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tim53
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Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark!
      #5948997 - 07/01/13 02:00 AM Attachment (87 downloads)

So, this is rather embarrassing.

I brought the Epsilon, complete as purchased, figuring I'd do some astrophotography under the beautiful dark Milford skies. And everything seems to be in order and working well.

Only I don't have a 2" eyepiece adapter, so I can't use 2" eyepieces in my 2.7" focuser, which just seems silly!

So I gee whizzed a while as I was waiting for the clouds to dissipate. And they have, so I got out my easiest camera first - the Pt Grey scorpion with the 1 1/4" nosepiece, and stuck that puppy in. Well, it couldn't go in far enough to reach focus, so I put in a 2x shorty barlow and could focus. But then, it's not a simple system and a machine vision camera isn't the best for DSOs (but it'll work). So...

...I had gotten a key code for the 30 day trial for Backyard EOS for my Canon T1i. ...only I don't have an adapter to put it on the scope, unless I use the 2" Meade barrel which will fit on one of the Tak adapters but - you guessed it, I can't reach focus.

Same with my Panasonic Lumix GF3. So I was poking through the stuff that came with the scope and got to the Bushnell branded camera adapter. It's a t-thread to camera, but the camera isn't anything I own. Not Canon, Nikon, Konica or Exakta. But the adapter screwed into the t-threads on the Bushnell is apparently a Tak part, but I couldn't get it off the t-adapter because there are eensy set screws holding it on. And I don't have a set of jewelers screwdrivers with me.

I just about gave up, when it occurred to me that the diameter of the bayonet of whatever it is was at least a slip fit onto the Konica to Lumix adapter that I bought so I could use my Konica glass with the Lumix. So, I got out the trusty duct tape and made them one!

So now it works!

The Lumix can only take up to a minute exposures so I'll be doing a lot of subs to see if I can stack and improve on them. I'm also hoping that at such a short f/ratio (130mm f/3.3) that the Tak EM-1 mount will be accurate enough that I won't have to guide - which would require I make some rube goldbert contraption out of another lens and one of the Pt Grey cameras!

While we're waiting for me to start taking pictures, here's one of the scope rigged up. It's such a purdy little thing!

Edited by tim53 (07/01/13 02:01 AM)


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Steve_M_M
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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5949013 - 07/01/13 02:19 AM Attachment (49 downloads)

Good story. We were talking about you and your e-130 at Mt. Pinos on Friday night. I mentioned focus as an issue with my e-160 from years past. Glad you got it all worked out. Here are some jewelers screw drivers for next time....

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tim53
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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: Steve_M_M]
      #5949023 - 07/01/13 02:30 AM

Yeah, too bad I can't print 'em out and use them here!

Hardware store will be open tomorrow, though.

The Lumix does a nice job, but it can't go over 60 seconds and it's not so great at the higher ISO settings.

So I definitely want to hook the Canon up and see how it'll do.

-Tim.


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tim53
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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5949057 - 07/01/13 03:05 AM Attachment (43 downloads)

Well rats some more.

I assume the corrector doesn't move with the focuser? If it doesn't, then the spacing between the corrector and the ccd is set by best focus, and the collimation is off (or the spacing between the primary and the corrector is off). If it does, then the spacing between the corrector and the ccd might depend on the adapter and the backfocus distance in the camera body.

I can get decent focus on the center stars, but ring nebulas at the corners.

A single 60 second exposure of M51:


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tim53
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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5949060 - 07/01/13 03:10 AM Attachment (32 downloads)

Even at this reduced scale you can see the ring nebula effect, which is worse toward the lower right of the frame. Hm... must be collimation, then?

The camera isn't real sensitive, and does poorly at high ISOs, so I should stick to star clusters.

Here's the Coathanger


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tim53
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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5949062 - 07/01/13 03:15 AM

Polar alignment and tracking seem to be doing pretty well, considering. I wish I could leave it out, but I can't. Thankfully, it's light enough that I can probably just haul it in and set it on the screen porch with a jacket thrown over it for hoots.

