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Equipment needed for making images


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Hello everyone!, newbie here....

I was wondering what equipment you need to make decent (not stunning :D,) photos....., and if any cameras i already have could be used.., atm i do not have a good telescope( meade etx80) and am also looking for a new telescope..

So which telescope(s) are good to use for photagrophy (price range 500 -1000 euros) and what is needed to make pictures.

I do have a canon sx30 is powershot (not an dslr unfort.)

and a sony hd cam, but i doubt they could be used ( even tho i think the sony cam can fit to adapters since i also have an extra zoom lens for it)

Thanks alot in advance!!!, im not expetcing to make stunning photos but just wondering what it would take to make decent pictures of planets/some deep sky objects, i have seen in the forum that people took 5 to 8 hours of staring at a object and for 1 photo, also that hubble took like 45 days for the ultra deep field?:p

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Hi and welcome to SGL

Firstly I would highly recomend Beginners guide to astro-photography this book by Steve Ritcherds a local here on the forum. It will answer many questions on the subject.

You could make start with some planetary imaging using your meade ETX80 and a webcam, this is a good cheap webcam suited to the job Cheap Pre Flashed SPC880 CCD webcam bundle - 47842 - discounts & offers Your meade has a long focal leagnth which is good for planetary work.

For deepsky work though it's a hole different ball game! You would firstly need to upgrade to a good mount (the heart of the setup) Somthing like an Skywatcher HEQ5 and above, which is a fair chunk of your budget, I know.

Also generaly for deepspace work most people preffer to use fast, short tube refractors or reflectors. These can be picked up fairly cheap on the second hand market.

A DSLR or dedicated astro CCD camera is by far the best(only?) option for deepsky as you need the ability as you mentioned to have long exposures to pick out those faint distant objects. But with long exposures your tracking has to be spot on otherwise you end up with a blured image.

This is then when things start to get realy expensive, Firstly as I said the mount needs to be good, but even a £600 mount can only allow you to have around 3min exposures if you want more detail then you need to delve into autoguiding, which requires a further camera and scope/off axis adpater.

Thats not to mention the price for...focal reducer/flattener, cables, adpaters, filters, softwear and so on. It can get out of hand pritty quick as I have found out!

But it is a very adictive and rewarding experiance capturing your own images! :D

My main advice here really is to do alot of research on it all before you dive in.

Plenty great advice on the forum here.

Also I would really recomend giving some planetary imaging a go with your scope as I think you would learn a lot from doing that.

Hope that helps a bit.

Good luck with what ever you decide! :p


Edited by msinclairinork
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The ETX 80 can be used for widefield piggyback shots of the Milky Way, Star Fields, and some brighter Nebulas. I looked at your Sony camera on line and it looks like the max exp time on it is 15 sec which is a little short, but you might get some decent consellation shots if you raise the ISO all the way. At the minimum you should get a DSLR, entry level can be found for 300-400 dollars. Once you get the DSLR running on top of your ETX you can get some decent shots that will get you used to shooting at night and editing the photos. Feel free to check out the pics on my profile, they were shot with an entry level DSLR on top of a ETX 60.

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Oke!, thanks for your replies!, very helpful , and it seems once i have equipment i should start practising on the moon and planets:P!

nice shots btw jleach29!, do you also make photos with you Celestron Dob Starhopper 8in?

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