Building & Using a Tracking Mount for Astrophotography
Some Astrophotos Made Utilizing The Tracking Mount
All the photos on this page were obtained using this mount with a Sony NEX-5N camera. The lens used is an old 1971 Mamiya-Sekor 55mm f/1.4 stopped down to f/3.5. These images are composed of single JPEG shots with no stacking, flat frames or dark frame noise reduction (except where noted). Post processing was mostly just histogram stretching. So there is lots of room for improvement in these areas. The panoramas were assembled using Microsoft's ICE (Image Composite Editor, a free download).
The first three photos shown here were taken at a site in the Blue Mountains of northeast Oregon at just over 3000 feet elevation. Exposures were around 2 minutes at ISO 1600. There was some light pollution from cars and trucks on a nearby highway as well as from a town (about 17,500 population) just over 10 miles distant and about 2000 feet below. Also the air was dimmed by a lot of smoke from forest fires. Still the results are quite nice.
|The view here is in Sagittarius, showing a region in the direction of the center of our Milky Way galaxy.|
|This image shows a nice star field between the star Vega in the constellation Lyra on the right to Gamma Cygni on the left.|
The following panorama consists of parts of 13 photos taken from an elevation of just over 1200 feet in the Coast Range of southern Oregon. Some clouds and light pollution affected the images. Exposures were 2-1/2 minutes at ISO 1600. Long exposure noise reduction (dark frame subtraction) was activated on the camera. This resulted in considerably less noise as compared to the first panorama above.
|This view of the Milky Way extends from the Double Cluster in Perseus on the left through Cassiopaeia and Cepheus to Cygnus on the right. Click to expand image.|
Here's wishing you success in astrophotography with this mount.
Its easy to build and fun to use - give it a try!
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