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A question of astrophotography...


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Bruce Kapla , Sep 20, 2004; 02:53 p.m.

Forget which type, Refractor or Reflector........put your money on a VERY stable mount, meaning high end with dual axis drive and PEC, such as those from Losmandy or Celestron. GEM preferrably(German equitorial). The best optics are useless without a good mount, especially for astrophotography.

Yeow Teng Kuah , Sep 20, 2004; 09:56 p.m.

I second Bruce's view. You can have the best Refactor / Reflector / SCT or MCT ..... without a stable mount, you will have jitterly pictures. I suggest at least a GEM 5 mount for absolute stability up to 8 inch SCT.

Oh, and regarding the fast f/stop ratio and slow f/stop ratio, it all boils down to $$$ and what you want to take. For bright objects like Planets / Moon / Sun, a slow f/stop ratio will be better. You will get alot more contrast then a fast f/stop ratio scope. A Catadioptic Scope will be very much perfect for it.

For taking of Nebula, star trails, fast moving space objects (comet?), a fast ratio scope such as a Refractor will be better.

However, if you are not very particular about weight and being a newbie into astromoy, I suggest you start with a reflector instead. It gives you the very basics of all the telescopes in the future you may get. It has a high contrast and the f/ratio very much depends on your requirement (the longer the scope, the slower the f/ratio). It does not have C.A. like non APO refractor (btw, APO refractor cost a bomb, non APO refractor is good for dim object, but for bright object, you will see alot of false colour, something you will not see on a Catadioptic or Reflector).

But all in all, invest on a strong mount .... trust me .... for astrophotography, and even for general viewing .... you will need it .....

B B , Sep 21, 2004; 12:13 p.m.

IMHO there is nothing like hands on experience, on this page you are able to find your local astronomy club, and they will gladly show you how every type of telescope works. Pros and cons.


Remember that to have a nice nature fotograph you need a good tripod. In astronomy they are called mounts. Try and look at various types, and what you need. The farther the object you want to photograph, the dimmer it is going to be and the more stable and accurate your mount has to be.

Have a great time and be warm.

B. B.

Jason Kaufman , Sep 23, 2004; 06:39 p.m.

Greetings All,

Thank you much for the many responses to my inquiry. In part the result of these responses, I have decided to first try my hand using fast films on a fixed tripod. If I get the hang of shooting the stars in this manner, then perhaps I will consider making the financial investment of true astrophotography. For the meantime, I shall play with the equipment I have.

Duane Horne , Aug 10, 2007; 01:29 p.m.

In 2003 I printed an article by Art Whipple on Solar Photography. I also printed other articles by different writers on Astrophotography. I had purchased my first 35mm camera only 2 years before that. Prior to that I had no other interest in photography other that snap shots of family and vacations. I purchased a Canon Rebel and after that I got hooked. I started purchasing additional lenses, nothing expensive or fancy, just a couple of consumer zooms. One day while window shopping at a used camera store, I found and old Bauch and Lomb 1200 mm mirror lens/ I thought it was the greatest discovery at that time and planned to use it to shoot wildlife. The salesman said it would be too slow with its f11 apeture (I did not know what "f11" meant and did not know what apeture was). Besides this salesman could not have known what he was talking about; as far as I was concerned it was the biggest lens I had ever seen and was delicious eye candy. A trip to a wildlife refuge and a review of the resulting images proved his point. In any event I put the lens in the closet and left it there until I say a full moon one evening. I started reading on lunan photography and withing a few months, after taking countless images and finally investing in a sturdy tripod and learning to use the mirror lock up function on my new Elan 7e, I finally got a decent, detailed image of the moon. When I ventured into solar photography, I made my own filter. The filter was dark red in color and made the sun appear orange. Later I purchased Baeder film, which renders images white. When the venus transit occured a few years ago, I took several images using slide film. I posted several of the on photo.net. These images was recorded on film utilizing a home made solar filter (mylar material if the image is coloured or baedar "foil like film also refered to as a white filter" if the image is white). I used a 1200 mm f11 Bausch and Lomb Smcmidt-Cassergrin reflector, with or without a manual 2X TC, employing prime focus.

In a long winded way, I am endorsing reflectors. I bought mine very cheap, about 200 dollars. I have not done any deep space work or used any tracking equipment. Star Trails are next on my list and after that perhaps some deep space work. There is an observatory at a local university not too far from where I live. I have spoken to them and they have agreed to let me use their equipment.

Duane Horne , Aug 10, 2007; 01:35 p.m.

Some examples

example 1

Duane Horne , Aug 10, 2007; 01:38 p.m.


Attachment: 5127665-lg.jpg

Duane Horne , Aug 10, 2007; 02:13 p.m.

another example

Venus Transit

Duane Horne , Aug 10, 2007; 02:28 p.m.

last one

venus transit II

Jason Kaufman , Aug 10, 2007; 03:55 p.m.


Thank you for the detailed response to my query from so far back. Kudos on the very nice photos.

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