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Re: [delmarvastargazers] Greetings and Astrophotography advice?

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  • Calixto Estrada
    Hi Rob, good morning. Welcome to the our hobby of astronomy, and astrophotography.  I ve been shooting the night sky for about 10 years now and have gotten
    Message 1 of 9 , Jul 4, 2012
    Hi Rob, good morning.

    Welcome to the our hobby of astronomy, and astrophotography. 
    I've been shooting the night sky for about 10 years now and have gotten many nice images with modest equipment.

    The biggest challenges imagers will have are:

               * Location.  New Castle is not Arizona or New Mexico.  Clear nights are rare (usually on work nights)
                  and light pollution is a problem.  The DSG website has a "Clear Sky Clock" that is not always reliable
                  but can help determine how clear it will be.  Light pollution is everywhere on the East Coast, but there are
                  places like Cherry Springs, PA that are wonderfully free of orange lights.  We meet at Tuckahoe State Park
                  Blackbird State Forest to observe and/or image.  A good LPR filter like my Hutech helps.

                * Patience.  My analogy for getting a nice image is like going big game hunting.  Many times things don't go
                   right (long setup times, clouds, equipment problems, too cold, coming up the learning curve, etc) but
                   after a long night and several hours of image processing (where you have skills!) you'll have a nice
                   "trophy" to hang on your wall.

                *  Cost.   Even modest equipment will cost a few thousand dollars.  My imaging rig includes:

                        *  8" f/4 imaging reflector ($499).  Astronomics makes these in 6", 8", 10" and 12" aperature, all f/4.
                            (f# is the ratio of focal length to aperature, f/4 being "fast" resulting in shorter exposure times).
                            Larger telescopes (10" and 12" can get quit heavy, requiring larger and more expensive mounts.

                        *  Celestron CGEM Equitorial mount ($1700, I think).  This is a "go to" mount that will objects after
                            polar and 3 star alignment, works well.  Rated for 40 lb payload (rule of thumb for imaging is no more than
                            2/3 rated payload for telescope, camera, guidescope etc.)  Also has autoguider port for long exposure imaging.

                        *  Accessories.  A coma corrector is required for fast reflectors.  A finder scope or "Telrad".  A light pollution filter.
                            If autoguiding then a guidescope, a guidescope camera.  Various eyepieces (an entire topic in itself, Chuck, Don,
                            Doug, others know more than I do here)

                        *  Cameras.  I love my Canon DSLR's.  Have a T3i (great focussing feature) and a 400D with filters removed. 
                            This camera now sees the Hydrogen Alpha range (reds) of emission nebula like Orion, Horsehead, Lagoon, etc.

    Attached is a quickie presentation I did for the Delmarva Star Gazers.  Planning on being at the Club picnic on July 14th.

    Best Regards

    Cal Estrada


    From: Chuck Jennings <chuckjennings33@...>
    To: "delmarvastargazers@yahoogroups.com" <delmarvastargazers@yahoogroups.com>
    Cc: "delmarvastargazers@yahoogroups.com" <delmarvastargazers@yahoogroups.com>
    Sent: Tuesday, July 3, 2012 6:24 PM
    Subject: Re: [delmarvastargazers] Greetings and Astrophotography advice?

     
    Rob,
    Welcome to the DelmarvaStargazers yahoo group.  We have a number of knowledgable people that can help.  You may want to consider attending our 4th of July party on July 14th at Silver Lake park in Dover, where you can talk shop with various members.   Our club's secretary Cal Estrada is also a seasoned astro photographer and I'm sure he'd be willing to point you in the right direction.  I know he is using a Celestron CGEM with an Astro-tech reflecting telescope (8" F4 I think), and he captures spectacular pictures. I'll let let the imagers weigh in from here.

    - Chuck

    Sent from my iPhone

    On Jul 3, 2012, at 10:52 AM, "chade2112" <wiltbank@...> wrote:

     
    Greetings, folks!

    My name is Rob Wiltbank. I live in New Castle County, Delaware and I'm completely new to the world of astronomy. It's always been a latent interest of mine and something I'd like to pursue a bit more actively and, hopefully, share with my children my interest in the stars.

