Astrophotography

mpfuchs

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 19, 2014
519
1,379
VA
Is anyone on here into astrophotography and has experience with the iOptron SkyGuider Pro star tracker?
 

Mark0

macrumors 6502
Sep 11, 2014
478
3,046
SW Scotland
I do night sky photography, but not tracked. I just stack where possible. In the region of 16 frames normally. I find this works fine for me and my style of shot. I do think if you want to get deep space objects at higher magnification, tracking is essential and it's a rabbit hole I don't want to go down. I do have an EQ5 mount for my 8" Newtonian but the stability and worm gears are not suitable and subpar for deep space imaging. I've read that an upgraded belt system on an HEQ5 or EQ6 is best.
 

mpfuchs

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 19, 2014
519
1,379
VA
I'm planning some trips out west to proper dark sky locations, so I figured a tracker would give me the best results.
Also wanted to do some deep space, nebula, etc. pictures from my back yard.

My first test wasn't too promising, but that was with a small aperture lens.
The following night I used my 70-200 f2.8 and I can say it is a great feeling when you get your first nebula on camera.

There are some issues with the tracker, that's the reason I started this thread, but I can't wait to get out there for some more astro photography!
 
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Mark0

macrumors 6502
Sep 11, 2014
478
3,046
SW Scotland
I'm planning some trips out west to proper dark sky locations, so I figured a tracker would give me the best results.
Also wanted to do some deep space, nebula, etc. pictures from my back yard.

My first test wasn't too promising, but that was with a small aperture lens.
The following night I used my 70-200 f2.8 and I can say it is a great feeling when you get your first nebula on camera.

There are some issues with the tracker, that's the reason I started this thread, but I can't wait to get out there for some more astro photography!

I'd like to see your results!
 
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v3rlon

macrumors 6502a
Sep 19, 2014
607
286
Earth (usually)
I'd also like to see your results. I only dabble from time to time, but that thing is reasonable enough in price it might be worth ordering.

Or if there is a really good alternative...
 

mpfuchs

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 19, 2014
519
1,379
VA
I'd like to see your results!

Here is a part of Orion:
LR-0403 copy.jpg

181 sec @f2.8, 2200mm, ISO 100 unedited. ISO 100 was my mistake.
 

nburwell

macrumors 601
May 6, 2008
4,875
1,804
DE
iOptron SkyGuider Pro star tracker is a fantastic tool if you want to track the stars and get great results from it. I used the tracker awhile ago when I was really into astrophotography. Since then, I sold it since I haven't really been able to get out late at night to shoot the night sky.

Like other mentioned, you can stack images in post processing as well. But the iOptron is still a great tool to have.
 

malofx

macrumors 6502
Mar 22, 2012
270
1,942
Los Angeles
I do night sky photography, but not tracked. I just stack where possible. In the region of 16 frames normally. I find this works fine for me and my style of shot. I do think if you want to get deep space objects at higher magnification, tracking is essential and it's a rabbit hole I don't want to go down. I do have an EQ5 mount for my 8" Newtonian but the stability and worm gears are not suitable and subpar for deep space imaging. I've read that an upgraded belt system on an HEQ5 or EQ6 is best.

I checked out your site, and your photos are amazing, very inspiring. I would also like to learn about stacking and astrophotography in the near future.
 
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Mark0

macrumors 6502
Sep 11, 2014
478
3,046
SW Scotland
I checked out your site, and your photos are amazing, very inspiring. I would also like to learn about stacking and astrophotography in the near future.

Thank you, nice to get good feedback on my photos. My website has just moved across so it is a bit unorganised. I still need to reorder, caption and title my images. The night sky images that are stacked feature simple horizons. The ones with trees or difficult horizons are generally one shot, or a rough blend of 1 sky and 1 foreground shot.

For any night sky information, http://www.lonleyspeck.com is the place to look. I first attempted night sky photography back in 2004/5 but the equipment I had then wasn't suitable. I had to wait until technology in cameras became a lot better! My stacking technique uses Starry Landscape Stacker, a macOS only program priced at around £40. It's great for images that don't have anything intricate sticking above the horizon, like trees. Uninterrupted horizons stack better with it. There is a huge difference in noise reduction, below is an unedited sample zoomed in from my XT2 shot at ISO 6400. I can't remember the magnification, but it gives you an idea. Once the stacked TIFF is ready, I'd then edit it. The stacking to reduce noise makes a big difference when printing.

NR Sample.png
 

malofx

macrumors 6502
Mar 22, 2012
270
1,942
Los Angeles
Thank you, nice to get good feedback on my photos. My website has just moved across so it is a bit unorganised. I still need to reorder, caption and title my images. The night sky images that are stacked feature simple horizons. The ones with trees or difficult horizons are generally one shot, or a rough blend of 1 sky and 1 foreground shot.

For any night sky information, http://www.lonleyspeck.com is the place to look. I first attempted night sky photography back in 2004/5 but the equipment I had then wasn't suitable. I had to wait until technology in cameras became a lot better! My stacking technique uses Starry Landscape Stacker, a macOS only program priced at around £40. It's great for images that don't have anything intricate sticking above the horizon, like trees. Uninterrupted horizons stack better with it. There is a huge difference in noise reduction, below is an unedited sample zoomed in from my XT2 shot at ISO 6400. I can't remember the magnification, but it gives you an idea. Once the stacked TIFF is ready, I'd then edit it. The stacking to reduce noise makes a big difference when printing.

View attachment 829105


Great information, thank you!
 
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