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Starter equipment for imaging?


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I've been advised that my scope won't be good enough for imaging with a DSLR attached to the focuser.

My only step that I can take is to go down is via my PC or a web cam route.

Thought Celestron did a USB cable and a disc but that turns out to be to do with a Goto attachment than a camera. I thought CCD's was the way but at £250+ its cheaper getting a new scope that will take the camera.

Can anyone on here give me some suggestions at to what I will need to start off with?

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How about forget it for a while.

Another post here from one of the imagers points out that he his set up has cost about £10,000 so far, and another £5,000 may finally make it into what he feels he wants and would feel happy with.

Really suggest that before you start buying you find a club that has an imaging section, go along and find out what is involved at all levels. Go along means several trips and visits not just the odd one or two.

Visit fedastro.org.uk and see what clubs are close to you, then find out which are active in the area of imaging.

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How about forget it for a while.

Another post here from one of the imagers points out that he his set up has cost about £10,000 so far, and another £5,000 may finally make it into what he feels he wants and would feel happy with.

Really suggest that before you start buying you find a club that has an imaging section, go along and find out what is involved at all levels. Go along means several trips and visits not just the odd one or two.

Visit fedastro.org.uk and see what clubs are close to you, then find out which are active in the area of imaging.

Thanks for the advise Capricorn. Sorry that me asking questions has rubbed you up the wrong way.

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I guess you need to decide whether Lunar/Planetary is your thing or will it be deep sky? The two are mutually exclusive really.

A webcam would get you imaging the Moon very nicely indeed and you could have some fun with the planets too. I suspect that you could fit your DSLR to this mount using a 'T' to 1.25" nosepiece adapter and a 'T' mount for your camera but first aim the telescope at the Moon with the focus tube racked right in and then hold the DSLR with NO lens attached over the focus tube and move it towards the telescope and then away from the telescope to see if you can get the Moon in focus in the camera's viewfinder. If you can and you are holding the camera at least 15.0mm from the eyepiece holder on the focus tube then you will be able to image the Moon with it using the right adapters.

For deep sky imaging, you will require a more substantial (and sadly costly) mount.

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Yep, the first link from Morgan's. If you have look in the platery section here you'll find examples of what people have captured with one, and usually what scope/mount they used.

There are plenty of people here (and elsewhere) are doing good astrophotography for a lot less than 5K, perfection does cost a lot more but pleasing results can be had cheaply. Some startling results can be had with a DSLR, a good mount and no scope... depends on your expectations.

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Lunar Planetary imaging is by far the cheaper option to start with and is actually possibly with a webcam with a few DIY modifications and free capture software - please don't be put off the hobby by figures of £10,000+ being quoted. Yes, deep sky imaging does rack up the cost but it really doesn't have to be that expensive. I think you would find a DSLR too heavy for your scope so a webcam route for the moment would be better - those first images you capture of the moon are a real thrill.

Just so you know, my DSI set up including a cheap laptop has probably cost about £2000 todate and not all that was bought at once. It may not be top of the range stuff but it's performing very well for the price

Stick with it - it's a great hobby

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There are plenty of people here (and elsewhere) are doing good astrophotography for a lot less than 5K, perfection does cost a lot more but pleasing results can be had cheaply. Some startling results can be had with a DSLR, a good mount and no scope... depends on your expectations.

I think most people's imaging kit cost on here cost significantly less than 10 grand (mine certainly did!), it doesn't matter what it cost, it's what you do with it that matters :).

Tony..

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I think most people's imaging kit cost on here cost significantly less than 10 grand (mine certainly did!), it doesn't matter what it cost, it's what you do with it that matters :).

Tony..

I agree. Experiment with what you have got and see where it takes you. Part of the fun is the journey that gets you there.

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I agree with the majority on here. I am just playing at it at the moment and love some of the results I have had. They are in my opinion not worthy for here but gave me a massive thrill of what I can do non the less.

It is really horses for courses :p and for me I know I am not going to get HST like images but at the end of the day I am happy with what I can capture with my modest equipement :)

Fija

Edited by Fija
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I too agree with all posts. Get a SPC900 Webcam, and enjoy. I have only just got motor drives for the mount and was happy with what I took 'pictures' of without the drives. Yes you wont get the same sort of images you see in magazines and those who think spending tens of thousands of pounds to get them are, sadly mistaken!

Enjoy this fabulous hobby, good luck

J

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I really don't think the OP is going to need to spend 10k to get a tube/mount he can attach his camera to to have a crack at getting some pictures out.

He asked for advice on what gear to start out with, not to challenge Hubble.

Mate, I'm having fun and getting results i'm pleased with from my back garden with £30 quids worth of webcam and adapter. The first time you see Saturn or the moon craters on your laptop screen your smile will add to the light pollution.

Good luck with it.

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Another post here from one of the imagers points out that he his set up has cost about £10,000 so far, and another £5,000 may finally make it into what he feels he wants and would feel happy with.

And I'm saying that to answer that was fairly elistist (and remember the topic is about "starter equipment", not the amount of money you can sink into it, which is essentially limitless), and that I've seen many people make images they could be proud of with just a 150mm reflector or an 80mm ED doublet refractor on an EQ5.

But yes, it's a different hobby. Money is actually not the biggest hurdle, it's the steep learning curve and after that the time it takes to get pictures that satisfy you (and usually, unless you're lucky, the frustration of having to battle a lot of technical issues that can ruin your work).

Edited by sixela
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