Jump to content


Question about imaging from a DSLR

Recommended Posts

Hello. I am very much interested in astrophotography, and I have been reading a lot about it for the past couple of months. I got interested in it when I went to a Bortle 3 area a couple of months back and took some pictures with my phone on a tripod using ExpertRaw from Samsung, in astrophotography mode.

I have a Nikon Z50 with kit lens (50-250Mm F/4.5-6.3, and 16-50Mm), a tripod for camera and I live in a Bortle 7 area in the city. I have a generic tripod mount for DSLR cameras that I bought off of amazon a while back and that's it. I unfortunately do not have anywhere close-by with low light pollution, and I was wondering would it be possible to shoot DSO's like galaxies and nebulae with this setup from my backyard? Will getting a mount like Staradventurer etc make it better? If so, can someone please guide me in the right direction what exactly I should be looking into or be looking to invest in? My budget is around €500.

I know this question is asked a lot, but I would really appreciate some help with this!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

I image from bortle 7, LRGB has it's issues due to the surrounding lights so I mostly image in narrowband.

You will need a star tracker or tracking mount to do at least 30s minimum images without star trailing. The lens may not be the best but the worst you can do is not try it. Ideally you'll want a fast lens F1.4-F3, most likely the fast lenses will need stopping down to improve their sharpness, note not all lenses are good for AP, I've used a few and I would say 70-80pc are not built for it as they tend to suffer from coma (stars become triangular or seagull shaped toward the edge), cannot focus to infinity or past infinity (required to fine focus to the best possible), suffer from chromatic abberation (colour flares around light sources) or LoCA (longitudinal). If you're looking to crop the image these issues are not so much of an issue. The Samyang 135mm F2 lens is one of the best pieces of optical equipment out there for AP. On a budget and acceptable performance with some post processing the Asahi Pentax Takumar lenses are good, definitely not bad for 50 year old lenses.

AP can get very expensive very quickly so I'd temper the itch to buy and try to get the best out of what you have already first, you might get good trials with what you have already with the Andromeda galaxy, Orion Nebula and Pleiades (once autumn arrives) doing something like 5-10s exposures, then take hundreds of images and stack them with calibration frames (darks, flats, dark flats).

A Star Adventurer is okay, I didn't get on with manually pointing so bought an azgti soon after and still use it, goto is great, converted to EQ mode, autoguiding etc etc and the cost mounts up. An out the box option is the Star Adventurer GTI which is near your budget. At some point if you're in it long term you'll want a computer controller, but for now, just use an intervalometer (or if the camera has one built in).

So for now, try with what you have on a normal tripod. Then look at lenses and a tracking mount. The longer the focal length, the more accurate your polar alignment and tracking/autoguiding needs to be.


Edited by Elp
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you so much for your input. So I will definitely need some sort of tracker in the long run? I've already had my eyes on Samyang 135mm F2 lens for a while now, but every beginner guide I have read has pointed out to first get a good mount before spending on other equipment. What would be a good tracking mount in your opinion? I'm not very shy in learning new tech, so difficulty level of it shouldn't be an issue as long as it can do the job.

Tonight I'm planning to try and take lunar images and Andromeda if it is visible from my backyard, I hope everything will be okay!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would try your camera and current lens first. Reason being I just bought a new for me mirrorless and it has its own issues. Yes, it wouldn't make sense to buy the lens before the mount. If I were in your position and stuck to around the budget I'd probably lean toward the SAGTI, as you'll be able to use maybe up to an 80mm refractor on it in future, if you want further future proofing look at an eq5/6 pro or ioptron equivalent or one of the new harmonic drives from ioptron or zwo. Having a mount without counterweights is so convenient for setup purposes. If you're patient some great deals can be had buying used.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.