– Nikon D5500 (24mp) | Amazing crop sensor with no AA filter gives incredible detail with a high dynamic range in low light images.
– Nikon D7000 (16mp) | Now old but has an excellent 16mp Sony sensor. Bought new in 2013, now an absolute bargain second hand.
– Nikon D5100 (16mp) | Same sensor at the D7000. I recently replaced the standard sensor filter to increase H-Alpha sensitivity for astrophotography.
– Nikon D70 (6mp) | Bought in 2004 and recently converted to infra-red.
– Tamron 100-400mm f/4.5-6.3 Di VC USD | Super sharp, virtually no chromatic abberation. My lens most suited to clusters, planets and galaxies.
– Nikon 35mm f1.8 G | Exceptional value DX lens which can also be used on full frame cameras. Amazingly sharp lens even wide open at f1.8.
– Nikon 50mm f1.8 D | Very sharp lens when stopped down to f4. Excellent value at around £75 new. A great choice for astrophotography on a budget.
– Nikon 180mm f2.8 ED Ai-s | Stunning lens for the price. Sharp and high contrast with outstanding colour saturation. Can be shot wide open at f2.8, especially for shorter total exposures such as comets. A bargain at under £200 second hand.
– Nikon 18-105mm f3.5-5.6 G VR | Good all-round lens with vibration reduction. But a bit soft, and not really fast enough for astrophotography.
– Sigma 70-200mm f3.8 | A bargain lens used for solar shots. Bought on eBay for £12. Quite fast, but does not work without the 2x converter attached.
Mounts & Tripods
– AstroTrac TT320X-AG | Motorised tracking mount with autoguiding option. Very precise, can handle upto 10kg payloads.
– Barn door tracker | Used to track the stars and prevent star trails. View the barn door tracker website for more info and a full build guide.
– Three Legged Thing ‘Dave’ | Excellent tripod with super sturdy build to minimise vibration. Highly recommended.
Filters & other equipment
– Kenko didymium filter | Red intensifier for reducing light pollution and enhancing nebulas. I have made a page with more info and tests with the didymium filters.
– Hoya ND400 filter | Cuts down light to lengthen exposure times. Also used for sun shots.
– Hoya 80B Filter | Increases some detail on solar shots. Another eBay bargain at just £3.
– Hama 8 Cross filter | Ancient filter found at the bottom of a drawer. Creates an interesting star cross effect.
– Nikon ML-L3 remote release | Needed for exposures longer than 30 seconds. Also reduces camera wobble.
– Hama 2x teleconverter | Came attached to the Sigma lens. Average quality, but is sharp and works well for Sun and Moon shots when stopped down to f8.
– Deep Sky Stacker | Excellent free software for stacking astro images.
– Adobe Photoshop | Used for final post processing of images to get them spot on.
– Adobe Lightroom | Great for batch processing photos and correcting exposure/colour & white balance.
– StarStaX | Free software for stacking star trail images and creating time lapse videos.
– PhotoLapse | More free software for building time-lapse videos from photo sequences. Quick and easy to use.