago, smr said:

Ok I think I'm getting there. 

One thing though, I want to slide the 'fine tuning mounting assembly' into the mounting assembly but there are no indentations or anything to lock the mounting bolt into it.. it would be screwing metal into metal - damaging the paintwork in the process. Or is that just the way it is?

Yes just slide it into

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4 minutes ago, serbiadarksky said:

Yes just slide it into

I understand that but the screwing bolt which holds the plate in place will mark it and as its screwing a metal bolt onto the metal plate. That's what I'm worried about.

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As Alan said it's best to remove the tilt/pan head and mount the wedge directly on the tripod if possible.

No way to avoid paintwork damage unless you can source a bolt with a plastic end or modify the existing one.

Dave

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Getting there..

 

Edited by smr

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Finally all set up, just to see how everything goes together. Thanks for the help. What I meant about the screwing bolt is showed into pics 1 - it will leave the mounting plate with lots of little indentations and marks on it and I wasn't sure if that's how it was supposed to be.

The unit does seem well made, although the battery cover is very flimsy and comes off if you as much as breathe on it. Apart from that it seems quite solid. 

Does my pan tilt head look a bit daft on it? Will it work well for astrophototography do you think or should I invest in a ball head which may be easier ?

I've not done any alignment or anything I just wanted to see how everything attaches together first. 

If all looks set to go I guess the next thing to learn is how to locate polaris and align properly. Any apps that can help me you'd recommend please. I've got an Android phone.

 

20171207_212958.jpg

20171207_212934.jpg

20171207_212918.jpg

Edited by smr
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11 hours ago, smr said:

Finally all set up, just to see how everything goes together. Thanks for the help. What I meant about the screwing bolt is showed into pics 1 - it will leave the mounting plate with lots of little indentations and marks on it and I wasn't sure if that's how it was supposed to be.

The unit does seem well made, although the battery cover is very flimsy and comes off if you as much as breathe on it. Apart from that it seems quite solid. 

Does my pan tilt head look a bit daft on it? Will it work well for astrophototography do you think or should I invest in a ball head which may be easier ?

I've not done any alignment or anything I just wanted to see how everything attaches together first. 

If all looks set to go I guess the next thing to learn is how to locate polaris and align properly. Any apps that can help me you'd recommend please. I've got an Android phone.

 

20171207_212958.jpg

20171207_212934.jpg

20171207_212918.jpg

As Dave I use a ball head too, more stable and easier to move, also if you got an guide cam with scope you can get another ball head, attach the ball head with the guiding setup on the lower part of the brackett and the dslr on the upper with the lens

Good luck :D

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Hi smr

You seem to have removed the end of what should be the L-shaped bracket. I think you need that to adjust the mount in DEC, which is critical to polar alignment. Having said that, and in my (limited) experience, the supplied mechanism isn't the easiest to adjust - either in DEC or in RA.

Louise

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Hi,

20171207_212918.jpg

You don't have to use the green plate and counterweight unless you think weight-wise and FL-wise it is needed. With a camera and small FL lens you could just use the adapter fitted into the mount and your pan head or (better) ball head to hold your camera and lens.

My set up might show this better than I can explain, but ignore the fact i'm not using the wedge-

DSCF0014a.jpg.1f63f63d14a9677d76bcac7093f343f7.jpg

Hope this makes sense.

Good luck and enjoy your SA.

Cheers,
Steve

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Thanks Steve,

Is that the Celestron Starpointer Finderscope ? If so how does it mount in the hot shoe ?

Edited by smr

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14 minutes ago, smr said:

Is that the Celestron Starpointer Finderscope ? If so how does it mount in the hot shoe ?

Hi,

I can't say if it's definitely that red led finder but any really will do the job. I use an old adapter between the camera hot shoe and led finder. Again this is an old adapter accessory of mine, there will be lots on the Internet, here's one source (but there will be others)-https://www.astroshop.eu/other-astro-photo-accessories/lacerta-adapter-for-attaching-red-dot-finder-to-a-hot-shoe/p,46909

Cheers,
Steve

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56 minutes ago, Thalestris24 said:

Hi smr

You seem to have removed the end of what should be the L-shaped bracket. I think you need that to adjust the mount in DEC, which is critical to polar alignment. Having said that, and in my (limited) experience, the supplied mechanism isn't the easiest to adjust - either in DEC or in RA.

Louise

Sorry, think I was talking tosh there! Obviously you adjust PA via the wedge. I'm getting old...

Louise

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7 minutes ago, happy-kat said:

This is the red dot finder I use comes with the flash hot shoe mount too. 13 euro plus P&P

link here

I've never understood exactly how a red dot finder works! (I don't have one)

Louise

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Thanks.

I think I must be being incredibly thick as I can't work this out...

 

It says in the manual 

Rotate the date grad circle to align oct 31 to the 0 which is easy enough.... but then says turn the eye piece/mounting platform to align the Time Meridian Indicator to the 0 of the Time Meridian Circle... However if i move the mount it knocks the Date Graduation Circle out of alignment!

I haven't got any batteries in the SA I should say, do I need to have the SA on to set the polar alignment up?

 

Edited by smr

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When I look through the polar scope 6 is pointing straight down but when I was looking at at something outside earlier it was upside down, is that normal?

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Ignore the instructions, rotate so 6 is at the bottom, use a PA app to see where Polaris should be and adjust the bolts to put it there, you may have to move the tripod legs if there isn't enough adjustment in the bolts.

If the polar scope isn't blocked by your imaging rig you can have the occasional peek through it during imaging and tweak it back in the circle if it's drifting.

You can use Stellarium to see where Polaris should be just put it diametrically opposite to where it is in Stellarium  because as you say the polar scope turns everything upside down and back to front

Dave

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