I have had my LX90 8″ SCT for over 10 years, but recently decided to have a go at astrophotography. Several not very good attempts using the LX90, led me to do some research and find that the best place to start was with a short focal length fast refractor. The market leader for newcomers seems to be the Starwatcher ED80 at around £450. I decided to start more cautiously and bought a 90mm, 500mm at F/5.5 from ebay for £180 to see how I went. I then ended up needing a mount, so I went for a Sky-Watcher AZ GTi WiFi Alt-Az Mount. You can see my rationale and more on the kit on my equipment page. Oh yes and I have built an observatory.
However my rationale is to learn to get the most out of what I have before splashing out on more kit. The plan therefore is to start easy and then add elements:
- Used the 90m refractor on the GTi Alt-Az Mount with a Canon 1100d I already have to photograph easy stuff and learn more about post processing.
- Once I can do that try using my ZWO ASi178MC CCD camera to go for some easy small stuff.
- If that works take the above kit on holiday to the Canaries and try it in Dark (Warm) skies
- Back home, repeat steps 1 & 2 by mounting on an HEQ5 Pro, to extend exposure times
- Try the DLSR on the LX90 on its native Alt-Az mount
- Add a wedge to the above to get EQ alignment and longer times
- Finally try the CCD camera on the above.
I figure that if I go one step at a time I should be OK.
So step one:
90m refractor on the GTi Alt-Az Mount with a Canon 1100d
Picture of the week:
Actually my first reasonable photograph of M42 and associated friends such as NGC1977 “The Running Man”