telescope for canon 60d?

Started Dec 10, 2013 | Discussions
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tnhodges New Member • Posts: 2
telescope for canon 60d?

I'm looking for a Christmas gift for my husband. He has a canon 60d and loves it and often talks about learning to shoot astrophotography. I know only the basics about his camera (that is, to use it) so I need help finding an appropriate gift for him. He'd love a telescope to attach to it but I don't know what kind would work.

He's got enough lenses, (well I think so ) so I need a new idea for him. Stumbled upon this board while googling. Any ideas?

Lemming51
Lemming51 Forum Pro • Posts: 14,007
budget?

tnhodges wrote:

I'm looking for a Christmas gift for my husband. He has a canon 60d and loves it and often talks about learning to shoot astrophotography. I know only the basics about his camera (that is, to use it) so I need help finding an appropriate gift for him. He'd love a telescope to attach to it but I don't know what kind would work.

He's got enough lenses, (well I think so ) so I need a new idea for him. Stumbled upon this board while googling. Any ideas?

Nice rig for $1000: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/440829-REG/Celestron_11069_NexStar_8_SE_8_0_203mm.html

Add $9 for the adapter for mounting the camera: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/261256-REG/Celestron_93419_T_Mount_SLR_Camera_Adapter.html

There are good telescopes for much less and much more.

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(unknown member) Senior Member • Posts: 4,085
Re: telescope for canon 60d?

Also the is the Astrophotography Talk Forum

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Thanks for posting, have a great day.
John

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Mark Salvetti Contributing Member • Posts: 566
Re: telescope for canon 60d?
1

Whew, that's a tough one. The trouble with astrophotography is that in addition to the telescope, you also need a mount that will track the stars as they rotate. You should go over to the Cloudy Nights website, and ask in the DSLR Astro forum or the Beginners Astro forum:

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php?Cat=

Too much to cover in complete detail here, but I think you have three options:

1) Buy a tracking mount just for the 60D and your husband's existing lenses. You can probably get a good one for about $500, as long as you're not looking to mount a large lens (like a 300mm). Here are a few: https://www.astronomics.com/camera-tracking-platforms_c585.aspx

2) Buy a wide field refractor on a good equatorial mount. Maybe $500 for a refractor, and another $600-$1000 for a mount. Here's one: http://www.telescope.com/Telescopes/Refractor-Telescopes/Refractor-Telescopes-for-Astrophotography/Orion-Sirius-ED80-EQ-G-Computerized-GoTo-Refractor-Telescope/pc/1/c/10/sc/337/p/24281.uts

3) Buy something like that Nexstar 8 recommended by Lemming51, but then your husband will be mostly limited to the moon, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn (in addition to visual use). He would use the 60D to take videos of the planets, then special free software that would break down the video into individual frames and combine them into a still image. I wouldn't recommend that particular Celestron for anything else. Very narrow field of view, questionable stability because its mounted on just one arm, and you would need another component (its called a wedge) to properly track for long exposures. Plus more.

If you still want to go for this, I would recommend the first option. A good way to get started, and for your husband to figure out if he really wants to do this before you start spending really big money. It's not even just about the equipment and capturing the image, your husband will also find that the post-processing of astro images is completely different than anything else he's used to.

No matter what you do, resist the urge to buy something for a couple of hundred dollars from someplace like Costco or Walmart. Those scopes are pretty useless for astrophotography, and frankly pretty useless for visual use as well.

Hope this helps,

Mark

tnhodges OP New Member • Posts: 2
Re: telescope for canon 60d?

Thank you! That is really helpful.

I wasn't under any delusions that this may be inexpensive, so I like the idea of finding out whether this is really something he'd be interested in for the long-haul. Thank you for the suggestions and also the links to the other sites/forums. I'll do a bit more looking around on the resources provided.

RS_RS Senior Member • Posts: 1,706
Re: telescope for canon 60d?
1

tnhodges wrote:

Thank you! That is really helpful.

