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  1. #1
    lamphater's Avatar
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    Arrow Questions, Questions and some more Questions..ect.....!



    Hi,

    I am new to astronomy and have alot of questions in regards to astrophotgraphy.

    Here goes..and I am sorry if some of these seem stupid.

    How do you track an image? I am aware of polar allignment but do you track by hand or is it mostly done with motorized mounts?

    If you have a camera where your eyepiece was how do you make sure you are tracking right. Do you use another scope in tandom? Should it have crosshairs so you can keep it fixed on a star or something to insure your other image remains still during exposure time? How is this done?

    How do you put your camera on your scope? Do you use eyepieces? ndo you use the camera lense? is there some sort of adapter?

    I have seen alot of camera types in the ads and it starts to get confusing. Can I just go with a 35mm film camera and do one long exposure? How do I set this up? what do I need? Film? Adapter? Guide scope?

    I think I would like an APO refractor with a GEM mount and would just like to take some easy and simple pictures. I need alot of help, please explain this to me as if I was 5 years old. I have no propblem locating objects. I have a medium size dob (10") and have been locating most of the newbi stuff without a problem. I have no experience with GEM and imaging scopes. Some APO scopes are called astrographs they are very fast f/2.8 I know that means a wider feild but the focal lenght of these scopes are small and I cant imagine getting any magnification for plantes with these. Whats uo with these astrographs?

    thanks for your help.

  2. #2
    Carpioso's Avatar
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    1) You can track by hand as long as you wont do AP. Other ways are with a motor drive, goto, and computerize. This are good for AP and well, you dont need to push/pull the scope to do it.

    2) If you have a camera on the focuser, depending on the camera is how you can verify the tracking. Some cameras offer live view, others you will use the computer to view how the tracking is going.

    3) The camera can be put on a piggy back, thats on top of the OTA. You can use a T adapter, to put the camera to the focuser, and with the right set up, you can use a T adapter, with an eyepiece and have the camera on the focuser.

    4) As far as cameras go, A digital 35mm, an slr/dslr, and any digital camera will work for AP. There are aslo the specialize cameras that are like webcams and they are for AP. Depending on the type of the camera, and software will determine the exposure time.

    5) For simple pictures like the Moon you can even use a cellphone camera to shot trough the eyepiece and you will get nice results.

    Im sure some of the guys will add even more information thatn what I posted here.
    Joel

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    Celestron AM 130EQ

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  3. #3
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    It depends on what your trying to take pictures of ? If its just the moon or planets , those can be done with your dob with a basic digital camera and camera /eyepiece adapter . If its deep sky stuff you want to photograph , to do that right you need a sturdy and stable equatorial mount , a nice digital imager and a good scope . this should cost around 6000.oo US . Granted you can get by with less money but to do it right , it costs some serious money . Most of the nicer pictures you see are long exposures with three different filters taking up to 120 minuets in each color . Red , green , and blue filters . Your mount has to be aligned perfectly and your motorized tracking has to be perfect also . Good luck in your quest .

  4. #4
    SteveB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carpioso View Post
    2) If you have a camera on the focuser, depending on the camera is how you can verify the tracking. Some cameras offer live view, others you will use the computer to view how the tracking is going.
    Live view cameras don't give you a live view during the exposure so you can't use them for guiding and imaging at the same time.

    Steve.
    "Oh no! Not another !@#$% hobby" - The wife.

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    Live view cameras shooting though the EP does give you live view of what you are observing. Doing it can be a PITA but it can be done. You can even do small time exposure using a lousy cell phone camera. I guess I didnt make it clear, since I only refered to the focuser and not the EP. Ohh well, it happens

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveB View Post
    Live view cameras don't give you a live view during the exposure so you can't use them for guiding and imaging at the same time.

    Steve.
    Joel

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    So you're suggesting using one camera for imaging and a second (with live-view) as a video eyepiece for tracking since
    Live view cameras don't give you a live view during the exposure
    Steve.
    "Oh no! Not another !@#$% hobby" - The wife.

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    Not suggesting, I just gave him some options that he could try. Ones that are better than others. Obviously using 2 cameras will suck, I said the cellphone thing because is cheap, he might have one already, and well he would be able to take a picture of the moon, simple stuff. For serious AP, then the cellphone idea wont even make the list, and on that you can actually be my teacher.
    Joel

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    A properly aligned scope with good RA and DEC motors can track unguided up to a few minutes (also learn what is call “Drift Aligning”)

    Basics of Drift Alignment / Polar Alignment - IceInSpace

    With a proper mount that has a guide port you can with a guide scope and guide camera image a star for a long time in theory, hours but everything is relative to how much you can and will spend to do so.

    Example;

    1. Good Mount that has guide port and dual motors from $1500
    2. Guide Scopes from $200
    3. Guide Camera from $250

    However you can start out in astrophotography with a simple adapter costing $20-30 and a digital camera such as a Canon which most people have at home. These cameras can take video and exposures up to 15seconds in manual mode but you’ll need a shutter release as well about $10

    Astrophotography is about SNR (signal to noise ratio) ie: capturing more image signal than noise. Stacking multiple images creates image data that can be manipulated in something like Photoshop. However don’t expect too see images taken this way that appear in magazines as they often require expensive cameras and scopes with many hours of data captured to produce.

    Simple moon and planet shots can be taken successfully with these point and shoot cameras using Afocal imaging.

    Afocal Astrophotography

    A good guide for anyone seriously thinking about astrophotography is

    Jim Solomon's Astrophotography Cookbook

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