On these pages, I’ll give you an idea of what you will need and why you will need it to do a particular type of Astro Imaging. Be it Deep Sky, Planetary/Lunar or Solar just click the appropriate item in the drop down to this page.
My first scope was a Russian TAL 6 inch Reflector, a heavy beast but great Optics this has long been sold off to make way for better equipment. I have gradually over many years acquired gear that if bought new in one go would cost thousands and frankly make me cry my eyes out, so the lesson here is a BIT AT A TIME.
To take Astro Images you will need some equipment ( Tools for the job ), “the object you want to image and how you want to image it dictates the equipment used”, so this last statement says basically that you will need different kit to do different types of imaging, for example to image the planet Jupiter you would use a fast frame rate camera maybe a modified Web Cam and not a high end Deep Sky Camera, like a Starlight Express Trius-46 full frame camera.
You would need a reasonably sized aperture telescope, of a decent focal length to give some image size (you can add a Barlow lens to increase image size if need be) and a mount to put it on preferably with Tracking capability’s, a computer to run the capture software for the camera or web cam and various USB leads.
As you can see you can need a lot of gear and its not cheap, so I try to purchase second hand when at all possible. However some things have to be bought new so try and get the best deal you can, I’ve been to a few Astro Shows like The South West Astronomy Fair at the Norman Lockyer Observatory near Sidmouth, Devon and the International Astronomy Show at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, Looking for a bargain on a new Astro Camera or Filter maybe, But mostly the Show price is close to or exactly the same as the Internet price. So you end up just looking about and wondering why you didn’t stay home and buy that filter from the internet, saving yourself the £50 in fuel getting there and back.
Don’t get me wrong Astro Fairs are great things to visit, you get to meet like minded people, see all the new Astro products on the market, and get a feel if a certain product is right for you – and yes sometimes you do get a bargain but not always.
Most Astro Fairs have organised talks by professional astronomers, or at least advanced amateurs on a wide variety of astronomical subjects so its a chance to learn something new too.