Equipment

The astrophotography equipment category is a useful resource for beginners that want a better understanding of the gear needed for astrophotography.

The type of astrophotography equipment needed for each area of interest can change dramatically, but in general, a tracking mount, a camera, and a telescope/camera lens are the bare minimum.

For those that like to remain portable, and take nightscapes from dark sky locations, a star tracker is recommended. They allow you to maximize the amount of light collected through your camera and lens, and present new creative opportunities.

If you are hoping to collect detailed pictures of nebulae, galaxies, and star clusters, a more robust tracking mount and a telescope are better options.

My primary interest lies in deep-sky astrophotography of galaxies and nebulae, using a refractor telescope on a tracking equatorial telescope mount. If you’re looking for a fantastic astrophotography telescope to get started with, you can’t go wrong with the William Optics RedCat 51.

astrophotography telescope

I typically use wide-field instruments to capture large nebulae in the night sky using specialized filters, but you may be interested in other types of astrophotography including being able to photograph a planet up close.

For this type of imaging (planetary astrophotography) the equipment profile changes quite dramatically from a wide-field nebula setup. A telescope with much more focal length is recommended (2000mm) and a dedicated astronomy camera with a high frame rate.

A popular camera for solar system photography is the ZWO ASI290mm Mini, thanks to its 2.1 MP monochrome sensor. This is the camera I used to photograph Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.

Useful Equipment Links

Summer in the AstroBackyard

Summer in the AstroBackyard

This is one summer that I will never forget.  The addition of my new telescope, the growth of AstroBackyard and the explosion of my YouTube channel has given me an astronomical boost in motivation and passion for astrophotography.  This has not come without hard work, it has been extremely busy in terms of both astrophotography…

Problems with my Celestron CG-5 Mount Power Port

Problems with my Celestron CG-5 Mount Power Port

Problems with Celestron CG-5 Mount Up until this point, my Celestron CG-5 mount has been very good to me. Despite what I have heard, it has been a quality mount, capable of 5+ minute exposures, no problem (with autoguiding).  Recently though, the power has been cutting in and out.  Last Friday night, under clear, dark,…