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help with a lens for astrophotography

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1hander View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 1hander Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 June 2018 at 01:19
wow..this is why i come here...a whole new way for me to solve a problem ,,and if i decide to go the star tracker route..it lends it self to wholre other chapter of photography..panos..timelapse etc etc..

i know its overkill but im liking the star watcher eq-6 pro mount..i could mount a decent size telescope on it later if i progress to that point..

Edited by 1hander - 09 June 2018 at 01:23
 



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eldonito View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote eldonito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 June 2018 at 02:36
Wow... looks amazing!
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1hander View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 1hander Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 June 2018 at 02:48
ioptron has the smart eq pro+ for around 500.00.... much less expensive..and the payload should hold an a99 on the end of a Zenithstar 61 APO Gold for really nice dso stuff..im really liking this... and is controllable through laptop with stellarium ...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote horizon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 June 2018 at 09:53
I was in the same dilemma about a month ago, and I have recently purchased a Star Tracker mount Starwatcher AZ GTi wifi GoTo mount. From the manufacturer it comes default as an AZ Mount, however, using the firmware upgrade (still in Beta release at present) and will allow the tracker to be in both AZ or EQ modes.

It does come with a flimsy tripod which I put back in the box quick smart after seeing it buckling at the knees with just the Mount attached. I have more tripods than one person can use at any given time, so I dedicated one of my CarbonFibre tripods for the AZ Mount and its much more secure (can run in EQ mode with firmware upgrade, the firmware upgrade is reversable back to simple AZ mode using the firmware loader and the previous firmware).

I also purchase the EQ wedge to suit the Starwatcher Adventurer for times when I wish to use it in EQ mode, though thats still a short way off yet. It runs on 8x AA batteries or a 7.4v DC - 14v DC external power supply using a cigarette lighter power lead. I am looking at a Powertech Lithium Power Centre.

However the initial purchase of the mount here in AU with a dovetail bar closes in at $740 and it doesnt come with a Ball head or a Ballhead adapter or telescope.

I have been testing the Mobile App Synscan Pro (free software) and it allows you to Point your mobile phone at an object in the sky and it will identify what it is and begin tracking that object (good for those whose knowledge of stars is that they show up in the dark).

I am still yet to take any shots as weather have not been favourable since getting most of the stuff I require.

As part of my testing I discovered that with the weight of the A99 and 20mm F2.8 lens and L-Plate and Battery grip as the mount rotates the Ballhead want to undo due the the weight of the camera and lens leaning over to the side and should I have not been observant, I could have had the camera bite the concrete. The Ballhead Dovetail Adapter does not have any secure screws to ensure that the ballhead does not come loose. So it looks like I'll be fabricating one of those, but I could also be looking at other options like Arca Swiss bar to screw directly to the Dovetail Bar and then use a 4" Arca-swiss clamp to hold the L-Plate securely.

So if you have access to a Milling machine, you could easily fabricate a cstom Dovetail Bar to suit the Star Tracker you purchase, as some manufacturers only consider DSLR's as an after thought, though the iOptron Skyguider Pro is more designed for DSLR photography in mind rather than an after thought. I would have preferred to have purchased this unit, however they are not available in Australia and need to purchase from overseas, which means any faults, I have to pay for return freight which could easily cost more than the initial purchase.

The unit I purchased has the option for connecting a DSLR directly to the Mount and the mount then itself and the mobile app allows the camera to be used with the inbuilt Intervalometer. This works quite well, so you can set your camera in Bulb mode and 2sec delay drive and then set the exposure time you wish with the camera in full manual mode and set your iso and aperture and manual focus. The iOptron Skyguider Pro has the Camera Trigger built in, but I dont think the non-pro version has, so you may need to purchase an aftermarket Intervalometer.

I hope it all works well for you.

Regards,
Craig
Please dont edit my photo's
Wildlife Horizons
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1hander View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 1hander Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 June 2018 at 19:37
thanks for the info craig...now i just need to figure out what eq and az mount means and how that should effect my purchase
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Post Options Post Options   Quote QuietOC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 June 2018 at 20:15
I assume eq is equatorial and az is azimuth. See here.
Sony A7II A77II LA-EA3 LA-EA4 MC-11
Minolta Maxxum 600si
Pentax Q7 5-15 15-45/2.8
 



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1hander View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 1hander Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 June 2018 at 22:23
yes, ive been reading and checked your link as well... eq it is for me..a bit more involved but i like a steep learning curve..
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 1hander Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 June 2018 at 17:02
guys thank you for all your answers, insight, and wisdom ...im still going to see what i can get done with the lenses i have then make an informed decision on what lens to go with...

i have however decided to purchase either ioptron ieq-30 or 45 pro for my AP ..they can function in AZ and EQ, has star alignment assist 4 methods of alignment, goto, gps, 30-45 pound payload ... well pretty much all the stuff a newbie like myself would need to to have zero excuses left at the end..LOL.

