November 26, 2014, 08:51:22 PM

Author Topic: jrista et al, Why Astrophotography?  (Read 4374 times)

jrista

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Re: jrista et al, Why Astrophotography?
« Reply #30 on: May 12, 2014, 02:09:11 AM »
You know, why don't you get the Planewave 0.7m CDK Telescope System? Seems like a good option for 200,000$

Indeed. I think my HOA would crucify me if I mounted one in my driveway, though. ;P

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Re: jrista et al, Why Astrophotography?
« Reply #30 on: May 12, 2014, 02:09:11 AM »

JorritJ

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Re: jrista et al, Why Astrophotography?
« Reply #31 on: May 12, 2014, 09:36:54 AM »
Thank you guys for your detailed responses in this thread. I have also always been fascinated with the universe outside of the Earth, and astrophotography is certainly part of that. Unfortunately, I live pretty much dead smack in the middle of Europe's largest heavy light pollution area, with the nearest clear-ish (note the -ish) skies being at least a 3 or 4 hour drive. One day I'll be in or closer to a better area, in the meantime I just enjoy the images of other astrophotographers :)

traingineer

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Re: jrista et al, Why Astrophotography?
« Reply #32 on: May 12, 2014, 06:33:53 PM »
Thank you guys for your detailed responses in this thread. I have also always been fascinated with the universe outside of the Earth, and astrophotography is certainly part of that. Unfortunately, I live pretty much dead smack in the middle of Europe's largest heavy light pollution area, with the nearest clear-ish (note the -ish) skies being at least a 3 or 4 hour drive. One day I'll be in or closer to a better area, in the meantime I just enjoy the images of other astrophotographers :)

How about a digital planetarium? Lightweight (26kg), easy to set up in your house, do more than just observing stars, and it's only 22,000$, a bargain compared to the Planewave Telescope.
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jrista

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Re: jrista et al, Why Astrophotography?
« Reply #33 on: May 12, 2014, 08:36:04 PM »
Thank you guys for your detailed responses in this thread. I have also always been fascinated with the universe outside of the Earth, and astrophotography is certainly part of that. Unfortunately, I live pretty much dead smack in the middle of Europe's largest heavy light pollution area, with the nearest clear-ish (note the -ish) skies being at least a 3 or 4 hour drive. One day I'll be in or closer to a better area, in the meantime I just enjoy the images of other astrophotographers :)

You don't have to worry about LP nearly as much these days. You can use a camera lens, DSLR, and a Light Pollution Suppression or Reduction filter, even under the most heavily light polluted "red" and "white" zones. I know quite a few astrophotographers now who live in the middle of or very near to big cities, and they still image.

Look for the Astronomik CLS EOS Clip In filter. It's super easy to use...it literally just clips right into Canon EOS DSLRs. You can then attach the DSLR to a telescope with a T-adapter and T-ring, or to a Canon EF lens (note, you CAN NOT use EF-S lenses, as the short backfocus doesn't leave room for the filter.) There are also other brands that offer similar filters, with varying strengths.

Personally, even though I am under a yellow->green transition zone, I use the Astronomik CLS with my 7D. It has allowed me to get quite a few great nebula shots:

http://jonrista.com/category/astrophotography/deep-sky/nebula-deep-sky/

The summer nebula and galactic core season is starting now, and I hope to be getting some more nebula photos with this filter soon.

Anyway, if you really want to do some astrophotography, and already have some Canon EF lenses and an EOS DSLR, then you CAN do astrophotography! You can do ultra wide field astrophotography with lenses of 50mm and wider, wide field with lenses between 50mm and 1200mm, and deep field with lenses longer than that. The Astronomik CLS EOS Clip-in filter is about $140. You can pick up a small equatorial tracking mount and tripod for around $800, or if you want to start even cheaper than that, with lenses of around 200mm and shorter you can use something like the iOpteron SkyTracker, which is about $500.

You could try without tracking, but you really going to be limited to really light exposures at focal lengths below 35mm. So something like the SkyTracker at the very least is important. You could take it a step up, and support larger lenses or small telescopes, with something like the Celestron Advanced VX mount or the iOptron ZEQ25 (the latter being very slightly more expensive but a fair bit better.)

traingineer

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Re: jrista et al, Why Astrophotography?
« Reply #34 on: May 12, 2014, 11:16:24 PM »

You could try without tracking, but you really going to be limited to really light exposures at focal lengths below 35mm. So something like the SkyTracker at the very least is important. You could take it a step up, and support larger lenses or small telescopes, with something like the Celestron Advanced VX mount or the iOptron ZEQ25 (the latter being very slightly more expensive but a fair bit better.)

