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CHARLIE644

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My name Michael Powell and I’m new to star gazing and I’m after some advice on astrophotography.  So when I’m approved I’ll be asking loads of question and will be after tones of advice.

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Hello. 
 

Ok.  Thank you.

I would like some help with astrophotography.

 

I have a telescope with a focal length 400mm with diameter 70mm.  I enjoyed looking at the moon.  However I would like to photos of the moon, other planets and eventually other celestial objects.  I used  my mobile phone and an adaptor.  I got some good photos but it was a real pain in bum to set this up.  
I have a canon 50d dslr.  I connected this to my telescope but the photos were less than inspiring. A lot worse than the mobile phone ones.

I am more interested in astrophotography, than just looking at the moon.

 

1.  Would it be better to get a good lens for my canon for astrophotography?

2. Get a better telescope and continue using the canon 50d dslr?

3. Get a dedicated Astro camera to add to my telescope.   ie one of the following or something like it (Bresser full HD deep-sky camera, ZWO ASI224 high frame rate colour camera, etc)?

 

or is there another option I could follow.

 

I have also looked at the skywatcher series for mounts.

 

 

And thanks in advance for any advice.

 

Michael

 

 

 

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Astrophotography is complex and a pain to set up as you say.   Many of us decided to have a permanent set up inside an observatory for this reason.  However we have all been where you are now.  
 

I should tell you that different equipment is needed for deep sky imaging to planetary and Moon imaging.   
 

The most important thing for deep sky is your mount.   It needs to be an equatorial mount capable of guiding. 
For deep sky you need either a Newtonian (which needs regular collimation) or an Apochromatic refractor.  
 

 You can use a DSLR for imaging deep sky and some modern DSLRs can capture planetary in video mode.   
 

it would be a good idea if you tell us what mount you have and the model of your telescope.  

Finally a Samyang 135mm F2 lens is excellent for widefield imaging coupled with a DSLR however may be too wide for some targets.    

 

Carole

Edited by Carastro
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Thank you for your reply.

 

My set up is as follows.

 

Mijiao Telescope for Adults, 90X Travel Telescopes with Finder Scope Tray Adjustable Tripod Telescope for Beginners, Astronomical Portable Telescopes for Adults for Moon, Planets and Stargazing (70mm).

 

If you copy the above in Amazon it will take you to the telescope that I purchased

 

Not brilliant I think.

 

It has a basic tripod which is again not brilliant.

 

I have attached a canon 50d dslr via a t ring adaptor to the telescope.

 

To start with I would like to photograph the moon and planets.

Then I would like to move onto more celestial bodies.

 

I am more interest in photography than stargazing.

 

I know I will need a tracking mount.  Something out of the skywatcher range etc.

 

My main question is would it be better to buy a new better telescope and continue to attach my canon 50d to it?

 

or

 

Buy a good lens for my canon 50d?

 

Also would a better camera help both options?

 

Again thank you in advanced for advice and help

 

Michael Powell

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Hi Michael, firstly welcome aboard. It sounds like you've already found Carole's website which is a wealth of knowledge and what most of us aspire to. I couldn't see the link but can imagine the scope may be somewhat lacking however as Carole said it all starts really with an equatorial mount, with the cheapest being a star tracker (adventurer) but many eventually end up at heq5 or eq6rpro so it very much depends on your bank balance. There's nothing wrong with starting off with 50d as I did so I would hold off a camera yet. However as a first step you could also try using sequator software (quick search on youtube) for a taste with 50d stock lens on a fixed tripod and see how hooked you get. As this hobby is addictive. There is a great beginners section as well as many very helpful people on here. You can also have a look at trevor Jones astrobackyard on youtube when he was starting out (early vids) with a Canon camera. I also suggest seeing if there is a local society with a public night. Good luck...

Edited by Demon
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Hello.

Yes, the site is very good and thank you for the YouTube suggestions.  I’ll have a look tonight.  Thank you

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I just looked up your telescope.  It doesn’t track except by hand.  You might get away with doing some lunar and planetary images which are done with fast video but no way will you be able to do deep sky imaging with it whatever scope and camera you use.  

You would need a tracking equatorial mount capable if guiding as deep sky images require long exposure this will not work on a non tracking mount.
 

i started with a non tracking mount. But wasn’t imaging at that stage.  Then l bought a GOTO tracking mount but that wasn’t equatorial.  3rd mount l bought was suitable for long exposure imaging.   I think many of us went through a similar route before we got it right.  Hopefully you will cut out the middle one by asking here. 
 

carole

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Many of us use a Samyang 135mm F2 lens for imaging.  If you want to use this for it might be a better route for you to go down, at least to start with. You can mount it onto a Skywatcher Staradventurer mentioned above, and later on can be mounted in your future better mount.  For a mount you will need some sort of mounting rings and dovetail, mine were 3D printed. 
 

l would not consider changing your telescope until you have a better mount.  
 

As regards cameras.   Many of us started with a DSLR but you will get better results if you get it Astro-modified.  ie get the IR filter removed as this shuts out a lot of the hydrogen alpha in deep sky objects.  Getting a dedicated astro camera should come when you have had some practice imaging and a better mount. 
 

l believe Astronomiser still does that modification.   
 

Carole

Edited by Carastro
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Hello

 

Thank you all for the amount of brilliant advice.

I will have a look at that mount and the lens mentioned.

 

This should put me on the right track and hopefully on the road to some great photos.

 

When I get better equipment I’ll hopefully put some photos on this post.

 

im off on holiday so I probably won’t post for a bit.

