October 16, 2009

The Kit - AstroPhotography on a Budget

Morning all.  I am awake very early and the sky is very clear, unfortunately that huge sphere of hydrogen fusion reactions is up and washing out all the stars.  Here's hoping that tonight the sky is as clear.  If not tonight, I will settle for tomorrow, as I'm not greedy :)

So this morning I was looking through the stuff I take observing and decided to make it all into a bit of a kit, as this quest is starting to get serious now, and I find myself with a fair bit of stuff.

For those of you that arn't familiar with my situation, I am using an 8-inch (200mm) dobsonian mount reflector.  Nice, portable starter's scope, which I bought from the lovely people at AstroNZ.  It's not motorised in any way and I have 9mm and 25mm SuperPlossl lenses for it.

My stated quest is taking kick-ass digital photos of near-earth objects, on an extremely low budget.  So here's the kit I have put together to achieve this, plus a wishlist :) Click to enlarge and read labels :)

So the things not here are the Panasonic Lumix Camera - 8.1 MegaPixel Compact Digital Camera. And the scope itself.

Now the things I think I need - Laptop with USB2 for AstroCam, more gaffertape, more batteries and a thermos for coffee :) Oh and possibly an assistant!

Basically this allows me to get everything from star-trail shots to planetary closeups (as long as that planet is the moon).. if I can only sort out the focusing :D  All up, the cost of all this is under $400, a lot of it is stuff I found in the garage.  The most expensive items are the Lumix - $200 and AstroCam V1 - $100.

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