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Thread: What is the best camera lens for astrophotography?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    1

    What is the best camera lens for astrophotography?

    I want to buy a camera kit and use it for astrophotography. My budget is around $1,000 Australian dollars for the actual camera body.

    What are the best cameras, lenses and tripods you would recommend for astrophotography without using a telescope?

    First I would like to start with planets, and then try nebulae.

    And also, are there any specific brands that are best for this, and why?

    Thanks for any advice

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    The beautiful north coast (Ohio)
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    Hi howardrick, welcome to BAUT.

    Just so you know, I deleted your duplicate thread.

    I'll leave it to others to answer your question.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

    All moderation in purple - The rules

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    569
    Canon Rebel Xsi 12 megapixel with 17mm to 85mm lens could be had for that price!
    It's lighter weight than the 20D, 30D, 40D, or 50D bodies, and does just as good of a job!
    It will be great for Milkyway shots and Constellation Portraits.

    This is what I use for wide angle shots.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Falls Church, VA (near Washington, DC)
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    Quote Originally Posted by howardrick View Post
    I want to buy a camera kit and use it for astrophotography. My budget is around $1,000 Australian dollars for the actual camera body.

    What are the best cameras, lenses and tripods you would recommend for astrophotography without using a telescope?

    First I would like to start with planets, and then try nebulae.

    And also, are there any specific brands that are best for this, and why?

    Thanks for any advice
    For planets, you will need a telescope.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    3,014
    Most nebula as well will need a telescope. See the movie Cesar (Mexhunter) posted in the astrophotography section. Undriven you can only use short focal length lenses or you get star trails. Note the pink spot in the Milky Way is the Eta Carina Nebula. The biggest bright nebula in our skies, only seen from very low or southern latitudes. That's about as big as nebula get with a tripod mounted camera and lens. The Orion Nebula can be seen at the start but is hard to tell from a star. Yes a longer focal length would make it bigger but due to the earth's rotation you'd need a shorter exposure to avoid star trails. By stacking many such short exposures using software that aligns and rotates the images you could use a somewhat longer lens but then you lose the ability to make a movie as Cesar did. The horizon would be blurred as well. Planets, as Hornblower says, are just starlike points of light at camera lens focal lengths.

    I should also point out Cesar's camera has had the IR filter changed to allow emission nebula's hydrogen alpha emission line to reach the sensor. Stock cameras block this important emission line making nebula green rather than pink and far fainter and difficult to image.

    Rick

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    1,654
    Any camera lens sufficient to see astronomical objects IS a telescope...

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