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good beginners book

  • fguihen
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good beginners book was created by fguihen

hi guys.

before i jeopardise my kneecaps and fingers by going into debt to purchase a pile of new equiptment for astrophotography, i want to read up and be moderately well educated on how it all works, the theory and the terms used. there are a few books on amazon. would you guys recommend any of them , or any that are not on the list. i dont want to get a book specifically on ccd's or dslr's as i dont know what camera i will get.

the list is here
www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw/105-024219...rds=astrophotography


thanks guys.
"Success is the happy feeling you get between the time you do something and the time you tell a woman what you did." Dilbert.
15 years 7 months ago #47630

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Replied by albertw on topic Re: good beginners book

I only own two of those.

Astrophotography for the Amateur - Michael A. Covington

This was published in 1999 and I have not seen a later edition. For a few years it was regarded as the best book availble. I think now that people are doing more DSLR photography the book is somewhat loosing its relevance as it is very film orientated. It is still a good resource I would imagine, but probably not as useful for DSLR users. eg. I dont know how well the exposure guides for say lunar photography transfer to DSLR's; and since you have no overhead in developing you might as well just bracket until you figure it out yourself.

Handbook of CCD Astronomy, 2nd Edition - Steve B. Howell

This is from the Cambridge Research series. As such its great for going into lots of detail about CCDs and their operation and how to use them. It's very much aimed at grad students. As such it may just overwhelm you if you are starting out on your own and looking for a more general guide. However if you get a dedicated astronomical CCD and start taking your astro photography seriously (eg start doing photometry) I think it would make a good addition to your bookshelf.
Albert White MSc FRAS
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15 years 7 months ago #47634

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Replied by dmcdona on topic Re: good beginners book

Ron Wodaskis's book is excellent - that's how I got started. Not sure if that's a compliment to Ron however :wink:

The nice thing about Ron, is he regularly hangs out on a few boards and is quick to give further advice, clarifications etc - especially to newbies.

If I were you, I'd pick one book based on the reviews on these boards (me and Al so far) then sign-up to the various CCD boards. When you're ready, let me know and I'll send you a list.

Dave
15 years 7 months ago #47639

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Replied by michaeloconnell on topic Re: good beginners book

I would agree with Dave; Ron Wodaski's book is excellent.
15 years 7 months ago #47641

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Replied by phoenix on topic Re: good beginners book

Like Dave and Michael Rons book was basically my bible and still gets regular outings.
Kieran
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15 years 7 months ago #47647

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Replied by TrevorDurity on topic Re: good beginners book

Definitely Wodaski's book. An added bonus is that you can pay for the online version for $30 if you need it quickly. If you decide to get the paper based version you can then send pay another $20 + postage to get it shipped to you.

None of the other books I've read come anywhere near it.

Trev
15 years 7 months ago #47648

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Replied by fguihen on topic Re: good beginners book

thanks for the replies guys. i have looked up Ron's book, but see a lot of people criticizing it for describing only usage of expensive software and hardware, and nothing for a beginner:

www.amazon.com/New-CCD-Astronomy-Capture...182498471&sr=1-1

are those reviews accurate?
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15 years 7 months ago #47660

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Replied by dmcdona on topic Re: good beginners book

There's certainly a chapter on equipment - but Ron gives you a load of choices from cheap 'n cheerful to Austin Martin...

There's a lot of "first principle" stuff in there - like mount and OTA performance and how to squeeze out the most from what you have. Its probably lacking lenghty discussions on webcams and DSLR's but having got the basic principles, you can apply them to any imger.

Likewise with software. Whilst he concentrates on using MaximDL, CCDSoft and PhotoShop, you can apply those principles to other (free) software.

However, if you want to take good astrophotographs, you *will* be spending money. There's no way around that. Like any tools, the better they are, the better the results...

HTH

Dave
15 years 7 months ago #47684

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Replied by michaeloconnell on topic Re: good beginners book

The nature of astrophotography for most people is that they have bought a scope for visual use and then want it to work for astrophotography. However, in terms of design, there's a gulf of a difference between the minimum requirements for each. That's not to say that you can't you can't take any images without spending money on gear; rather, you have to be selective on what sort of imaging you want to do.
Remember one thing though, astrophotography is only as good as it's weakest link. For most people, that's the mount rather than the optics. Most telescope optics are pretty good now. However, a massive difference exists between mounts and this is something that most of us starting out never fully appreciate.
If you put a top of the range ccd camera & scope on a poor quality mount, you'll only get poor quality images. However, if you get a cheaper ccd camera & optics on a good quality mount, you'll get significantly better images.
15 years 7 months ago #47687

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Replied by fguihen on topic Re: good beginners book

However, if you want to take good astrophotographs, you *will* be spending money. There's no way around that. Like any tools, the better they are, the better the results...
Dave


hmmm. the reason i want to get into it is to see more detail in faint fuzzies than my 6" sct can show when simply glancing through the eyepiece. might be better waiting a few years and just buying a bigger scope, as im certainly not in a position now to spend money on a new mount, tracking scope, ccd and eyepieces. thanks for the advice folks.
"Success is the happy feeling you get between the time you do something and the time you tell a woman what you did." Dilbert.
15 years 7 months ago #47771

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Replied by Seanie_Morris on topic Re: good beginners book

*Moved to the Stellar Media forum*
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15 years 7 months ago #47783

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