    To help me along with this, I'm taking a class this Fall in Descriptive Astronomy which, aside from the readings, assignments and 8 hours of DVD material, requires some night observations. Being the overachiever that I am and, just to pair another interest of mine, I'd like to step into the world of Astrophotography as well.

    Photography has been a great hobby of mine in the past -- I have a few high-end Canon DSLR's and several L-series lenses. I'm highly skilled with image editing and post-processing, so I'm really hoping someone here would be able to make some recommendations.

    From what I understand, I'll need:

    1) A telescope.
    2) A ring adapter to mount the camera to the telescope.
    3) An equatorial mount.

    If I'm missing anything here, please feel to correct me.

    I'm looking for equipment recommendations that will help me in "deep sky" (wide field?) photography -- those images seem quite striking to me which is why I'm looking at that particular area.

    I don't want introductory equipment, nor do I want the highest end gear on the market. Ideally, I'd like to stay within the $1500-$2500 range.

    I really appreciate any feedback or other information you can offer!

    =


  • Don Surles
    Rob, welcome to Delmarva Star Gazers. See our website: www.delmarvastargazers.org for a quick intro to the group. I am sure we can offer advice on the
    Message 2 of 9 , Jul 4, 2012
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      Rob, welcome to Delmarva Star Gazers.  See our website:


      for a quick intro to the group.  I am sure we can offer advice on the equipment you will want for astrophotography...and certainly can offer star gazing advice.

      I know you will find DSG'ers friendly and helpful.

      Again, welcome to our group.  Hope to see you at the picnic July 14.

      Don...


      On Jul 3, 2012, at 10:52 AM, chade2112 wrote:

       

      Greetings, folks!

      My name is Rob Wiltbank. I live in New Castle County, Delaware and I'm completely new to the world of astronomy. It's always been a latent interest of mine and something I'd like to pursue a bit more actively and, hopefully, share with my children my interest in the stars.

      To help me along with this, I'm taking a class this Fall in Descriptive Astronomy which, aside from the readings, assignments and 8 hours of DVD material, requires some night observations. Being the overachiever that I am and, just to pair another interest of mine, I'd like to step into the world of Astrophotography as well.

      Photography has been a great hobby of mine in the past -- I have a few high-end Canon DSLR's and several L-series lenses. I'm highly skilled with image editing and post-processing, so I'm really hoping someone here would be able to make some recommendations.

      From what I understand, I'll need:

      1) A telescope.
      2) A ring adapter to mount the camera to the telescope.
      3) An equatorial mount.

      If I'm missing anything here, please feel to correct me.

      I'm looking for equipment recommendations that will help me in "deep sky" (wide field?) photography -- those images seem quite striking to me which is why I'm looking at that particular area.

      I don't want introductory equipment, nor do I want the highest end gear on the market. Ideally, I'd like to stay within the $1500-$2500 range.

      I really appreciate any feedback or other information you can offer!


    • Rogers George
      By the way, I sent my post from my iPad and somehow the not disappeared. I m NOT an expert astrophotog. I photograph a lot of mushrooms, and have a nice
      Message 3 of 9 , Jul 4, 2012
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        By the way, I sent my post from my iPad and somehow the "not" disappeared. I'm NOT an expert astrophotog. I photograph a lot of mushrooms, and have a nice Nikon, but I don't attach the camera to the scope much. 
         
        Best wishes,
        Rogers George
        http://writing-rag.com
        http://rogersgeorge.com
        http://mushroomstomotorcycles.com


        On Wed, Jul 4, 2012 at 8:02 AM, Don Surles <don.surles@...> wrote:
         

        Rob, welcome to Delmarva Star Gazers.  See our website:



        for a quick intro to the group.  I am sure we can offer advice on the equipment you will want for astrophotography...and certainly can offer star gazing advice.

        I know you will find DSG'ers friendly and helpful.

        Again, welcome to our group.  Hope to see you at the picnic July 14.

        Don...


        On Jul 3, 2012, at 10:52 AM, chade2112 wrote:

         

        Greetings, folks!

        My name is Rob Wiltbank. I live in New Castle County, Delaware and I'm completely new to the world of astronomy. It's always been a latent interest of mine and something I'd like to pursue a bit more actively and, hopefully, share with my children my interest in the stars.

