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.

Photo

Need help deciding how to move to the next level

  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 Rv8G30

Rv8G30

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 30
  • Joined: 21 Oct 2020

Posted 21 October 2020 - 08:21 PM

I really enjoy astrophotography and would like to move to the next level. I'm mainly after beautiful nebula. Heres what I currently use:

Canon EOS R (stock). RF15-35 2.8, EF 100 2.8, Sigma 150-600 5-6.3. I mainly use the 150-600 for DSO's. 

Star Adventurer which gets me around 30-45 seconds at 600mm and longer for the shorter focal lengths. 

Basic timer that allows me to program as many shots as I want for whatever duration I want. 

So far this has been a lot of fun and really served me well but I'm wanting more. I have a few limiting factors. My budget will probably be ideally $800 right now, but can stretch it to $1200 if absolutely necessary meaning itll make a big difference in my results over what I have now. The other limiting factors are time and light pollution. I'm not in a big city, but I'm not in the country either. So on those light pollution charts I'm yellowish green. As for time I dont have all night for automated sessions. Usually just a few hours per night. So I've been debating between a better tracker which will allow longer exposures with autoguiding? But also considering a color or monochrome dedicated camera to replace the EOS R for this. I can only do one or the other. So what do you think would yield better results? A dedicated astro camera for the 150-600 lens or better mount for longer exposures on my current setup? I feel like the second option will be limiting because of the light pollution. If I go with a monochrome camera will 3hrs a night and 30-45 sec exposures be enough to get an image? Guess I could always do different filters different nights. Open for ideas on this! Thanks!



#2 Deesk06

Deesk06

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 633
  • Joined: 25 Jul 2015
  • Loc: New Jersey

Posted 21 October 2020 - 08:26 PM

With or without the $12000 budget, If you really are looking for more the first thing anyone here is going to recommend to you is to purchase a good mount, the most you can afford. If $1200 is your budget then it looks like the HEQ5 Pro fits that bill. However, if you can stretch it a bit more then I would much rather guide you to an EQ6R. Can be had for maybe $1500, I have seen it for less at times. Wouldn't think about anything else without first purchasing a good mount. 

 

Personally, I went with an HEQ5 pro, wish I at least went with the EQ6R. 

 

Edit: $1,200 not $12,000... I will keep it like that anyway lol


Edited by Deesk06, 21 October 2020 - 08:30 PM.


#3 Rv8G30

Rv8G30

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 30
  • Joined: 21 Oct 2020

Posted 21 October 2020 - 08:37 PM

With or without the $12000 budget, If you really are looking for more the first thing anyone here is going to recommend to you is to purchase a good mount, the most you can afford. If $1200 is your budget then it looks like the HEQ5 Pro fits that bill. However, if you can stretch it a bit more then I would much rather guide you to an EQ6R. Can be had for maybe $1500, I have seen it for less at times. Wouldn't think about anything else without first purchasing a good mount. 

 

Personally, I went with an HEQ5 pro, wish I at least went with the EQ6R. 

 

Edit: $1,200 not $12,000... I will keep it like that anyway lol

Yeah definitely not $12,000! lol. My only concern is with the light pollution situation I'm not sure I can benefit from longer exposures with a better mount. Thats why I was curious about better camera setups. Is there a benefit to better mounts other than longer exposure time? 


  • Deesk06 likes this

#4 Deesk06

Deesk06

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 633
  • Joined: 25 Jul 2015
  • Loc: New Jersey

Posted 21 October 2020 - 08:49 PM

Yeah definitely not $12,000! lol. My only concern is with the light pollution situation I'm not sure I can benefit from longer exposures with a better mount. Thats why I was curious about better camera setups. Is there a benefit to better mounts other than longer exposure time? 

More stability, the ability to guide in both DEC and RA and dithering. Plus just being able to handle a payload much better. I would highly suggest the mount. You are in a very good low LP area compared to many people here to be in a yellow/green zone. Nothing is more important than the mount.


  • francov likes this

#5 Gipht

Gipht

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,543
  • Joined: 12 Nov 2016
  • Loc: Prescott Valley, AZ.

Posted 21 October 2020 - 08:51 PM

On the light pollution maps, I am in the yellow, but very close to the green boundary.  4 minute exposures are very doable for me.  I  can make out the milky way, and have difficulty seeing clouds at night which are illuminated in stronger light pollution.  If you are in a similar situation a step up in mount would be worthwhile.    I agree with Deesk06, saving more for a higher weight capacity would be ideal if you can.