But I'm getting sleepy. I'll be able to stay up later tomorrow night. It's still pretty warm in the house at 1:13 AM local time. Got to 102 today. Was 117 when I went through Vegas yesterday. I heard tell that it was 120 today! Honda with 176K miles on it did pretty well, but one of my front tires has a bubble in the tread now. I'm going to swap out for the spare and hope that gets me home.

Night night.

-Tim.


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Dave M
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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5949190 - 07/01/13 07:25 AM

Quote:


it occurred to me that the diameter of the bayonet of whatever it is was at least a slip fit onto the Konica to Lumix adapter that I bought so I could use my Konica glass with the Lumix. So, I got out the trusty duct tape and made them one!

So now it works!




Could also be something flexing or not square.


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Chuck Hards
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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: Dave M]
      #5949208 - 07/01/13 07:41 AM

Life in the "fast" lane, Tim!

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turk123
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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: Chuck Hards]
      #5949223 - 07/01/13 08:03 AM Attachment (31 downloads)

Here is a little adjustment

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tim53
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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: turk123]
      #5949478 - 07/01/13 11:21 AM

Now that I've had a cup of coffee and my head isn't hurting so much and I'm awake, I notice that the best focus is sort of a linear trend diagonally across the scene.

I also should have downloaded a couple of the out of focus donuts I shot while figuring out the Lumix operation. It's clearly out of collimation.

No worries, though. Not big ones, anyway. I downloaded the manual somwhere and I have the cheshire eyepiece that came with the scope, so I will work on collimating it this evening.

Got to dial into a couple telecons in a bit, then I need to go help out with my wife's class this afternoon, but I do intend to get over to the hardware store for some jewelers screwdrivers and try to get that camera adapter apart, because it would be nifty to try the Canon on the 130.

Thanks for the adjusted view, Tom! I should probably spring for a decent basic version of Photoshop or something on my own laptop, because all I had to use (when that tired) was Apple Preview, which is rather lame. I've also got The Gimp, which is pretty capable, but I'm so familiar with Photoshop that I haven't quite spent the time I need to get more comfortable with the Gimp's tools.

-Tim.


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Chuck Hards
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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5949483 - 07/01/13 11:25 AM

Sounds like a slightly tilted imaging plane, perhaps? Something out of square?

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tim53
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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: Chuck Hards]
      #5949489 - 07/01/13 11:28 AM

Yes, me thinks so too.

An obvious place to start would be my duct-taped camera adapter! It might have moved or sagged enough to cause the problem. But the donuts aren't round, either. So collimation is in order as well.

-Tim.


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tim53
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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5949991 - 07/01/13 04:16 PM Attachment (20 downloads)

So I got a set of jewelers screwdrivers and got the bushnell adapter off the Tak insert. It's a wedge thingy that the set screws bear against. I thought I was good to go until I discovered that the Canon adapter was about 2mm bigger on the inside than the other one. So, I got out the trusty duct tape and wrapped about 3 strips around it, put it in place, and tightened the setscrews to where it doesn't look like it'll move.

Here it is, with most of the duct tape out of sight. If I can cut metric threads with one of my lathes at home, I might machine a new adapter to go between the Tak focuser and the Canon adapter ring. But we'll see.

Edited by tim53 (07/01/13 04:16 PM)


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tim53
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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5949997 - 07/01/13 04:19 PM Attachment (22 downloads)

And here's the camera in place. I experimented to make sure I can reach focus by looking at some clouds over a roof in the distance, and there was leeway either side of focus, so I'm good to go. Now I can go ahead and download my trial copy of Backyard EOS, and see if it runs in Windows 7 under VMWare Fusion on my Macbook Pro.

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tim53
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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5950182 - 07/01/13 07:05 PM

So I was reading the F manual, and it hit me: Collimating this thing isn't rocket surgery. It might be a little more touchy than a fast newt, but it's basically the same procedure.

and the scope is engineered like a brick... ...it's well built!

Anyway, still have the collimation to do, but I think I'll wait for dark to do it while viewing a live image on the computer screen.

YES! I got Backyard EOS installed and it appears to work!

-Tim.


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tim53
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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5950208 - 07/01/13 07:24 PM

Well, that was easy:


Took less than 3 minutes to collimate (daylight). The secondary was off a tad and the primary push pull screws were all loose - no kidding. Why didn't I ever check those?

