Image of the day

Captured by
Michael Scherman

Moon 2024

My Account

New to Astromart?

Register an account...

Need Help?

Posts Made By: Chris Nisbet

April 16, 2005 02:11 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Deep Sky

ST-8 Wide Field Question

Posted By Chris Nisbet

I don't know if this question should be here or in "Equipment" but here goes. How successful has anyone been in using an ordinary 35mm camera lens attached to a ST-8 for wide field imaging? I see it is possible but I must be looking for results in the wrong place as I can't find a good website featuring this setup. I am seriously considering buying an ST-8XME for my C8 and C11 but want to do wide field imaging too. I have a wide assortment of Zuiko prime lenses that I would like to use. I am going kicking and screaming into the digital age (I keep telling myself the way of the future is digital) and don't want to make the wrong pruchase. I am WAY behind in my knowledge base of digital imaging so I guess it time to get into the 21st century.

August 12, 2005 02:08 PM Forum: Film Astrophotography - Imaging and Processing


Posted By Chris Nisbet

First attempt at posting a picture here so here goes. M51 taken in April 05
C11 Ultima fork mount @f/11.2
Hypered Tech Pan
Taurus Tracker
60 minutes manually guided w/ Celestron Micro-Guide
Scanned by HP scanner at 600dpi from 8x10 - no digital manipulation
Location - 25 miles north of downtown Minneapolis MN

I don't know why the lower right of this scan isn't as uniform as the rest of the background. It's uniform in the orginal 8x10.

Sadly, I know the days of this type of photography (Tech Pan) are coming to an end.

September 5, 2005 12:10 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Deep Sky

CCD Set Up

Posted By Chris Nisbet

I need to tap the vast wisdom of all you experienced CCD imagers out there. I have spent this last summer pondering the idea of converting to digital media. I was going to do it earlier in the year then stopped the process. But with Kodak seemingly going to end B&W photography for do-it-yourselfers, I guess I need to change or quit imaging (never!). Here are the telescopes - 1992 C11 Ultima and a 1981 Orange C8 on a 1994 Ultima mount. Both are in an observatory enviroment. For portable use, I have an old C14 tripod and wedge modified to fit the Ultima base. Budget about $6000-$6500. I want to stick with an SBIG camera set-up. My first thought is a ST-8XME with the AO-7 and an Optec TCF-S focuser. Or do I stretch it and get the ST-10XME and buy the other stuff when the wife lets me (I do have a JMI NGF-S focuser on there now).

Primary interests in imaging are faint galaxies but I would like the ability to do some wide-field work too (I had an 8 and 5.5 inch Schmidt camera and enjoyed what they can do).

Am I on the right track as far as equipment selection? Will the Ultima mount work for CCD imaging? The mount, once PEC trained, works great for film. I can do an 80 minute manually guided exposure at prime focus without too many corrections. thanks for any comments.

Cedar, MN

December 3, 2005 10:59 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Gemini GOTO Upgrade Question

Posted By Chris Nisbet

I recently bought a mount with Gemini GOTO Level 1. I would like to bring it up to Level 3 if possible. Is it as simple as buying and installing the Level 3 EPROM chip?

December 17, 2005 10:57 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Deep Sky

What Type Of Computer To Get?

Posted By Chris Nisbet

After months of debating (and saving), I have finally taken the plunge into the CCD world. The equipment is a MI-250 with a C8 & C11, Optec TCF-S,ST-8XME, AO-7. All of this is housed in a permanent site with AC power. Now I have to get the "brains" for the setup. Question is, what type of computer-laptop or desktop PC? I'm in Minnesota so it does get cold! I'm concerned about a slow response time with a LCD screen on a laptop.

Also, anybody have any suggested miniumum hardware specs? I would rather over build in this area. I don't want to hear myself say "For $40, I should have bought the faster CPU."

Is it possible to set up a wireless network so I can be in my house and control the setup?

Cedar, MN

January 14, 2006 04:11 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Gemini GOTO RA Motor Stall Question

Posted By Chris Nisbet

I recently bought a used MI-250 GOTO about a month ago and finally got a chance to use it. Everything went well until I got to "Align Star". Chose a star, hit the button and the RA motor stalled. The Dec motor slews just fine, the RA starts and then stops after about a second (I can slew in one second intervals in RA). Here is what I have tried with the same result: I tried a different known good cable. I reversed the RA and Dec cables from the Gemini (RA output fed the DEC motor, DEC fed the RA motor) and the same result from the RA motor. I unloaded the mount down to the RA head only-same result. I took the cover off and I can feel just a slight amount of backlash from the polar axis so I know it is not binding in the RA gears. The motor seemingly tracks without a problem, it just can't slew. I think it must be the motor but before I plunk down the money on a new motor, I want to see if I am missing anything. Upon close insection, I did notice cracks in the larger(gear?)casing between the motor and the worm assembly. The DEC motor has no cracks. Thanks for any help.

January 22, 2006 05:54 PM Forum: Film Astrophotography - Imaging and Processing

How's This For A Photo "Gremlin"?

Posted By Chris Nisbet

How many times did you think you did everything right to get the photo you wanted? Fresh hypered film, PEC trained, great seeing conditions,no wind or bugs, good guide star, object in the center of the negative, camera set to "B", focused properly and "click" you're off to the races. You have always wanted to capture the elusive Stephan's Quintet with you're C11 at prime focus (this is your third attempt). You haven't yet gone digital so you are manually guiding. The timer on the JMI-Max is running. You sneek a peek-20 minutes,40 minutes, I think I can do 60. 60 minutes pass-I'm going for my own record 80 minutes! At 80 minutes I've had enough and I should have captured something on that negative. You close up shop carrying the film inside to be developed immediately. Fresh developer-good. Negative comes out of the tank and you exclaim "What in the **** is that on the negative!" I've never seen that before! Upon closer examination, you discover that an ****in' dead bug somehow ended up on the film after the shutter was open. You open up your camera and sure enough, it falls out. Fortunately the damn thing didn't cover up the Quintet so I have an 80 minute exposure of the Quintent and a bug! This was my third and final attempt at this object with film (the other two attempts had bad focus and another missed the object entirely). I can't take it!

Chris Nisbet
Cedar, MN
1992 C11 Ultima

January 23, 2006 02:03 AM Forum: Film Astrophotography - Imaging and Processing

Stephans Quintet - No Bug

Posted By Chris Nisbet

Here is the Quintet negative with the bug only with the bug cropped out. Stock C11 Ultima, T3 tracker, OM-1, Hypered Tech Pan, 80 minutes manually guided in August 2005. Definitely looses something scanning an 8x10 for this post.

January 23, 2006 02:08 AM Forum: Film Astrophotography - Imaging and Processing

IC 434 - B & W Image

Posted By Chris Nisbet

Taken with an 8" Epoch Schmidt camera, Hypered Tech Pan, #92 filter, 20 minutes. Scan from an 8x10. No digital manipulation. Makes a nice 8x10 to hang on the wall.

Chris Nisbet

January 23, 2006 11:12 PM Forum: Film Astrophotography - Imaging and Processing

M31 - B&W

Posted By Chris Nisbet

M31 8" Epoch Schmidt camera hypered Tech Pan, #92 filter, 25 minutes, no digital manipulation. Last of my Schmidt photos since I sold the camera. A sad day.

Chris Nisbet
Cedar, MN