Old 08-07-2019, 07:59 AM
poider (Peter)
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Location: Adelaide, Australia
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Lens or tracker

G’evening, I have a Nikon D7200 with a Sigma 10-20mm F/3.5, that is almost wide enough, a Nikkor 50mm F/1.8 which is fast enough but not wide enough, A sigma 150-500mm F/6.3 which is almost telephoto enough but very slow aperture wise, I also have a Nat geo 150mm reflector (Cheapie).
I like moon, planetary, and also like to take clusters and nebulae.
I am contemplating new equipment and am tossing up between a skywatcher star adventurer, or a faster wide lens.
Any ideas which would be more beneficial???
hank you
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Old 08-07-2019, 08:03 AM
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Atmos (Colin)
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I’d go star tracker myself. Given that you’ve got a lot of the focal lengths covered already, being able to take longer exposures with tracking will give better images than new glass which is still limited by lack of tracking.
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Old 10-07-2019, 01:22 PM
poider (Peter)
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Thank you atmos
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Old 14-07-2019, 12:09 PM
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The best lens with poor tracking = lousy photo.
A mediocre lens with good tracking = good photo.

A good lens with good tracking = best photo.

Above about 15mm you kind of need tracking anyway unless you plan on doing 15 x 10 seconds at too high an ISO and process it and somehow match the landscape to the sky.

With an even mediocre tracker you can go 1 minute with a 14mm lens easily, 1 minute with polar alignment at 21mm + and even longer.

Now you can do 8 x 30 seconds at virtually any focal length up to about 150mm and stack them and get round stars and no noise and some colour depth without blowing out star colours by using too high an ISO.

Tracker for sure.

Vixen Polarie is one of the better ones at its so small and light and easy to use.

I also have a Fornax Lightrack ii which is very nice, more accurate but less portable and harder to supply with power. Its still very portable overall.

Having said all that, for a long time nightscapes used mostly Samyang 14mm F2.8 (if you can get a good copy - 1 in 3 chance of that) and used 30 seconds ISO3200 and did mosaics and got very good results. Today that formula is a bit dated and lacks colour depth and is too noisy and the stars are not tight enough. But its a great starting place.

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Old 21-07-2019, 08:44 AM
poider (Peter)
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Thank you, I have ordered the skywatcher star adventurer and will start the learning process as soon as it arrives
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Old 23-07-2019, 04:48 PM
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Icearcher (Chris)
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Hi Peter

Good choice, I have been using mine for about 2 years and loving it, as others have said, mediocre lens plus tracker will be a great starting combo.

Where abouts in Adelaide are you? Let me know if you want to catch up and I can help you with the new kit.
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