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Thread: Minimalist Astrophotography

  1. #111
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    Default Re: Minimalist Astrophotography



    very nice images and gives all of us hope that we can do this
    sanity in an insane world is insane

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  2. #112
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    Default Re: Minimalist Astrophotography

    I just ordered my first actual mount, but most of the photography I'd done so far has been with a modified toilet paper roll. I really don't recommend this method (especially as the point-n-shoot I used had a tendency to turn itself off and pull the lens back in, making it fall to the ground whenever I'd start mucking around in a star chart).

    IMGP0836.JPGPhoto30.JPG

    Even so, I was able to at least get some detail on the moon and could just make out some of Jupiter's bands.

    IMGP0846.JPGIMGP0848.JPG

    This is quite a long time ago now, but I also didn't have a solar filter when the Venus transit happened, so I had a make-shift one using a paper cup that worked pretty well.

    IMG_0224.JPG
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  3. #113
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    Default Re: Minimalist Astrophotography

    Wow! Talk about minimalist astrophotography. You captured some pretty decent images with you innovative (and minimalist) techniques. Can't wait to see what you can do when you upgrade to some "real" astrophotography gear.
    Gene

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  4. #114
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    Default Re: Minimalist Astrophotography

    Ellie-l

    You can't get more minimalist than a toilet paper tube. Thanks for posting and look forward to seeing what you do when you get your mount.
    SXINIAS

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    Mount;

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  5. #115
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    Default Re: Minimalist Astrophotography

    Dont know if its quite minimalist, but right now I am using the Ioptron smartEQ pro ($500) with a 50-300mm telephoto lens, and a sony a560 mounted to a dovetail plate. The camera is one I had before I got into astrophotography, and while it is fairly pricy you can probably use a much cheaper camera and still get a good result. The lens is also one that I had beforehand.

    here are some pretty sloppy images I took with it, I aligned the mount properly but I didnt bother to do any goto corrections. The pictures are also out of focus because I didnt use my focusing mask to verify it was good. These are also single unprocessed frames of 15 second exposure.

    64edd927d5.jpg

    fad1f2b981.jpg

    I just got a new 70-300mm apochromatic lens for $180, so soon we will see how it performs, but having seen pictures taken with it on astrobin it seems to perform really well. The ability to change your field of view is also very nice.
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  6. #116
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    Default Re: Minimalist Astrophotography

    Quote Originally Posted by Nikola View Post
    Dont know if its quite minimalist, but right now I am using the Ioptron smartEQ pro ($500) with a 50-300mm telephoto lens, and a sony a560 mounted to a dovetail plate. The camera is one I had before I got into astrophotography, and while it is fairly pricy you can probably use a much cheaper camera and still get a good result. The lens is also one that I had beforehand.

    here are some pretty sloppy images I took with it, I aligned the mount properly but I didnt bother to do any goto corrections. The pictures are also out of focus because I didnt use my focusing mask to verify it was good. These are also single unprocessed frames of 15 second exposure.

    64edd927d5.jpg

    fad1f2b981.jpg

    I just got a new 70-300mm apochromatic lens for $180, so soon we will see how it performs, but having seen pictures taken with it on astrobin it seems to perform really well. The ability to change your field of view is also very nice.
    Using what you've got is a good inexpensive way to get into AP, and there's nothing more minimalist than just a camera and a lens.

    Nice images for single unprocessed exposures. Just wait until you start stacking multiple images, and learning the intricacies of image processing.

    As for the focus, the best way to do this when using a lens is to center on one of the brighter stars in the sky, and use your Live View to zoom in to it's maximum setting (on Canon cameras this is 10x). Then adjust the focus until the star is the smallest you can get it (since all stars are just a point source). After focusing, some imagers tape the focuser element in place to prevent it from drifting as the mount tracks across the sky (probably not necessary on only a 15 second exposure, depending on the lens). If the temperature varies much during your imaging session you might want to check your focus often throughout the night.

    Good luck with future shots, Nikola. Looking forward to seeing some images with the new lens.
    Mark :0)

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  8. #117
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    Default Re: Minimalist Astrophotography

    I actually got a focusing mask that creates a diffraction pattern on bright stars such that when the three diffraction spikes center themselves you are perfectly in focus. I have a larger 80mm achromatic refractor that I had used previously, but its at F/11 so sadly it isnt much good for deep sky imaging. I have used the mask on that before and the focus was really good. You just place it on the end of your telescope, do your focusing and then take it off and you are good to go.

    Another good thing with the A560 is that it has an optical viewfinder, so if I need to really see the star I can pretty much look directly through the lens. I keep my tripod legs as short as I can though, to reduce vibrations from wind and the like, so it can be a pain to look through it. With the small lens and camera setup wind wont me much a problem though.

  9. #118
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    Default Re: Minimalist Astrophotography

    Got feed up waking in the middle of the night, finding out that the sky was crystal clear, but me to tired to drag my SkyW AltAz Goto/Evostar 80 ED out.

    Had an old Lidl/Bresser Christmas telescope/mount and got a SkyW Heritage-76 as a demo for local astro exhibitions. Unmounted the Heritage tube from the tabletop stand and strapped a wooden block onto the tube, fitting into the dovetail holder on the mount. So now I have a ~3 kg mobile wonder. Is using a EQ1 motor to track, it holds the object for 10-15 min. If adjusting it is possible to track exactly for 10 sec, but prime focus is some cm down the focuser. A Barlow helps, but makes a 600 mm scope, when 300 was the goal.

    But by and large, think it is rather minimalistic.
    QDT-close-up-webb.JPGQDT-motor-webb.JPGQDT-webb.JPG
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  10. #119
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    Default Re: Minimalist Astrophotography

    Hi All,

    Talking minimalist, I was able to capture Orion with my Iphone with NigthCap App attached to a Celestron 80AZS and an iOptron SmartStar-E 8500P. 10 x 15 Seconds exposures

    Orion Iphone.jpg

    Now I'm planning to build a Barn Door tracker and Attach the Iphone to a 15x70 Binoculars to see what I can get.

    Will share the results when the Sky help. Has been cloudy for two weeks now.

    Regards.
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  12. #120
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    Default Re: Minimalist Astrophotography

    This was with an Orion 6 inch newtonian (GSO) and the GSO EQ mount (Used, in perfect shape, $120us). Celestron zoom eyepiece ($50), solar film($10), holiday cookie tin, duct tape, and a Samsung Tab4 (bought for entirely different purposes). It took about 30 tries to get a good shot. I think that is a contrail in the upper corner, and that might have been drifting across the shot causing blur and misfocus with earlier attempts. I have a phone, tablet mount ($25) ordered, next is lunar and planetary photography. I might get more into this, for the next few months am trying out this bottom - rung setup.noah_sunspot.jpg
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