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So what I really need to start with planetary photography...


SzabiB
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Spending a fair amount of time outside in the past few days, I gave up on phone mounts. I can't find any type which fits on my StarGuider eyepieces properly and it is not good for my mental health and the safety of the people around me, trust me. 

I don't have a massive amount of cash to burn at the moment, but maybe enough to get a taste.

I have a Skywatcher Classic 200 Dob and my goal is to take some good pictures (in my standard) of the moon and planets. After many hours of digging, I still have no clue what I really need to start. So please be nice (everyone nice here always..) and try to explain it, what shall I look for and order. 

Regarding the camera, I was thinking about to get a second hand Canon 6Da or 60Da for starter.... that is how far I got. 

What kind of adapter I will need? What about the eye pieces... 

Many thanks in advance.

 

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4 minutes ago, SzabiB said:

Spending a fair amount of time outside in the past few days, I gave up on phone mounts. I can't find any type which fits on my StarGuider eyepieces properly and it is not good for my mental health and the safety of the people around me, trust me. 

I don't have a massive amount of cash to burn at the moment, but maybe enough to get a taste.

I have a Skywatcher Classic 200 Dob and my goal is to take some good pictures (in my standard) of the moon and planets. After many hours of digging, I still have no clue what I really need to start. So please be nice (everyone nice here always..) and try to explain it, what shall I look for and order. 

Regarding the camera, I was thinking about to get a second hand Canon 6Da or 60Da for starter.... that is how far I got. 

What kind of adapter I will need? What about the eye pieces... 

Many thanks in advance.

 

You really need a camera that is able to produce high frame rates at an appropriate image scale. I dont see that a 6Da or 60Da would be a good match to that you are trying to do. 

Not sure what the cost of those DSLRs are currently but I would recommend a dedicated planetary camera even if its a cheap 120mc as you will likely get much better results than you can get with a DSLR. 

What is your actual budget?

Adam

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7 minutes ago, Adam J said:

You really need a camera that is able to produce high frame rates at an appropriate image scale. I dont see that a 6Da or 60Da would be a good match to that you are trying to do. 

Not sure what the cost of those DSLRs are currently but I would recommend a dedicated planetary camera even if its a cheap 120mc as you will likely get much better results than you can get with a DSLR. 

What is your actual budget?

Adam

Hi Adam, 

Thank you for your response. I would say up to £450-500 with everything...

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7 minutes ago, PeterCPC said:

Do you have a tracking mount?

Hi Peter, 

No, I don't, but in my understanding for planetary and moon shots is not necessary or is it? (saving up for some good gear, I will have £3k free up end of next summer which is going towards some good telescope)

 

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I can be done without a tracking mount but it's much more difficult. You want to be able to take short video clips so that the individual images (some of them) can be stacked together. This is always easier if you can keep the planet centered whilst capturing. This is difficult enough with small FOV that you get with planetary camera even with a tracking mount.

sorrimen has an ASI224 for sale at the moment.

Edited by PeterCPC
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The basics for planets in my view are:

1) Lots of focal length (hence the real need for a tracking mount, Alt/Az is fine).

2) A fast frame rate planetary camera (colour if you don't want to faff with filters).

3) Stacking software such as Auto Stakkert.

A DSLR is not really ideal because you need a very fast frame rate say 200 fps and you don't need a huge chip.  I have performed planetary imaging with a DSLR but it was a model with movie crop mode (rare) and I needed to use eyepiece projection. It's really not ideal.

For example, my setup is a C9.25 with an ASI 224 or 290 camera.  I adjust the focal length to get the optimum using a Powermate.  The simple formula is to times your camera pixel size by 4 or 5 to get the optimum f/. So for the 224 I use a 2x powermate which takes my scope to f/20 and a focal length of 4.6 metres.

 

Edited by Owmuchonomy
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1 hour ago, SzabiB said:

Hi Adam, 

Thank you for your response. I would say up to £450-500 with everything...

Well personally i would be going for a larger sensor planetary camera from ZWO like the ASI585mc if i wanted to image the moon, then use it cropped at higher FPS for planets. 

Also the ability to have a larger frame will help you keep the planet in view and find it. 

Edited by Adam J
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18 minutes ago, PeterCPC said:

I can be done without a tracking mount but it's much more difficult. You want to be able to take short video clips so that the individual images (some of them) can be stacked together. This is always easier if you can keep the planet centered whilst capturing. This is difficult enough with small FOV that you get with planetary camera even with a tracking mount.

sorrimen has an ASI224 for sale at the moment.

Thank you. 

 

Thanks God I asked first before splashed out the money for a DSLR camera...
I am full on dummy (yet), I have a look on the ASI224. I can't see the sale section yet (still 3 days until the 30 days trigger), but I will contact sorrimen.

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If going with a proper planetary camera you will need to budget for a laptop to run it and store the images.  You will need USB3 connections and also SSD storage to get the best from the camera.  I use a Lenovo thinkpad which I picked up for around £150 from ebay IIRC.

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Amazing, thank you for the answers everyone. 

 

So I spent the weekend reading up on this subject and where I am at the moment:

- going to bite the bullet and stretching out the budget (hope Misses is not on this forum)

- thinking on a SW 127 MAK AZ GTi ( has the tracking, also can be a good option as a grab and go if we are going to camping)

- ZWO 224 MC

I have a Dell XPS laptop, so that one is sorted.

Barlow wise I seen many different arguments on it. At the moment I have a 2X BST. Do I need something bigger - better?  

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Have a look on AstroBuySell ( https://www.astrobuysell.com/uk/propview.php ).  You can get some relatively cheap cameras that are good for planetary imaging crop up on here fairly frequently.  I bagged an Opticstar PX-126c there for less than £80 and it's perfect for lunar and planetary imaging.

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With the 224mc you'll also need a UV/IR cut filter (mainly the IR cut bit), you can still image without it but it's better with as the colours won't shift toward red. You can screw a 1.25 inch filter into the t nose adaptor which comes with the camera.

Edited by Elp
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