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Hiya Peeps

I've got to the stage where i really want to get involved with imaging (mainly dso with some planetary) i dont know if this makes a big difference to kit required but i live in the highest lp area in uk :( London lol

What would the minimium requirements be ?

Do you need a guide scope / guide system , recommended mounts i am budget conscience

I currently have a skywatcher explorer 150p on eq3-2 (with ra drive) , phillips spc880/900 web cam , nikon d5000 dslr , lp/uhc filters .

Cheers Dan

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No, you just need a driven mount and patience to start off with.

Some will say you need to spend big bucks on a beefier mount and, whilst that may help in the long run, it isn't a requirement for starting out.

Get a copy of 'Making Every Photon Count' and get out and trying.

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My opinion, for what it's worth: I would recommend prioritising your spend on a good mount and start unguided. Mine is a Vixen GP which I bought second-hand and I'm very happy with it.

Your D5000 is a good enough camera but be prepared for a headache when it comes to doing an imaging run. You can't PC control it in bulb mode so you will need to trigger manually with a remote get some sort of timer remote. Also, Nikons don't produce true RAWs but there is some debate over how noticeable the "star-eater" is.

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Given your location, i'd think about starting with lunar/planetary - it's cheap, planets aren't really affected by light pollution (they're bright!) and it's a great way to learn the basics of imaging. Given your equipment list, you can get started with almost no more spending - all i'd suggest is a barlow or two to boost the image scale if you don't have them already.

Severe light pollution makes deep-sky imaging considerably harder. One way to get around it is to shoot narrowband, but that doesn't come very cheap - think long exposures, expensive filters and an H-alpha sensitive CCD. A much cheaper alternative is to keep the kit portable and find a dark site outside London for the occasional imaging overnighter!

Edited by Ben Ritchie
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