I'm often asked the question (I personally dabble in astro-imaging, but I'm no expert) on what are the best ways
to get started in imaging.
My suggestions are as follows:
1) Start with your iPhone/smartphone and an inexpensive iPhone adaptor
Take a few easy shots of the Moon, or a planet. It's an easy Peasy way to get your feet wet.
2) Try Planetary Photography; Jupiter, or Saturn.
Years ago, when I owned a 6" f8 Dynascope reflector on a pedestal mount, I was able to take some pretty decent shots
of Saturn & Jupiter with that scope. It took some practice and experimentation, but through some good luck and effort
I got some great results. What do you need? A camera adaptor, and a DSLR camera. The iPhone adaptor will work as well
it's a bit trickier though at high magnifications.
3) This is by far the best way: Use a tracker device,
You will have a pretty good experience with these because you can actually use your own DSLR camera with
its standard lens and take some pretty decent 5 minute exposures of the Orion Nebulae, or M31 Andromeda galaxy.
One caveat: these work best under dark skies. If you have a small scope, like a short-tube 70mm or 80=mm refractor
you can even image through it.
4) If you want to get some really detailed planetary images, and also have software process the image for you
then a Solar System imager might just do the trick. These work on a very simple basis
1) You insert it into your telescope in place of an eyepiece
2) connect it to your PC/laptop/mac
3)You can preview the image on your PC screen
4) the included software then processes your best images and delivers the result.
Here are a few other important things to remember:
- You'll learn more by doing than reading about it
- Start simple and build up from there
- Use whatever telescope you currently own (I had a 4.5" tasco reflector years ago, nothing fancy, but it did the job)
- Get started the next clear night.