Anyway, I'll revisit fine-tuning at night.

-Tim.


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Dave M
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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5950266 - 07/01/13 07:56 PM

Looking forward to seeing your results tonight.

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tim53
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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: Dave M]
      #5950270 - 07/01/13 07:58 PM

Weird, too. It's CLEAR! We're usually getting thunderboomers around this time of the afternoon.

...it's hot, too!

-Tim.


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Chuck Hards
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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5950444 - 07/01/13 10:08 PM

Totally overcast up here. It moved in quickly.

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tim53
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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: Chuck Hards]
      #5950594 - 07/01/13 11:51 PM

I've got clouds low on the north horizon, but rest of the sky is crystal clear.

Just got polar aligned and checked out the star images visually. Seems to be pretty good, especially compared to last night! But I think I'll get the camera hooked up sooner rather than later to make sure.

-Tim.


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tim53
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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5950629 - 07/02/13 12:23 AM

Now I'm embarrassed again because I don't know where my images go when I take them. Yet.

My first image ever with BackyardEOS and the Canon T1i was a 60 second exposure on Deneb. No processing at all. PINPOINT STARS RIGHT TO THE CORNERS!

I'm a Cappy Hamper!

-Tim.


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tim53
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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5950645 - 07/02/13 12:49 AM Attachment (29 downloads)

Here's a drastically reduced image of the Deneb region. Two minute exposure at 800 ISO. No darks or flats.

Of course, it's reduced in size, but the stars really are pinpoint to the corners!


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tim53
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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5950647 - 07/02/13 12:51 AM

Boy do I feel like an idiot. That's Vega, not Deneb!

-Tim.


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Dave M
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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5950650 - 07/02/13 12:58 AM

That looks Tak-alicious, Nice work Tim

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Steve_M_M
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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5950668 - 07/02/13 01:17 AM

Fantastic image Tim. I am out tonight doing some imaging too. A bit different though as I have my 60mm f20 Goto piggybacked on my 12" LX200 with a Mallincam Extreme in the Goto. You are seeing "all the sky" and I am seeing "a teeny tiny bit of sky". Clouds are rolling in here too, so I am packing up.

I love those Taks you acquired


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tim53
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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: Steve_M_M]
      #5950706 - 07/02/13 02:20 AM Attachment (21 downloads)

Oh wow.

I still need to figure out how best to set the ISO on the T1i and acquire darks to subtract from the good stuff, but this is fun!

So here's a way cropped, way downsized pic of M10:


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Rich (RLTYS)Moderator
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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5950811 - 07/02/13 06:29 AM

Quote:

Here's a drastically reduced image of the Deneb region. Two minute exposure at 800 ISO. No darks or flats.

Of course, it's reduced in size, but the stars really are pinpoint to the corners!




Tim, a beautiful image of Vega but I was wondering about that long curved object (nebula?) to the lower left of Vega. What is it?

Rich (RLTYS)


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Chuck Hards
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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: Rich (RLTYS)]
      #5950854 - 07/02/13 07:33 AM

I'm still seeing a bit of streaking running up-and-down on the cropped pic.

But a great shot anyway!


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Chuck Hards
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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: Rich (RLTYS)]
      #5950855 - 07/02/13 07:36 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Here's a drastically reduced image of the Deneb region. Two minute exposure at 800 ISO. No darks or flats.

Of course, it's reduced in size, but the stars really are pinpoint to the corners!




Tim, a beautiful image of Vega but I was wondering about that long curved object (nebula?) to the lower left of Vega. What is it?

Rich (RLTYS)




I see it on the right side, too, with Vega dead-center on the tangent. I'm betting it's a reflection artifact, I don't have an atlas handy now to check on nebulosity.


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Dave M
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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: Chuck Hards]
      #5950978 - 07/02/13 09:36 AM

I tend to stick to ISO 800 on my canon 60D. 800 to 1600
is a good range to stick to, the noise in the image will
also be a lot worse imaging in the heat your imaging in.
That also looks like a reflection to me, from what i`m not sure but it looks like half a circle on the lower half of the image, so that might be a clue.
Darks, just put the body cap on the camera and take some shots at the same exposure length and ISO as the lights.
I like Images Plus software for image processing, its a little expensive but well worth it.


