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Suggestions for Starter Astrophotography Equipment

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#1 sizzordotnet

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Posted 01 April 2021 - 08:43 AM

I'm looking for some starter Astrophotography equipment.  I have a Celestron NexStar 8se, with the Celestron Eyepiece kit that includes a 2x Barlow.

 

I've done some research here in Cloudy Nights, and I'm going to be getting a ZWO ASI224MC camera, but don't know if I should get a 3x or 4x Barlow, or a Focal Reducer.

 

I also have a Canon T2i DSLR that I plan on using, once I figure out how to take video with Magic Lantern.

 

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.  I understand the Alt/Az mount of my telescope is not suited for DSO's, but with the Pandemic, I just want to get outside and enjoy the hobby.



#2 Forward Scatter

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Posted 01 April 2021 - 09:08 AM

A focal reducer for sure. The 224 FOV is pretty narrow to begin with, so Barlows are not a good idea. 


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#3 nic35

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Posted 01 April 2021 - 09:31 AM

The barlow would be for planetary only.

 

A focal reducer/flattener for DSO's.  The common 0.63 Celestron one will work well.

 

You might try using your DSLR with Astrotoaster.  See http://www.astrotoaster.com/  You can also search the forums for advice on its use.  You will get a much larger field of view than with the 224.  But, the 224 would be better for planetary use.

 

And, BTW your alt-az mount is fine for EAA of DSO's.  

 

john


Edited by nic35, 01 April 2021 - 09:33 AM.

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#4 Jmw845

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Posted 01 April 2021 - 09:49 AM

The 224 will suit you well for planetary/lunar, not good for dso photography.   As stated very small fov among other things. Alt/az mount is fine for planetary  DSO photography will require an equitorial mount. Heq5/Heq6 are very popular.  An astro modified Canon T2i was my go to camera for DSO before i went cooled mono camera with filterwheel. 

 

For control of the T2i check out Backyardeos, and if you get serious about imaging, check out NINA, which will control the T2i, allow you to set up an imaging run, frame, plate solve, etc... from one place, and it's free.  

 

For planetary photography check out SharpCap, great software for free and upgrade I believe a license is $15.

The real question here is what are your goals? Do you wan't to photograph planets, or deep sky objects?  Your setup right now with the 224 will be suitable for planetary.  


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#5 Jmw845

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Posted 01 April 2021 - 09:55 AM

The barlow would be for planetary only.

 

A focal reducer/flattener for DSO's.  The common 0.63 Celestron one will work well.

 

You might try using your DSLR with Astrotoaster.  See http://www.astrotoaster.com/  You can also search the forums for advice on its use.  You will get a much larger field of view than with the 224.  But, the 224 would be better for planetary use.

 

And, BTW your alt-az mount is fine for EAA of DSO's.  

 

john

 

Very true for EAA.  I did use my 224 with live stack in Sharpcap for viewing DSO's and a lot of fun can be had doing such.  Plate solving is your friend.  The fov is so small on the 224 I spent full nights sometimes just trying to get on target.

 

Regards


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#6 alphatripleplus

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Posted 01 April 2021 - 10:55 AM

I'm looking for some starter Astrophotography equipment.  I have a Celestron NexStar 8se, with the Celestron Eyepiece kit that includes a 2x Barlow.

 

 

Are you interested in EAA, or astrophotography?



#7 sizzordotnet

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Posted 02 April 2021 - 08:22 AM

My original intent was Astrophotography, but I would like to learn about EAA.  Honestly, I am not too familiar with it.


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#8 alphatripleplus

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Posted 02 April 2021 - 08:56 AM

Okay some important distinctions - 1) EAA involves near real time viewing of your captures, whereas AP often involves extensive post-processing, with a final image the product  of sometimes lengthy efforts; 2) Mount requirements are less onerous for EAA of Deep Sky Objects, compared to tradtional AP because of the shorter sub-exposures in EAA; 3) Planetary imaging typically involves powerful post-processing tool to extract details that are not visible in quick EAA snapshots of the planets, which are blurry compared to the sharp pictures shown in the Planetary Imaging Forum.

 

We can help with EAA in this Forum, but if your interests are in planetary imaging or traditional AP of DSOs, you might want to check out those other forums on CN.


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