I wasn't under any delusions that this may be inexpensive, so I like the idea of finding out whether this is really something he'd be interested in for the long-haul. Thank you for the suggestions and also the links to the other sites/forums. I'll do a bit more looking around on the resources provided.

It sounds from the interesting postings in response to the OP's question that the right mindset is to regard the camera as an accessory to the telescope, not the other way round!

Jerry-astro
Jerry-astro Veteran Member • Posts: 6,625
A few thoughts... some personal experience
1

tnhodges wrote:

Thank you! That is really helpful.

I wasn't under any delusions that this may be inexpensive, so I like the idea of finding out whether this is really something he'd be interested in for the long-haul. Thank you for the suggestions and also the links to the other sites/forums. I'll do a bit more looking around on the resources provided.

You've gotten some great responses here.  My entree into DSLR photography was via astronomy and it was the primary reason I decided to buy a DSLR (10D at the time).  Astrophotography turned out to be a LOT harder that I imagined and as someone else mentioned, without a good quality equatorial mount (rather than the more common alt-azimuth mount) he will be limited to short exposures... hence only bright objects like the moon or some planets.  My attempts to capture decent images of anything beyond these bright objects with my alt-azimuth mounted 8" Schmidt Cassegrain scope were pretty well futile.  What's more, the post processing of deep sky images is tricky (involving stacking of multiple exposures).

It takes lots of patience and some skills., to be honest, in order to get good results in photographing deep sky objects (e.g. nebulae or galaxies), you MUST have a good quality, sturdy equatorial mount, and decent quality optics.  There is a non trivial investment and learning curve associated with this, so before making those major investments, I would strongly advise you to research the equipment required, costs involved, and be certain that this is a path your hubby really wants to take.  Finally, it should also be noted that post processing of deep sky images is pretty involved and usually requires images to be stacked, aligned, and noise reduced.  The post processing involved also requires a decent learning curve, excellent tools, and some patience.

In my case, years ago, I decided that one expensive hobby was enough and opted to remain with photography.  Without trying to come across as too negative, baby steps to begin with are the right approach and getting some help both from various internet forums and local astronomy clubs could help prevent expensive mistakes in acquiring equipment that may not end up doing a satisfactory job. All that said, with the right equipment and time, the results can be immensely satisfying.  It's most a matter of commitment (and budget).

Best of luck.

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MikeinNF Forum Member • Posts: 98
Re: telescope for canon 60d?

I would suggest opting for one of Mark Salvetti's suggestions: a motorized tracking mount to which you attach the camera. The iOptron is popular and well reviewed; it allows you to get your feet wet in astrophotography without spending thousands of $$$. Another advantage is ease of transportation to a dark sky location: just put your tripod, mount and camera in the car and away you go. A lot easier than lugging around a telescope, mount, weights etc, plus it is less of a storage problem. Of course it will only give you relatively wide-field images, but can produce some lovely results nonetheless and the learning curve is not too great. If your husband outgrows it, he can always expand into more elaborate gear later, but this is a good way to be up and running and enjoying the results in short order. If you do go down this path, don't forget the extra ball mount that is needed to attach the camera to the tracker. I am a 60D owner and would be thrilled to be given one of these.

NoRules
NoRules Senior Member • Posts: 1,211
Re: telescope for canon 60d?

I agree very much to the suggestion of first buying a tracking motor, like the Vixen Polarie with Polar Scope, or the iOptron Skytracker (here the polar scope follows, I think). Mounting a standard camera on a specific telescope is not a good idea for astrophotography. For this kind of imagery you should get a telescope on a equatorial mount with a dedicated and computer assisted CCD camera for astro photography.

The "natural" steps in astrophotography are; First a tracker and polar scope, and if interests are strong; a modified camera or the Canon 60Da, sensitive to hydrogen alpha (near infrared spectrum), and lastly a dedicated telescope/CCD setup. As a curiosity, a Coronado 60mm solar telescope with a simple camera adaptor is great and expensive fun, and works very well with the 60D Head over to the astrophotography forum for more information!

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