Astrophotography - How to start?


TPF Noob!
Oct 3, 2010
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Dallas, TX
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I would like to start shooting the night sky with my telescope, a Celestron NexStar SE. Can anyone give me some pointers on how to get started? I'm assuming there's something I need to buy that will let me attach my camera to the telescope. Also what type of camera settings will I be using? I would be shooting with a Nikon D3100. Thanks!
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That gives me a great place to start, thank you!
It looks like I'll also need a f/6.3 Focal Reducer which will convert the f/10 focal ratio of my telescope to f/6.3. Apparently this will reduce my exposure time by a factor of 3 with an actual field diameter of 1.5" at the film plane. Or at least that's what I've read lol... Could anyone explain that?
Unfortunately, I can't help past what I read. As long as you can get the camera mounted to the telescope, you should be able to capture the image. I kludged together a mount for my camera to work with my 750mm cheapy telescope. It consisted of a flat peice of metal about three inches long with a hole drilled in one end and a hose clamp holding the other end to the telescope (a piece of plumbing pipe worked as a spacer). I had a screw going through the hole and into my camera's tripod mount. I removed the eyepiece from the telescope before mounting the camera.

I shot with no lens attached (danger!) and had a cut up garbage bag covering the set up to keep dust out. I focused using by using the telescope's focus knob.

The moral of my story is that if you can get the camera physically mounted to the end of the telescope, you should be able to get an image.

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