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Thread: Landscapeastro moving towards Astrophotography

  1. #1

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    Landscapeastro moving towards Astrophotography

    Lately, I have been into Landscape and Landscapeastro photography. I find myself looking to the skies a lot more this past month. I was out at my brothers house this past weekend trying to get a glimps of the Geminis metior shower, sadly nothing was on display for us. I did notice that the skies were super dark and star rich. This had me wishing I had a telescope for capturing photos of the sky. Does anyone here partake in astrophotography? DO you guys have any reccomendations for starter gear?

    I am looking at the William Optics Zenithstar 61 for a scope and the Vixen Polarie Star Tracker for a tracker. With this combo, I can get into Astro for under $1000, which is nice for this hobby.

    If you have otehr gear that you reccomend please let me know.

  2. #2

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    Re: Landscapeastro moving towards Astrophotography

    Hi Daniel,

    WO produces high end, high quality optics. So very good choice IMHO. This one is a 'small' very portable refractor used for wide field deep sky imagary, and not so suitable for landscapeastro photography.
    For photography, you also might 'need' a dedicated field flattener, and the apropriate T mount adapter for your camera, which comes with a price tag off course.

    The Vixen Polarie Star Tracker is, IMO, suitable for a small DSLR with a wide angle lens, but not the best choice for the heavier combo you are looking at.
    Take a look at the iOptron SkyGuider Pro, which is heavier, sturdier, also very portable, easy to setup and comes with a few very usable extra's, off course a bit more expensive...

    Don't forget to add a very, very sturdy tripod !!

    Iff you live in a light polluted area, you also might consider an Astronomik CLS clip in filter.

    HTH, YMMV.

  3. #3

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    Re: Landscapeastro moving towards Astrophotography

    Rudi,

    Thanks for the comments. After some research, it appears you are correct, the polarie is good for camera and lens setups. The polarie is also a pain in the rear end for polar alignment.

    A bit more research allowed me to find the WO Zenithstar 61 "kit" for about $1000. I also noticed that WO has the Zenithstar 73 kit for $1150.

    Both kits come with a field flattener and it appears a tripod as well.

    I guess my next question is for the $150 price increase is the 73 worth it?

  4. #4

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    Re: Landscapeastro moving towards Astrophotography

    Hi Daniel,

    Pricewise, two very interesting offers, no doubt about that !! Be sure to check for the necessary accesories though !!

    Let me first say that I have no personal experience with the Z61 nor the Z73...

    IMO the Z73 is worth the 150$ extra....But, yes there is a but as usual.... :

    With the Z61 you are about on the max payload for the iOptron SkyGuider Pro. The Z73 is a lot more scope, heavier, so personally I would use a heavier mount for the Z73 like an EQ-5, which is off course much more expensive, and lets say, less portable than the iOptron….
    Iff you persue the astro route, than you probably will add a guide scope, guide camera to the package in the future, adding more load to the mount…..

    Iff you shop around, I am sure you can find interesting deals on second hand EQ-5, or EQ-6 mounts.

    Don't forget to order a dewheater !


    HTH.

  5. #5

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    Re: Landscapeastro moving towards Astrophotography

    I was an avid amateur astronomer and have often considered astrophotography. The first question to ask yourself is: what do I want to photograph. Basically solar system versus deep space. each has its own gear list.

    Either option can be done with a DSLR camera and no telescope. Your camera, a good tracking mount and the right lens (I used the Tamron 90mm without a tracking mount and got good results) and you can get into astrophotography for the price of a good DSLR tracking mount (somewhere around 600 dollars)

  6. #6

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    Re: Landscapeastro moving towards Astrophotography

    After talking about this at length with my wife I, I mean we, decided that it would actually be a better investment for us to get the Sigma 150-600 C with MC11 adapter. This lens will be able to pull tripple duty this year: Rock Climbing, Air Shows, and Astro.

    Also after some research, it appears there is no issue stacking EF-mount teleconverters if needed but the E-mount teleconverters only work with the sony GMaster lens types and they are not stackable. I'm not saying Ill need to stack them but its an option doen the road.

  7. #7
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    Re: Landscapeastro moving towards Astrophotography

    Daniel.

    I would try the 150-500mm lens on the MC-11 adapter with your Sony e-mount camera before I splurged on the combination.

    Here is a listing of lenses which Sigma states will work with e mount cameras.

    https://www.sigma-global.com/en/lens...unt-converter/

    Although Sigma states that this lens is compatible with the MC-11 lens on an e-mount camera, the actual compatibility has a lot to do with the model Sony mirrorless camera you are using.

    Some say that the selected Sigma Canon mount lenses integrate flawlessly with the Sony cameras but. I have found that I really like the capability of the native Sony glass, especially when using a pre A6500 or pre A7iii camera.

    The MC-11 adapted lenses do not always have all the auto focus capabilities/speed of the Native Sony glass. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7RBpVHOsPI
    Take it for what it is worth but this is not exactly a rave review.

    I don't know just how the MC-11 adapted 150-600mm lens will work for you and your camera. It may work just fine but, I would recommend that you try the combination by either stopping by at a brick and mortar store that stocks both items or by renting the lens and adapter for a trial run...
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 26th December 2018 at 07:52 PM.

  8. #8

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    Re: Landscapeastro moving towards Astrophotography

    Quote Originally Posted by Tri Danimal View Post
    After talking about this at length with my wife ........ to pull tripple duty this year: Rock Climbing, Air Shows, and Astro......
    No telescope can beat a tripple duty lens....

  9. #9

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    Re: Landscapeastro moving towards Astrophotography

    Quote Originally Posted by rudi View Post
    No telescope can beat a tripple duty lens....
    hmmm, would I trade my Tamron 272E for unlimited Hubble time? in a flash

  10. #10

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    Re: Landscapeastro moving towards Astrophotography

    Quote Originally Posted by JBW View Post
    hmmm, would I trade my Tamron 272E for unlimited Hubble time? in a flash
    Shoot, I'd trade your Tamron 272E for Hubble time too ;-)

  11. #11

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    Re: Landscapeastro moving towards Astrophotography

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    Daniel.

    I would try the 150-500mm lens on the MC-11 adapter with your Sony E-mount camera before I splurged on the combination.

    I don't know just how the MC-11 adapted 150-600mm lens will work for you and your camera. It may work just fine but, I would recommend that you try the combination by either stopping by at a brick and mortar store that stocks both items or by renting the lens and adapter for a trial run...
    Well, the good news is the lens kit gets delivered this Friday (aka tomorrow).

    The better news is I ordered from BandH and they have an extended return window until mid-Feb which means I have many opportunities to test out this lens kit. I have a New Years Eve trip planned to be in the local mountains at about just about 5,200ft of elevation (testing out Lunar photography). Jan 11th-13th We will be out at a rock climbing and camping weekend with all kinds of shinaginans happening. Jan 19th we will be camping out in the desert for more astro gazing. Feb 7-11th we will be in Utah for a SnowShoeing excursion (ill probably leave the 150-600 at home and bting the tamron 28-75 for this one).

    But basically I have a lot of upcomming opportunities to try out this lens kit to see if it is right for me.

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