Jul 20, 2006

How to get started in Astronomy Photography

They say necessity is the mother of all invention. Yes you can find a reasonably priced tripod for your Powershot. I have seen them at Wally Worlds and such places. To do real astro photography, or meaningful astro photography you would need more than just a tripod. You can make filters or a filter rig for just about any camera for photographing the sun and the cosmos. To photograph the constellations on the other hand is a little more tricky. To get a good shot, you would need a tracking tripod, or one that is motorized to move at the same speed as the night sky. Like what most telescopes now have. The other thing that I might point out is trigger jerk. When most people take photographs they have a tendency to get trigger happy and jerk the camera. Now for a normal photograph in the day time, the film/chip is faster than there jerk, so to speak, and it is not that noticeable. But at night when you have a black sky and little points of light, then it becomes more critical and noticable. As far as time lapse you would have to check your manual. Most digital cameras do, mine do.Astronomy photography Most camera manufactures offer for an extra fee an Infrared Remote trigger. I bought one and hooked it up to a 4 foot section of fiber optic cable. I mounted it to my camera/filter rig so as not to fog the chip on extended exposures. (All ccd chips used in digital cameras are sensitive to infared). One other point I might address is the lens. With the stock lens, I believe which is about 140mm on your powershot, you might wish to try the Afocal technique. Afocal coupling means aiming a camera (with its lens in place) into the eyepiece of a telescope. You can do this with any camera and any telescope. Digital and video cameras make it easy to see what you're getting. You can do the same with binoculars. Again necessity is the mother of all inventions. Google the phrase "digital cameras + Astro photography" and you will be suprised on what comes up. With telescopes, remember that it is the eye piece that magnifies the image from the objective lens, not just the scope. Back in the day, I started with a pentax film camera coupled to a 300mm super fast F2.4 lens.
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