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Experienced imagers average age and years imaging

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#1 imtl

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 06:39 AM

Hi all,
 
I saw this somewhere else and thought it would be interesting/funny to see this in AP section of amateur astronomy.
 
So,
 
1. How old (or young) are you?
 
2. How many years (months/days/hours/seconds/femtoseconds) have you been imaging? (could include all types of imaging, whatever you want)
 
Yes, it's a cloudy night and I'm bored. If it catches on then great if not then meh... another silly topic.
 
Maybe I'll make a histogram with stats at the end.
 
** If you want to tell a bit about how you started and what gear you used first and what you use now then go ahead!
 
*** Okay, someone pointed something out to me, so here is a clarification:
This is purely for fun. The data here is not being used for anything. No conspiracy theories please.
 
Let the polls begin!
 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
128 members so far. Keep going! (now added the experienced imaging forum as well)

  • Average age starting to image: 42.1 yo
  • Average years of imaging experience: 10.3 years. 
  • Total imaging time: 1324 years.
  • Our current youngest is 15! yo, while our current "not that young" is 84! yo.
  • Youngest to ever start is 10.5! yo, while our "not that young" to ever start is 75 yo.
  • The least experienced is 0.002 years tongue2.gif
  • The most experienced is 60 years!

Check out our "outliers"! We got some nice diversity here.
 
poll.jpg

Histogram of what age did people start imaging.
 
histogram.jpg



#2 buckeyestargazer

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 08:27 AM

45 years old.

Imaging for 19 years.


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#3 randcpoll

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 08:33 AM

I'm 67 and started imaging with film in the mid 1990's. I started two ways.

 

One for travel, for which I used an original Meade ETX base with the OTA removed and a cobbled adapter to mount a camera with a 50mm or 135mm lens.

 

The other was shooting through a Meade 8" LX5 that I had. My success on the latter was pretty poor because you never knew what you got until the photo roll came back from the lab. I always had to tell them not to cut the negatives because they could seldom tell where the exposures were since they were so dark. I used the finder for guiding since it had a crosshair reticle and quick fingers on the guide buttons for the handbox. Most of the photos were slightly out of focus, or had oval stars because of glitches in the drive or accidentally tapping something on the scope. Nevertheless, I got a few pretty good shots for the time. Especially of Mars and Saturn since they were just single exposures and not what we can do today.

 

I've always tried to see how much I can get out of how little investment. Now I'm using a Skywatcher Skyguider Pro with lenses and a Celestron AVX with either an Ultima 2000 8" OTA or SV102 Access. My cameras are a full-spectrum Canon 20D, a modified Canon 6D, and a QHY 168C (IMX 071 sensor), oh and a Lunt 50mm solar scope.


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#4 zakry3323

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 08:34 AM

I'm 38 years old.

Imaging for 4 years. 

 

I started off using my DSLR and an Orion ED80 that I found at the Goodwill Auction site for $200, and an AVX mount that cost $719 new. 


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#5 airscottdenning

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 08:37 AM

61

11


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#6 TimN

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 08:47 AM

73 and 11



#7 rockstarbill

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 08:53 AM

41, 7 years. Although if we're talking about actual counts of days with clear skies, I've been imaging for about a month. Lol 🤣
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#8 Peter in Reno

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 09:05 AM

Started at 13 to 18 years old using orange tube C-8, films, Canon SLR body and manual guiding with OAG and one eye. Then off to college to get engineering degree and lived in high LP area in one bedroom apt in Los Angeles so no place to image.

 

Then back to imaging again in 2008 and still imaging since then at currently 59 years old.

 

Peter


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#9 whwang

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 10:09 AM

46

31


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#10 *skyguy*

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 10:15 AM

Age: 71

 

I started out CCD imaging back in 1990 (31 years ago) using a SpectraSource Lynxx PC camera (192x165 pixel array) on a Celestron 5.5" f/3.64 Comet Catcher scope. The FOV was 18'x18' at 5.6 arc-seconds/pixel. Exposure times were in the 20 seconds or less range and the results were mind-blowing ... at least for this time in history.

 

Here's a 20second image of M17 taken on 9/02/1990 using the above equipment:

 

CN_M17_Lynxx_PC.jpg

 

... and Lynxx PC camera used (updated computer from a latter date):

 

Lynxx_Camera.jpg


Edited by *skyguy*, 26 February 2021 - 10:20 AM.

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#11 KTAZ

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 10:22 AM

41, 7 years. Although if we're talking about actual counts of days with clear skies, I've been imaging for about a month. Lol

I'm not sure if I qualify as an "experienced" imager, but since I live in Arizona, I am sure my 10 months gives me more like 5 years of available clear skies! grin.gif

 

 

Hi all,

 

I started the same topic over at Beginners DSO imaging forum and thought might be interesting to also see the experienced imagers stats look like.

It's just a bit of fun and intrigue so if you want to join in, then great. If not, then also great smile.gif

 

If you reply here, we can make some sort of more interesting analysis.

 

So basically it's:

 

1. How old (or young) are you?

 

2. How many years (months/days/hours/seconds/femtoseconds) have you been imaging? (could include all types of imaging, whatever you want)

 

Yes, it's a cloudy night and I'm bored. If it catches on then great if not then meh... another silly topic.

 

** If you want to tell a bit about how you started and what gear you used first and what you use now then go ahead!

 

*** Okay, someone pointed something out to me, so here is a clarification:

This is purely for fun. The data here is not being used for anything. No conspiracy theories please.

 

Let the polls begin!

61 yrs old.