The IOptron ZEQ25GT is actually overall better, similar price, polar alignment is easier, I think it's lighter and it can DANCE  :o

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTwMIq87IyY#
« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 11:30:54 PM by traingineer »
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TheJock

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Re: jrista et al, Why Astrophotography?
« Reply #35 on: May 19, 2014, 07:26:29 AM »
So we’re getting another meteor shower on the 23rd (Friday) from 9pm UAE time (GMT 18.00 + 3) until 5am on the 24th, I think my new UWA Sigma needs to feel that evening air this weekend!! 8)
Anyone else heading out to photograph the spectacle??
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sjbradbury

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Re: jrista et al, Why Astrophotography?
« Reply #36 on: May 31, 2014, 04:07:29 PM »
Because it's really hard to do well, I like a challenge.

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Re: jrista et al, Why Astrophotography?
« Reply #36 on: May 31, 2014, 04:07:29 PM »

jrista

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Re: jrista et al, Why Astrophotography?
« Reply #37 on: June 20, 2014, 06:07:39 AM »
Because it's really hard to do well, I like a challenge.

Aye! Astrophotography is the most challenging photography I do. It takes so much time, with careful planning, careful management of gear and tracking, and hours of processing, to create one image. In comparison, my bird and wildlife photography is a cakewalk.

garyknrd

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Re: jrista et al, Why Astrophotography?
« Reply #38 on: June 24, 2014, 01:02:10 PM »
  Boy am I feeling old.. Astrophotography was the first thing that interested me.  I bought an OM-1, had a 12.5" reflector made, and bought a Bill Schaefer mount. Used to cook my film myself.

  I am so behind times, it is amazing how technology has taken over. I got into computers when analog to digital was coming into play. Writing software for machines.

  I still have all my old equipment. Is there a way to computerize the old Schaefer mount. It has an old drive corrector that works. But, it is ancient.
 
  Been thinking about having the mirror re-coated on the reflector, and playing around with it some.

  Gary
Live between Thailand and Texas, USA

niteclicks

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Re: jrista et al, Why Astrophotography?
« Reply #39 on: July 16, 2014, 03:58:44 PM »
  Boy am I feeling old.. Astrophotography was the first thing that interested me.  I bought an OM-1, had a 12.5" reflector made, and bought a Bill Schaefer mount. Used to cook my film myself.

  I am so behind times, it is amazing how technology has taken over. I got into computers when analog to digital was coming into play. Writing software for machines.

  I still have all my old equipment. Is there a way to computerize the old Schaefer mount. It has an old drive corrector that works. But, it is ancient.
 
  Been thinking about having the mirror re-coated on the reflector, and playing around with it some.

  Gary

 Scott Rosen srosen@frazmtn.com might be able to help you with your mount. His site says he has put steppers on his Schaefer.

jrista

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Re: jrista et al, Why Astrophotography?
« Reply #40 on: July 16, 2014, 04:07:02 PM »
  Boy am I feeling old.. Astrophotography was the first thing that interested me.  I bought an OM-1, had a 12.5" reflector made, and bought a Bill Schaefer mount. Used to cook my film myself.

  I am so behind times, it is amazing how technology has taken over. I got into computers when analog to digital was coming into play. Writing software for machines.

  I still have all my old equipment. Is there a way to computerize the old Schaefer mount. It has an old drive corrector that works. But, it is ancient.
 
  Been thinking about having the mirror re-coated on the reflector, and playing around with it some.

  Gary

 Scott Rosen srosen@frazmtn.com might be able to help you with your mount. His site says he has put steppers on his Schaefer.

You need more than just steppers, though. You need to track accurately enough to actually take long exposures. Even if you purchase a mount like an Atlas or ZEQ25, you still need to guide in order to be able to expose for more than about a minute or so. Just slapping steppers on a mount will get you longer than 20-30 second exposures, but not long enough to really do any kind of deep exposures that are necessary to lift detail above the noise floor (which is actually quite high on a DSLR). You would also need to jury-rig something that made those stepper motors controllable via a guider...either via ASCOM Pulse Guiding or an ST-4 guide port.

It's probably best just to buy a used lower and mount. You can find a ZEQ25 for maybe $500 used, if that if you find a good deal. A used Atlas or EQ6 can be found as low as $700 used. A Sirius/EQ5 might be found for as littel as $500-600. All of those mounts are guidable...the only real issue would be capacity, but so long as your not using larger scopes, you should be fine. You could even get an AT6RC for $400 new, or as little as $250 used, and have a real nice Ritchey-Chretein astrograph.

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Re: jrista et al, Why Astrophotography?
« Reply #40 on: July 16, 2014, 04:07:02 PM »