Astrophotography problems. Need advice.

Imaging and processing techniques, tips and tricks.

Astrophotography problems. Need advice.

Postby luigi-visciotti » Sun Nov 18, 2018 3:30 pm

Hey everyone. I'm a new member and I'd like some good, sound advice on the issues I'm having with Astrophotography. I mainly need advice on improving with the equipment I already have or possibly purchasing equipment that works better. I've been trying astrophotography on and off now for about two years with little to no success. Before I give a brief history, here are a few disclaimers:
1. I'm not wanting to spend a lot of money. $350-$400 is really my max limit.
2. I'm not doing it to win any awards or enter any contests or have my pics in magazines.
3. I'm doing it for my own enjoyment (see number 2).

Here is my equipment and what I've tried so far.
1. 90mm Maksutove-Cassegrain with a battery operated equatorial mount - my main scope for astroimaging
2. 10" Dobsonian - Not on any motorized mount. Used for just plain viewing.
3. Orion StarShoot Solar System Color Imaging Camera IV
4. Orion SteadyPix EZ smartphone telescope photo adapter.

The only decent pics I have is of the moon and sun. However, I really want good pics of planets and some DSOs.

Used the smartphone adapter with iPhone 6 with not so good results. Even with installing better camera apps and adjusting setting (ISO, exposure, brightness, etc.) I still get very grainy pics of Jupiter and Saturn. Very bad pics.
Even bigger problems with the StarShooter. On the very RARE occasion that I actually got an image to come up on my laptop, it was just a white blob with no detail. Adjusting setting did not help. I purchased a flip mirror to help me get the object centered without having to replace eyepiece and camera but not successful. I was outside one night for 2 hours trying to video Jupiter and absolutely couldn't get any image on my laptop all night!! And that was using the flip mirror. Very frustrating.

So here are my questions:
1. Anything that I may improve on using the equipment that I already have? Especially in getting the StarShooter to display on my laptop screen? I know patience is a MUST in astrophotography, but I think 2 years is being pretty patient.
2. Anything I can do to on the StarShoot to get the "white blob" to turn into a decent focused view so I can start the video?
3. Is the StarShoot just not good enough equipment for astroimaging?
4. Is there a camera that allows a more wide FOV so it is easier to display the object on the laptop screen?
5. Thinking about getting the Orion StarShoot All-In-one bundle. But don't want the same issues as my Starshoot IV. I was also looking at the ZWO ASI 120 camera. Is a ZWO ASI camera a better option than an Orion Starshoot?

Sorry for all the questions but after 2 years, it's time to get better. I would absolutely LOVE any good answers to the above questions.

Thanks everyone!

Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2018 1:11 pm

Re: Astrophotography problems. Need advice.

Postby charles-botkin » Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:52 pm

Ahh where to start..

With you flip mirror..this Is a good place..
The eyepiece and the camera are not usually going to be in focus just by hooking them up.
You will have to get them adjusted first.
You can do this in the day pointing at a distant object, or the moon.. its big and bright..
First focus the camera using the telescopes focus knob..
Now dont touch it for focusing the eyepiece, there should be an adjustment on the eyepiece holder *
Start with a low power one this will be for locating your target , if the flip mirror does not move enough travel to reach focus you may need an extension..
For higher power eyepieces you will likely need to make a (stop) on them or mark where they focus in relation to you low power one *try not to adjust the focuser on the flip mirror, as the low power view is what is important for locating your targets.
You can use an eyepiece with a cross hair if you want to make centering easier..

Hope this helps you some..
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Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:23 am

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