Astrophotography from the ground up

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by BananaRepublic, Jan 18, 2018.

  1. BananaRepublic

    BananaRepublic No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    My camera club now has an astro corner and from what I know there are a least two members dedicated to running it, me and someone else. I have not done any astro stuff in a few years so I'd like some direction as to how to make it interesting for people who dont know anything about the topic. I am not sure what if any interest people will have in going out into a field at night but id like to be armed with something. I have been wondering the $ amount that would be involved in getting a run of the mill telescope to take images with.

    A number of genres have been given dedicated corners which are meant to allow members to develop there skills in the area. Genres like Nature and wildlife, Street, Portraiture and so on.


     
  2. astroNikon

    astroNikon 'ya all Bananas I tell 'ya Supporting Member

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    What is your total budget ?
    is "Run of the Mill" at around $2,000 ?
    or less
    or more?
    What do you want to view, etc etc.
    what's the maximum total weight you want to lug around?

    Well you could start off with something like a Meade 125 ETX telescope.
    It's a good scope for both planetary and star gazing, especially at used eBay prices.
    has metal gears so it can handle a DSLR for most images.
    The ETX series in the base allows for batteries in it, about 8 AAs.

    Though going out in the middle of a field though, the ETX does allow for battery running via the 8 AAs. But you'll want an external battery pack for any extended night viewing/slewing.

    You could even go cheaper if you want to just view by getting an Optical Tube and sticking it on a tripod. No "goto" system though. You can take pictures too as long as your shutter speed isn't too long.

    For attaching your DSLR you'll need a tube and mount, which are under $50 for both.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
  3. BananaRepublic

    BananaRepublic No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    As of now id say there is no budget, as in $0 available, I did post a thread a few weeks back, I dont expect you to read but which is relevant here.
    What to do if your club hoards money

    Anywho I think what most people will expect is more along the lines of nightscape, however a trip to a designated dark sky reserve is on the cards, so I'm not sure whats going to happen.
    HOME - Kerry International Dark-Sky Reserve
     
  4. astroNikon

    astroNikon 'ya all Bananas I tell 'ya Supporting Member

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    Hard to do much of anything with a $0.00 budget in any currency.
     
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  5. astroNikon

    astroNikon 'ya all Bananas I tell 'ya Supporting Member

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    You could recommend to bring binoculars and then introduce them to different areas of the night sky. You can see a lot even with the naked eye in Dark Sky Parks.
     
  6. petrochemist

    petrochemist TPF junkie!

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    True enough!
    But presumable the members all have cameras, lenses & tripods. There quite a bit of wide field astrophotography that can be done with just those, perhaps adding in a home made wedge system for very basic tracking (not zero cost but well under $100).

    My own Telescope (a 6" Newtonian with motorized EQ3 mount) was only ~$150 from e-bay You might find something similar will catch the eye of one of your group even if you can't get any funding from the club. The system mentioned by AstroNikon will be MUCH easier to use & a better option if funding can be arranged. I get very little use from mine partly because it's a pain to set up.
     

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