 

10 months in AP; started acquiring my gear in May of 2020. However, I was a camera enthusiast in the 70's and 80's even developing my own film and processing my own photos. Olympus OM-1. Yep, had the enlarger, chemical trays, red light in the garage, etc., etc. Still waiting for the cancer diagnosis from all those nasty 3m chemicals! I had an 8" Meade SCT in the 80's that was soft (Halley's comet batch) and sold it shortly after the comet disappeared. Had an ETX-125 in 2000 but it suffered so much from the poor quality of the mount that it was 90% frustration and 10% viewing. Parted it out to help pay for my AP entry.

 

I did a lot of research here on CN and had selected two potential gear paths based on either a refractor or a reflector. Well, the reflector came up for sale in the classifieds first, so I jumped on it. As many here on CN have warned, the large SCT path is far more demanding than the small APO/ACHRO path. No worries; I've always been one for a challenge! Research prepares you for good decisions on gear; it does not prepare you for the deep dive required to assess, troubleshoot, and correct a complex imaging train to get it optimized. That took me 5 months alone, but I had fun cutting my teeth on planetary while I worked things out.

 

I can say that I now have an excellent system that routinely gives me .5 to .8 guiding at 1335MM on most nights while I get a good nights sleep. All that is due to great folks here on CN.waytogo.gif


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#12 George Simon

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 10:33 AM

 Answers embedded below.

 


1. How old (or young) are you? 67

 

2. How many years (months/days/hours/seconds/femtoseconds) have you been imaging? (could include all types of imaging, whatever you want)

9 years.

 

** If you want to tell a bit about how you started and what gear you used first and what you use now then go ahead! My first camera was a first-generation Meade DSI-c, affixed to a GSO 8" f/4 Newtonian, riding on a Celestron ASGT Mount. My current camera is a Nikon D5300 (stock), affixed to a TPO/GSO 6" f/6 Imaging Newtonian, riding on a NEQ-6 Mount.


Edited by George Simon, 26 February 2021 - 12:52 PM.


#13 MHamburg

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 11:04 AM

Interesting reminiscing. Began observing in the 1980s with a C8 on a Roger Tuthill tripod. Tried to image with a Meade DS16 and a manual drive corrector back in the 1990s. Total failure! Graduated to Edge 11HD CGEM where I just spent hundreds of hours visually logging objects. Began imaging in 2015 with a Canon 40D and then upgraded to a Canon 6D. Now the Edge 11HD is riding on an AP900 GTO3. Have not done much imaging since last year due to combination of pandemic and weather. BTW - I am 76.

 

Michael

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  • M42c - Copy.jpg

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#14 imtl

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 12:34 PM

41, 7 years. Although if we're talking about actual counts of days with clear skies, I've been imaging for about a month. Lol

At least those clear days where moonless? :p



#15 rwstanley

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 12:34 PM

67

 

Started imaging 19 years ago in January 2002.  Here is my first image taken on film with a Pentax ME Super prime focus, I still have the body, and a Meade LX 90.  Hand guided.

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  • great-orion-nebula-13.jpg


#16 imtl

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 12:55 PM

Here is what we got so far! 67 people responded so far (beginners+experienced)

 

Average age for starting to be an imager: 43.55 yo.

Average years of experience: 9.83 years.

 

poll.jpg

 

Our youngest is 15! yo, while our "not that young" is 76 yo.

The least experienced is 0.005 years :p

The most experienced is 60 years!

 

Check out our "outliers"! We got some nice diversity here.

 

A bit more

 

histogram.jpg


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#17 Lead_Weight

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 01:01 PM

47 here. And about 5 years imaging. 

 

I started out with a NexStar 6SE, and my existing Canon T3i DSLR.

 

My very first image with that setup:

get.jpg?insecure

 

Thought this additional info might also be relevant, it comes from Astrobin.

 

Total integration time:
1323.1 hours

 

Average integration time
7.3 hours/image

 

Total images (though there's a handful I've not posted to Astrobin):

222

 

My most recent image of that very same subject, and very different hardware:

get.jpg?insecure


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#18 2ghouls

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 01:17 PM

35 years old.

First photograph at night was of the Aurora 7 years ago.

First photograph of a DSO (Orion Nebula) was 5 years ago.


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#19 pejorde

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 02:24 PM

Age: 59

Imaging for 18 years

 

I started out with a "Cookbook 245" camera that I built myself.

This is my first image, taken on the very night I finished soldering the camera, Feb. 18, 2003.

 

stars.jpg

 

Per Erik


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#20 my-spot

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 05:22 PM

Age: 54

Imaging: 35 years (22 years seriously)

 

My first "real" guided astrophoto was October 1999. It was a 22 Min Exposure on Kodak PJ400 Film with a 200mm f2/8 lens hand guided(!) thru a 10" f/10 Meade LX6 w/Vixen GA4 Illuminated Guiding Adapter.

 

 

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  • ngc7000_768.jpg

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#21 vakulenko_sergiy

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 05:37 PM

1. 31 years.

2. Imaging from 2006, almost 16 years ago. My first image was star tracks around Polaris, captured on old film camera. It was fun to see faces of guys who did film development for me in lab. They state that shutter on my camera is not working properly LOL.

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#22 lucam

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 05:39 PM

I am 49 years old and have been astroimaging for 3 years.



#23 dayglow

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 06:47 PM

66 & 8

DSLR & lenses on tripod first, built barn door tracker a few months later



#24 raguramm

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 08:01 PM

I'm 23, with 3 yrs experience. My astrobin seems to think I'm doing alright :) https://www.astrobin...users/raguramm/
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#25 TxStars

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 08:26 PM

Only 56 this year  lol

Started with film in 1979 so it will be  42 years 


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