I am new to the forums, I hope I am posting this to the right section.
Lately, I am getting more into astrophotography and thinking of getting new gear. But, before I would spend thousands of dollars on new equipment, I thought it would be wise to first "master" my current beginner setup. I think if I could do acceptable images with my current beginner rig, I could move to more sophisticated gear with a much more solid foundation. Plus it would gives me more time to see if this hobby is really for me. My current equipment is:
- Celestron Astromaster EQ130
- Nikon D3100
I know this is a very beginner setup (the EQ130 is narrowly beating department store telescopes, and the D3100 is Nikon's cheapest DSLR), but I know for a fact that good images can be achieved with them. Digging around on Astro Bin I could find a lot of examples:
Encouraged by these findings, I jumped into astrophotography, only to get no results at all. I was unable achieve focus on anything; even the moon was a blurry blob, no matter how much I tried. After some digging around, I found out that my telescope was built only for visual observation, but this could be remedied with a Barlow lens. So, I bought one and installed it in front of the T-mount for a 1.5 magnification increase, which did the trick, and I was finally able to get some rough results on the moon: https://www.cloudyni...bum/12151-moon/. My deep sky shots (my camera only allows me a maximum of 30 seconds exposures), however, still came out completely black, which baffled me. I tried lots of focus variations and thought at least I should be able to see star trails, but all I had was pure black. It is evident that I am doing something wrong, but I don't know what; hence, my asking for help here.
I ask for help to achieve these short term goals of mine:
1. To improve the sharpness of my moon shots. They are way too blurry even for a beginner gear like mine; there must be a way to get a better focus.
2. To start seeing some stars on longer exposure, deep sky shots.
Thank you for your help! I am happy to be part of this community.
- I am under a suburban sky, with the Orion nebula and Pleiades clearly visible. So, I believe it should be possible to get at least a faint glimpse of them at few-second exposures.
- I achieved my crappy focus on the moon by putting it on live view, zooming in on a detailed, cratered region and adjusting the focus knob. The images in my gallery are the best selected from about a hundred shots.
- The moon was about midway to it zenith at the time I took the images; so some atmospheric distortion is certainly there.
Edited by Rince, 17 November 2019 - 05:33 AM.