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Cheap autoguider?

astrophotography beginner equipment
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#1 Henry_Hird

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 03:55 AM

Could you guys recommend a cheap camera + guide scope combination? 



#2 Dynan

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 05:50 AM

What are you trying to guide? How cheap is cheap? This setup for about $300, and free PHD2 might get you going:

 

https://smile.amazon...1?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

https://smile.amazon...L70_&dpSrc=srch


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#3 Messierthanwhat

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 07:59 AM

I'm currently using a Zwo ASI120mc camera, attached to an off-brand 200mm f/4 Pentax-mount SLR camera lens. The camera currently sells for about $170 new from vendors who have it in stock, and used ones are selling for even less. The lens was an $8 find at a thrift store. I used this lens because it had a substantial tripod foot that I could use for mounting it, which is sort of unusual, but not really rare. Also, for the camera to come to infinity focus, I had to add a 30mm T2 extender between the lens and the camera, and found that I now get infinity focus at the lens marking for about 15 feet. Total cost for the camera, lens and extender is quite a bit less than $200. This setup works great for guiding my Orion Sirius mount with PHD2.

 

To do things perfectly, I should also have added a T-ring adapting the M42 lens threads to the T2 extender, but that would have called for a shorter extender that I didn't have at that moment. So, in this instance I really didn't care whether I damaged the threads at that connection, and just torqued the class-B fit tight enough that I'll probably never be able to separate them.

 

In retrospect, I do wish I had bought the ASI120mm (monochrome) version of the camera, but the OSC version  - with dark frames applied - has always found calibrate-able and usable guide stars within the field of view on the targets I've wanted to shoot.


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