No telescope needed!

For those interested in imaging and image processing with DSLR, CCD, webcam or film.
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rwilkinson
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No telescope needed!

#1 Post by rwilkinson » Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:29 pm

Yes, you can get fine astro-pics using just a camera and lens!
But it should be a camera with a decent lens, which can take long exposures (30 sec or more), on a steady tripod (or even better, a rotating equatorial mount).
These days, digital cameras (particularly DSLRs) are preferred to 35mm (film) ones, since they are much cheaper to run, and give instant feedback, allowing the camera settings to be quickly optimised.

And if you can fit a light pollution filter like this one:
http://www.rothervalleyoptics.co.uk/sky ... d2936.html
in front of the lens, you'll be able to take longer exposures and so get better images.

But the image-capture is just the first part of the story - the post-processing in the "digital darkroom" is where most of the work is done. Using programs such as IRIS
http://www.astrosurf.com/buil/us/iris/iris.htm
many images may be added together and processed to produce a single high-quality picture.

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