“How To” Series: Astrophotography with the iOptron SkyTracker

Camera and telephoto lens mounted on an iOptron Sky Tracker and iOptron ball head.

Camera and 70-200 telephoto lens mounted on an iOptron SkyTracker and iOptron ball head.

You would love to take beautiful, long exposures of the night sky, but even with a 24mm wide angle lens the stars start to streak with exposures longer than 20 seconds. And with a 300mm lens the stars start to steak after just 2 seconds. Not that long ago it would cost you well over $1,000 to buy the equipment that would follow the stars and allow you to take longer exposures.

That has all changed. An iOptron SkyTracker for under $300 will now do the job. This photo of the Orion Nebula was taken with a 300mm lens with an exposure time of 177 seconds. The night sky is now yours!

This series of articles will show you how to use the iOptron SkyTracker. The SkyTracker allows your camera and lens to follow the movement of the night sky, so you can take long photos without the star trails.

Update: The iOptron Sky Tracker like the one I use and recommend is getting hard to find. If you can locate one on the used market, it is still worth buying and using.

Series Articles

iOptron Sky Tracker and Ball Head

First Night: Testing an iOptron Sky Tracker, Part One

First Night: Testing an iOptron Sky Tracker, Part Two

iOptron Polar Scope Alignment with a Simple Chart

Related Links

The Best Night, Astronomy, and Astrophotography Books

How To Get Critical Focus in “Live View” Mode with a Magnified Image

Tripod Recommendations: The Best of the Best

Tripod Head Recommendations: Some of the Best of the Best

Purchase Links

The books section of my photography store has a selection of The Best Night, Astronomy, and Astrophotography Books. My photography store has direct links to Amazon.com so you get Amazon’s great prices, fast delivery, and excellent guarantee.

Buyer’s Guide Series Link

This is one in a series of articles that will guide you to the best of all things photographic. The rest of the series is here: Buyer’s Guide: Recommendations For The Best Photography Equipment, Software, Books, Magazines, DVDs, Online Photo Labs and More.