Refractor best for photography

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Refractor best for photography

Postby Noeyedear » Tue Feb 21, 2017 1:40 pm

Hi,
First post so Hello.
I spent an evening with a local group of stargazers and found it interesting to say the least. So I would like to "have a go" myself.
I come from a photography background and although I would just like to gaze at the fascinating night sky, I can see I will get the itch to photograph it as well.
I am also lucky enough to have a garden a few miles from Street lights etc and often on returning home from a night out get a crick in my neck standing in the cold looking at stars.

I'm not entirly convinced that buying a cheap setup is necessary the best option even for a beginner, nothing more frustrating than fighting with poorly deigned or badly made equipment when you are learning. Or putting in the effort to just see the faults, chromatic aberrations etc are like a red rag to me. Plus quality always has a market if you want to pass it on.

So assuming I start as I mean to go on I am thinking that a refractor with Apo and coatings looks like a sound way to go?
Plus a mount that is capable of being rock solid, I suspect the mount is crucial for photography.
I guessing this is a piece of string question that will depend on what exactly do I intend to shoot. Who knows in the end, at the moment nebula look very interesting, but I could easily go off on another track!
So is a refractor the best way to go from the beginning, they seam less popular than the Cats, Dobs and Newts.

Cheers, thanks in advance,

Kevin.
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Re: Refractor best for photography

Postby Aratus » Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:06 pm

Yes, I would agree with your general direction of thought. An 'apochromat' refractor is basically a very specilised kind of fixed camera lens. It requires a less fuss than some other types of telescope. They are known for their sharpness and contrast. The downside is cost per inch of aperture. To get the high quality and light grasp combination in an apochromat you need a big one. 5 or 6 inches. For the kind of size and quality that will make it worth while you need a lot of money. Most people want brightness and detail, and a large reflector is cheaper per inch. That is why they are popular.

I guarentee you that if you get one kind, you will eventually want the other!
I use an 11" Celestron SCT (CPC 1100) on an equatorial wedge, housed in a 2.2m Pulsar observatory. I use a ZWO ASI1600MC and Canon 500D for imaging.
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Re: Refractor best for photography

Postby Gfamily2 » Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:39 am

The people I know who take the best AP images of the larger nebulae use relatively small refractors such as the WO Megrez 72 or an ED80.
On the other hand, they have really really good mounts - ones that cost 15-20x the scope.
This allows them to accumulate hours and hours of imaging time using RGB and Ha filters.

On the other hand, you can start with a good tracking mount, your existing dSLR and a 200mm non-zoom lens.

Take multiple images each of up to 300 seconds and you can 'stack' them to reduce noise and bring out details.
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: Refractor best for photography

Postby Noeyedear » Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:21 pm

No surprise then that the mount is probably more important than the scope you attach.
So what are the most solid, smooth etc mounts that can accommodate long exposure and fix on the target?
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Re: Refractor best for photography

Postby Gfamily2 » Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:33 pm

What's your budget?
5 figures?
4 figures?
3 figures?
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.
(Not a moderator)
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Re: Refractor best for photography

Postby Aratus » Wed Feb 22, 2017 4:20 pm

There is a lot of discussion over these issues, and it is hard to dig out the core truths. There are those that think that aperture is not important, but exposure and tracking is. There are others who disagree and say that nothing compensates for the lack of aperture. In the end none of these options are 'wrong' in themselves, but I think it is fair to say that trying to save a little money on a set up is probably a waste of money. I certainly wouldn't spend money on a 3" refractor if I could afford a 5" in a year or two, not simply because a 3" is smaller, but because a 3" telescope has less value per inch than a 5". It is massively better.

Good mounts are essential for tracking, and I'm afraid that means a lot of expense. In the same manner as above, a £1000 mount is worth far more in its quality than a £500 mount. Not just because it is better, but because it can make the difference between easily getting the photo you want, and getting very frustrated with it, or even not getting it at all.

It is crazy, but you probably ought to make £1000 your lowest figure - if you can. :o
I use an 11" Celestron SCT (CPC 1100) on an equatorial wedge, housed in a 2.2m Pulsar observatory. I use a ZWO ASI1600MC and Canon 500D for imaging.
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Re: Refractor best for photography

Postby Noeyedear » Wed Mar 01, 2017 11:30 pm

Thanks all
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Re: Refractor best for photography

Postby The Man with the Corrugated Iron Roof » Sun Mar 05, 2017 3:08 pm

It may (or may not!?) surprise you to know that there's loads to snap in the night sky without using a driven mount at all. If you have nothing more than a DSLR and tripod, you can get the brighter Messier objects, constellations, comets, the Moon and (with filters) the Sun.

For nebulae, yes, you do need a driven mount. I've photographed M42 but, quite honestly, those with a driven mount do far better. Here's my most recent photos:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/philippughastronomer/

As for the original question, if I had money I would go for an APO triplet.
How can I be one with the universe when we don't know what 96% of it is.

My website: http://www.philippughastronomer.com/

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

Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/philippughastronomer/
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Location: Wiltshire but can be just about anywhere up to 41 000 feet


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