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Beginning astrophotography

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#1 sniperpride

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 06:09 PM

I have a AVX mount and an AT72ed
What else will i need for basic prime focus photography?
Any DSLR recommendations?
I would like to keep it simple as possible.
Thanks!

#2 Footbag

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 06:14 PM

A Canon DSLR. Anything from the XSi up(T1i, T2i, T3i, T4i), but don't blow your budget on one. We only use the basic features of DSLR's for astrophotography. IF you don't care about using it in the daytime, a modded camera would be good. You may be able to find a used one in the classifieds on this site.

I would also plan on using a laptop in the field and buy the program Backyard EOS to control it.

#3 sniperpride

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 06:56 PM

Are T adapters pretty much all the same or are they for different brands?
Would I need a barlow to increase prime focus magnification?
Is a field flattener a must have?

#4 Footbag

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 07:07 PM

AT72ed, right?

T-rings will attach to your DSLR and are specific to brand. A T-adapter will screw into that T-ring and allow you to attach it to different types of telescopes. I'm not sure what the attachment is to the AT. Someone with one may have to chime in.

Whether you need a field flattener depends on your scope and that may impact your attachments. Field Flatteners typically have a specified distance to the camera sensor. You want to maintain this distance. I think you will need one for your AT72RD.

You rarely use barlows for deep sky, but for planetary, they are a must. For deep sky, you may use a focal reducer.

#5 sniperpride

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 07:09 PM

AT72ED
Probably not using for planets.
Nebulae, galaxys and clusters.

Thanks for the help

#6 Footbag

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 07:11 PM

I updated the post above when I remembered you specified the scope.

#7 CounterWeight

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 11:07 PM

VX mount, small widefield refractor, DSLR an a flattener or reducer flattner, your going about as simple and e-z as it gets. I'd suggest in addition to the above a mini-guider like that from Orion and using PHD to guide with (it's freeware but orion ships a version as well with their setup).

I'd also recommend some sort of planetarium software for the laptop, Stellarium is free. DSS, a stacking and calibrating program is freeware. Maybe also take a look at StarTools or Paint Shop pro for making the images look better in post processing.

Best of luck!

#8 will1384

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 12:23 AM

I am just starting at imaging, and I have yet to even take a night time image with my telescope, but I have learned a few things from using my telescope, that might help with imaging, the few times I had good weather LOL.

(1) I need a reticle eyepiece to center an object like a star or planet to help with aliment or for imaging with a CCD, I just cant get it perfectly in the center using regular eyepieces.

(2) The right angle 8x50 viewfinder that came with my telescope did not help me at all, I had to get a Telrad, and also the 8x50 viewfinder can be used as a guidescope with some modifications.

(3) My telescope came with a T-Mount extension tube, and that worked well with my camera and its adapter, but the CCD needs a longer extension tube to focus, I have yet to find the exact length, but I believe its around 2 inches, depending on what diagonal I use.

(4) My telescope came with a 2" to 1.25" reducer with a single thumb screw, it likes to scratch things and drop them on the ground, I replaced it with a compression style reducer with two thumb screws.

#9 sniperpride

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 12:56 AM

Thanks for all the suggestions, does the mini guider sit atop the AT72? I'm not really sure how they work. I do know that the VX mount has an auto guider port. And yes I'm sure I will need a reticle eyepiece for alignment.
Is there any instructional DVD or good book for beginners that you guys recommend?


#10 Footbag

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 06:52 AM

Backyard EOS costs less then a reticle and has a digital one built in.

#11 nemo129

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 07:22 AM

does the mini guider sit atop the AT72?


The mini guider can be put wherever you would mount a finder scope on the AT72ED. The cool thing is that if you line the mini guider's optics up with the main optics of the AT72ED, you now have an electronic finder when using PHD at 0.5s exposures and PHD has a bulls-eye overlay so you can sit at your laptop and build your model. If you are also using BYEOS, you get two views of what is going on, one through the finder and one through the main OTA via BYEOS. These two views can also aid you in fine tuning the guider and main OTA to each other.

#12 terry59

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 07:30 AM

Thanks for all the suggestions, does the mini guider sit atop the AT72? I'm not really sure how they work.


Unfortunately the AT72ED isn't built for that and is an odd diameter for tube rings as well. I got some Orion 80mm tube rings (Agena Astro has them with free shipping) and a roll of nylon strapping material from wally world that holds everything tight. I have a side by side setup and put the mini guider on the bar (my AT72ED or camera lens goes on there too).

#13 comets4tom

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 08:38 AM

The 80mm rings mentioned above are actually 90mm in diameter made for an 80mm scope. I use a single ring that has a hole on top with extra felt to mount a Stellarvue 50mm finder as a guidescope. I also use a long dovetail bar (obtained from Scopestuff) attached to the foot of the AT72ED to achieve balance on the mount.
I use the Televue TRF-2008 flattener/reducer with good results.
Attached is a recent image taken with the AT72ED.

Tom H.

Attached Files



#14 Night2Fire

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 09:57 AM

Can you all post a picture of your setup please. I'm looking for some suggestions myself.

Thanks

#15 terry59

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 10:32 AM

Here is my AT72ED

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#16 terry59

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 10:35 AM

Here is my SBS currently with DSLR and lens. I use the ST80 and laser pen for pointing to help build my model.

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#17 will1384

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 11:51 AM

Backyard EOS costs less then a reticle and has a digital one built in.


Nice software, I will likely get it a little later, but it requires a computer and there are a lot of times I want to keep it simple with just a camera, telescope and mount, now that I think about it, if you had a Canon camera you might be able to run CHDK and get a cross hair display, and run some nice scripts also.

LOL I may pick up a Canon camera just for using with CHDK.

#18 nine44

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 03:23 PM

I am only a little further ahead on the AP learning curve. I agree with others that a Canon XT or newer camera body coupled Backyard EOS is the way to go. I am a lifelong Nikon enthusiast, but BYEOS, a computer and a $200 used Xsi is far simpler than using a reticle the old fashion way. I am finding BYEOS a really nice addition to my setup. The Orion startshoot autoguider (SSAG) is also a very cost effective package for guiding. Having the SSAG will help you get some results before you become an expert at polar alignment, too. :)

#19 sniperpride

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 06:44 PM

Good stuff,
Is mounting side by side the best way for this scope? That is, having the imaging scope and guide scope side by side? If so where would you purchase it? (link)

#20 sniperpride

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 07:04 PM

Also by the time I buy all these accessories I may as well have just been better off buying the AT65 with built in flattener correct?

#21 CounterWeight

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 08:21 PM

Bizarre, didn't know but it looks like there is nowhere for a finder on that scope? If so that is just weird.... "am I wrong?". (a la John Goodmans character in 'the big lebowski' movie)

#22 sniperpride

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 04:32 AM

I may just get the 66 instead with its built in flattener and rings that will make it easier to mount

#23 Night2Fire

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 07:04 AM

You might need a longer dovetail If you image with the 65. I'm pretty sure I had seen a post where it was a little back heavy with the stock tail and can't balance.

#24 guyroch

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 07:19 AM

You might need a longer dovetail If you image with the 65. I'm pretty sure I had seen a post where it was a little back heavy with the stock tail and can't balance.


Yes the AT65EDQ is back heavy. I bought 2 X 7 inch dovetail plate from ADM for mine 2 AT65EDQ.

Thank you for the BackyardEOS plug guys. I appreciated reference.

Guylain

#25 guyroch

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 07:22 AM

Also by the time I buy all these accessories I may as well have just been better of buying the AT65 with built in flattener correct?


Yes you should. The AT65EDQ is great. You will love that little performer for years to come.

Guylain






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