First telescope for digital photography

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First telescope for digital photography

Postby Sparklehedgehog » Wed Feb 08, 2017 4:24 pm


My wife has given me a budget of £500 (you know how it is) to get a scope for use with my Sony a7ii and to use with the kids.

I have zero idea but the celesteon nexstar 4 se has caught my eye. Is that completely wrong or any good or something else I should be looking at with the budget I have please?

I need to absorb the wealth of your knowledge please so I don't waste my money.

Thanks in advance
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Re: First telescope for digital photography

Postby Aratus » Wed Feb 08, 2017 8:37 pm

I think we know how it is :D

Astrophotography can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. It all boils down to how long you want your exposures to be. The earth is moving, and objects in the sky don't stay in the same place.
If you want to take photos of the moon and planets, the Celestron SE series with its Alt/azimuth mount is fine. It is easy to set up and align. Your exposures will be fractions of a second and if you align it you will keep the object in the field of view. You can stack 1000s of images and get some astounding photos. You can also take photos of the brighter nebulas/ galaxies etc. They require 30sec to a minute, and again if you are aligned accurately you can get some very impressive photos. The problems start when you go for the dimmer objects. You may need many minutes of exposure. An alt/azimuth mount will follow an object for hours on end but the object will appear to rotate, and that is not good for very long exposures. For that you need an equatorial mount, which requires a lot more setting up.

Now I have an alt-azimuth, and I have been happily taking photos with it for the last 12 years. I have little appetite for very long exposures, but there are others who are really into that sort of thing who would be really unhappy to have a mount like the Celestron SE.

In the end the choice is yours.
I use an 11" reflector (Celestron CPC 1100) and a 3" refractor, (Sky-Watcher ST80) mounted on an equatorial wedge, housed in a 2.2m Pulsar observatory. I use a ZWO ASI 120MM, ZWO ASI1600MC and Canon 1300D for imaging.
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