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Thread: Photographing Andromeda - begginer questions

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    Default Photographing Andromeda - begginer questions



    Hey guys, this is my first post. I'm brand new to astrophotography and I'd like to photograph the Andromeda galaxy tonight. What is the best setup for capturing Andromeda? I have a Celestion Omni XLT 150 refractor scope on a Motorized EQ mount. I will be shooting using an unmodified Nikon D5100 with a t ring adaptor. What should my camera settings be? Do I need to use any magnification? Should I use a filter? How long should my exposure be? I plan on stacking the images and then cleaning them up in photo shop. Thank you guys so much for your help!

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    Default Re: Photographing Andromeda - begginer questions

    Andromeda is huge so there is usually no need to use any magnification. Even at prime focus, it fills the field of view provided by most telescopes. In fact, a reducer might actually be better if you have one available.

    Unless you are in a city, there should be no need to use a filter. Some people do prefer LP filters when shooting from in or near cities but some do not. I personally do not, but I use a mono camera with LRGB filters so it's not directly comparable. Hopefully a D5100 user here can contribute on that point and also advise on the camera settings as well.

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    Default Re: Photographing Andromeda - begginer questions

    As far as I can tell, the XLT 150 is a reflector, not a refractor. The focal length is 750mm, which is really long for Andromeda. Andromeda is HUGE: about six times the size of the full Moon! To get the whole thing in one frame, you'd want about 300-400mm focal length. So what you can expect is a closeup of the centre of the galaxy.

    As a first guess, set the ISO to 800. The exposure length will depend on the quality of your tracking. Try 30-second exposures. Take a lot of them. I aim for at least an hour of total exposure time. Even if you choose not to go that long, go for 30 minutes at least. At 30 seconds per exposure, that is 60 exposures.

    You'll have to stay up late. It won't be high enough to get clear images until about 1:30 in the morning.
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    Default Re: Photographing Andromeda - begginer questions

    I'm sorry, you are correct it is a reflector. Not sure why I said refractor. Thank you for the advice!

 

 

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