best method for cheap astrophotography

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by wmmk, Mar 7, 2007.

  1. wmmk macrumors 68020


    Mar 28, 2006
    The Library.
    After seeing some people's pictures of the recent lunar eclipse, I was very impressed. Would getting a KAF to M42 adapter and something like this be good? This is neither something I'd use often at all or a big priority to me. Astrophotography just seemed cool...
  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    It all depends on what you want to shoot. The moon is by far the easiest. But the telescope is just part of the system. You will need a mount that can track the subject so it remains still on the sensor as the Earth rotates. This is not so much an issue for a shot of the whole moon as you are not using that much focal length and the exposure is short. Remember the Earth rotates 360 degrees every 24 hours or 15 degrees per hour.
    The moon is 1/2 degree wide. For wide shots of the moon you shoot at about 1/60th second so motion of the moon is frozen but not camera shake. As you move in your exposure time goes up and that 15 deg/hr starts to matter.

    One problem you will have shooting any very distant subject is the air is not clear. Heat waves and suspended aerosols will blue the image so you will need to wait for good conditions and take many images so you can get the few that happened to catch the air when it was steady.

    I'm not saying don't try, just that it is not so easy.
  3. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    I think just like bird photography, there's really no such thing as cheap astrophotography.
  4. Over Achiever macrumors 68000

    Over Achiever

    Jul 22, 2002
    Toledo, OH, formerly Twin Cities, MN
    You could always use a webcam and stack the images to increase exposure, works decently well for the larger planets. Or with a good tripod you can get star trails, but if you really want to get into astrophotography you really should get a decent telescope with a equitorial mount, preferably motorized as well as a camera mount for your camera. High MP does not matter in this situation, a 3 MP camera will work just fine. Otherwise for higher MP cameras, the ability to bin photosites is invaluable.

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