I have pretty simple gear.
A lot of great astrophotographers out there have really nice setups. But I thought it’d be easier to get started with a more portable, user friendly, affordable collection of items. Almost everything I have was purchased used.
I started off with the following purchases.
- Sky Tracker (Sky Watcher Star Adventurer)
- Canon Rebel T3i DSLR
- Canon EF 55-250mm Kit Lens
This was a great start for me! I was able to get nice long exposures at telephoto focal lengths, bringing out a lot of detail on the objects I was imaging. Most of my shots starting out were at 250mm using 45” subs.
More recently, I wanted to push my exposure lengths. So I added the following items (used) to my collection.
- QHY 5II-C Camera
- SVBONY 130mm f/4 Guide Scope
These allow me to using autoguiding to push my exposure lengths to 2 minutes easily.
Lately, I wanted better optics and started to be unsatisfied with my kit zoom lens. So, I went for a used Canon 200mm f2.8 prime lens. I did sacrifice some focal length, but for significantly more aperture. And I got sharper optics on top of that.
In terms of software tools, there’s a lot of fancy stuff out there, but I’ve stuck to the free basics.
- Deep Sky Stacker (for DSOs)
- Autostakkert! (for planetary shots)