Here are some photos from amateur customers, call them amateur, but we all hone our skills and these customers seem to know what they are doing!  All images are taken using Dob-Driver II for tracking & drive corrector functions.  Check these out.  Not bad for beginners with a wooden Dob and entry-level cameras no less!  Our poor digitizing or shrinkage for faster web files does not do justice to the original!  But at least you get the flavor of Dobsonian photography.  The important point is that the telescope and the drive is up to the task - and your knowledge is more important than adding camera money.  If you are imaging with a Dob-Driver, send us some nice shots so we can showcase them below.  Note:  No clicks- all except high-res as indicated are scaled for direct presentation, while you read the pics will continue to load.

  At the page bottom be sure to click for the highres Moon-Mosaic by Tom Orff - a MUST SEE!

Super-Shot Entree's ...

~ Tips on Dobsonian astrophotography ~
~ Beginners start with piggy-back cam style ~

Start with piggyback camera technique.  Mount the camera on the spine of the scope and guide the shot through the main instrument eyepiece.  This is the least expensive method to start because all you need is a camera strapped on the back and a crosshair eyepiece!  Because of the low magnification, whether you use a 50mm camera lense to a 500mm telephoto, it is much easier to practice guiding and still get good shots.  Learn all about how different cameras and deep-sky light pollution filters work for your sky area before you invest in guiding telescopes and camera adapting equipment for prime-focus work at the main focus.
Magnification with a 35mm camera is equal to the lense focal length divided by 50mm (standard camera focal length).  ie- a 50mm lense gives 1x, a 200mm lense gives 4x, etc.

At explosion time. Tak on Coulter 13.1 w/ DDR2-SYS John Morris

Tom Orff, Celestron Starhopper + DDR2-SYS

Tom Orff, Celestron Starhopper + DDR2-SYS

Tom Orff, Celestron Starhopper + DDR2-SYS

Tom Orff, Celestron Starhopper + DDR2-SYS

Mel 20
Tom Orff, Celestron Starhopper + DDR2-SYS

Mel 25 Tom Orff
Celestron Starhopper + DDR2-SYS

~ Then get into more-advanced Altaz photography ~

  • Using prime-focus, barlow, or eyepiece projection techniques like those below.

  • Field-rotation limits how long an exposure can be for a given object position.  It will vary all night and can be from 3 minutes to 2 hours!  This is not of high interest so much today with the ccd cams and video since exposures tend toward rather short times now and are stacked and derotated with software manipulation.  But for film and longer CCD exposures, the best time to expose needs to be computed - see our Rotacalc disk listing for some more info on this technique.  The effect does not vary with magnification.

  • As magnification of the imaging increases, HRG gearing and careful experienced guiding becomes EVERYTHING to the quality - well almost!  No wonder ccd autoguiders are so nice!  Can't stress it enough - guide - guide - guide and note that the finest most expensive telescopes and gears in the world STILL require guiding... your plywood beauty can perform well too if you GUIDE well.

Jupiter - STV on Coulter 13.1 + DDR2-SYS
John Morris

Saturn - SBIG/STV B/W + false color process
Paul Schulden, Coulter 13.1 + DDR2-SYS

M31, Celestron Starhopper + DDR2-SYS
Tom Orff

M13, STV on Coulter 13.1 + DDR2-SYS
John Morris

M57, STV on Coulter 13.1 + DDR2-SYS
John Morris

Ngc 2244 - Rosette
Tom Orff, Celestron Starhopper + DDR2-SYS

Paul Schulden, Coulter 13.1 + DDR2-SYS

Moon Rupes
Tom Orff

Mike Hall + DDR2-SYS

Click For Tom Orffs' Moon-Mosaic...  (91k)

    See what happens when 15 highres images are grouped in mosaic - like the view from a Lunar Lander!

    Tom Orffs' Moon-Mosaic Notes:  Waxing Crescent moon mosaic taken 4/28/01 with a Starlight Xpress MX516 CCD camera and an 8" Celestron Starhopper Dobsonian mounted telescope with a Dob Driver II at 3x prime focus (3600mm focal length with a TeleVue 3x barlow). Image processed in AstroArt software (Unsharp Mask applied).  15/100th second exposures.
    The three major craters visible in the image are Theophilus, Cyrillus and Catharina. They form a unique trio which is easily recognizable. Unfortunately seeing and steadiness varied during each of the exposures making it difficult to stitch each image together. These images represent the maximum limit (Dawes Limit) of resolution of this 8" scope (0.6 arc seconds, which is what the pixel math comes out to on the CCD camera).

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