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I can't stress this enough- if you want to get good results with prime focus - deep sky astrophotography - do yourself a HUGE favor and buy good equipment that's suited to the task. Trust me, I'm a recovered moron and know of what I speak. I spent hundreds of hours and a few thousand dollars when I started out trying to get decent results from equipment that just wasn't well suited to taking astrophotos. And I had a good little SCT - a Celestar 8 Deluxe - nice for visual observing. It was advertised as being a capable astrophoto scope - but I should have known better - I'm in advertising.
Research before you buy - ask questions - visit websites and join usergroups - see what other people are using - if you like their images, consider using the equipment they do. And if you want to save a ton of money - buy good used equipment. Take a look at Astromart and buy from well rated sellers.
The equipment listed to the left allows me to take pictures I'm happy with. I'm getting a little smarter with time and my results are slowly improving - but I've got a long way to go.
Digital SLRs have really revolutionized amateur astrophotography. Their use drastically shortens the learning curve compared to film. I got serious about the hobby as film was on the way out. My one film shot on Hypered Technical Pan was a labor of love with the emphasis on labor. Don't get me wrong - I truly loved the process of taking the photo, developing the film, scanning and manipulating the image, etc. but the writing was on the wall a few months later when Kodak stopped producing Tech Pan film.