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Advice wanted for AP

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Hi all and Happy New Year! :)

I would like some advice on where to go from here in order to get on with some Astro Photography!!

So far I have a SW 120ED DS pro, C80ED, Canon 1000D (unmodded) and a Secondhand Vixen Sphinx mount with starbook.

Now I am a bit stuck so I would appreciate some of your usual excellent advice.



should I piggy back the 2 scopes or side by side mounting?


Guide camera, what would be a good choice at a reasonable price for use with this combo?

Q3) Software, I already have Paintshop pro on my home computer but what other software would be required? ie to drive the camera, guiding software, processing RAW data etc.

I need to get a laptop, a T adaptor and..................?????

Thanks Pete

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I would get a side-by-side bar myself - piggybacking works, but reduces your options later on, as you are forced to always piggyback the same equipment. You'll have to watch the weight on the Sphinx though - I don't think it can handle that much. The rule of thumb I was always told was half the specified weight is about right for imaging.

Guide camera wise, a cheap CCD from any of the camera manufacturers will do the job - you can pickup second hand ones for not alot (I have a Meade DSI for sale at the moment for example)

Software wise, you can use PHD guiding to control the mount and guide camera (depending on the camera) which is free. Taking images wise, the Canon software does a passable job. I am not sure about the 1000D, but for the 350D, you can only take up to 30 second subs.

You really need to get your camera modded to allow it to pickup all the lovely deep red regions of the sky in nebula though.

Software wise, you are going to need something to stack the images - Registax is free, as is Deep Sky Stacker. For processing, Paint Shop Pro is fine for starting, although most of us use a variant of the Adobe Photoshop software - don't forget the Gimp though, which is free, and will do a good job as well.

Hope that helps,


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