Dobsonian Astrophotography

Question: I have a 14 inch dob and interested in taking photos with it. Do I really need tracking?

I have a Dobsonian Meade Lightbridge 16-inch and I am also trying to do astrophotography with it. This is a challenge. The Moon is the easiest target for a Dob. Tracking is not compulsory to take good images of the Moon. Next target may be planets. Here it is my last image of Saturn through my Dob:

https://computerphysicslab.wordpress.com/2009/05/14/saturn-improved/

Next target would be bright stars and clusters. And the most difficult target of all is deep-sky astrophotography. With no tracking system you have to use some tricks to get deep sky images. I am using shift-and-add technique with moderate results.

My focuser does not let me to use my DSLR camera at prime focus, so I am using afocal method through low power eyepieces. You don’t have to spend much money to do this kind of photographic experiments. Patience and effort sometimes give more satisfaction that a lot of money expended in sophisticated equipment.

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4 Responses to “Dobsonian Astrophotography”

  1. Hi!

    I’m thinking about getting a 10″ dobsonian. I’ve heard they’re not the best for astrophotography, but are they good enough for mere observation of deep sky objects, without a GoTo?

    Thanks

    • computerphysicslab Says:

      Exactly. Dobsonians are the best telescopes for doing deep sky observing under dark skies. They move fast and are powerful for a low price. You don’t need a GoTo to find deep sky objects, but you probably will need a finder scope: 9×50 recommended.

      Dobs are difficult scopes for doing astrophotography. They cannot follow objects with accurate for long expositions, and they usually are not prepared to reach focus for prime focus technique. Nevertheless they are good doing afocal astrophotography on planets and Moon.

  2. Thank you very much!

  3. kevin Says:

    I know this post is somewhat old, but I would have to disagree with you on this. Dobsonians can and do take Astrophotographs. I just recently bought an Orion SkyQuest xx12g. This scope tracks objects to the T automatically if calibrated correctly. All it needs is a de rotator and a focusing lense with a T-2 adaptor for my Nikon D3100 DSLR. The de-rotator compensates for the rotating objects near the poles.

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