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IC 1396 / Elephant Trunk Nebula

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Posts Made By: Fred Lusk

April 21, 2006 11:32 PM Forum: Insects - Flowers and Other Small Stuff - Photos

New macro lens

Posted By Fred Lusk

Today, to fulfill a lifelong dream smile, I bought my first real macro lens. I have an Olympus E-1 and picked up a 35 mm f/3.5 lens. This bad boy goes all the way to a true 1:1 and is incredibly sharp. It's actually one of Oly's least expensive lenses, but it has the highest MTF numbers in their stable. Anyway, I was fooling around with the macro and some coins on my desk. Here's a couple of examples…all handheld because my tripod is broken.

Fred

July 5, 2006 10:14 PM Forum: Landscape Photography

Yosemite: Bridalveil Fall

Posted By Fred Lusk

Recently I took my 19-yr-old son to Yosemite to hike to Wapama Falls at Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. Coming up from Fresno, we spent a few minutes in Yosmeite Valley. Here's a shot of most of Bridalveil Fall (620') from across the Merced River. The wind is whipping up the spray at the bottom.

Fred

July 7, 2006 11:01 PM Forum: Digital SLR AstroPhotography

Milky Way

Posted By Fred Lusk

Even though I have an Olympus E-1 DSLR (which I bought mostly for daytime use), I still rely on my Olympus OM-1N and OM-4T 35 mm cameras for astrophotos. Usually, I set one on a tripod for star trails and use the other for wide-field piggyback shots.

However, during a recent trip to Courtright Reservoir (8200' elev. in the central Sierra Nevada Mountains in CA), one of my cable releases decided to not lock tight. So, I put one of the 35 mm cameras away and put the E-1 on the piggyback mount.

The attached photo is my first non-Moon astrophoto with the E-1. This was shot at ISO 400 through a 14-54 mm zoom (angle of view equivalent to 28-108 mm in 35 mm) at 14 mm and f/2.8. Length of exposure was 4.4 minutes. There is some noise in the image that I haven't cleaned up yet. The red sensitivity is better than I expected (Lagoon Nebula, not the red flashlights!), though it's nowhere as strong as the modified N and C cameras.

Fred

August 7, 2006 08:54 PM Forum: Digital SLR AstroPhotography

Two Moons

Posted By Fred Lusk

Finally had some time this summer to fool around with the Moon. I'm still not completely satisfied with the focus, but it's getting better.

Thin crescent: May 29

Olympus E-1 and Celestron C5+.

November 8, 2006 08:52 PM Forum: Solar System Observing

Mercury Transit from Fresno, CA

Posted By Fred Lusk

First my story…images in subsequent posts.
=====
Our scheduled 4h58m Mercury Transit was cut short by clouds at about 1:00 PM. My goal was a 150-shot(±) time-lapse sequence of the entire transit for making an animation. Instead, I got about 70 shots before the Sun disappeared. At least the shorter animation will take less work. smile

Our observing site was in front of the Downing Planetarium at California State University, Fresno. Even though we purposely did only minimal advertising (parking on campus is a problem on weekdays), we still entertained quite a few elementary school kids who had come for the planetarium show, as well as a lot of college students and several professors. Two of the local TV stations came by and a reporter from the Fresno Bee.

I used an Olympus E-1 attached to a Celestron C-5 with a Baader filter and a 0.63x focal reducer/corrector. I had the camera dump the images directly to my laptop. The reducer takes the 1250 mm focal length down to about 790 mm. The E-1 has a 2:1 format factor in relation to a 35 mm camera. The resulting angle of view is 0.9° vertical and 1.3° horizontal. This scale factor was very forgiving, which was important because I didn't have my polar alignment quite on.

Fred

March 4, 2007 10:22 PM Forum: Celestron

New scope on its way…

Posted By Fred Lusk

Greetings:

Last week I ordered a CPC800 from ATWB. UPS says it will arrive tomorrow. I can hardly wait. This is an upgrade to my seven-year-old C5+, which I plan to keep as a quick-look scope and telephoto lens. A manual mount with only a RA drive was a great way to learn the sky, now I look forward to GOTO and the need to buy more accessories.

Fred

March 20, 2007 10:54 PM Forum: Insects - Flowers and Other Small Stuff - Photos

Macro fun with Rainbow Sherbet

Posted By Fred Lusk

The Thrifty/Rite-Aid Rainbow Sherbet is very bright and colorful. It's also too good to share a bite, so I will share a photo instead.

Olympus E-1 + 35 mm f/3.5 1:1 macro lens.

Fred

March 21, 2007 11:03 PM Forum: Insects - Flowers and Other Small Stuff - Photos

Macro fun with paper clips

Posted By Fred Lusk

Idle hands are the photographer's tools…same setup as the sherbet, but this time a bunch of paper clips. Much easier than shooting bugs.

Fred

March 21, 2007 11:09 PM Forum: Insects - Flowers and Other Small Stuff - Photos

Jellies at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

Posted By Fred Lusk

Last month, for my wife's birthday, we took a day trip to Monterey to visit the aquarium. We hadn't been there in about ten years. My favorites are the jellies. They are hard to photograph, and required wide-open / high ISO / slow shutter speed shooting. Most of these were taken at f/3.5, ISO 800, and no faster than 1/30 s.

Olympus E-1 & 14-54 mm f/2.8-3.5 zoom.

Fred

April 23, 2007 10:57 PM Forum: Pictures of Me and My Telescope and........

New CPC 800 at Astronomy Day

Posted By Fred Lusk

Every April, California State University, Fresno, has a large multi-day party called Vintage Days. It's a combination crafts fair/music fair/county fair (i.e. the food booths)/student contests, etc. More often than not, Vintage Days coincides with Astronomy Day. Even when it doesn't, our club (The Central Valley Astronomers) sets up our scopes in front of the Downing Planetarium for solar observing on the Saturday of Vintage Days. This year, we also scheduled our annual telescope clinic for that evening (along with public observing).

Proof that a new telescope causes bad weather: I received my CPC 800 from ATWB about six weeks ago and this was only the fifth time I had it out. Very little rain, but with four exceptions, it was only clear when I was booked. This Saturday dawned clear, but most of the day we were chasing the sun through small holes in the clouds. Of course, the Sun was clean of sunspots, so the clouds actually made it interesting. We did see some small prominences in the three Ha scopes other club members set up. We saw the moon for about half and hour around noon, but that was it. The POWER of a new scope sad

By evening, we had 10/10 cloud cover and only two people showed up for the telescope clinic. Most years we get at least a dozen. I guess everyone figured out what "weather permitting" actually means.

Anyway, here is a photo of me with my new CPC 800. My older C5+ on an Orion SkyView Pro is in the back right.