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Advice Sought on Starting Out

beginner astrophotography
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#1 ScienceOfficerSpock

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 06:58 PM

I'm a complete beginner looking to get into AP (mostly Milky Way landscapes and possibly DSO [nebulas/Andromeda]) and am currently starting with nothing. I've done preliminary research, but I was hoping someone might give some advice on the items I've chosen to go with. I'm not quite ready to commit to FF and I really like the portability of the sony a6xxx line.

 

Camera: Sony a6000 with Kit 16-55mm f3.5 and 55-210 f4.5

Wide Angle for Landscapes: Rokinon 12mm f2

Tripod: Benro Slim

Mount: iOptron SkyTracker Camera Mount or something else in the ~<$300 range.

 

Now I've seen others use the Rokinon and a6000 for landscapes. But for DSO, I realize the aperture of the 55-210 zoom lens is super slow and I haven't seen many use it for astro. With the EQ mount and dark enough skies, would I be able to make out things like Andromeda if I had a long enough exposure time/stacked a lot of images? I was planning on purchasing sony's built-in intervalometer app.

 

Also, are there any other necessary items that I would have to get to make these things work? TBH I've never even used a tripod before. Broadly, in my head, I was thinking that I take the ball mount off the Benro, stick the SkyTracker where the ball mount is, stick the ball mount on the sky tracker, stick the Sony with Lens on the ball mount, align to north star with the scope and bingo bango, but then again I may have completely misinterpreted how this all works.

 

Thanks in advance!



#2 scadvice

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 07:08 PM

Go to this site and watch Trevor Jones video's. There are a bunch of them so take your time. He some where in all his video's talks about everything you mentioned.waytogo.gif

 

https://astrobackyar...hotography-kit/


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#3 bobzeq25

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 11:23 PM

I'm a complete beginner looking to get into AP (mostly Milky Way landscapes and possibly DSO [nebulas/Andromeda]) and am currently starting with nothing. I've done preliminary research, but I was hoping someone might give some advice on the items I've chosen to go with. I'm not quite ready to commit to FF and I really like the portability of the sony a6xxx line.

 

Camera: Sony a6000 with Kit 16-55mm f3.5 and 55-210 f4.5

Wide Angle for Landscapes: Rokinon 12mm f2

Tripod: Benro Slim

Mount: iOptron SkyTracker Camera Mount or something else in the ~<$300 range.

 

Now I've seen others use the Rokinon and a6000 for landscapes. But for DSO, I realize the aperture of the 55-210 zoom lens is super slow and I haven't seen many use it for astro. With the EQ mount and dark enough skies, would I be able to make out things like Andromeda if I had a long enough exposure time/stacked a lot of images? I was planning on purchasing sony's built-in intervalometer app.

 

Also, are there any other necessary items that I would have to get to make these things work? TBH I've never even used a tripod before. Broadly, in my head, I was thinking that I take the ball mount off the Benro, stick the SkyTracker where the ball mount is, stick the ball mount on the sky tracker, stick the Sony with Lens on the ball mount, align to north star with the scope and bingo bango, but then again I may have completely misinterpreted how this all works.

 

Thanks in advance!

The zoom could work, although it's not "ideal".  Fixed focal lengths ("primes") are better.  But worth doing to learn.

 

Subexposure time, as long as it's "in the ballpark" is _far_ less important than total imaging time.  A decent rule of thumb is one hour minimum.

 

Here's a picture of the Skytracker (which I own) setup.  The base can fit on any camera tripod.  I'm not sure if the thread is 1/4 or 3/8, but adapters are easy to find.  Were I buying today, I'd pay the small extra for the much newer Skyguider Pro, if you can find one.

 

https://cdn3.volusio...ache=1531900697


Edited by bobzeq25, 04 August 2020 - 11:34 PM.

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#4 terry59

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 06:07 AM

If you want to start with your zoom lenses I recommend you put a rubber band around the focuser to prevent "barrel creep"


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#5 BobE102330

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 06:36 AM

For the night landscape side, check out Alyn Wallace and Nightscape Images on YouTube. I prefer a softer touch with the light painting than the latter, but he’s good at demonstrating the techniques and compositions that work. 


Edited by BobE102330, 05 August 2020 - 06:37 AM.

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