Old 10-04-2018, 04:34 PM
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CesnaGirl is offline
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Question Need astrophotography advice

I'm so excited to be jumping into astrophotography. However I'm a newbie, greenhorn, or just simply fresh off the boat or on the boat! ha ha ha

So I was reading this article: https://www.photographytalk.com/begi...-for-beginners

Under the recommended gear part, they mention about getting a "fast lens". Now I know what that means, but what would be really helpful is example. Are we talking a fast zoom lens or do I want to go with a fast wide lens?

I'll be mounting this on Nikon D800 or Nikon D810.

Also can you tell me for tracking stars which is better between Skywatcher Adventure or Vixen tracker?

Thank you in advance!!
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Old 10-04-2018, 04:52 PM

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I have not tried astrophotography since the 70's, but for a beginner I would suggest a fast and wide lens as a starting point.....

I am sure some of the imagers will come in with a million ways to help you spend money !!!
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Old 10-04-2018, 06:31 PM
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Atmos (Colin)
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I’ve not used either of those trackers myself but from reading reviews of others, I don’t think there is much of a difference between them. I hear more positive reviews from the Sky Watcher but that is most likely due to Sky Watcher having a wider availability in Aus than Vixen products.

As for a “fast lens”, it is simply one that works well at wide apertures. I have a Nikon D810 myself and they are really taxing on optical quality, especially for astrophotography. I am yet to do any astrophotography with my D810 yet but I have done some with my D7200 and a Sigma Art 85mm F/1.4 @ F/2.8.

Large Magellanic Cloud
18 Panel mosaic of the Milky Way

Although I haven’t tested it yet I’d likely want to use F/4 on the D810 to try to correct the coma further off-axis.
Soon I’ll be trying with a second hand Zeiss 135mm f/2 and the D810 at different apertures just to see how it performs.

Obviously you can use wider angle lens like a 50mm or 35mm or even a 24mm but I’d you are using a tracking mount sometimes it is nice being able to isolate a constellation or two rather than ultra wide areas of sky.
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Old 10-04-2018, 10:41 PM
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OzEclipse (Joe Cali)
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I can't tell you which is better. They have different attributes. Either might suit you better.

I have a Vixen Polarie. It's very compact and very simple. Possibly better if you're going to be flying it back and forth to the States. The Star Adventurer has more features. They probably have similar tracking precision.

The Star Adventurer has the option to have an autoguider attached. Adding a autoguider will add a lot of stuff to the kit making it less portable - guidescope, autoguide camera, computer.

The polarie cannot have an autoguider attached.

Both will work best with wide angle to standard(50mm) lenses though I have seen photos with these using telephoto's up to about 200mm.

I would suggest you learn fixed tripod astrophotography first. The 810 will do that easily then move on to using trackers.


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Old 11-04-2018, 01:52 PM
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Icearcher (Chris)
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I have the Skywatcher star adventurer and found it to be a solid little platform. Very portable and I recon you could get everything in a backpack.

Iv managed 2 min exposures with a canon 550d and a 250mm lens with really bad polar alignment, ill be testing with better PA this weekend with luck.
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Old 12-04-2018, 06:06 AM
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I think some confusion may be caused by the article itself...

Originally Posted by https://www.photographytalk.com/beginner-photography-tips/7397-easy-astrophotography-tips-for-beginners
A fast lens with a maximum aperture of at least f/4. If your budget allows, look for something with an even larger aperture like f/2.8, f/1.8, or f/1.4.
Lens speed and aperture are independent variables.
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astrophotography, lenses, nikon d810

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