A question from a total beginner

Started Jan 10, 2013 | Questions thread
NoRules Senior Member • Posts: 1,452
Re: A question from a total beginner

byawk wrote:

My nine-year-old brother's birthday is coming up, and he desperately wants a telescope, so I've been trying to find one in the $100-$300 range (who knows, maybe I can get an even better one used off Craigslist). As I researched this, it occurred to me how cool it would be to hook up my camera to whatever telescope we buy and grab some shots as we stargaze. If I remember right, you can use some sort of adapter (a T ring, maybe?) to hook up an SLR to telescopes. I have a 5D Mark III, which I imagine could be good for astrophotography because of the clean high ISOs.

Can you hook just any telescope up to an SLR, or only certain kinds? If only certain kinds, are there any in the $100-$300 range that have this capability?

Any guidance you can give would be appreciated!

A setup for astrophotography require an equatorial mount, and that is expensive. The cheap telescopes have altazimuth mounts that are great for viewing, but not for taking pictures. A sturdy telescope with a german equatorial mount will set you back at least $1000.

Now, for taking shots of the moon or the planets, any telescope will do, but results will not be great at all, and yes, you can use a T-mount adapter.

For just taking long exposure pictures of the night sky, the Milky Way, or maybe a nebula or two, you can buy a tracker, like the Vixen Polarie. There are also cheaper ones that are good enough, and you can even build one for yourself as a DIY project with your brother. Drawings for that are in this forum (barn door tracker).

I recomend you look at images in this forum, find something you like, and ask the OP what equipment he/she has used. For info about telescopes, head over to cloudynights.com. They are the real experts

Cheers and happy hunting!

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