  • Deesk06 likes this

#6 bjulihn

bjulihn

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 241
  • Joined: 19 Jan 2019
  • Loc: Langley, BC. Canada

Posted 21 October 2020 - 10:23 PM

Hi Rv8G30;

 

Sounds like you are doing a good job with your equipment. Personally, I amazed that you are getting 30-45 sec exposures with a Star Adventurer at 600mm!

 

I strongly agree that a good mount is the foundation for moving to the next level. Those of us who live in red zones would love to image in those "yellow-green" skies of your. Yes, I think you would benefit from a dedicated astro camera, but everything starts with a good mount. You will have a higher percentage of "keeper" exposures with your limited imaging time. Just my thoughts!

Brad



#7 nimitz69

nimitz69

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,751
  • Joined: 21 Apr 2017
  • Loc: A barrier island 18 miles south of Cocoa Beach

Posted 22 October 2020 - 10:39 AM

I really enjoy astrophotography and would like to move to the next level. I'm mainly after beautiful nebula. Heres what I currently use:

Canon EOS R (stock). RF15-35 2.8, EF 100 2.8, Sigma 150-600 5-6.3. I mainly use the 150-600 for DSO's. 

Star Adventurer which gets me around 30-45 seconds at 600mm and longer for the shorter focal lengths. 

Basic timer that allows me to program as many shots as I want for whatever duration I want. 

So far this has been a lot of fun and really served me well but I'm wanting more. I have a few limiting factors. My budget will probably be ideally $800 right now, but can stretch it to $1200 if absolutely necessary meaning itll make a big difference in my results over what I have now. The other limiting factors are time and light pollution. I'm not in a big city, but I'm not in the country either. So on those light pollution charts I'm yellowish green. As for time I dont have all night for automated sessions. Usually just a few hours per night. So I've been debating between a better tracker which will allow longer exposures with autoguiding? But also considering a color or monochrome dedicated camera to replace the EOS R for this. I can only do one or the other. So what do you think would yield better results? A dedicated astro camera for the 150-600 lens or better mount for longer exposures on my current setup? I feel like the second option will be limiting because of the light pollution. If I go with a monochrome camera will 3hrs a night and 30-45 sec exposures be enough to get an image? Guess I could always do different filters different nights. Open for ideas on this! Thanks!

Before deciding to buy new equipment to get “ .... better results” consider  posting what you consider to be your current best 1 or 2 images and let the experts here tell you if you are indeed ‘equipment limited’ or you could use some technique tweaks first ....  it’s  been my experience that for most with decent equipment it’s technique that’s holding them back and not ‘better’ equipment.  I teach competitive shooting and when my students ask about what new gun they should buy my answer is always the same ...you want to become a great competition shooter?  Buy more bullets, not a new gun .....


Edited by nimitz69, 22 October 2020 - 10:40 AM.

  • dswtan likes this

#8 francov

francov

    Sputnik

  • *****
  • Posts: 40
  • Joined: 13 May 2019
  • Loc: SoCal

Posted 22 October 2020 - 12:08 PM

Hello and welcome.
this is exactly what I did... I went and bought a star tracker for milky way shots. And then I mounted my DSLR with my 400mm lens to try my hand at DSO's. then I wanted to guide it, but I failed to consider one basic thing almost nobody mentions. even if the star tracker can theoretically handle the load, a regular (nice) tripod probably wont. Guiding my star tracker didn't bring any improvements because my rig was shaken by the lightest breeze or vibration. I then had to decide if i should spend $600-800 on a solid photography tripod or getting a dedicated mount. I went for the latter and have no regrets.

 

I would also vote for getting something like an HEQ5 Pro (and guide cam, if possible) and mounting your camera/lens on it. that will definitely make a difference.



#9 SuperSirLink

SuperSirLink

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 242
  • Joined: 02 Jun 2013
  • Loc: Shenandoah Valley, Va.

Posted 23 October 2020 - 01:17 PM

+1 to the tripod suggestion.  I just got myself a Star Adventurer Pro and have been amazed by how it performs.  Photography is my primary hobby though so I already had a FLM carbon fiber tripod with a bowl level mount that is rated at 77lbs.  I was able to get 2m subs at 400mm, but I am going to try and push it further.  I think the tripod is a major factor in my setup. 
 

You didn’t mention what tripod you are using.  But given the photo gear you listed, you may already have a good tripod.  If not, then that is where I would put my money.  Like mounts, you don’t want to approach the actual weight limit.  I would stay below 50%.

 

edit: here is the one I have, they have a sale currently running.   The bowl leveler is a separate purchase. 
https://www.flmcanad...4-l4-ii-tripod/

 


Edited by SuperSirLink, 23 October 2020 - 01:29 PM.



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