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Total Newbie with a GT81 IV and a Sony Camera - HELP! I am losing my mind!

Started by iamchrisjett, 11/14/2021 01:54AM
Posted 11/14/2021 01:54AM Opening Post
Hello All,

I am a total newbie at this and need some help. I recently purchased a GT81 IV primarily so that I could mount my Sony a6400 digital camera to it and take photos of the moon. This is my first venture in to astrophotography and the moon is my first goal. I do hope to eventually get into deep space imaging, but the moon will do for now. I have had great success using a Sony 200-400 lens, and I was hoping the GT81 IV would get me closer and give me superior images. Second to photography is to use this as a viewing telescope, although I can estimate that about 85% of the time it will be for imaging.

My first attempt at shooting the moon last night did not work well at all. No matter how much I tried to focus the scope - all the way in, or all the way out, I just got a blurry image - I could not get the moon into focus at all. From what I have read, my camera may not have been mounted correctly and as a result is not at the optimum distance.

I purchased this adapter for my camera:
https://www.highpointscientific.com/apertura-48mm-sony-e-t-ring-adapter-sony48?fbclid=IwAR34g5ap7yjAIsh1Vj7nszVNUebuzor1WrlfTuXCDwF9xZG64ukM-JPQpNw

Finding that that adapter could not just plug in to the camera, I purchased a 2” to M480.75 adapter:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QV8RNB8?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2_dt_b_product_details&fbclid=IwAR0wYQqCx6xj0NMU6gsRZMTqADnVOBgeBAXuQghY--bXbtSaUKj2hcjGt-Y

Put together these two fit in the telescope just fine, but again, I could get nothing but blur.

I also have a Flat6AIII, but I think I had to remove that to get the camera adapters into the scope.

With a failed attempt at photography, I decided to try use the scope for visual imaging.

I have this diagonal to mount the eyepiece:
https://www.highpointscientific.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=APT-d2cf&fbclid=IwAR0wYQqCx6xj0NMU6gsRZMTqADnVOBgeBAXuQghY--bXbtSaUKj2hcjGt-Y

And I have this eyepiece:
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1406271-REG/alpine_astronomical_hyp_zoom_hyperion_8_24_mm_click.html?fbclid=IwAR3q0-pn_hO-x8mKU1aftyXDaDUqmtDJ7QZTDEI2_hyRdpeSnwrAU9nLfkM

Here too, I could not get any image of the moon. I got absolutely no light from the moon coming through the eyepiece, and yes, I did have the lens hood removed.

The telescope did not come with an instruction manual, nor could I find one online. I’ve been trying to find simple YouTube videos, but they all start at a level beyond where I am. I just need the simplest instructions for now. Again, my goal is to be able to photograph the moon and to be able to use it for visual viewing. Once I can get past this step, I’ll buy higher end cameras and EQ mounts.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.