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tim53
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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: Rich (RLTYS)]
      #5951035 - 07/02/13 10:16 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Here's a drastically reduced image of the Deneb region. Two minute exposure at 800 ISO. No darks or flats.

Of course, it's reduced in size, but the stars really are pinpoint to the corners!




Tim, a beautiful image of Vega but I was wondering about that long curved object (nebula?) to the lower left of Vega. What is it?

Rich (RLTYS)




I think it's a ghost reflection from the star on one of the corrector elements? It didn't seem to move, so I don't think it was stray light from one of the neighbors' porch lights or anything like that.

-Tim.


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tim53
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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5951052 - 07/02/13 10:21 AM

Yeah, I can see elongation to the stars if I shoot over a minute. I did try one at 5 minutes for hoots, and it's smeared. 2 minutes worked okay, but 1 wasn't bad.

I should probably try piggybacking my Scorpion camera with a 70-200mm Quantaray lens as a guide scope and guide manually. I can piggyback it okay, but I am worried a little about flexure, because the lens and camera are hanging off a 1/4-20 bolt about an inch above the mount.

-Tim.


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tim53
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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5951056 - 07/02/13 10:22 AM

It's warm at night here. Probably mid 70s. So plenty of noise in the camera.

-Tim.


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tim53
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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5951392 - 07/02/13 01:53 PM Attachment (22 downloads)

So here's a heavily cropped stack of 5 one minute subs of the western Veil. I subtracted darks and applied a faked flat field correction to the files and realigned them all in Photoshop.

Since I don't have photoshop on my own laptop, I tethered it to my work laptop and processed it there. I'm just not familiar enough with Nebulosity to do it in there, and I don't own any other dedicated deep sky image processing software.

I shot these at 3200 ISO, which is too much, especially since it's been warm at night here. I did notice some drift in most of the images, so I'll want to figure out how to guide with the stuff I have with me.


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Dave M
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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5951792 - 07/02/13 05:40 PM

Looks real nice Tim
Ive had great success guiding my Tak FSQ106 with a Orion starshoot autoguider and Stellarvue 50mm guider/finder scope, running PHD Guide.


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tim53
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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: Dave M]
      #5951899 - 07/02/13 06:57 PM

I've used PhD a couple of times and like it. Also Astro IIDC can use a firewire camera for guiding.

Problem is that the EM-1 mount is too old to have a guider port, so I'll have to guide manually. But I can use one of the other cameras to display a live view and use software crosshairs to guid with in RA at least. I think my drift has all been PE rather than Dec. But I brought a flex cable from my Super Polaris mount to use in place of the rigid one on the tangent arm dec if I need to guide in dec manually. Hope the cable fits the Tak shaft! I guess I should find out, huh?

-Tim.


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Dave M
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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5951908 - 07/02/13 07:02 PM

Woops! i didnt even think about it not having a guider port.
Sounds like you have a good plan though..


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tim53
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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: Dave M]
      #5951916 - 07/02/13 07:09 PM

Well I do hate guiding manually! At least if I use a camera I can be reasonably comfortable while I guide!

I'm still trying to find software to let me control the Panasonic GF3 camera from the laptop. It has a decent live view mode that would probably work if there was software to control it via the USB cable, like for the Canon.

I have a DSI Pro III camera I'd like to use as well, since I added a manual shutter and orion filter wheel to it. But I checked and it won't fit the Tak adapters, and the 1 1/4" eyepiece adapter puts it to far out to reach focus - unless I use a barlow. But then, I've got a bigger guiding problem.

-Tim.


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Dave M
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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5951933 - 07/02/13 07:19 PM

Dont you just hate when one solution creates another problem

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tim53
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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: Dave M]
      #5952336 - 07/03/13 12:12 AM

K, so tonight I rigged up at my wife's archaeo site south of town, so the students could take a look at some faint fuzzies.

Figures though. When my wife came to the house to get cleaned up, she said everybody was waiting for me. But as I was setting up, they were heading in to the bar in town.

