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What equipment is needed to catch those beautiful pics?

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mccall7445

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Hi all, I am new here to this site. I just love Astronomy, and would like to start taking images like those members on this site. What equipment is needed? And, where do you get it? Any information is very appreciated!! Thank you.
 
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bbrock

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Actually, it's not that difficult. It's much easier now then it used to be. But it is expensive up front. <br /><br />First you need tracking. The simplest and least expensive good tracking is with a low end mount. Such as the Orion AstroView Mount. <br /><br />Now you can go in several directions. Many folks like "Afocal" photography. This is shooting an image through the eye piece of the telescope. Using an adapter to attach the digital camera to the eye piece is a tremendous help. Orion has the "Steady Pix" adaptor for about $30. Using a digital camera with timed exposure is a great help, but not necessary on extremely bright objects, like the moon. <br /><br />Some folks use a web camera for planitary imaging, linked to a computer. <br /><br />Personally, I use the imaging camers from Meade. The DSI and DSI Pro. Orion also makes imaging cameras like this. The StarShoot and StarShoot DSI. These types of cameras are starting to take over the Imaging world. Their image quality and ease of use and relative low cost are a tremendous advantage. You still need a computer, and a laptop ( XP ) is almost a must.<br /><br />However, I would recommend, for a minimum cost statrer setup for astrophotography: Orion Astroview Mount and optional RA Clock Drive ( $ 270 ), Orion StarShoot DSI ( $399 ). You provide the laptop (XP). You can attach any small refractor or reflector telescope to this mount and be in business. <br /><br />If you don't have a telescope. Forget it. Buy a Dob, and start at the beginning like the rest of us.<br /><br />Clear Skies<br />Bill
 
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tfwthom

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In the Astrophotography thread I link to a friend, Chris Schur. His comet shot is the APOD for March 6 2006. APOD <br /><br />He is using on this picture a Stellarvue SV80S ($1795) mounted on a TeleVue GEM (about $2000) shot taken with a Canon 10D ($1500) mounting hardware etc (about $500) He has some great software to clean the image (cost unknown) <br /><br />You want those great pictures? They cost. (I'm not counting his other toys, a couple of Schmidt cameras, 12.5 scope, SBIG ST10 CCD, etc)<br /><br />I have been trying for years to shoot good pictures (film, equal to his, and with help) and everything I've shot doesn't compare. (the part that drives you crazy) That's why I say just look at the nice pictures or you'll get addicted (like the rest of us) <br /><br />BTW This is not how Chris makes a living (shooting pictures) he's an engineer, robotics. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="1" color="#3366ff">www.siriuslookers.org</font> </div>
 
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eosophobiac

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TFWThom,<br />I just posted that link in another thread. <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /> And I'm with you in that I'll just enjoy looking at the beautiful pictures that others have spent so much time (and money!) taking. I used to want to get into astrophotography, but after much reading up on it, came to the painful (and financial) realization that it wasn't in the cards. I'll leave the photography to the experts and semi-experts, and just enjoy looking at the photos.<br />Just my two pennies....<br /><br /><br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p> </p> </div>
 
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astronomywizard

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I recommend getting the Meade LXD75 mount, an Orion 80ED and either a Canon Digital Rebel or Nikon D 50.<br /><br />I myself use a Canon 20D but I'm in the beginers role of astrophotography but I use the camera for othering things as well. So it might be alittle too high of an investment up front... <br /><br />But the rig mentioned above will run you about 1500 bucks... and it is pretty easy to setup... I would say to stay away from Fork mount scopes... they promise easy setup but are limited in what they can do... and they often have extremely high focal length try to stick with a scope that has a wider field of view... something in the 600-900mm range... with the cameras menioned above... you will get outstanding results.
 
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