Can You Build a Deep Space Astrophotography Rig for $600 That Competes With One That Costs $6,000?

If you’ve any interest in astrophotography, you might wonder what’s involved in capturing images of deep space from your own back yard. While a proper rig will set you back in excess of $6,000, this video finds out what you can achieve for just $600.

Deep space astrophotography is, if you’ll excuse the pun, a dark art. This rather entertaining video from Astrobiscuit explains the process behind creating a system on a budget — including a trusty Canon 5D Mark II — and puts it against a rig that costs literally 10 times as much.

To get the best performance out of a regular stills camera, you’ll need to remove the filter in front of the sensor that blocks infrared light. This will allow the camera to see more of the Hydrogen Alpha band of emission nebulae, reducing exposure times. This is a fairly technical process, but fortunately, there are various tiny companies that will provide this service for you, such as Astronomiser in the U.K. 

If you fancy giving this a go, Astrobiscuit has a full list of the gear in the video description, some of which, such as the AZ-EQ5 GoTo Mount, is available through B&H Photo.

If you build this rig or have suggestions for alternatives, be sure to leave a comment below.

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6 Comments

Someone needs a lesson in currency conversion ...

Michael Holst's picture

Someone have a TLDW?

"... Astrobiscuit has a full list of the gear in the video description, some of which, such as the AZ-EQ5 GoTo Mount..."

This video finds out what you can achieve for just $600? The AZ-EQ5 GoTo Mount goes for $1,435.00 at B&H. There goes that budget.

He's not using that mount for the video, he uses an old used Celestron GT which is waaay cheaper

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Robert Huerbsch's picture

If you already have a camera then $400 for SkyGuider Pro + the a used 300Mm f/4 is a good setup for about $1k