        To help me along with this, I'm taking a class this Fall in Descriptive Astronomy which, aside from the readings, assignments and 8 hours of DVD material, requires some night observations. Being the overachiever that I am and, just to pair another interest of mine, I'd like to step into the world of Astrophotography as well.

        Photography has been a great hobby of mine in the past -- I have a few high-end Canon DSLR's and several L-series lenses. I'm highly skilled with image editing and post-processing, so I'm really hoping someone here would be able to make some recommendations.

        From what I understand, I'll need:

        1) A telescope.
        2) A ring adapter to mount the camera to the telescope.
        3) An equatorial mount.

        If I'm missing anything here, please feel to correct me.

        I'm looking for equipment recommendations that will help me in "deep sky" (wide field?) photography -- those images seem quite striking to me which is why I'm looking at that particular area.

        I don't want introductory equipment, nor do I want the highest end gear on the market. Ideally, I'd like to stay within the $1500-$2500 range.

        I really appreciate any feedback or other information you can offer!



      • Rob Wiltbank
        Thanks so much for the warm welcome and great information. George, I m actually about 10 minutes from you here in Bear... I m on kid duty tonight -- I
        Message 4 of 9 , Jul 4, 2012
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          Thanks so much for the warm welcome and great information.  George, I'm actually about 10 minutes from you here in Bear... I'm on kid duty tonight -- I appreciate the offer, though.

          I will definitely try to make the Picnic... is it family friendly or should I ditch the wife and kids? ;p

          On Wed, Jul 4, 2012 at 1:02 PM, Rogers George <rogers.george@...> wrote:
           

          By the way, I sent my post from my iPad and somehow the "not" disappeared. I'm NOT an expert astrophotog. I photograph a lot of mushrooms, and have a nice Nikon, but I don't attach the camera to the scope much. 

          On Wed, Jul 4, 2012 at 8:02 AM, Don Surles <don.surles@...> wrote:
           

          Rob, welcome to Delmarva Star Gazers.  See our website:



          for a quick intro to the group.  I am sure we can offer advice on the equipment you will want for astrophotography...and certainly can offer star gazing advice.

          I know you will find DSG'ers friendly and helpful.

          Again, welcome to our group.  Hope to see you at the picnic July 14.

          Don...


          On Jul 3, 2012, at 10:52 AM, chade2112 wrote:

           

          Greetings, folks!

          My name is Rob Wiltbank. I live in New Castle County, Delaware and I'm completely new to the world of astronomy. It's always been a latent interest of mine and something I'd like to pursue a bit more actively and, hopefully, share with my children my interest in the stars.

          To help me along with this, I'm taking a class this Fall in Descriptive Astronomy which, aside from the readings, assignments and 8 hours of DVD material, requires some night observations. Being the overachiever that I am and, just to pair another interest of mine, I'd like to step into the world of Astrophotography as well.

          Photography has been a great hobby of mine in the past -- I have a few high-end Canon DSLR's and several L-series lenses. I'm highly skilled with image editing and post-processing, so I'm really hoping someone here would be able to make some recommendations.

          From what I understand, I'll need:

          1) A telescope.
          2) A ring adapter to mount the camera to the telescope.
          3) An equatorial mount.

          If I'm missing anything here, please feel to correct me.

          I'm looking for equipment recommendations that will help me in "deep sky" (wide field?) photography -- those images seem quite striking to me which is why I'm looking at that particular area.

          I don't want introductory equipment, nor do I want the highest end gear on the market. Ideally, I'd like to stay within the $1500-$2500 range.

          I really appreciate any feedback or other information you can offer!




        • Chuck Jennings
          It s most definitely family friendly! My wife and 2 boys (7 and 10) will be there. Chuck Sent from my iPhone
          Message 5 of 9 , Jul 4, 2012
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            It's most definitely family friendly!  My wife and 2 boys (7 and 10) will be there.

            Chuck

            Sent from my iPhone

            On Jul 4, 2012, at 3:33 PM, Rob Wiltbank <wiltbank@...> wrote:

             

            Thanks so much for the warm welcome and great information.  George, I'm actually about 10 minutes from you here in Bear... I'm on kid duty tonight -- I appreciate the offer, though.


