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Author Topic: Introduction to WIDE Field Astro-Photography with the iOptron Skytracker combo  (Read 1228 times)

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Offline altairastro

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Hi there, to start things off, here's a wide-field digital camera-based package to teach you the fundamentals of astro imaging with a small outlay. You can take it anywhere, even on holiday, and what's more, you probably have a suitable camera and tripod already!

What you need:

1) Any digital camera with a lens up to 200mm focal length (the shorter the better!), able to take long exposures. DSLR is best because you can control the ISO rating and use the timer to avoid shutter vibration.
2) A camera Tripod with 3/8ths Pro thread, or  if you have a standard 1/4" threaded tripod, a 3/8" to 1/4" thread adapter like this.
3) An Smartphone, so you can use the iPhone polar alignment app, or Android based Smartphone polar alignment app.
4) The iOptron Skytracker and Ball head combo package here.

This package helps you learn some fundamental principles of astro-photography, which apply to imaging now matter what type of camera or telescope you're using, be it a DSLR or a full blown CCD imaging system, a large or small mount and telescope - which are:

  • Polar Alignment: Learn the basics of polar alignment using an illuminated polar scope. An important step when learning to image the night sky with an accurate mount, which becomes second nature very quickly. The Smartphone apps mentioned above make it even easier.
  • Experiment with processing images: You will get enough image files from your camera to experiment with basic editing and processing to bring out detail, and you'll pick up the fundamentals techniques which apply throughout the hobby.
  • Real results with minimal hassle: You'll get some quick and easy wide-field imaging results in a portable setup.
  • Basic focusing and camera settings: You'll learn how to focus a camera on the Night Sky and experiment with camera settings like exposure time, ISO, colour balance, and so-on, to get a feel for how cameras work with long exposures and how that affects the image.

Hope this helps and we wish you the best of luck with your journey!

Nick & Ian, Altair Astro
Altair Astro
Retailers, manufacturers and distributors of fine astronomical equipment.


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