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Canon D60 Andromeda

Started by mccarlp, 10/13/2002 01:32AM
Posted 10/13/2002 01:32AM Opening Post
Far from perfect, but a promising start to imaging with my D60. I spent an all-nighter at the Salt Lake Astronomical Society's Stansbury Park Observatory II. I was enjoying the views through the 16" Ealing scope with Mark Bloomenthal and occasionally we would take a break and let the camera have a turn. Many thanks to Bruce Grim and Patrick Wiggins for a night spent aligning that awesome mount and scope so that I can look good just by pointing a camera and pressing a button. The scope tracks beautifully.

Most of these were taken through a Vivitar 80-260mm Zoom lens with an M42 mount piggy backed up on the finder rack of the Ealing. A nifty little adapter makes all of my m42 lenses fair game for my Canon EOS cameras, including the D60. The closer view of Orion was shot through a the Orion Apex 127mm Mak that we use as a finder scope for the 5000mm focal length Ealing.

I am going to have to schedule a night to go out and concentrate on just photography. The seeing was pretty bad with lots of turbulence in the upper atmosphere, although transparency was good. I am thinking that I need to be a little more careful about vibrations next time because I think that may have been what was causing some of these spiky stars. Any of you optical gurus have a better answer? It wasn't tracking, because I could take longer shots through the high power mack than I could using the short camera lenses. But the piggyback mount is at the end of a metal plate quite a ways from the center of the scope. I think the longer moment arm was letting it pick up vibrations the Mak didn't. Suggestions?

Each picture has info on how it was shot. Hope you like them. It gives me some hope for a long and happy love affair with my Canon D60 and the night sky.


Paul McCarl

P.S. to Ron:

If you can't stand how bad I botched the processing, just email me and I will send you the source files so you can really impress us. My wife won't let me have your book until Christmas. That will teach me to tell her to buy it for me as a gift. I just assumed she would get it now and let me have it, but no...

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mccarlp's attachment for post 1913
Posted 10/13/2002 01:34AM #1
Needs more time and more exposures.

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mccarlp's attachment for post 62937
Posted 10/13/2002 01:36AM #2
Pretty happy with this one.


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mccarlp's attachment for post 62938
Posted 10/13/2002 01:41AM #3
Ok, I cheated here. I used three different length images and some creative compositing to make an image the shows the detail across areas that were originally burned out. Not quite as bad as taking credit for a Hubble image, so I will just call it creative license.

Those little Orion 5" Mak's have some nice optics. I was impressed. I was wishing I had tried it on some of the other objects.


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mccarlp's attachment for post 62939
Posted 10/13/2002 01:43AM #4
One shot just isn't enough. You will notice I didn't put my name on it. 8^)


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mccarlp's attachment for post 62940
Posted 10/13/2002 08:04AM #5
By looking at this and your other widefield photos, I've noticed a few things about them. You believe the elongated spiky stars are due to vibrations. Upon a closer look, in one corner, the stars look pretty good, in the opposite corner, they are at their worst. If it was a vibration/flexure issue, the problem stars would manifest themselves evenly across the photo. I believe your abberation is totally confined to the lens. Most likely an element loose/out of alignment or with its optical center not matching its physical center. The stars with the mak look very good, the focal length is comparitively huge to the lens, a vibration issue would look much worse there, despite the longer moment arm. Try a new lens (preferrably a fixed focal length)
Posted 10/14/2002 09:52PM #6
Nice work. The D60 seems to be at another level with respecty to astro imaging. Nice details, and you are certainly getting more than I expected to see from non-CCD cameras.

Ron Wodaski
author of "The New CCD Astronomy"

Ron Wodaski
New Astronomy Press
Posted 10/14/2002 09:54PM #7
A comment about those vibrations. It's not uncommon to have to spend some time figuring out just what the weak link is when taking longer exposures. It could be the long lever arm that you mention; it could be something else. THe best approach is to eliminate one potential problem at a time and see what works. I recently spent over a week firming up problems with looseness in a guide scope, for example. It just took time to figure out what the source of the trouble was - it was at least 4 different things by the time I got everything stabilized.

Ron Wodaski
author of "The New CCD Astronomy"

Ron Wodaski
New Astronomy Press
Posted 11/03/2003 07:43AM #8

I'm amazed you can get a noise free image at such long exposure and high iso. Can you elaborate as to how you have done this?

Also, do you have problems with a red fog apearing on the right side or lower portion of the frame on long exposure? I see this effect on my d60 at iso400 after only 50 seconds.

Dave Finlay