I was hoping I could get some advice regarding using a camera for astrophotography. Any advice is greatly appreciated!! I am not looking for exceptional pictures of nebulas, but something that can take pictures of some of the larger planets and the moon.
Unfortunately, my budget is rather limited. As much as I would love a star tracking telescope system, I am hoping to settle for a dobsonian reflector.
What I am looking at is as follows:
Orion SkyQuest XT8 - F/5.9 @ 1200mm (build a scope version)
Orion 2" low profile focuser
Canon T-mount adapter and Orion 2" Zero-Profile Prime Focus Camera Adapter
And a kit of 2" eyepieces for when I want to do viewing rather than imaging
I read that refractors are considerably better for astrophotography, but ouch are they expensive. I am always open to suggestions though!
I am hoping to get into astrophography, but fear spending money on a system that isnt compatible or wont give good results at all (I have heard focusing issues is a common problem).
Thanks! Feel free to post pictures you have taken or of the setup you use to photograph the night sky!
Back in the 70's and 80's I did a fair amount of astrophotography, using film. And I was involved in the making of telescopes, mainly reflector types. While times have changed, the basic techniques are still the same.
As a rule of thumb, a refractor is a good telescope for planetary use. High magnification, and good contrast. Reflectors are better suited for deep space use (the secondary mirror tends to reduce contrast a little). That said, they both can be used for general astronomy.
For tracking, an equatorial mount is best, although, I believe an alt-azimuth mount can be used with todays computer controlled systems. Dobsonians are really best used for visual observations, as they tend to be set on a simple alt-azimuth mount, which is manually controlled. I tended to use an equatorial mount in the field, and use a small guide scope to keep things on track.
From a camera perspective, the Canon 60Da is designed for astrophotography. It has the IR filter removed and a number of other enhancements. In the film era, it was common to run exposures (for deep space objects) for up to 2-3hrs. In the digital era, its more likely to take a great number of short exposures, then combine them later. This is done to cope with sensor noise, as long exposures tend to get very noisy.