            I will definitely try to make the Picnic... is it family friendly or should I ditch the wife and kids? ;p

            On Wed, Jul 4, 2012 at 1:02 PM, Rogers George <rogers.george@...> wrote:
             

            By the way, I sent my post from my iPad and somehow the "not" disappeared. I'm NOT an expert astrophotog. I photograph a lot of mushrooms, and have a nice Nikon, but I don't attach the camera to the scope much. 

            On Wed, Jul 4, 2012 at 8:02 AM, Don Surles <don.surles@...> wrote:
             

            Rob, welcome to Delmarva Star Gazers.  See our website:



            for a quick intro to the group.  I am sure we can offer advice on the equipment you will want for astrophotography...and certainly can offer star gazing advice.

            I know you will find DSG'ers friendly and helpful.

            Again, welcome to our group.  Hope to see you at the picnic July 14.

            Don...


            On Jul 3, 2012, at 10:52 AM, chade2112 wrote:

             

            Greetings, folks!

            My name is Rob Wiltbank. I live in New Castle County, Delaware and I'm completely new to the world of astronomy. It's always been a latent interest of mine and something I'd like to pursue a bit more actively and, hopefully, share with my children my interest in the stars.

            To help me along with this, I'm taking a class this Fall in Descriptive Astronomy which, aside from the readings, assignments and 8 hours of DVD material, requires some night observations. Being the overachiever that I am and, just to pair another interest of mine, I'd like to step into the world of Astrophotography as well.

            Photography has been a great hobby of mine in the past -- I have a few high-end Canon DSLR's and several L-series lenses. I'm highly skilled with image editing and post-processing, so I'm really hoping someone here would be able to make some recommendations.

            From what I understand, I'll need:

            1) A telescope.
            2) A ring adapter to mount the camera to the telescope.
            3) An equatorial mount.

            If I'm missing anything here, please feel to correct me.

            I'm looking for equipment recommendations that will help me in "deep sky" (wide field?) photography -- those images seem quite striking to me which is why I'm looking at that particular area.

            I don't want introductory equipment, nor do I want the highest end gear on the market. Ideally, I'd like to stay within the $1500-$2500 range.

            I really appreciate any feedback or other information you can offer!




            =
          • larryl
            Hi Rob, Most likely you will need some software to control the mount. Maxim DL is the Gold Standard according to many. Other items on the list would be a
            Message 6 of 9 , Jul 4, 2012
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              Hi Rob,

              Most likely you will need some software to control the mount. Maxim DL is the "Gold Standard" according to many. Other items on the list would be a guide scope and it needs a camera. Image processing software is needed and Maxim DL will do the immediate processing. Most people then do post processing with software such as Adobe Photoshop.

              Just my $0.02 ;-)

              Larry Leitch


              --- In delmarvastargazers@yahoogroups.com, "chade2112" <wiltbank@...> wrote:
              >
              > Greetings, folks!
              >
              > My name is Rob Wiltbank. I live in New Castle County, Delaware and I'm completely new to the world of astronomy. It's always been a latent interest of mine and something I'd like to pursue a bit more actively and, hopefully, share with my children my interest in the stars.
              >
              > To help me along with this, I'm taking a class this Fall in Descriptive Astronomy which, aside from the readings, assignments and 8 hours of DVD material, requires some night observations. Being the overachiever that I am and, just to pair another interest of mine, I'd like to step into the world of Astrophotography as well.
              >
              > Photography has been a great hobby of mine in the past -- I have a few high-end Canon DSLR's and several L-series lenses. I'm highly skilled with image editing and post-processing, so I'm really hoping someone here would be able to make some recommendations.
              >
              > From what I understand, I'll need:
              >
              > 1) A telescope.
              > 2) A ring adapter to mount the camera to the telescope.
              > 3) An equatorial mount.
              >
              > If I'm missing anything here, please feel to correct me.
              >
              > I'm looking for equipment recommendations that will help me in "deep sky" (wide field?) photography -- those images seem quite striking to me which is why I'm looking at that particular area.
              >
              > I don't want introductory equipment, nor do I want the highest end gear on the market. Ideally, I'd like to stay within the $1500-$2500 range.
              >
              > I really appreciate any feedback or other information you can offer!
              >
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