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Thread: Interested in starting Astrophotography

  1. #1
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    Interested in starting Astrophotography

    My apologies in advance, as I assume this has been asked before.

    I am interested in starting Astrophotography because with each of the landscape tours I have scheduled for 2017, there will be time for astrophotography. And therefore I would like to ask for advice on gear.

    Now, unfortunately before I start this thread, a long time ago I realized I have to put in a lot of information in order to reduce the amount of confusion about my inquire. Also, because most people do not read the question, and jump to conclusions or answers. My apologies for the bluntness of this statement, but we all have experienced it.

    So here goes.

    1) Money is NOT an issue in my buying decisions.
    2) I use two current camera systems; A) Phase One medium format digital, and B) Nikon D3x. I believe in the theory that you should use what a system is best at, and do not go for "one-size-fits-all", and therefore I want to get a camera best designed for astrophotography.
    3) I want to limit my choice to Sony.
    4) I only have Zeiss manual focus lens for my Nikon, and I would like to use them if they are an appropriate option, but will consider other manufacture's lenses. My desire to use the Zeiss lens, beyond their quality, is that Metabones adapters are more cost efficient considering this camera will only be a very limited amount of my work.
    5) And while I wrote, "...use what a system is best at..." I would like to use the Sony as a travel camera, where the Phase One, and Nikon are just too heavy. I have a Leica DLux 6 now, and want to move on from that.

    I know I might have forgotten some additional information in my inquire, but I hope to start with this.

    Thanks,

    J.D.

  2. #2
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    Re: Interested in starting Astrophotography

    James, it would be worthwhile adding what the final intent of the images is going to be; ie web, print, large print. In any case one of the A7 series bodies will do fine, go for the A7R2 if you want to print large, and given you have an MF system I suspect that is the case.

    The UWA 2.8 lenses of choice will be the 14mm Rokinon, or the 15mm Zeiss which you may have. The Rokinon suffers from sample variation but has good coma. Next is the 21mm 2.8 range and I would have said the Zeiss until the Loxia was released. Then at 24mm / 1.4 there's the Rokinon again. The Sigma has worse coma although sharper in the center. I had a decentered copy which went back. I'm not sure if you want to go longer than 24mm, if so the 28mm 1.4 Otus comes to mind, then the 35mm 1.4 Sigma although I have a Rokinon which seldom gets used (too long). I have not looked for reviews on the Canon or Nikon 35mm 1.4s.

    I only dabble, so others with more experience should definitely chime in...

  3. #3
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    Re: Interested in starting Astrophotography

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesdfloyd View Post
    My apologies in advance, as I assume this has been asked before.

    I am interested in starting Astrophotography because with each of the landscape tours I have scheduled for 2017, there will be time for astrophotography. And therefore I would like to ask for advice on gear.

    Now, unfortunately before I start this thread, a long time ago I realized I have to put in a lot of information in order to reduce the amount of confusion about my inquire. Also, because most people do not read the question, and jump to conclusions or answers. My apologies for the bluntness of this statement, but we all have experienced it.

    So here goes.

    1) Money is NOT an issue in my buying decisions.
    2) I use two current camera systems; A) Phase One medium format digital, and B) Nikon D3x. I believe in the theory that you should use what a system is best at, and do not go for "one-size-fits-all", and therefore I want to get a camera best designed for astrophotography.
    3) I want to limit my choice to Sony.
    4) I only have Zeiss manual focus lens for my Nikon, and I would like to use them if they are an appropriate option, but will consider other manufacture's lenses. My desire to use the Zeiss lens, beyond their quality, is that Metabones adapters are more cost efficient considering this camera will only be a very limited amount of my work.
    5) And while I wrote, "...use what a system is best at..." I would like to use the Sony as a travel camera, where the Phase One, and Nikon are just too heavy. I have a Leica DLux 6 now, and want to move on from that.

    I know I might have forgotten some additional information in my inquire, but I hope to start with this.

    Thanks,

    J.D.
    As an avid amateur astronomer, I'm curious in what you define as "astrophotography". To me it requires super complex telescopes, mounts, and dedicated cameras etc. I think you are probably referring to shots of the night sky with wide angle lenses? Capturing wide views of the milky way etc.? If that is the case I wouldn't use the term astrophotography in order to avoid confusion. Anything other than a quick wide angle shot will require a mount that tracks the sky. Pursuing true astrophotography is very exciting and rewarding, but also quite a commitment.

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