No worries. It's a wonderful night out. Clouds to the north again and a big fire in the Black Mts to the southeast (might be a controlled burn). At least the smoke is t blowing this way!

Back to setting up.


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Chuck Hards
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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5952622 - 07/03/13 07:34 AM

The Black Mtns. fire is wild, and estimated at 750 acres as of this morning.

http://www.utahfireinfo.gov/

Tim, is your wife an archeology professor? Some of my college friends (and a roommate, for a while) were arch. majors and I used to tag-along with them on field school, back in the late '70's and early '80's. Sometimes they'd do contract work in the summer too, and I would show-up with my tent when they had a few days off. I'd bring my telescope along though most folks were too drunk & wasted by the time it got dark enough to do any observing. I visited sites from northern California, through Nevada, and into central and southern Utah. Pretty much the whole Great Basin. It was then that I got my introduction to the concept of the "sweat lodge". Ah, the memories!

My sister got her BS and Master's in arch. & anthro at the UofU, then went into social work & teaching, but she still misses the digs.


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tim53
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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: Chuck Hards]
      #5952989 - 07/03/13 12:01 PM

It's weird because it seems every year or so there's a big fire there. I love the drive through there, though it is one of the more dangerous stretches of highway. Not because it's particularly steep and mountainous, but because it's just steep and winding enough that people go too fast and lose control on the curves. In the 40 years I've been driving out here, we've come across a few accidents. One a few years ago a gal was driving too fast at night and went off the side of the road and down a slope. She wasn't hurt, but it took me and a couple other guys who stopped about a half hour to get her car back up on the road.

At night, but particularly in the winter, the deer like to graze right on the highway after one of the blind curves. Even I've had to hit the brakes harder than I'd like on more than one occasion, and I know better!

Yes, my wife teaches at Pasadena City College. She was born in Milford, and came here to visit her grandparents during the summers. Her dad was military, so Milford was the most like "home" to her, growing up.

It's been my experience, as well, that archaeologists have a tendency to partake of the inebriants more even than geologists (and I always thought we were "bad"). At least the youngsters.

Last night, the students came back within about an hour while I was just getting ready to take my first image sequence, so I didn't want to take the camera off and plunk in an eyepiece. But they seemed fascinated by the detail I could pull out of M51 with the Canon. We moved to a couple other objects and then I did take the camera off to show them some visuals. I thought they'd stay up a while longer, but they went to their tents right after that. About midnight.

I stayed until about 1am, when the clouds obscured most of the sky. I had just gotten my Scorpion camera set up with a 70-200mm zoom as a guide scope, and guided a 5 minute exposure of M51 through the Epsilon. Saturation was looking good, but my focus had slipped! I was going to try again, so I had to move to a bright star to focus. When I did, I realized that the clouds were thickening. By the time I was back to M51, it was getting pretty bad, so I packed it in.

At least I know I can guide this thing manually. I didn't even try the Vixen flex cable on the dec slow motion. The mount was steady enough that my adjusting the slow motion knob didn't jar the telescope.

-Tim.


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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5953230 - 07/03/13 02:19 PM

Tim,

Sounds like you have a good start with the little 130.

Congratulations - I would love to have one of the little Tak astrographs. I have been drooling at the Tak Epsilon 180ED, but boy are those things pricey!

Greg


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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: gmartin02]
      #5953245 - 07/03/13 02:26 PM

Greg:

It's a joy to play with! I still need to tweak the collimation some. But I was surprised at how easy it is to guide manually. The mount is really steady. I kept thinking, "how the heck do they expect you to take good astrophotos with a manual dec on a short solid shaft?" But it doesn't shake!

-Tim.


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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5953258 - 07/03/13 02:32 PM

There are two other fires to your northeast. I can smell smoke up north here so wonder if the winds are shifting more out of the south. It was out of the west last night, and looking at the circulation pattern, Milford was just about dead-center in the low.

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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: Chuck Hards]
      #5953990 - 07/03/13 10:56 PM

It's not looking good for tonight. Sky is probably about 80% overcast, though a lot if the overhead stuff is moderate to thin. Weather app says its going to stay cloudy until about sunup. I won't wait up! Got the parade tomorrow, then we're going to Lehman Caves, and then Milford has a great fireworks display after dark.