Ive have always wanted to look at something like saturn with my own eyes..so this will not only allow me to do that but with a 30-45 pound payload, i can mount the best doublet or (if money allows) the best triplet that william optics has..they really are awesome refractors.. and get into DSO photography..

even though these two mounts are not what i would call easily transportable, they are reasonably so..i live in san antonio texas..my home is 120 miles west of here and if i want a closer place, a 35 minute drive will get into the pitch black darkness of bandera and leakey with tons of camping grounds and places to get away from light pollution.

PS.IM STILL GETTTING A 17-35 AND 35MM G LENS..LOLOL

but seriously thank you guys so much i hope i can take a decent enough picture to share with you guys, im no where a good enough photographer to my gear any kind of justice ..but i try

Rick

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Miranda F Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 June 2018 at 21:56
A good MF lens for planets & moon is the Tamron 500mm mirror (55B or 55BB) which is very compact and very sharp. Its short length means it gives much less wobble than normal-length tele primes. Id recommend the earlier one which has a tripod mount, though the camera mount will do okay.
Miranda F & Sensorex, Sony A58, Nex-6, Dynax 4, 5, 60, 500si/600si/700si/800si, various Sony & Minolta lenses, several Tamrons, lots of MF primes and *far* too many old film cameras . . .
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Aurora Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 July 2018 at 17:19
I can second the Tamron 15-30 2.8 for A Mount. I have it paired with my a99II and I've captured some great milky way shots. It also was more than up for the job for catching the Aurora also.

While you're looking for solely an astro lens I can also say it works great for landscape photography as well. I got one of my favorite shots I've taken of a storm breaking over the Alps last fall with it. I will also say of all the lenses I have it really does work the best in terms pushing the large A99II sensor to the limit. Gets some amazing resolution and sharp shots with it.

I actually rented the zeiss first to see if I liked while I could still return the Tamron in a 30 day window and the Tamron actually topped the Zeiss. I would say comparing the two it's definitely worth saving some money and not going with the CZ. The only real drawback of the lens is that you can't use filters on it, but if you're looking for primarily astro purposes that won't matter for you.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Atto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 July 2018 at 21:41
I'm using the Batis 18, 2.8. I have a ZA 24 2.0 as well and used it for Milkyway photos. The 24 mm is just not wide enough. The Batis is also a better performer in the corners.
This is how the milkyway looks like with the 18mm Batis:



For 1800x1200 view follow
https://i.imgur.com/Gpgx0QD.jpg

Edited by Atto - 15 July 2018 at 05:44
A7R3;RX1r2;A99;A900;E-Mount FE 85 1.8; Batis 18 2.8;LA-EA3;A-Mount ZA 24 2.0; Sony 50 2.8 macro; 1.4 TC; Sigma 105 2.8 EX DG macro; Minolta 200 2.8 G HS; 400 4.5 G HS
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 1hander Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 July 2018 at 22:13
i borrowed both the tamron 15-30 and the minolta 17-35 ...i do agree and will be using the 15-30 for astro

but i still liked the colors of the 17-35 for everyday use so ill still be getting one.,,,i know im insane

..but the tamron does beat the minolta..and ill be using the tamron for astro stuff
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jkkyler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 March 2019 at 01:47
Bump so I have gotten a little better at photography in general and am really starting to feel a little more comfortable with astro here are two of my more favorite shots taken with the ROkinon 14 2.8 ( I am still getting acquainted with Lightroom / PS and PP)
[IMG]JUl14 stars 5 by jkkyler, on Flickr[/IMG]
[IMG]JUl14 stars 1 by jkkyler, on Flickr[/IMG]
A Lot of light pollution where I live

As I am honing my skills I have a question to which   think I know the answer but some affirmation may help.

I am going on a trip to Greece and am Taking my camera. For the areas on Santorini (OIA) there is very little light pollution and I am all set but I wanted to get some shots of Athens with the Milky way overhead. I am thinking I will set up and expose a still shot of the city and then shoot additional shots (maybe 10 or so) and stck them in sequator or similar program and process them then use layers and mask all the overexposed city I will have from the night shots and layer in the properly exposed shot of the cityscape.

OH BTW if you don't have it I highly recommend the app PHOTOPILLS for ios/android. It will allow you to plan and find when and where the Milky way will be , sun rise + sunset, Moon rise and sunset for any day anywhere in the world, Identify new moons etc. etc. etc. Augmented reality overlays
Also will allow you to put in your camera and lens and it will not only give you the 500 second rule but figure out based on ytour cameras sensor and resolution how long an exposure you can shoot before trails and about a million other things. Also comes linked with video titorials on the program and astro in general. Got it a couple weeks ago and am just floored by it.

Edited by jkkyler - 14 March 2019 at 01:52
Friends don’t let friends shoot kit lenses
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Murman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 September 2019 at 20:46
For what it's worth: I use a Sigma 20mm f1.8 with some success. I also have the A99. This is an A mount and can be had for around $300. I have also used the Sigma 28mm f1.8 when I don't need as much FOV.

My latest reading on the subject has revealed filters which will selectively block certain portions of the visible spectrum, specifically the NiSi Light Pollution Filter. It sells for $165. Here is a link to a review of said filter:
https://improvephotography.com/51874/review-nisi-natural-night-filter/
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