Astrophotography with the CAS

All the images shown above were taken by members of the CAS. Some were taken with a DSLR camera with lens fitted to a tripod while others were taken with expensive astrophotography CCD cameras, videos and telescopes acting as the lens. All were taken in this country and some were taken in the middle of towns. Thus, astrophotography can be carried out with either simple or expensive equipment.

In view of the high number of enquiries received from Society members about organised astrophotography sessions the Society has created an Astrophotography Club for interested members which meets at the Society's own Observatory


Any member who is thinking about joining the Club should contact Alan Stephens at Observatory.Manager@cardiff-astronomical-society.co.uk

Most beginners to astrophotography will probably already have a DSLR camera or another camera with an interchangeable lens. Luckily, the camera is the most expensive item you need for astrophotography except for the lens itself. The very best DSLR will have a 4/3, APS-C or full frame sensor size.

The brand of camera does not really matter but I would suggest a Canon or Nikon. Both of these companies make excellent cameras and have a huge following with devoted users and large online communities to help you. In saying that, many other brands are excellent -Sony, Pentax, Fujifilm, Olympus, Panasonic, and Samsung cameras will all work well.

I prefer tilting displays as it's easier to see the screen when using it low to the ground, or if you have to have the camera high up on a tripod.

An 18mm to 55mm lens - which would usually come with the standard camera package - is acceptable but a wide-angle fast Lens (f/2.8 or lower) is better.
Landscape astrophotography is accessible to nearly everyone - in its simplest form it merely involves taking photographs of the night sky with a good landscape as a foreground.

The Milky Way Galaxy is usually the night sky and can be taken with a minimum of effort and equipment if you are in a dark site.

Basic equipment required is shown below -

- Digital Camera with Manual Controls
- Fast Lens (f/2.8 or lower, optional)
- Tripod (adjustable)
- Flashlight or Headlamp (Coloured Red)
- Intervalometer Remote Timer (Optional)
- Smartphone Star Map App (Optional)
- Dark Location at a Dark Time of Night

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