Then its two more nights before I head home.

Tim


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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5954008 - 07/03/13 11:02 PM

The Black Mtn fire apparently died down during the day, but its making quite a plume now. Judging from the cloud, the winds aloft must be to the south southwest. I've been watching the clouds over us and if they're moving at all, it's also slowly to the south. That's not good because the thicker clouds are to the north.

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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5954029 - 07/03/13 11:20 PM

I have tomorrow off, so of course its totally socked-in up here.

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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: Chuck Hards]
      #5954585 - 07/04/13 10:46 AM

Wow Tim, lightning and 1/2 inch of soaking rain last night! The first precipitation I've had in over a month. Good for the lawn, but the scope stayed indoors. What was the weather in Milford last night?

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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: Chuck Hards]
      #5954615 - 07/04/13 11:24 AM

Well, I gave up around 10pm and came back to the house without setting up the scope. When I got back, it was cloudy here, but when I turned in around 12:30, I looked outside and it was maybe 50% clear. I was too tired to set up by then, and when I got up this AM it was cloudy again. It's partly cloudy now, but I don't know what's in the plan for tonight yet.

-Tim.


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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5954640 - 07/04/13 11:40 AM

I just checked the rain gauge and it reads a bit over 1". It was a real soaker and totally unexpected, as the cloud base was pretty high at sunset last night.

Hopefully you'll get some clear skies tonight, Tim.


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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: Chuck Hards]
      #5955477 - 07/05/13 01:09 AM Attachment (7 downloads)

I'm totally socked in tonight. Forecast is for partial cloudy at 5am and sunny most of tomorrow, with partial clouds again beginning around sunset and clearing up toward midnight.

So there may be a chance for tomorrow, but definitely not tonight.

We took my wife's class to Lehman Caves today, and there was a big sign up for a star party put on by the NPS tonight and tomorrow night. They had a couple coronados, a Lunt (I think, but it was black) and a Meade 12" SCT set up for solar right outside the cave entrance. Several of the students and I took a look, and I chatted with the ranger volunteers for a few minutes before we went on our tour of the cave.

By the time we left at about 6pm, it was completely socked in, so they're not observing tonight! ...but nether am I.

So, since I can't take pictures of the sky and we all know what the underside of clouds look like, how about a picture from under a bunch of rocks? With a bloody iPhone, no less!


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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5956792 - 07/05/13 09:53 PM

I'm going to give it one last shot tonight, before heading home tomorrow.

I actually poked my head outside around 1am last night and saw that there was about 50% clearing, but with thin clouds in most of the holes.

This evening, it's about 50% clear, with patchy thunderboomers in the distance. We got hailed on early this afternoon.

Tonight's forecast went from partly cloudy for an hour or so past sunset to partly cloudy until midnight. But my experience tells me that it's probably worth going down to the site and setting up anyway, just in case. I can always rig down and come back to the house and stare at my eyelids for a few more hours before the drive home.

-Tim.


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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5956858 - 07/05/13 10:51 PM



Can't wait. The images have been amazing. At CSPAMP you and I will have to set up the imaging corner


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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: Steve_M_M]
      #5956874 - 07/05/13 11:03 PM

Deal!

Well I got to the site early so I don't have to set up in the dark. My wife and the students went to the nearest movie theater to celebrate their last day in the field. They should be back here within the half hour. I also set up the meade 390 so theres something for them to gee whiz through if im imaging, though they had fun watching me the other night. That is, if theres anything to see.

It looks really bad right now, with maybe a 5% sky sucker hole above the southwest horizon. But maybe we'll see Venus and or Saturn through the sucker hole.

Tim


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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5956881 - 07/05/13 11:06 PM

Tim, I just watched the weather on TV and it looks like you might get a break if you can hold-out just a bit longer. Seems to be clearing in the Milford area, and nothing to the west of you.

Partial clearing up here but another storm is moving in in the next hour or two. This weekend is a total washout for northern Utah.


