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Hi folks , I am a complete newbie to star gazing and a want to take up the challenge of  astro photography. I`m pretty good at normal photography and know my way round a camera. My total budget to get me going is 2.5k (holiday money, for the holiday i did`nt have last year)

So looking for advice on what is a good telescope to start in astro photography. Now with all i`ve read so far in need a good mount and this is where the money should be spent, budget is 1k. if i can get a good mount for less then whats left over can be spent on a telescope. My Budget is 1k for the telescope. 

My understanding is that i will require a guidescope to make sure the telescope stays on target. PHD2 is the software that seems to be what peeps are using.

Thanks in advance

 

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Hi,

I think the very best advice given on this forum to folks in your position is to get the great book "Making Every Photo Count" by Steve Richards:

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/books/making-every-photon-count-steve-richards.html

Apologies if you have already read this but it really is a great starting point for would be imagers :smiley:

 

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9 hours ago, Newbiestargazer said:

Hi folks , I am a complete newbie to star gazing and a want to take up the challenge of  astro photography. I`m pretty good at normal photography and know my way round a camera. My total budget to get me going is 2.5k (holiday money, for the holiday i did`nt have last year)

So looking for advice on what is a good telescope to start in astro photography. Now with all i`ve read so far in need a good mount and this is where the money should be spent, budget is 1k. if i can get a good mount for less then whats left over can be spent on a telescope. My Budget is 1k for the telescope. 

My understanding is that i will require a guidescope to make sure the telescope stays on target. PHD2 is the software that seems to be what peeps are using.

Thanks in advance

 

Hi Newbiestargazer,

If you are completely new to astronomy I am not sure it is a good idea to dive strait into astro-photography. It might be better to do some visual astronomy even with a pair of medium binoculars to familiarize yourself with the night sky and the objects that will be of interest to you. The gear you use for astrophotography is different for planets and so called deep sky objects for example, or if you want to do wide field vs galaxies or globular clusters. Also if you already have a DSLR and all you want to do is wide field stuff you may not even need a telescope - you might be happy with a tracking mount like the Star Adventurer with a suitable lens.

Welcome to the hobby!

 

Edited by beka
typo
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 If you have ruled out doing visual, and are more interested in Deep Sky than Planetary, I would choose a refractor. 

Next, you have to think about how heavy you want the mount to be - will you be travelling to a dark site or not.

If you can observe from home, I would actually advise you to spend more than half your budget on your mount and less on your telescope. You can always upgrade the telescope later.

Having a good mount is key for Deep Sky.

 

If you want to do a mix of Planetary and Deep Sky, I would choose a SCT.

 

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10 hours ago, Newbiestargazer said:

Hi folks , I am a complete newbie to star gazing and a want to take up the challenge of  astro photography. I`m pretty good at normal photography and know my way round a camera. My total budget to get me going is 2.5k (holiday money, for the holiday i did`nt have last year)

So looking for advice on what is a good telescope to start in astro photography. Now with all i`ve read so far in need a good mount and this is where the money should be spent, budget is 1k. if i can get a good mount for less then whats left over can be spent on a telescope. My Budget is 1k for the telescope. 

My understanding is that i will require a guidescope to make sure the telescope stays on target. PHD2 is the software that seems to be what peeps are using.

Thanks in advance

 

The key thing is to understand what you want to image as there isn't really a "do it all" option.

There are some fantastic shots on this site taken with a DSLR, lens and tracking mount which would be a cheaper "dip your toe" into the water than a full blown imaging rig.

On the other hand if you have the cash and want to get straight into it then that's also ok.

If this is what you want then I'd be getting the best mount I could afford (throw in an ipolar/polemaster to reduce frustrations of polar alignment) with a short focal length doublet/triplet refractor, focus mask and a second hand modded DSLR to get started and learn the ropes (of which there are many!!). Oh and some cheap usb powered dew heaters from Amazon, they work a treat!

Tracking wise I have a secondary refractor piggy back mounted on my rig (doesn't need to be fancy and expensive) along with a ZWO 120 mini as the guide camera, works really well but I know these days people are using the finder scopes instead and FLO have some kits for this on their store for not a lot of money.

And then learn the software...APT is amazing software for basically everything and is has a free version which is extremely generous and PHD2 will get you tracking (pretty intuitive out the box as well).

I would suggest you get some nights out using the gear and don't be too picky about targets, just get it aligned, focused, tracking and taking subs.

Once you're happy with all that...time for EQMOD (assuming the mount has it) and installing the plate solving library into APT...game changer but get the stuff working first or frustrations will get too much.

Anyway that's my small ramble on a Sunday

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12 hours ago, Newbiestargazer said:

I`m pretty good at normal photography and know my way round a camera

Well there's your first problem! 😆 Seriously, astro photography bears very little resemblance to normal photography. The most important aspect is that everything you photograph under the night sky will be grossly underexposed.

As far as equipment goes, everybody seems to recommend what they have bought, themselves - which isn't much help/ I would suggest starting at this website. Both for a run-down of the principles and also for the equipment reviews they offer. However, the site is USA-centric so much of the stuff available everywhere else doesn't merit a mention.
It's also worth knowing that most of the popular / best astronomy equipment is out-of-stock almost everywhere.

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