Since the sky was cloudless, I decided to try taking some photos of the constellations and Orion was overhead. The image was a good first attempt at taking night sky photos from the backyard. Two issues were planes flying through the image and the light pollution with the longer exposures.
A better image is available at https://clearskytonight.com/wiki/Orion_-_March_20,_2018.
I noticed a new product was being released called the Orion SteadyPix Quick Smartphone Adapter. I had been researching the options for afocal astrophotography. I have purchased a Carson HookUpz 2.0 and a different model of the SteadyPix Deluxe.
One of the first thing interesting about the SteadyPix Quick was the price which was around $23 at the time I purchased. So, I decided to give it a try.
The instructions were straightforward. It easily expanded to hold the smartphone and then the eyepiece clamp move diagonally to align with the camera lens. The eyepiece clamp then twist-locked around an eyepiece. This provided for a very secure connection.
I was reading about how to get started in astrophotography and that afocal photography was a good place to start. I purchased the Orion SteadyPix Deluxe Camera Mount.
I did a test inside the house and the results were fine. I had to turn off the flash on my camera along with setting the delayed shutter to avoid any movement from pushing the shutter. I did some experimenting with camera modes but ended up just staying with the automatic mode.
I will need to do more testing outside.
I decided to go with the Orion 10×50 Binocular Stargazing Kit.
I liked this product for a couple of reason. First, it was the recommended size of binocular. Second, it came with a software program which was nice because I wanted to research astronomy software also. Lastly it had a small red flashlight and a planisphere.
When my package arrived, one of the lens on the binocular wasn’t screwed in all the ways. Orion handled the exchange with great customer service. The replacement binocular worked great. I read through the one-page manual and got them all setup for my eyesight. I did some terrestrial viewing and the results were excellent. I still haven’t looked up at the stars yet.
Overall, I would recommend this product as a great introduction to astronomy.
In my research into the Orion binoculars, I watched some videos on astrophotography. I was aware of the options for SLR adapters and CCD cameras. But what I wasn’t aware of was the concept of afocal photography. This is the process of pointing a camera through the eyepiece. Orion had options for point-and-shot, SLR and iPhone cameras. I went with the point-and-shot option since I had a Canon camera. I selected the Orion SteadyPix Deluxe Camera Mount.
I started doing my research into the next telescope I should purchase. I currently have the Meade ETX90 but wanted to get something bigger. But, my initial research said that binoculars were actually a good first step.
Orion Telescopes have a great set of videos. I watched their Getting Started video first which lead into the How to Choose a Binocular video.
The video pointed to a 10×50 binocular has a good option for astronomy.