Best of both worlds!


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Aug 30, 2020
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My wife and I are moving into the next phase of our lives and such are trying to combine two passions. Astrophotography and viewing and amateur photography.

We recently made a trip to Yellowstone and quickly realized we were not equipped to capture the magnitude of that place on camera.

This realization combined with a passion to see into and capture as much of the night sky as well as earth bound objects has led us here.

With so many options available for both astrophotography and photography we thought we would reach out to the community for some guidance and opinions.

In a nutshell we would like a lightweight camera that will function great for both astrophotography and land-based photography.
No real budget! If I had to put a number on it I would put us in the 10-15K range.

$3,499? $2,799? $1,599? $1,099? $349?

I will caveat that with the 10-15K would include a telescope upgrade, equatorial mount, camera and lenses.

Is that reasonable? If so do you have recommendations?
Have you been on the Cloudy Nights forum yet? Lots of great info there for Astrophotography. $10-$15K would get you a very nice setup, but as with all photography gear there are many variables to consider before I’d make a purchase.
No. That is just an educated guess based on the research we have done to date.
Have you been on the Cloudy Nights forum yet? Lots of great info there for Astrophotography. $10-$15K would get you a very nice setup, but as with all photography gear there are many variables to consider before I’d make a purchase.

Will check that out thanks!
With that kind of budget this is a kit I'd consider. A full frame mirrorless camera kit Nikon Z7 w/ 24-70 f4 kit mid-zoom for general travel $3.1K, Z14-30mm f4 wide-zoom for landscape/astro $2.5k, Z70-200 f2.8 medium-long zoom for landscape and nature $2.6k, carbon fiber tripod and L bracket $500. The sky's the limit for long wildlife lenses but adding the Nikon FTZ adaptor and Nikkor 200-500 long zoom for wildlife like Elk, etc. would get you started $1.5K. Your at $10.2K USD plus tax. Prices from B&H Photo.
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You shouldn't have to spend anywhere near that amount. FWIW, I'd go with a Canon R5 and a fast wide angle zoom, like Canon's 15-35mm f/2.8 for astrophotography, then a general purpose zoom of your choice. You might want to add their new 600mm or 800mm f/11 for wildlife / birding. The reviews on that camera have been excellent and Canon makes some great glass. Enjoy! BTW, this is from a guy who shoots with Nikon gear.
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I think the bast answer here is to go and ask on the suggested astro forum as well.

It will certainly have different suggestions from here. Not really good nor bad but different.

Then you would have to asses which type of astro you would like to go for? Deep sky, wide angle, both? Do you also intend on trying/shooting other forms of photography?
Once this is answered if you sit and put a percentage value on which you will shoot more often the areas to spend the larger amounts of your budget will fall into place.

Sorry I can't give specific gear advice as I don't shoot enough astro to feel comfortable with that type of advice.

Good luck and I look forward to seeing the results.
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6k could get you a pretty good deep sky setup. Probably around the same for wide astrolandscape setup. I'd get specialist advice as most people in that price bracket would be looking at a CCD camera and narrowband imaging. I agree the cloudynights forum would probably be the place to ask. Most seem to shoot with fairly basic astromodified DSLRs, EQ mounts and have specialist techniques for image stacking.

Check out Astrobackyard, Alyn Wallace, Astrobiscuit and Dylan O'Donnell on youtube if you haven't heard of them.
Wow, some big budget stuff going on here. Good luck with the venture. I do love those highly detailed astro shots.
It sounds like landscape astrophotography to me and not deep astrophotography.

With the first you can basically use any good light sensitive FF camera with good iso handling, a good manual or manual capable lens on a stable quality carbon fibre tripod, and then just do stacking, this will actually be enough. It’s important the lens has good Coma handling.

A high end prime or zoom would obviously work too if they work manually but are much more expensive and heavy solutions. This can be a challenge if you want to take in into a mountain range.

Some use startracker and guiding systems to take longer exposures without startrails.

I have no deep knowledge about deep astrophotography but it requires a completely different setup. I think you would be better off asking at a astrophotography forum.
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