The price is starting to add up, I expected that astrophotography would be expensive, hence the downgrade in aperture size, but now I am looking at 3500 AUD for a set up, I was hoping for 2000-2500, at this point I have to ask is there any "shortcuts" I can take to reducing total cost, anything that I am doing wrong, my only criteria is that I would like a full setup for DSO, I am not concerned with aperture size but I would like to have a complete kit around the 80mm mark, is there any other setups anyone would reccomend? I am a complete newbie to astrophotography so please forgive my ignorance.
This business, long exposure DSO imaging, is simply not inexpensive. Just an unfortunate fact. What you save in money by going cheap will cost you in wasted time and frustration. A lot. For example, that inexpensive ZWO camera has a tiny chip, tiny field of view, which will make it hard to find things, can't image many targets, and it has about as much noise as a DSLR. You'd be better off with a used DSLR, with a big chip. It would work _much_ better. Any mount can only achieve its potential with guiding, although guiding won't make an inexpensive mount perform like an expensive one.
There is an inexpensive workaround. Trade the scope for a camera lens, with much shorter focal length. _Then_ you can use an inexpensive mount and no guiding. The setup looks like this. Note that the price is for the camera tracker only, the 2nd picture shows you what you get.
This IS a DSO setup. People make fine images that way. Examples here. Note that there are many pages, and this is only one camera tracker of several. This is a popular way to go. I have a fine mount, and a few scopes, still use my camera tracker sometimes.
Struggling with a marginal mount (which the EQ5 is) and a scope is nowhere near as much fun. <smile> Camera tracker/camera/lens is a great way to start, learn the basic techniques, make some nice images, and see if this is something you really want to do.
This book will take you through the process. The scope on the cover (sitting on a Sirius/HEQ5 Pro mount, $1200 US, about as cheap a mount as you'd want with a scope) is where it winds up, but it spends a good amount of time with camera/lens. Starting with just a tripod.
The scope, with relatively long focal length, is what makes things expensive, by magnifying tracking errors just as it magnifies subjects. Just the nature of long exposure imaging, compared to visual astronomy.
With a scope, it is never cheap.
Edited by bobzeq25, 27 October 2020 - 10:21 AM.