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Psywar

Anyone in MI doing Astrophotography/Astronomy

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Hey Peepz!

 

So last year I really got into photographing the night sky. I am currently using my Nikon D5100 and a bunch of differ lenses.
Mostly my 35MM f/1.8 as it tends to net me the best results.  All of my night photos can be found on my Flickr account. It is all mostly star trails and just standard wide view star shots.

I am wanting to spend the money on 1 of two setups:

 

Setup One:
 
Scope: Astro-Tech AT8RC
Astro-Physics CCDT67 CCD Telecompressor
Auto Guider: KWIQ Autoguider
Mount: AP Mach 1
 
Software:
guide with PHD
stacked in DSS
processed in Photoshop and Pixinsight LE
 
Secondary Setup:
 
Telescope: Orion ED80T CF Triplet Apochromatic Refractor Telescope
Guiding Scope: Orion ShortTube 80 Refractor Telescope Optical Tube Assembly
Guiding Camera: Orion StarShoot AutoGuider
 
Mount: Skywatcher Eq6 Pro Mount
 
Reducer/Flattener:  x 8.0 Tv TRF
 
Software: TheSkyX Professional Edition
Software: Images Plus, Deep Sky Stacker
 
 
 
As you can see the secondary setup is going to be far cheaper than the first.

 

The main reason for this post was to kind of check and see if anyone else in MI was doing what I do but on a larger scale via telescopes?

I was kind of hoping I could get together with someone and learn a bit more about what I am wanting to get myself into and maybe share the night and try out someone else's setup to make sure this is something I really want to drop this much money on.

 
Once it warms up here I am going to work on a cheap Barn Door Tracker. I currently have all the parts needed to make this. I just need door hinges and time.
I am going to attempt to do some deep sky shots using my 300MM Nikon lens and I also have this weird 500MM mirrored lens it also came with this 2x Teleconverter. I figured I would give them a try and see what happens. 
I should just splurge and buy a nice German-Eq mount but I just don't want to end up not enjoying it and be out $1000+ on the mount. 

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I think your going to be disappointed taking pictures . I was using a Orion tele ($15k) at the school and while I could see the moons of Jupiter , it wast worth the asking price .

 

What really bummed me out was how nasa photos are colored based on assigned gases and not what they look really like . the real star clusters are blah :(

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I think your going to be disappointed taking pictures . I was using a Orion tele ($15k) at the school and while I could see the moons of Jupiter , it wast worth the asking price .

 

What really bummed me out was how nasa photos are colored based on assigned gases and not what they look really like . the real star clusters are blah :(

I'm afraid i have to agree, I haven't personally done this type of photography but having several friends who have they reached this kind of conclusion.

There are still beautiful pictures to be made, and you could really like it, just don't expect the brilliant colors NASA images show. That messed up my childhood knowing those images weren't real :P 

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You guys should check out Astro Steve on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/above_the_horizon

His setup is the same as the one I described in setup 1. 

 

He gets images that are just as good as NASA.

 

I do understand that Alpha based filters will be required to get specific colours to pop. 

Also taking a ton of Lights / Flats / Dark photos and stacking them to get a decent image is going to be required.

 

Not trying to deny what you both said, but I have been ninja viewing the astrophotography community for the past year and I have seen some amazing work from them.

I would like to at least experience it for myself anyways and see what I can come up with.

 

On the cost part though you guys are pretty much dead on because it is an expensive hobby from everything I have researched. Which is one of the biggest reasons I would like to test this out before actually spending the money on an entire setup.

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I hear ya , the cheapest decent one I found with the attachments was 5k. knowing myself I wouldn't use it enough or get photos I could sell worth the asking price .

 

also if your really into astro you want to get the canon 60DA (not the normal one but the A) . as it's ment for night only .

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Yeah the modded Canons are def. ideal for astro shots. 

I think next weekend I am going to build my barn door tracker and hopefully go out soon and see what I can get with my 300MM and my 500MM..

 

The weather here in Michigan is starting to really tick me off.. We just got another 3 inches of snow and it is still falling..  I am so tired of this -15F weather.. I can't wait until it is 80F and I can complain about the heat.

 

Sadly it seems like the most expensive part of astro is getting the dang EQ-Mount. I was thinking though if I could get one that is light and really sturdy it would be a good investment since I already do photography. Having a good tripod in your arsenal is a great investment anyways. 

 

I need to win the freaking lotto.. 

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