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Throughout my journey in astrophotography, there have been numerous changes and significant progress in my setup. It seems there is always something to upgrade and improve upon.

Now, I want to share with you where I started and where I am currently in my astrophotography journey.

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You're eager to dive into astrophotography and happen to be the proud owner of a DSLR or mirrorless camera?

One excellent first mount to consider is the Skywatcher Star Adventurer or the Vixen Polarie U.

There actually are multiple reasons why a setup like this is worth considering:

Do you happen to have a passion for hiking and photography?

That's fantastic! Opting for a compact mount allows you to capture stunning widefield images of our breathtaking home galaxy, the Milky Way. The entire setup effortlessly fits inside a backpack and can be swiftly assembled. 

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Imagine residing in or near a bustling city with significant light pollution.

In such cases, it's highly advisable to seek out locations with darker skies, like a mountain or nature park far away from the city.

This is particularly important when capturing broadband targets like dark nebulae, reflection nebulae, and galaxies.

  • Vixen Polarie U

  • Astromodified Sony a6300 

  • Samyang 135mm f2.0 ED UMC

  • Sigma 56mm F1,4 DC DN Contemporary

  • Samyang 12mm F2,0

  • 160Wh generic power bank

Furthermore, if you're already involved in astrophotography, a lightweight and portable mount serves as a remarkable addition when traveling.

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As soon as you start considering purchasing a real telescope, things can get a little more complex.

The wide range of telescope types, mounts, and cameras available on the market can be overwhelming.

The most crucial question to ask yourself is: What do you want to photograph?

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For my backyard imaging rig, I have gone through several iterations of different equipment. Initially, I started with a small ED refractor telescope, a mirrorless camera, and an EQ3 level mount. However, over time, I desired better quality and more capabilities.

The component I upgraded most frequently was the mount. I transitioned from EQ3 to AVX, then to a tuned EQ5, and finally, I was able to afford a high-quality mount - the Losmandy G11. To make it fully ASCOM compatible and ready for remote imaging, I installed custom stepper motors on the mount.

Regarding the telescope, I settled on a self-built 8" F4.0 Newtonian reflector, which produces excellent images. Because of the carefully selected mirrors, I plan to use a reducer to achieve an aperture of around F2.9, which will allow for even faster imaging.

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As for cameras, I have experimented with various models such as the ASI294mc pro, ASI071mc pro and ASI2600mc pro. However, I eventually settled on the ASI533mc pro due to it's smaller imaging sensor, which makes it much easier to use. Additionally, this camera provides cleaner data compared to the other models I tried (except for ASI2600mc pro) which has a positive impact on the complexity of image editing.

  • Losmandy G11 with custom stepper motors​

  • 8 inch F4 Newtonian telescope

  • TS-Optics TSGPU

  • AF3 focus motor from ​​

  • ZWO ASI533mc Pro ​

  • Baader Vario 60mm f4.1 guidescope

  • ZWO ASI178mm guide camera

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