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01-13-2010, 03:48 PM   #1
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K2000 & astrophotography

I know its probably not an ideal camera, but its what Ive got. Id LOVE to get a telescope & mount for it, for some moon and planet shots so Im wondering, is there a decent priced setup I could start out with? Ive never done this but Ive been reading and dreaming for a couple years. Just didnt know if anyone out there had their K2000 set up with a tele or not. Thanks, Duane

01-19-2010, 08:45 AM   #2
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there is a few different routes you could go. what kind of astro photos are you trying to capture? moon and some planets? or globular clusters, dso's etc...???

if you want to get fainter objects you will need to go with more costly equipement and bigger scope. ive seen many nice astro setups with 500-600mm f5.6-f7 lenses. if your on a budget look into maybe a celestron c6-r goto with tracking. its a nice big refractor for the money and capable of great shots. however there are faster scopes out there but you will pay for them too.
01-19-2010, 03:02 PM   #3
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Do you plan to do observing with a telescope too?
01-19-2010, 03:17 PM   #4
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Most people starting in astrophotography use a camera+ camera lens at the beginning, to gain some experience. This is highly recommended. Don't underestimate how much you can do with lenses between 35mm and 200mm focal length. Anything longer than 200mm and the problems start - at least for the beginner.

The camera+lens would be mounted piggyback on a telescope/equatorial mount and you would use the scope for guiding during the exposure. None of the small mounts is able to track a lens longer than those 200mm for more than 20s or 30s without visual guiding through a scope, even if you got the polar alignment right.

It is not rocket science, but affords patience and quite some time and disappointments. But after a couple of nights already, you'll see your improvements and within a couple of moments, you'll take decent images and will be experienced enough to start using the scope for photography.

Now other problems start to bother you, namely, which scope exactly is right for your desires? One with a long focal length and only moderate aperture or one with a fast aperture, but shorter focal length?

The long fl/moderately fast or even slow scope would be typically a refractor or the "classical" Schmidt Cassegrain (think Meade or Celestron), but you may also find real Cassegrains very interesting. These scopes are great for small objects, which you want to photograph with high resolution, like planets, moonscapes etc. For faint, large objects, the expsoure times will be very(!) long with these instruments.

So, for faint nebulae (and preferably those covering a larger sky area), the best entry choice is probably one of those fast Newtonians (800mm focal length at f/4). Add a coma corrector or or buy one of the current photo-optimized modells and you have a really fast scope for a moderate price.

In any case the equatorial mount will be more massive, than a beginner's scope one and also offers better precision, which makes photography much easier.

And the K2000 will be useable with any of these scopes.

Ben

01-19-2010, 03:18 PM   #5
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The Km with its 10 MP CCD sensor, delivers a very clean image at low Iso. It should do good at astro.
I'll post some links later
04-29-2010, 04:05 PM   #6
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I just wanted to check back in and say thanks. It was a really rough winter up here and I had a TON going on and stopped visiting forums. So, thanks to all who answered this and Im sorry its taken me 4 months to get back here. I appreciate it.
04-29-2010, 09:00 PM   #7
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A small addition to what has been said already.

It is fine to start out with a camera lens up to 200-300mm. Once you go beyond that the lenses get very costly. Years back I bought an Orion Telescope 400mm f5 for $199 (no mount). A Pentax 400 mm Prime would cost way more that that. A refractor telescope is much simpler, 2 or 3 lenses (compared to a dozen elements in some camera lenses). A Telescope does not have/need an iris either. A telescope is designed to work wide open whereas for astro most lenses must be set 1 or 2 stops down to get a good enough field for stars.

Unless you intend to use a long lens for daytime use as well then a telescope may be more practical.

BTW: You can use the telescope during the day as well. Like taking photos of an eagle from a half mile away.
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