Jump to content


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Starting astrophotography

  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 RyanD


    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 14
  • Joined: 19 May 2019

Posted 22 May 2019 - 07:06 PM

I've got a celestron c8 on a vixen super Polaris with no guiding yet, a canon 5d with t ring and two different length adapters. I have never done astrophotography and this is pretty much my first scope. I am also not a photographer. Im looking for advice on...well pretty much everything but let's start off with the mount. Is this mount worth putting money into to get it operational or would I be better off buying a different one? It's missing everything for the guidance system. I plan to buy a lap top also, if that needs to be taken into consideration.

#2 Steve Haverl

Steve Haverl

    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 87
  • Joined: 16 Mar 2018

Posted 22 May 2019 - 07:44 PM

This is a complicated journey and it can be daunting. I urge you to get one (or several) of the excellent books specifically written on this subject.

I hope others can offer title suggestions, but mine is “Getting Started: Budget Astrophotography”.

Good luck and enjoy the challenge !

#3 TikiTom


    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 543
  • Joined: 06 Mar 2017
  • Loc: South Central, WI

Posted 22 May 2019 - 08:53 PM

Do some research on:


Jerry Lodriguss



He has several good e-books that are well worth the money and time.....

#4 GoFish



  • *****
  • Posts: 1387
  • Joined: 30 Nov 2016
  • Loc: Kentucky / Colorado

Posted 22 May 2019 - 09:35 PM

For a host of very good reasons, conventional wisdom for starting AP:

  • small refractor (65mm, 72mm, or 80mm aperture with f/ratio 7 or faster)
  • good quality equatorial mount, minimally Orion Sirius (or the SW HEQ-5 equivalent)
  • guidescope and monochrome guide camera
  • PHD2 guiding software
  • camera/mount control and image capture software (several options)

The Bracken book is popular, and will explain further the details behind the conventional wisdom. 


Why not use the stuff you already own?  Because the focal length of your C8 is long by beginning AP standards, and the focal ratio is slow at f/10. This gives the double whammy of both requiring very accurate tracking plus requiring long exposures. SCT’s are notoriously difficult to guide due to mirror movements. 

#5 scadvice



  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 1236
  • Joined: 20 Feb 2018
  • Loc: Lodi, California

Posted 22 May 2019 - 09:55 PM

I suggest going here to get the basics:



#6 Gipht


    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1773
  • Joined: 12 Nov 2016
  • Loc: Prescott Valley, AZ.

Posted 22 May 2019 - 10:06 PM

In your position right now,  using the equipment you have,  the moon would be a good place to start.  Take a few shots and stack them. Try video captures.  If the pictures turn out good, then maybe Jupiter would be the next stop.  Meanwhile, some great book references have been given.

#7 Skyshooter


    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 563
  • Joined: 06 Apr 2008
  • Loc: S. Utah, U.S.A.

Posted 23 May 2019 - 06:48 PM

Might I add, if using the C8, a focal reducer added to the imaging train would be a great place to start. Your focal ratio would be F6.3 and it reduces your focal length.... to approx. 1260mm, 

much more forgiving for guiding. The image scale will be smaller but it will be more forgiving while guiding. Yes, you will need a different mount and autoguider.


Cheers, Ed

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Recent Topics

Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics