I have been a long time ‘researcher’ on this forum and have finally decided to create an account as I have hit somewhat of an intellectual wall. (It happens a lot when you are dumb 😊 ) The inundation of information has left me confused on how to proceed. As a conscientious (mostly for my wallet) inspiring beginner in astrophotography, I am trying to absorb the wealth of information provided here by all the generous patrons of similar passions. My intention is to gradually ease into the area of space/deep space photography building my equipment collection with experience. Starting simple, possibly expanding into the complex. I currently enjoy taking nightscapes with a regular CanonT6i and tripod; but like everyone here, I have always had an appreciation for the humbling expanse around us, so I have been inspired to capture more demanding space targets.
My priorities are having a very portable set-up that can be carried while hiking while still producing acceptable photos. My initial plan was to start with a tracking device (obviously) to work in conjunction with a regular unmodified dslr. Then gradually add a scope, additional guidance, CCD etc.; with the intention of staying very portable. (without computer/power supply) Also, I currently reside in a Bortle class 7/8 area. (St Louis Missouri)
Here is where I would like to solicit your opinions/expertise. For the tracker I think the ioptron SkyGuider Pro would be sufficient. (thoughts?) William Optics RedCat 51/Zenithstar 61 for the scope. (thoughts?)
Where I really get stuck is the light pollution filters and guiding equipment. Due to the convenience factor, I would ideally like to be able to photograph from my location; which would mean I need a light pollution filter. What filters would you suggest? I know it varies by location and what objects you are intending to shoot. What would be the suggestion for shooting galaxies? Nebulae? Milky Way? All the different options are daunting to a beginner, let alone the price is a barrier to the trial and error method of experimenting what works best. In the future, if I wanted improved tracking accuracy, would it be possible to use a guidance system in conjunction with the ioptron SkyGuider Pro without the requirement of a computer/software? Like the ZWO ASIair or something similar?
Apologies for the long post. I do want to say in advance, thank you to everyone who have provided priceless information on this site. It has been fun learning from everyone. Also, thanks in advance for any suggestions/thoughts/criticisms and taking the time to respond.