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New to this forum and astrophotography

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#1 SAP Astro

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 08:22 AM

Hello,

I have been in this field of amateur astronomy for the past 10 years or so, but am new to this forum.
I bought the following equipment a few years back:
Celestron CGE Pro 1400
SBIG ST 8300M
Filterwheel CFW 5
Astrodon Generation II LRGB filterset
Astrodon 6 nm H-Alpha, OIII and SII filter set
Orion guide scope with Orion Starshoot guide camera

When I bought the equipment, the sky conditions where I stay (Pune, India) were ok, but deteriorated very badly soon after that. As a result, I could not do any photography, barring a few Jupiter and Saturn images. The problem was that the set up was not portable at all and I could not move it at will.
So, recently I have bought Takahashi FSQ 106 ED along with the matching reducer, extender and the adapters (necessary according to Takahashi Japan) for attaching a Canon EOS camera.
On the web in general and on this forum, there is a lot of discussion regarding extra adapters needed for attaching my SBIG ST 8300M ccd camera. I have in the meanwhile got the adapter for attaching a Canon lens to the SBIG camera.
My questions to the experienced members of this forum are:

1. How do you find this set up for imaging deep sky objects?
2. Do you recommend any other additions to this set up?
3. Will I be able to attach my SBIG 8300M camera to the TAK using the adapter for Canon EOS camera?
4. If not, what additional components, adapters will I need?

I am planning my first ever ambitious astrophotography tour to Leh, India, located in the Himalayas at an altitude of 13000 ft starting next Sunday. I would be thankful to you, if I could get some advice from you.

Thanking you in advance,

Regards,

Shekhar

#2 Raginar

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 10:46 AM

Your telescope will be a significant challenge. You're severely over sampling for your camera and scope even with a focal reducer. I would get something simpler to start like a ED80. I think you'll find it much less frustrating. An off axis guider is required for your SCT as well.

I'd leave the 14" and just take the tak. You're a but under prepared at this point.

#3 obin robinson

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 10:46 AM

Shekhar,

Welcome to the forums! I really think you have some fantastic equipment there. You are already off to a good start. I think what you need it just some new software and practice using it. Do you have a bahtinov mask to aid with focusing? I have found through trial and error that an EXACT focus is critical to good looking pictures. You can't notice it until you really start magnifying the images.

You're going to the Himalayas for astrophotography? Lucky man! I look forward to seeing the results. Good luck!

obin :grin:

#4 fishonkevin

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 10:57 AM

I echo Chris, leave the 14" at home and take the TAK. For focusing, Google Bahtinov Mask. You can buy one or make one if you are on a budget. Since you are shooting with a Canon camera, I recommend looking into Backyard EOS camera control software. I don't leave home without it.

Good luck on your trip and welcome to Cloudy Nights.

#5 Wouter D'hoye

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 11:32 AM

Great eaquipment. I agree with the people above me. use the Tak and the CGE-pro. Will be a great combo. The C14 will be a huge challenge especially as a beginner.

Wouter.

#6 CounterWeight

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 03:43 PM

I agree with above in ways, but think you approach to imaging with the big gun and the widefield should be considered as separate cases. starting with the fantastic Tak will allow a lot more ease to get into the saddle of imaging. After you get several images completed 'start to finished' you'll have learned enough about how your gear and the rest work to go after getting the big gun dialed in. As mentioned above I'd seriously consider an OAG approach there, though I've never tried anything like that - it's what I have read gives better results.

#7 jbalsam

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 09:29 PM

You should be able to do H-alpha from your backyard location. I've seen decent results from very light-polluted areas. Just don't try it with a 14" SCT. Use your Tak FSQ. It should work great, unless someone next door is shining ten million white LEDs into the night sky... then it might not work so well.

#8 SAP Astro

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 11:11 PM

Yes, Raginar, I agree with you fully. It is going to be a challenge. However, after having spent so much, it would really be tough for me to buy anything now, at least for a while. So I will have to make do with whatever I have and take at least a few images to justify any further investment.
Thanks for the reply.
Shekhar

#9 SAP Astro

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 11:21 PM

Hi Obin,

Yes, I have already made a bahtinov mask for my C-14 and another one for the TAK is in process. Should be complete in a couple of days. It really works wonderfully and I am thoroughly impressed with the simplicity of the design.
I shall be going to Leh by this weekend. I am really excited with the prospect.

Shekhar

#10 SAP Astro

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 11:27 PM

Yes, you are absolutely right. There is no way, I can take the C-14 along. I have already made a bahtinov for the c-14 and another one for the TAK is in process. The Backyard EOS software is a good suggestion. I think I will install the trial version just a couple of days before leaving so that I can utilise the 90 day trial period before I buy it.

Thanks for the welcome!

Shekhar

#11 SAP Astro

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 04:35 AM

You are correct. I have tried with the H-Alpha and the results were encouraging. But since for some reason, my guiding was not working, so could not take longer than a couple of minutes exposure. This was probably due to the extra long focal length of the C-14. I shall now be trying it with a much smaller focal length of the TAK and hope to succeed this time. Shall keep you posted.

Shekhar

#12 jbalsam

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 09:44 AM

Once you get your guiding working, imaging H-alpha with your Tak should keep you happy for a long time (at least while lots of H-a targets are up).






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