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05-27-2011, 12:05 AM   #1
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Dobsonian Telescope and astrophotography?

Anybody tried astrophotography through a dobsonian telescope? I know they don't track but is is possible to get good results by taking short exposures and stacking the images?

05-27-2011, 04:19 AM - 1 Like   #2
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I should say no, not really - unless you are photographing bright objects like the moon and (some of) planets.

With other stuff you WILL need exposure times of several seconds - even at very high ISO.

Stacking in itself will not add to the brightness of your image - only enhance detail. Even worse, every now and then you will have to recenter your object and then you will have the problem of field rotation; i.e.: you may keep one star in the centre, but the further out you go from the centre, the more the stars will have rotated in your field of view as time goes by.

Well, I am pretty sure that there is software available that will de-rotate your images, but you will need such software AND a double-axis motor drive for your dobsonian anyway.....

I would much rather go for a decent equatorial drive and a good telephoto lens.

A used equatorial with motor drive and an old Tamron Adaptall-2 200mm f/3.5 (Model 04B) may give you something like this:


05-27-2011, 11:16 AM   #3
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You can always buy an equatorial platform which you place underneath the dob and it tracks like an equatorial mount (so no derotating necessary). The only disadvantage is that tracking is limited to 45 minutes to an hour before you need to reset the platform, and it adds heights to the telescope (making it less stable than adding motors to the dobsonian like Servocat).

Dobs are designed really mainly for visual or planetary imaging. They can work for imaging DSOs, but require additional expensive equipment, software, or modifications of the mount to do so.
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