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Astrophotography and Sketching >> Beginning and Intermediate Imaging

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sniperpride
super member


Reged: 01/04/12

Beginning astrophotography new
      #5793086 - 04/11/13 07:09 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!


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Footbag
Postmaster
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Reged: 04/13/09

Loc: Scranton, PA
Re: Beginning astrophotography new [Re: sniperpride]
      #5793104 - 04/11/13 07:14 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.


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sniperpride
super member


Reged: 01/04/12

Re: Beginning astrophotography new [Re: Footbag]
      #5793180 - 04/11/13 07:56 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?


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Footbag
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Reged: 04/13/09

Loc: Scranton, PA
Re: Beginning astrophotography new [Re: sniperpride]
      #5793200 - 04/11/13 08:07 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.

Edited by Footbag (04/11/13 08:10 PM)


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sniperpride
super member


Reged: 01/04/12

Re: Beginning astrophotography new [Re: Footbag]
      #5793205 - 04/11/13 08:09 PM

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

Thanks for the help


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Footbag
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Reged: 04/13/09

Loc: Scranton, PA
Re: Beginning astrophotography new [Re: sniperpride]
      #5793209 - 04/11/13 08:11 PM

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

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CounterWeight
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Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Palo alto, CA.
Re: Beginning astrophotography new [Re: Footbag]
      #5793596 - 04/12/13 12:07 AM

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!


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will1384
member


Reged: 02/22/13

Re: Beginning astrophotography new [Re: sniperpride]
      #5793686 - 04/12/13 01:23 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.


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sniperpride
super member


Reged: 01/04/12

Re: Beginning astrophotography new [Re: will1384]
      #5793716 - 04/12/13 01:56 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?


Edited by sniperpride (04/12/13 02:08 AM)


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Footbag
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Reged: 04/13/09

Loc: Scranton, PA
Re: Beginning astrophotography new [Re: sniperpride]
      #5793913 - 04/12/13 07:52 AM

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

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nemo129
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Reged: 01/03/10

Loc: WMass
Re: Beginning astrophotography new [Re: sniperpride]
      #5793935 - 04/12/13 08:22 AM

Quote:

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.


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terry59
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Reged: 07/18/11

Loc: Colorado, USA
Re: Beginning astrophotography new [Re: sniperpride]
      #5793947 - 04/12/13 08:30 AM

Quote:

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).


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comets4tom
professor emeritus


Reged: 02/08/05

Loc: Texas
Re: Beginning astrophotography new [Re: terry59]
      #5794026 - 04/12/13 09:38 AM Attachment (18 downloads)

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.


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Night2Fire
sage
*****

Reged: 05/27/07

Re: Beginning astrophotography new [Re: comets4tom]
      #5794177 - 04/12/13 10:57 AM

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

Thanks


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terry59
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Reged: 07/18/11

Loc: Colorado, USA
Re: Beginning astrophotography new [Re: Night2Fire]
      #5794226 - 04/12/13 11:32 AM Attachment (24 downloads)

Here is my AT72ED

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terry59
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Reged: 07/18/11

Loc: Colorado, USA
Re: Beginning astrophotography new [Re: Night2Fire]
      #5794232 - 04/12/13 11:35 AM Attachment (22 downloads)

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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will1384
member


Reged: 02/22/13

Re: Beginning astrophotography [Re: Footbag]
      #5794378 - 04/12/13 12:51 PM

Quote:

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.


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nine44
sage
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Reged: 01/19/13

Re: Beginning astrophotography new [Re: will1384]
      #5794844 - 04/12/13 04:23 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.

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sniperpride
super member


Reged: 01/04/12

Re: Beginning astrophotography new [Re: nine44]
      #5795288 - 04/12/13 07:44 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)

Edited by sniperpride (04/12/13 07:50 PM)


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sniperpride
super member


Reged: 01/04/12

Re: Beginning astrophotography new [Re: sniperpride]
      #5795307 - 04/12/13 08:04 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?

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