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Do you need a guide camera for astrophotography?

Do you need a guide camera for astrophotography?

Autoguiding is an essential part of any serious deep sky astrophotography rig. Whether you’re guiding with a guide scope or off-axis guider, you’ll need a guide camera to go with it.

What is a guide camera used for?

A guide camera automatically tracks a target star to compensate for tiny amounts of drift and tracking errors that almost any mount will produce. You typically use the free software PHD2 to do this. Guide cameras are usually best if they’re monochrome, but a color camera can work just fine too.

Can you use a guide scope for astrophotography?

Astrophotography Guide Scope Basics The focal length of the guide scope is usually much shorter than the primary imaging telescope. For example, to autoguide my large (150mm diameter) refractor telescope with a focal length of 1050mm, I use a smaller (72mm diameter) refractor with a focal length of 420mm.

Do you use an eyepiece for astrophotography?

If your goals are to capture deep-sky astrophotography images, you’ll want to use the prime-focus method that does not use an eyepiece or Barlow lens in front of the camera.

Why do you need a guidescope?

The guidescope is a small refractor or even a modified finderscope that is mounted along with the imaging telescope and camera and its job is to capture an image of a single star using its own small camera and then to analyse the movement of that star in the field of view using guiding software.

Is auto guiding necessary?

Yes, autoguiding the Atlas is really necessary. It might not be on a mount with high-end encoders and uploadable PEC smoothed and fixed using PEMPro. It will be on the Atlas. At least at anything over about 200mm focal length.

What is the difference between a guide scope and a finder scope?

Small telescopes which are mounted parallel to the telescope fulfil two purposes: as a finderscope, they help the observer to navigate the night sky, whilst as a guidescope, they help with the astronomical mount’s precise tracking.

How big should a guide scope be?

Most people suggest the guide pixel scale no more than 4 or 5 times that of your imaging scope. So with the 30mm guide scope you should be good up to say 600mm focal length (assuming your imaging camera has a pixel size around 3.8u).

How do you do an eyepiece projection on astrophotography?

You simply line the camera lens up with the opening of the eyepiece and try to capture the view seen through the telescope at that magnification. In the early days, I shot many astrophotography images using this method through my Orion SkyQuest Dobsonian telescope.

What is a good imaging guiding ratio?

The imaging-guiding ratio is the ratio of the arcseconds per pixel of the first one to the arcseconds per pixel of the second one. An imaging-guiding ratio of 1:5 is exactly what I was talking about — high enough that your equipment isn’t bulky but low enough to work well.

Can you do astrophotography without tracking?

The basic idea of untracked DSLR astrophotography is actually quite simple: Shoot a lot of similar exposures at very high ISO ratings and keep the single exposures so short that no tracking is needed.

What focal length should my guide scope be?

Is a guide scope necessary?

No, there is no need. Guide cameras usually guide on stars at or near the center of the field of view where the image is good enough with just about any guidescope.

Can you do astrophotography with a digital camera?

The price of high-resolution cameras is constantly dropping. All these features make a digital camera for astrophotography very attractive for astro imaging. If you already have one, you should certainly see what it can do.

What size guidescope do I need?

As a rule of thumb, the focal length of the guide scope needed to be at least 1/3 the focal length of the imaging scope when guiding visually.

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