Celestial Lens for Canon

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by PackingMyBags, Mar 3, 2010.

  1. PackingMyBags

    PackingMyBags TPF Noob!

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    So ive been looking at getting into celestial photography. I want to be able to take shots of not only the moon, but planets in our solar system, and possibly some nebula.

    My problem is that i really dont know what lenses to look for in this area. I dont want to spend a whole lot, so a couple $100 wouldnt be bad. I was looking on Amazon and found these mirror lenses:

    [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Opteka-Telephoto-Mirror-Digital-Cameras/dp/B0022VFDRK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1267637113&sr=8-1"]Amazon.com: Opteka 500mm f/6.3 Telephoto Mirror Lens for Canon EOS Digital SLR Cameras: Electronics[/ame]

    [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Rokinon-1000mm-Mirror-Canon-Mount/dp/B001V97ISG/ref=sr_1_15?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1267637113&sr=8-15"]Amazon.com: Rokinon 500/1000mm F6.3 Mirror Lens for Canon EOS Mount: Electronics[/ame]

    So are any of these a viable option, or do i need to look elsewhere? I want nice images, so if these are crap then ill just be on my way. What do you guys use, or recommend?
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2010
  2. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    You should pm Astrostu who is an astronomy grad student and does some beautiful astrophotography, but I would think you would be happier with a small reflecting telescope and an adapter for your camera than with one of those Mirror lenses.
     
  3. PackingMyBags

    PackingMyBags TPF Noob!

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    Just sent it thanks! What telescopes do you recommend and which adapters? This is news to me.
     
  4. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    I don't have the experience -- been many many years since I tried this on a cheapie scope. He is the guru :)
     
  5. Tiberius47

    Tiberius47 TPF Noob!

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    On my Deviant Art account, one of my most popular pics is a shot of the stars I got with a 50mm f1.8 lens.

    You don't need expensive gear. Just set up a tripod on a dark night and play around with long exposures.
     
  6. PackingMyBags

    PackingMyBags TPF Noob!

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    Yea, ive done that, but I kind of want to dig deeper into space to find smaller detail. I mean ive got plenty of shots taken on a tripod with various lenses.

    Milkey way with my 17-50mm 2.8
    [​IMG]

    Jupiter 70-300mm

    [​IMG]

    Meteor and moon
    [​IMG]

    Any more advise?
     
  7. Sachphotography

    Sachphotography TPF Noob!

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    I shot astrophotography for a a few years and what your looking for is going to require you to buy some sort of a mount. You need to be able to shoot LOOOOOONNNNNGGGG exposures. Some shots I had nearly 3-4hrs of stacked exposures. I know some guys that had over 30hrs of exposure time. The hardest part is accurately aligning your mount and ensuring accurate periodic error control. A good object to start with would be M31 AKA the Andromeda Galaxy. It is huge and can be seen by the naked eye in dark skies however a decent telescope or telescopic lens would show some good detail. My setup consisted of a Meade LX200 10" Schmidt Reflector. Astrophotography is a deep expensive hole to fall into. I have a friend of mine who live in Conn and has over 100K invested in his equipment. It gets expensive fast!!

    I would also research the messier catalog. Some good stuff to photograph that is not hard to find.
     
  8. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Well, a part of it, the core of the galaxy, is just barely visible to the naked eye as a faint smudge of light. But it is quite a bit bigger, about 5 Moon diameters wide.

    When I was doing astrophotography on film with an 8" Schmitt camera years ago M31 a single took at least a 45 minute exposure.

    Todays astrophotographers capturing nebula images use specialised cameras that have a cooling system for the image sensor. Cooling the image sensor limits thermal noise in the images that are made. Pro astronomers been using liquid helium to cool their image sensors for a long time. Cameras for Astrophotography | Orion Telescopes

    So, for making images of nebulas you need a bunch of aperture. Many recommend at least 12 inches. You also need a motor driven mount eqitorial mount to counteract Earths rotation, and as mentioned the mount needs provision to correct for periodic tracking error in the motor drive for the mount.

    Here's a good 11" w/an equitorial mount: Celestron CGEM-1100 Computerized 11in. Cassegrain | Telescope.com

    Another popular brand is Meade.
     
  9. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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  10. PackingMyBags

    PackingMyBags TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the post. Yea, trying to stay away from a tracking mount and all the 100k price tag. I guess im just wondering what i can attach to my camera for 30 sec exposures with the max zoom availible. I realize that over 30 sec requires a mount that tracks with the stars. I would love to someday spend that $ on that gear, but for now i just dont have that kind of money. What do you suggest in the meantime? BTW Messier... :p
     
  11. Soocom1

    Soocom1 TPF Noob!

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    Having shot for 30 sec. exposures with my 1Ds and a Manfroto tripod....
    Ide opt for a tracking mount of some kind off of a Mead or Bushnell system for around US $250-500. . Granted they are not high end units like the Mead Max tracker (US $23,300) but its better than nothing. Noise is also a problem so shoot low ISO's. Also, if you have rural areas to go to, thats even better.
     
  12. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Charles Messier was a comet hunter. (Messy-ya (long a), like French)

    As he scanned the skies and came across faint fuzzy things that looked like comets, but weren't, he made a list of where they were and he numbered them. (Messier Numbers: M1, M2, M3, ....)

    The Andromeda galaxy, M31, is #31 on his list. The list has 103 objects on it.

    Often, a goal for an amateur astronomer is to look at each of the 103 Messier objects in a single night at the telescope.
     

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