budget astrophotography with dslr


Choose a mount here:

Once you've chosen your mount there are many different possibilities for your camera/scope combo. You could marry a sensitive astro camera with a smallish sensor together with a smallish apo refractor. This is a classy, simple to use set up which has the advantage of being light. And if money was no object then this is probably what I'd buy. The following camera, scope, reducer set up results in each pixel capturing 2 arcseconds of sky.

telescope for dslr
dedicated astro camera


A  fine apochromatic triplet. 

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I did think of putting in the even better televue NP101is here but they cost nearly 4 times the price...


 A flattener is essential for astrophotography with these triplets

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... you could do what I did in my £600 vs £6000 video and make use of the fact that relatively cheap newtonian telescopes when combined with relatively cheap coma correctors are able to produce pin point stars across large pixel full frame DSLR's. This set up is larger but will produce a similar image at a much cheaper price. 

telescope for digital camera

A Skywatcher 150pds with a full frame camera such as a canon 6D  and the 0.9x coma corrector makes each pixel cover 2 arcseconds of the night's sky.

Skywatcher 150pds

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Skywatcher 0.9 x coma corrector

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photograph night sky

TPO 6 inch f4 combined with a canon 6d (which I recommend) will result in each pixel covering 2.25 arcseconds of the night's sky

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Baader MPCC mark III coma corrector can be used with either the TPO f4 or Skywatcher f5 newtonian

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Laser collimator

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Collimating a badly collimated newtonian is a skill... happily most newtonians bought from the factory only need a little tweak with the laser collimator but a badly colimated newt can't be fixed with a laser collimator alone. If you watch this video all the way through you will be a colllimation expert.  FYI I've never touched the collimation on my big newt big Bertha. It is entirely possible that you won't have to with your newt either. Be wary of cheap laser collimators as the lasers are probably wonky and can't be straightened. Here is a a video about checking the collimation of your laser collimator

To achieve minimal wobble both set ups will need a guide scope and a guide camera. Modern guide cameras have small pixels and this inturn means the guidescope can be very small.The kind of set ups we are using here will work just fine with these dinky and light guide scopes. The most important thing is to make sure the guide camera and guide scope are mounted super securely to your scope. In fact this is such a big deal that sometimes I use larger guide scopes simply because they are easier to secure  Also note that most planetary cameras double up as guide scope cameras.

cheap guide camera
cheap guide scope

The ZWO ASI120mm is fantastically sensitive.


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Mini guide scope

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