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Autoguiding suggestions for Star Adventurer

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I'm about a year into astrophotography and have been using a Skywatcher Star Adventurer with a Canon 5D MIII & Sigma 150-600mm telephoto lens. I've gotten my polar alignment down and best have achieved up to 60sec exposures at 400mm. I'm looking to extend my exposure time, and am looking for advice on the right path to take with purchasing an autoguiding scope and camera. I'm planning on mounting it on the hot shoe of the camera so it's always pointing in the right direction.

Over time, I'd like to upgrade my gear to higher quality setup (solid EQ mount, Telescope, CCD, etc), so I'm wondering if anyone has advice on a guide cam & scope that I wouldn't outgrow as I start to improve my other equipment. 

I'm looking at the Orion Magnificent Mini Autoguider package since it's affordable but I'm worried of spending less money now, only to have to purchase the "right" guiding package a year or two from now. 

BTW, this is my first post, so any and all advice is appreciated!



Below is an example of Andromeda I was able to capture with my current set up.     


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Very nice image of M31!

I would not use the hotshoe of your camera for a guidescope, for the simple reason that it will introduce a lot of flexure, which will not improve anything.
These: http://qhyccd.com/miniGuideScope.html  are a lot lighter, but still a risk on the hot shoe... better find another way.

The best way to guide with a star adventurer i.m.h.o. is with a OAG, but that is impossible when using a telephoto lens, you will need a telescope for that.
So in fact, I would advice you to just keep going as you do, until you found the money to upgrade your set up. Your image is telling your story...:thumbsup:

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  • 1 month later...

Wow, nice image

I’ve got exactly the same body and lens your using

one of my projects this year is to capture Andromeda, but I feel I’m way off

i literally did my first setup of my star adventurer last night in my back garden and pointed my camera at Orion, I got some blurry but acceptable images for a first attempt

things I struggled with. 

Polar alignment, it’s just seems quite a task with the star adventurer, especially if you wear glasses. Any tips? I’ve watched various YouTube videos 

Was your image of Andromeda done at 400mm? What exposure settings did you use. I presume this is a multiple stacked imaged, did you use deep star stacker or similar ?

any other tips using the MK3 and the Sigma 150-600 to achieve the image quality you have. 

Hope you have some time to reply.


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  • 6 months later...
  • 5 months later...

I suppose there are a couple of options, assuming that you have the standard spotter scope mount.

Your issue with the SA is payload - c11lb.

Both skywatcher and celestron have their own auto guiders, in the same price range, as you would expect, and both do provide a kit with the auto guider plus guide scope.

an example being https://www.firstlightoptics.com/guide-cameras/skywatcher-synguider-autoguider.html or https://www.tringastro.co.uk/celestron-nexguide-autoguider-685-p.asp?gclid=Cj0KCQiA5NPjBRDDARIsAM9X1GKLBmZOGKr8gR0ghhadzPz48_ghP1-A6MGICq2Z8nMyU7QzqPRq9qMaAsnyEALw_wcB



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