If you’re eager to start photographing the night sky, but you want to do so on a budget, it can be done — even with just a smartphone and a telescope.
First of all, you’ll need a telescope. You get a very reasonable starting telescope on eBay now, for as little as $US50. Feel free to spend more if you wish, but bear in mind you’ll need to buy eyepieces too.
You also need camera, but the one on your smartphone will probably work. All smartphone cameras are good enough, if not great these days. I’ve personally used the Lumia 925 and 1020, iPhone 5, and Nokia N8.
That’s all you really need, but it can be tough to get a photo from the telescope’s eyepiece by hand. It’s doable, but extremely tricky. A better way is to buy a clamp specifically for attaching phones to a telescope. Yes, that’s a thing! I like the Orion Steadypix Universal (shown above). It’s completely universal and so can fit a wide range of devices.
It obviously won’t be winning you any awards in National Geographic, but you can get some pretty cool shots, and it’s a fun little weekend project.