Photography guidance neeeded

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Photography guidance neeeded

Postby Bobbster » Mon Dec 24, 2018 9:45 am

Hi, I already have a Nikon D5 and D500 DSLR that I can couple to a 500mm lens with 1.4x converter which gets me some nice moon images, but I would like to go further into planetary photography. I have watched videos and read guides etc, but it's all a bit of a puzzle deciding which equipment to get either to complement by DSLR set up or start from scratch budget is £1300ish.

My end goal is to get images that I could publish up to A3 in size. Came across the lucky imaging technique but can't seem to find any examples of people doing this with Nikon DSLRs, be good to see some sample images with equipment used.

Also looking at telescopes is an SCT scope my best option or is something a little more portable best in my budget?

All advice welcome and appreciated
Last edited by Bobbster on Mon Dec 24, 2018 11:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Photography gudance neeeded

Postby Aratus » Mon Dec 24, 2018 11:03 am

First I'll offer a word of caution. Planets are small. Getting high resolution detail of the planets is difficult. Secondly, I'll offer a word of encouragement. Imaging planets is not difficult, and you can get images with very modest equipment. You can get photos that beat those taken with the largest telescopes 50 years ago.

If planets are your only interest then an SCT is probably not the best telescope to buy. The central mirror causes a (slight) lack of sharpness.
Have a look at this - as an example of what you might find useful.

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/takahashi-fc-76-series-refractor-telescopes/takahashi-fc-76dcu-f75-doublet-fluorite-apo-refractor.html
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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Re: Photography guidance neeeded

Postby The Man with the Corrugated Iron Roof » Tue Dec 25, 2018 2:55 pm

I've experimented a lot. I've even used multiple Barlow lenses to obtain an effective focal length of more than 9 metres.

Although I've had some limited success with my DSLR, I get better results with webcamming. I use a Bresser Electronic Eyepiece.
How can I be one with the universe when we don't know what 96% of it is.

About Me: https://www.amazon.com/Philip-Pugh/e/B0034NTCJK

My blog: http://sungazer127mak.blogspot.com/

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Re: Photography guidance neeeded

Postby Bobbster » Tue Dec 25, 2018 5:03 pm

Thank you for the replies, still undecided on what to choose, really need to see image examples taken with associated equipment. I will continue searching the net/forums over the next few days.
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Re: Photography guidance neeeded

Postby The Man with the Corrugated Iron Roof » Wed Dec 26, 2018 3:11 am

My blog explains what I do and how I do it:

https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogI ... 5#allposts
How can I be one with the universe when we don't know what 96% of it is.

About Me: https://www.amazon.com/Philip-Pugh/e/B0034NTCJK

My blog: http://sungazer127mak.blogspot.com/

Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/philippughastronomer/
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Re: Photography guidance neeeded

Postby Gfamily2 » Wed Dec 26, 2018 11:32 am

Astrobin is a good place to look for images with details of the equipment used.

As has been said, the difference between lunar and planetary imaging is that the size of the target is a lot smaller.

Imaging planets is the equivalent of imaging individual craters that are a few 10s of km diameter.
Hoping to produce A3 size images of these small targets is to be very optimistic.

Check out the planetary images produced by Damian Peach. He's probably the best out there, and not many of his images would blow up to that size.
Scopes: Meade 8" SCT, Skywatcher 127mm Mak, Raffle winner of SW ST80
For imaging: Pentax K5, Asda webcam, Star Adventurer (new toy)
For companionship: Mid Cheshire Astronomical Group.
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Re: Photography guidance neeeded

Postby Bobbster » Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:13 am

Spent a lot of time browsing image examples scopes etc and I am leaning towards a used Explore Scientific 102 APO telescope, this would leave me hopefully enough funds to get a decent mount for tracking also. Anyone have anyfeedback on this scope. I see it comes in two versions are there any major differences between the Alu and CF model apart from material/weight
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Re: Photography guidance neeeded

Postby Gfamily2 » Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:36 am

Bobbster wrote:Spent a lot of time browsing image examples scopes etc and I am leaning towards a used Explore Scientific 102 APO telescope, this would leave me hopefully enough funds to get a decent mount for tracking also. Anyone have anyfeedback on this scope. I see it comes in two versions are there any major differences between the Alu and CF model apart from material/weight

I can't advise on that specific model, I'm afraid.

I'll just put a reminder that for AP, the usual advice is that you should spend at least half your money on the mount, and aim to get one that has at least twice the payload needed to cope with the weight of the scope, camera and field flattener, filter wheels, etc. you'll be using on it.
Scopes: Meade 8" SCT, Skywatcher 127mm Mak, Raffle winner of SW ST80
For imaging: Pentax K5, Asda webcam, Star Adventurer (new toy)
For companionship: Mid Cheshire Astronomical Group.
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Re: Photography guidance neeeded

Postby Aratus » Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:48 am

It is a nice bit of kit. The 'Carbon Fibre' is a lighter weight model designed for people who need to carry it further than their back garden. In the US people will drive long distances to a national park car park, and then back-pack it a few miles to get away from the lights of the car park. That is not likely to be something that most people in the UK can take advantage of. If planets are still your aim, then there is little to be gained from carrying it any distance to find a super dark sky anyway.

I don't want to wobble the bubble here, but I hope you are aware that we are entering a period of time when planets are not well placed. It will be a few years yet before Jupiter and Saturn are well placed again. Mars will be good eventually in 2020. It is a pretty small target though. The telescope will still work well on lunar features, of course.
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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Re: Photography guidance neeeded

Postby Bobbster » Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:13 am

Gfamily2 wrote:
Bobbster wrote:Spent a lot of time browsing image examples scopes etc and I am leaning towards a used Explore Scientific 102 APO telescope, this would leave me hopefully enough funds to get a decent mount for tracking also. Anyone have anyfeedback on this scope. I see it comes in two versions are there any major differences between the Alu and CF model apart from material/weight

I can't advise on that specific model, I'm afraid.

I'll just put a reminder that for AP, the usual advice is that you should spend at least half your money on the mount, and aim to get one that has at least twice the payload needed to cope with the weight of the scope, camera and field flattener, filter wheels, etc. you'll be using on it.


Hi Gfamily2, yes that is pretty much the direction I am taking which with my budget I am leaning towards a used scope/mount just have to be patient. Due to the mild winter it has been pretty much constant cloud cover down here in Cornwall for the last couple of months
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