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New to Astro Photography - all advice welcome


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Hi All,

Here's what I have - a Celestron 130 SLT, a bunch of 1.25" and 2" lenses, which I enjoy. I'm a very occasional and thoroughly amateur observer, but I recently bought a Canon 550D with t-Ring and Adaptor, and like many I manage to get images in daylight of local objects, but struggle to focus on the night sky. Haven't tried the Moon yet, but with Barlow may manage it. Any tips for getting better images with the DSLR would be much appreciated.

Also just about to try a Webcam, and wondered if anyone could recommend a Webcam and Adaptor?

Thanks in advance

Dave

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Don't use the Barlow when beginning.

It makes the image much darker, gives a much smaller field of view and makes the whole task much more difficult.

There are loads of imaging tips on the forum. Have a browse about.

Edited by Dave
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A good and very popular webcam would be the SPC880 from Morgans. It comes with software to flash it up to SPC900. I think they do the drivers too but if not you can get them on Phillips website for your OS. The adaptor is on the same page. I use wxAstroCapture with mine. Hope that helps :eek:

For focusing look into Bhatinov masks.

Edited by brantuk
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with the focusing tube of the telescope racked fully out slightly undo the locking screws holding the camera nosepiece in. Slowly slide the camera backwards away from the scope and see if the focus moves towards infinity, if it does then you probably need an extension tube to achieve the correct focus with your setup. If the focus doesn't improve it's possible that your camera needs to be closer to the telescope than you can currently achieve with t-adaptor and nosepiece you have. You can check this by removing the t-adaptor and nosepiece and just hold the camera body close to the focussing tube when it is racked all the way in.

Edited by Photosbykev
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Thanks already picked up a few tips. Without the Barlow I can't achieve focus on anything. With Barlow I can focus on middle distance from 20-2000m, but not the night sky. I'll keep working at it, there must be a cure

You need to figure out if the focal plane (that's where the image is formed by the big primary mirror) is too far out or too far in for your focuser. If it's too far in, you're out of luck and only Barlows might be able to help. If it's too far out, then extension tubes will help. If you can focus near things but not things further away then the focal plane is too far in (further away things are brought to a focus closer to the mirror than near things).

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Plugging the camera into where the eyepiece would go brings the camera too far out and beyod where focus is.

It's a common problem, but easily solved. See this old thread:

http://stargazerslounge.com/equipment-help/123067-cant-reach-focus-explorer-200-pds-canon-550d.html

How is your focusser set up?

Can you remove the eyepiece adapter from the focuser completely?

(They are sometimes held on by three locking screws).

In some models the inch and a quarter adapter unscrews from the bit that slots into the focuser. Once you remove this, the camera (using a T-ring) will fit directly onto the screw thread. It should then reach focus without using the Barlow.

Good luck.

Dave

Edited by Dave
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