Tip & How-To about Optics
STOP! What are you thinking!
Beginners should never attempt to do astro-photography with their first telescope. Kind of harsh? You bet it is! Stay any from this part of the amateur Astronomy hobby until you have used your first telescope for over ONE YEAR or longer!
You say you really want to do this? OK, get ready to spend big bucks. This area of the Astronomy hobby can get very expensive, and time consuming.
You will need:
A good equatorial mount that tracks the sky very precisely, or the stars in the picture will NOT be round- about $700-$1200.
You should buy a wide field refractor of about 80mm as your first imaging scope. The scope needs to be F6 or faster- about $600-$800.
You will also need a .5 focal reducer about $100.
You will need a camera- about $1000 dollars and higher!
You will need assorted filters and power supplies, and cases to hold all this stuff, and a laptop; say about another $800-$1200.
See how fast the money adds up! You can do short exposures and stack the images somewhat cheaper. However, you still need a camera like a Canon Rebel, and assorted parts to connect it to the telescope. PhotoShop is software most imagers use to manipulate the images they take. The software is $300- $600.
Have I discouraged you yet? I hope I have! Don't try it unless you have money to burn.
Read this article start to finish to learn more about taking pictures with your telescope. The article is LONG and complex, just like astro-photography!
On second thought just forget the entire "photo" thing and buy a nice 8 inch Dobsonian reflector with a computer hand controller- about $700. You will be able to SEE visually thousands of sky objects, and the computer hand controller will help you find them! AND-- you can buy a small device that attaches to the eyepiece for about $39 and mount your small digital camera. This will permit you to take very short exposures of the brighter sky objects like the moon and the planets.
Come back about a year after you buy your first telescope and read this article again!
Posted by Joe... on
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