f1telescopes is dedicated to providing the amateur astronomer quality advice and excellent service at the most competitive prices available on the UK internet.

Suite 127,
St. George's Business Park,
Castle Road,
Sittingbourne
Kent ME10 3TB
Celebrating 15 years

Arrange a call back » 0845 260 2622
info@f1telescopes.co.uk

Choosing your first telescope for astrophotography

What is astrophotography?

Astrophotography is the technical term used for taking photographs of celestial objects such as the planets, the moon, the constellations, deep sky objects and meteor showers.

Unsurprisingly, many budding amateur astronomers become interested in astrophotography very quickly as it offers a great way of sharing and documenting astronomical objects found during various viewing sessions. Many of the specialised astrophotography accessories and techniques available now make it possible to get superior views of the night sky than what is achievable with the naked eye looking through a telescope eyepiece.

So is it any wonder many passionate astronomers want to get into astrophotography?

Getting Started

In this article we will make some assumptions:

  1. This is the first telescope you’ve purchased that you wish to use for astrophotography
  2. You would still like to use it for visual observations
  3. You are not going to use the scope in a fixed location i.e. a garden observatory, so easy set up and portability is important.

What do I need?

The first thing to consider is the mounting type. For lunar, planetary and solar imaging, any mount type that offers motorised tracking in Alt AZ or Polar mode will be fine. It would also be useful if the tracking rate can be changed from sidereal to lunar or solar rate for better accuracy when tracking the Moon or the Sun.

Suitable cameras for this would be the Celestron NexImage or the Altair GPCAM series

Celestron’s AstroFi or Skywatcher Synscan series are great examples of cost effective AZ mounts suitable for solar system imaging. They are however, not suitable for deep sky objects that require long exposures.

For long exposure photography, you’ll need a mounting that can operate in polar mode. Some mountings can operate in polar mode, and Alt AZ mode can also be used.

An example of a telescope mounting that can be used in Alt AZ and Polar mode would be the Celestron 5SE. This is an excellent choice for observation and as a first astrophotography set up.

The other and perhaps the most versatile option, would be a small-to-medium sized German Equatorial mounting like the Skywatcher EQ5 or the Celestron AVX. Both of these mounts operate in polar mode, so can be used for long exposure astrophotography.

Celestron AVX EQ Mount

The Celestron AVX can carry a much higher payload than the Skywatcher EQ5 yet, still remains portable and features WiFi compatibility, all star polar alignment and compatibility with Celestron’s Starsense Auto Align accessory.

Once you have chosen your mount, you can start imaging with your DSLR camera. You do not even need a telescope at this stage as you can use the lenses you already have with your camera. Simply fit your camera to the GEM and you can make wide field long exposure images.

Read more articles
Latest News
Skywatcher announce New Synscan PTZ app
An application called SynScan PTZ is available on App Store (for iOS devices) now. The Android...
Celestron Starsense latest update released version 1.19.17330
Celestron product development has released to the public version 1.19.17330 of the firmware for the...
Celestron CGX and CGEM II expected delivery dates for the UK
CGEM II EQ Mount & Tripod  -  End February 2017 CGEM II EQ Mount, Tripod and OTA packages...
New Celestron Inspire Series Telescope Preview
Sneak peak at Celestron's new Inspire range Celestron's new ‘Inspire’ series of telescopes...
Celestron’s Starsense for Skywatcher mounts due to arrive this week 12/07/16
StarSense technology was originated by Celestron’s engineers, allowing a Celestron computerized...
Celestron Update to Fix AVX Mount Compatibility Issues
Celestron can confirm that the latest CFM update (7.11.5056 or higher) will now fix the issue of...
Latest Events
The Sun by Steve Walker Friday 27th July 2018
The Sun by Steve Walker Friday 27th July 2018 Come and see us this event being held by Ashford...
Solar Observing at the DOVER TRANSPORT MUSEUM Summer Sundays 2018
Solar Observing at the DOVER TRANSPORT MUSEUM Summer Sundays 2018 Come and observe our nearest...
Solar Observation with f1telescopes at Monkton Nature Reserve open day Sunday 20th May 2018
Solar Observation with f1telescopes at Monkton Nature Reserve open day Sunday 20th May 2018 Come...
Monkton Stargazers Star Party on Friday 31 March 2017
Monkton Stargazers would like to invite you to a Star Party on Friday 31 March. This will follow 3...
Battle 950 Astronomy and space event October 9th 2016
Come an see us at the Battle Astronomy and Space event this Sunday in Battle East Sussex. See...
Mercury 9th of May 2016 Solar Transition
On the 9th of May 2016 Mercury will transition across the Sun for the first time since 2006. It...
Latest help & tips
Choosing your first telescope for astrophotography
What is astrophotography? Astrophotography is the technical term used for taking photographs of...
Beginner’s Guide to Astrophotography with a Telescope
It's very common for a large number of amateur astronomers to eventually want to take...
The Best Astronomy Binoculars for Beginners
Anyone taking their first steps into the world of astronomy may not realise that a great pair of...
Useful calculations for all telescope owners
How to calculate your telescopes magnification (power) The magnification produced by a telescope...
The Best Telescopes for Beginners
If you are just setting out on your journey to stargazing and observing celestial objects, buying...
Using Altair GPCAM as Digital Finder Scope
You can use your Altair GPCAM as a digital finder scope with the latest version of AltairCapture....
BBC Stargazing Live Star Map 2013
Using this informative star guide will give readers an insight into what to look out for in our...
Collimating a Newtonian Reflector
Correct optical alignment is fundamental to a Newtonian’s performance. All the mirrors and lenses...

Lost your password?

Register for this site

A password will be e-mailed to you.


Lost your password?

Please enter your username or email address.You will receive a link to create a new password via email.

Privacy Preference Center

Statistics

Statistic cookies help website owners to understand how visitors interact with websites by collecting and reporting information anonymously.

_ga,_gat,_gid
_ga,_gat,_gid

Marketing

Marketing cookies are used to track visitors across websites. The intention is to display ads that are relevant and engaging for the individual user and thereby more valuable for publishers and third party advertisers.

collect, lidc

E-commerce

E-commerce cookies are used to store data for your shopping basket, orders, etc and to allow us to personalise your shopping experience.

woocommerce_cart_hash,woocommerce_items_in_cart, wordpress_logged_in_#, wp_woocommerce_session