View Full Version here: : Equipment for astrophotography
01-04-2012, 03:01 PM
Been a while since I was on here last, work has been taking up a little too much time as it does, but good to be back. More time to catch up with astronomy at last, which brings me to my question.
What would be a good astrophoto set up? I have a dslr 550d and I had in mind maybe an HEQ5 with a CF RC8? Or CF GSO 8" newt.? I chose the CF mainly because of its weight factor on the HEQ5, but any suggestions, stories or any tips would be very helpful! :thumbsup: Cheers guys!
01-04-2012, 04:14 PM
For the extra few hundred dollars, just go to the EQ6, the weight of your gear can really add up by the time you end up with cameras, guide scopes, dew shields, coma correctors, filter wheels, cable etc.
I'd start off with a small refractor, then move up to an longer focal length once you've learnt how to tame guiding, tracking, alignment, light pollution, processing etc. etc. Then the refractor can become your guide-scope when you are ready to move up.
An RC8 is an unforgiving beast, and with Newts and the RC8 you have collimation to deal with, and the newt has the camera gear all mounted to the side and possible flex issues etc. These are all surmountable, but you may find more fun and more success starting with the refractor, getting it all down perfect, and then moving on to more difficult beasties.
01-04-2012, 05:14 PM
Yea that sounds like an pretty good idea. A refractor is nice and small too easy to transport as well plus QLD roads are an absolute joke at the moment so it would be less prone to be damaged, that was probably my main concern, the transport.
What are some good refractors though? Is there a specific type like an ED or Triplet, doublet that would suit astrophotos? I see alot of people using ED's for wide field
Thank you for your input! Cheers!
01-04-2012, 05:23 PM
ED scopes will give great results, these are usually a 'doublet', and will give great widefiled results.
A triplet is a bit of a step up if you can get one at a good price, you will generally get less chromatic abberation with a triplet, with a doublet you may get a little blue bloat around some stars etc. but at smaller apertures, this is readily handled.
The ED80 is a popular choice, and available 2nd hand for under $400, I personally love 4" scopes, they are a lovely balance between portability and handling, but with a bit more resolution than an 80mm, I'm very happy with my 105mm scope.
Take a look at some photo galleries and you will see some great results with 80mm, 90mm and 100mm scopes. I'd make a decision as to the model, then ask people what they think of that particular one before pulling the trigger.
01-04-2012, 06:04 PM
Yea will do! I have seen some stunning images taken throughED refractors and even at 80mm you could see nebulosity and etc that i thought was never there.
How about the mount? I was thinking the HEQ5 Goto since its a bit cheaper than the NEQ6 but might be a trouble when i upgrade?
01-04-2012, 06:50 PM
Yeah, in all seriousness go for the EQ6, you can often get one second hand for about a grand, and andrews has them for $1499.
The HEQ5 is okay if you only ever stick with the refractor, it *can* handle bigger, but tends to be frustrating with larger loads.
The mount is the *most* important part of the equipment, without a doubt and the one area you will really regret if you skimp on it.
But like everything, your budget is the deciding factor, but I'd rather wait and save up personally.
01-04-2012, 07:38 PM
Yea the EQ6 looks like it will work out better, might have to keep my eyes and ears open for one on here sometime maybe. How hard is auto guiding though? Im guessing there will be plenty of trial and error nights which is no problems, but there is software for guiding and what not?
Thanks for the tips too! Tom.
01-04-2012, 08:26 PM
Not a bad place to start reading up.
By guiding do you mean autoguiding with a second camera and scope?
You may want to check the forums and download some fits files or tiff files and practice processing while deciding what gear you are looking to purchase.
Acquiring images is only half the battle, stacking, stretching, deconvoluting and otherwise processing images is where the magic happens. You may as well get a handle on that while you're waiting.
01-04-2012, 09:35 PM
Yea i was thinking a second scope with another camera, might read up on it too, i'll check those links out as well, thanks for putting them up. What are some good processing and stacking programs for astrophotography? Cheers! Tom.
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