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Hello. I am using a Orion xt8 reflector telescope. I am wondering what optic / eyepiece set up I should be using for a mix of DSO and planets. I have a couple pictures which I have taken with honestly my cell phone on one of those (Omi cellphone adaptors for telescope) and they pictures don't come out to bad... but I am looking for something that I can actually put into the eye piece that will give decent looking pictures, or even one that I can hook up to my computer and look through it live. Price really is not the biggest issue but not really looking for something over $400. I know there might not be such a thing as I am describing. most of these pictures were taken with a 2x barlow and a 20mm The ones of mars I just took with a 5x barlo and the same 20mm. and I am unsure what this star formation I took a picture of is but It looked pretty cool and I am glad that I was able to take a picture of it.. But just looking for some help choosing what camera would be best.  (Obviously using the phone camera the objects appear so bright and there is no way to pull the actual detail of the planet into focus for me) But any help would be great :) Thank you for any feedback you have and I cant wait to become more active on this forum!

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They are very good for what they are. And the good news is that, getting a camera which you attach to the telescope (in place of the eyepiece) will make everything easier.

If you have a normal DSLR, you can get a T-ring and nosepiece which would plug you straight into the eyepiece holder (although some focussers on this type of telescope do not have sufficient inwards-travel and so you might need to replace that - those who own this particular scope will be able to advise on that).

Your other limitation is going to be that, as it is a dob (alt-az) mount, you are going to be restricted in how long exposures you can take before you get trailing. This is one reason I am suggesting a basic dslr might be the way to go initially. A dedicated ccd/cmos camera would show more, but on an alt-az mount it would be a bit like a racing yacht dragging an anchor.

 

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20 minutes ago, Demonperformer said:

They are very good for what they are. And the good news is that, getting a camera which you attach to the telescope (in place of the eyepiece) will make everything easier.

If you have a normal DSLR, you can get a T-ring and nosepiece which would plug you straight into the eyepiece holder (although some focussers on this type of telescope do not have sufficient inwards-travel and so you might need to replace that - those who own this particular scope will be able to advise on that).

Your other limitation is going to be that, as it is a dob (alt-az) mount, you are going to be restricted in how long exposures you can take before you get trailing. This is one reason I am suggesting a basic dslr might be the way to go initially. A dedicated ccd/cmos camera would show more, but on an alt-az mount it would be a bit like a racing yacht dragging an anchor.

 

Thank you for the information :) I started looking at a new mount for it that would make longer exposures easier... A bit out of the budget for now. but def a future project to work on. as for the camera I will look into the DSLR. Thank you xD Yeah the iPhone Camera just isint doing it for me anymore xD If you would happen to know? What MP amount would you recommend for the DSLR and maybe what brand?

Edited by Lonestar2123
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6 hours ago, Lonestar2123 said:

MP amount would you recommend for the DSLR and maybe what brand

Hi and welcome aboard.

18 and Canon; loadsa support for astro work, easy to modify if you get serious and will work -almost- out of the box. The 1300d (T6 in the US I think) has the advantage of having wifi so you can control it with your 'phone or tablet. Remember that dslr wise, the more MP you have, the smaller the pixels will be. With your telescope that may be a disadvantage.

<warning>

 Apart from the camera you'll need a t adaptor and a nosepiece (an extra $30 or so) and then you may find you'll want a coma corrector ($100), an equatorial mount ($1500), a faster computer... $$$

</warning>

HTH and good luck.

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13 hours ago, alacant said:

Hi and welcome aboard.

18 and Canon; loadsa support for astro work, easy to modify if you get serious and will work -almost- out of the box. The 1300d (T6 in the US I think) has the advantage of having wifi so you can control it with your 'phone or tablet. Remember that dslr wise, the more MP you have, the smaller the pixels will be. With your telescope that may be a disadvantage.

<warning>

 Apart from the camera you'll need a t adaptor and a nosepiece (an extra $30 or so) and then you may find you'll want a coma corrector ($100), an equatorial mount ($1500), a faster computer... $$$

</warning>

HTH and good luck.

I managed just picking up a cheap nikon like $150 to just get started... I want to save up for a nice mount so I can take longer exposures.. but at my current setup it is going to just need to be really quick pictures... I also need to find a location near me where I can actually go and just set up and look up at the sky.. Living near  La this is not an ideal place to look at the stars but that's the best I can do without driving 4 hours out to the desert up north or maybe down south. 

 

I am hoping with this $150 camera I will atleast get some better quality than my iPhone.. lol. I guess we will have to see. And I managed to get a T mount which fits the lense inside so I hope that also makes the quality of the pictures a bit better. I guess we will have to see. 

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As long as it has a good range of exposure times, it will be great. For the moon you will need to go quite short. You will have to experiment as to how long you can get on DSOs - when I used an alt-az mount, anything over about 10s started to show trailing, but it depends on your focal length and how good the mount is at tracking.

Get yourself a copy of Deep Sky Stacker (it's free), take yourself a set of bias frames (50* as short an exposure as possible, as dark as possible) which have to be taken only once, and can be used with all subsequent stacks. Darks (same exposure length as your lights, but with scope covered) can be useful, but as you cannot control the temperature of the chip, they may do more harm than good to the end result. You will want to think about flats at some point, but they need to be taken using exactly the same configuration as your lights. I suspect that, at least to start, you will want to capture several objects in a session, and, depending on the scope, you may need to adjust focus every new object, which would alter your flats.

For a start, open clusters are probably the easiest type of object. Select one that fits your field of view (this is another useful little free program that will do this for you), run off 30 mins of total exposures, put them, together with any bias/darks/flats you have taken, into DSS and let it do its thing. The end result can then be enhanced using something like photoshop.

The only other thing I always recommend for those embarking on AP is get a copy of Making Every Photon Count. Worth every penny.

Good luck, and enjoy the journey.

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I'm pretty new to all this as well but something I found out very quickly was that the mount is at least as important as the camera, especially initially. Most cameras will do the basics well enough to keep you satisfied for a while, but a mount that's not good enough will very quickly frustrate you. You are doing the right thing saving for a mount and not spending the cash on a better camera. Do you homework on mounts before making a purchase and get one that is going to cover your needs for the foreseeable future. I could have got away with an EQ5 for my setup, but I know I will get better / heavier kit at some point so went with an neq6 instead. Worth it in the long run.

HTH

Ed

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14 hours ago, edarter said:

I'm pretty new to all this as well but something I found out very quickly was that the mount is at least as important as the camera, especially initially. Most cameras will do the basics well enough to keep you satisfied for a while, but a mount that's not good enough will very quickly frustrate you. You are doing the right thing saving for a mount and not spending the cash on a better camera. Do you homework on mounts before making a purchase and get one that is going to cover your needs for the foreseeable future. I could have got away with an EQ5 for my setup, but I know I will get better / heavier kit at some point so went with an neq6 instead. Worth it in the long run.

HTH

Ed

Thank you for you're feedback... the problem that I can see with me is that I have a pretty big dobsonian… so finding a mount that can hold it yet still giving me the mobility that I will need for longer exposures im sure will kill my wallet lol 

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The more you do and see you'll probably find that visual you want the largest light bucket you can work with but for imaging many use small refractors as long exposure gives the eyes a light bucket does for observing.

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