Tip & How-To about Optics

So you want to buy a telescope and do ASTRO-PHOTOGRAPHY!

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!

Clear Skies!
Joe Lalumia

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1 Answer

Before you ask a question about telescopes read my TIPS

Dear Joe,
Please give me adress of youe profile page.

Jun 01, 2010 | Optics

1 Answer

How do I use the Celestron powerseeker 80eq 21048?

If you will go to my profile page I have a TIP and instructions for using an equatorial mount.

This mount must be polar aligned before you can use it. That's why we never recommend an EQ mount for beginners. EQ mounts are very good for astro-photography however the low cost ones are too shaky to use. Normally you need to spend at least $500-$1500 to buy a usable EQ mount that can be used to take pictures of the sky.

Read my EQ Tip on my profile page, and read the link below:


Apr 11, 2010 | Celestron PowerSeeker 80EQ Refractor...

1 Answer

LX90 8" LNT Polar alignment

The only reason you would want to polar align is to do astro-photography which will be difficult from your location.

Use the scope in normal ALT AZ configuration. Calibrate motors, Train Drives, make sure time, date, site, are set correctly. The Calibrate sensors function sets the magnetic deviation for your SITE. Not really that important because when you center two alignment stars everything is corrected anyway.

So take the wedge off the tripod --- you can still do short duration astro-photography usually not exceeding 12 second exposures and then STACK the images using software.

Jun 28, 2009 | Meade 8" LX90 LNT Schmidt Cassegrain...

1 Answer

How to use Bushnell Telescope

I hope this is not too late.
About the only way to get an answer would be in person, one on one.
Check and see if there any astronomy clubs or groups in your area. if so then drop them an e-mail telling them what your problem is and ask when their next observing session is.
Take what you have with you and find out how to use it.
In lieu of or in addition, Join an online astro group such as Cloudy Nights and have a 2 way discussion with people have been through it themselves.
Best to all.

Dec 25, 2007 | Optics

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