 

but again thank you all for,helping me get going in this hobby

 

cheers

 

michael

 

 

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Hello

 

ive just search for the mount.

it has some up with 

 

STAR ADVENTURER MINI WIFI (SAM PRO PACK)

 

 

STAR ADVENTURER 2I WIFI PHOTO PACK

 

 

STAR ADVENTURER 2I WIFI PRO PACK

 

which would be the best bet?

 

thank you

 

michael

 

 

 

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Hi Michael, there are several 'star adventurers'

 

The mini https://www.rothervalleyoptics.co.uk/skywatcher-star-adventurer-mini-wifi-pro-pack.html will struggle to hold anything bigger than a DSLR and small lens, also can't really be guided (as far as I know)

The 2i https://www.rothervalleyoptics.co.uk/skywatcher-star-adventurer-2i-wifi-photo-pack-head-only.html will be much better for you and can be guided (in one axis) if / when you get into things a bit more and aim for longer exposures.

The 2i pro pack https://www.rothervalleyoptics.co.uk/skywatcher-star-adventurer-2i-wifi-pro-pack.html is the same mount but with all the extras bundled to allow for polar alignment  / balance etc.

 

I guess it all depends on your budget and how you think you will get into it ?

 

 

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I would go for this as it is a full goto mount https://www.firstlightoptics.com/star-tracker-astronomy-mounts/sky-watcher-star-adventurer-gti.html -make sure you get the version with tripod and extension pillar.

Still light in weight but it will give you room to grow. You will become frustrated with the others as you would still have to know where to point the camera in the skies. A goto mount will do it for you.

 

Even though you can use this with batteries it might be better at home with a 12V 5.5mm/2.1mm plug external power supply https://www.firstlightoptics.com/power-accessories/zwo-12v-5a-ac-to-dc-power-supply-adapter-for-cooled-cameras.html

 

As Gaz says it is all down to your budget.

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Another thought, if you feel brave and are a bit 'techy' you could try this https://www.firstlightoptics.com/skywatcher-mounts/sky-watcher-az-gti-wifi-alt-az-mount-tripod.html

It can be 'flashed' with EQ firmware, works out to be a very reasonably priced way to get 'goto' and guiding / PC control.

BUT ! research it first as it's quite a lot of fiddling to get working.

 

Here is a write up of what I mean https://nightskypix.com/sky-watcher-az-gti-setup-and-user-guide/

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6 hours ago, GazAstro said:

Another thought, if you feel brave and are a bit 'techy' you could try this https://www.firstlightoptics.com/skywatcher-mounts/sky-watcher-az-gti-wifi-alt-az-mount-tripod.html

It can be 'flashed' with EQ firmware, works out to be a very reasonably priced way to get 'goto' and guiding / PC control.

BUT ! research it first as it's quite a lot of fiddling to get working.

 

Here is a write up of what I mean https://nightskypix.com/sky-watcher-az-gti-setup-and-user-guide/

 

Gaz, can this be used in Equatorial mode?

 

 

Personally I think the one that Terry suggested would be excellent, not seen that one before.

"I would go for this as it is a full goto mount https://www.firstlightoptics.com/star-tracker-astronomy-mounts/sky-watcher-star-adventurer-gti.html -make sure you get the version with tripod and extension pillar."

 

 

Carole

Edited by Carastro
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Hello

 

Thnks for the brilliant advice.

 

i have found the lens.

 

Samyang 135mm T2.2 VDSLR ED UMC - Canon EF Fit

 

would this be suitable?

 

thanks

 

michael

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Best to stick with the exact lens that Carole has as it is a tried and tested one used by many astrophotographers worldwide.

I have found a new one here https://www.bristolcameras.co.uk/product/samyang-135mm-f2-0-ed-umc-lens-canon-fitting/

 

Check with them that it is the exact one though as they are becoming hard to find new. In other countries it goes by the brand name Rokinon.https://rokinon.com/collections/manual-focus/products/135mm-f2-0-full-frame-telephoto

It’s exactly the same lens.

 

The VDSLR T2.2 is unproven in astro terms. Although it may be another brilliant lens best to leave it until reviews start appearing in astro forums.

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19 hours ago, Carastro said:

Gaz, can this be used in Equatorial mode?

It has to be flashed with EQ firmware from the Sky watcher support site, it's a bit fiddly but I managed with one for a few years ok. You just need to add a wedge and counterweight and you end up with a full goto equatorial mount for not much outlay.

Guides around 1.5 arc secs.

AP_Rig.jpg.a783c02eb01d05b23c5116954c944add.jpg

Edited by GazAstro
Added image.
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Hello

 

i had a play last night

 

i used 

 

canon 50d

Lens 18mm-55mm manual focus

shutter delay w-second and iso 3200

 

sad to say these are my best pictures of Jupiter.

 

5AE37EB6-9752-4646-8E09-A75F9D8B362D.jpeg

C5D6C940-A193-4B9D-A49F-194A85E198E6.jpeg

5F6850E3-5FD5-42A6-A755-D0FFB5D28AED.jpeg

AF1A0805-150E-49E5-A4CE-AFD8EB4492A6.jpeg

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Don't be sad, we all started somewhere.

You'll need way more focal length than 55mm to see any detail on Jupiter.

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DSLR l would use Deep Sky Stacker for stacking which is free. 
 

For Post-Processing there are a lot  of choices these days.  I use Photoshop because l have been using it for years before many other Sw came out.  
 

Many like Pixinsight but it is a steep learning curve.  
 

l have heard things about Siril and Nina, GIMP which l believe is free and Astropixelprocessor l believe it is called.  Plus Affinity Photo, But l have never used any of these.  
 

l am sure others will be along with recommendations.  

Edited by Carastro
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