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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5956889 - 07/05/13 11:10 PM

Well the western sucker hole appears to slowly be growing, though there are high clouds scattered in it. The rest of the sky is bad, particularly to the north where a huge not-quite-thunderhead is hanging. It was calm before but now its starting to get breezy. I hope it isn't the air rushing toward the cloud. Haven't set up the Tak yet. But I will soon before it gets too dark.

Tim


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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5956896 - 07/05/13 11:15 PM

Okay! I'll hang in there!

It's dark enough twilight now that I should see Venus if there was t one of those horizon hugger clouds that way. I did get to see the sunset though, so maybe Venus will pop out for a bit before it takes that final plunge.

Tim


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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5956898 - 07/05/13 11:16 PM

Patience, I think you'll be rewarded tonight. I'm thinking good thoughts for you.

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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5956899 - 07/05/13 11:16 PM

Got Venus! Needed to look up a little higher.

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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5956904 - 07/05/13 11:21 PM

Heck, Ive got more like 20% clearing, coming in from the west.

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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5956962 - 07/06/13 12:09 AM

It's about 50% clear now, but the wind is picking up. Mussed my hair and everything.

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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5956986 - 07/06/13 12:35 AM

I've still got clouds. But the wind died down and it's dark, so I'm going to get the cameras set up.

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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5956991 - 07/06/13 12:40 AM

Mussed hair at the eyepiece can be a big deal for me! I cut it last year and donated it to Locks of Love (it was about 18" long at the time), but instantly regretted it (the haircut, not the donation). I'm back to about 10" long now and going for a Personal Best in about another year!

I've sported a buzz most of my working career, but with retirement only single-digit years away, I'm returning to my high-school look. It's kind of nice being the only guy at the reunions with the same hair (or hair at all, lol).


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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: Chuck Hards]
      #5956995 - 07/06/13 12:44 AM

Well, it's still totally overcast up here with thunder in the distance, and occassional rain. I'm headed off to bed and giving up. Good luck, Tim!

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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: Chuck Hards]
      #5957032 - 07/06/13 01:49 AM

I used to get my hair cut every 3 years. Whether it needed it or not!

The students came over and wanted to look for a out an hour, so I've only gotten to maybe imaging. Going to out the canon on in a bit and give it a try. It's getting rather cool out so I'm putting my sweatshirt on too!


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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5957520 - 07/06/13 01:09 PM

I must have futzes around for about an hour trying to figure out why backyard EOS couldn't connect the camera. Until one time when I restarted the computer and plugged in the camera, I saw iPhoto opening up. So iPhoto was automatically connecting the camera so byeos couldn't! A downside to running everything on a Mac.

After that I was able to get some decent images of M31 to process when I get home. I may post a sample raw for boots before I hit the road.

Tim


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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5958409 - 07/07/13 02:07 AM Attachment (11 downloads)

Got home a few hours ago and haven't had much chance to fiddle with the images I took last night (well, this morning). So here's a sample. This was cropped somewhat from a 5 minute guided shot of M31 with the Canon T1i on the 130. No darks or flats or stuff. Haven't quite figured out how to do that with the Gimp, which is on this computer. They have a new version 2.8 which seems very capable. It even has a box for opening a dark frame, but I couldn't get it to work when I tried a bit ago.

Time for bed. That's a long drive!


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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5958568 - 07/07/13 08:11 AM

Looks good to me.

Rich (RLTYS)


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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: Rich (RLTYS)]
      #5958648 - 07/07/13 09:54 AM

I`de agree, looks good Tim

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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: Dave M]
      #5958767 - 07/07/13 11:25 AM

Thats beautiful Tim.

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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: actionhac]
      #5963650 - 07/10/13 08:20 AM

Great thread, Tim. I still have a strong desire for a Tak Epsilon and your photos show what wonderful older astrograph can do.

Da Bear


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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: Da Bear]
      #6062730 - 09/04/13 01:49 PM Attachment (10 downloads)

Set up the 130 last night in Milford, in the back yard behind the house in town.

Got some potentially interesting stuff. My trial period on Backyard EOS expired, so I couldn't use the Canon (bought it, but didn't get the key code until this morning). And I didn't have an adapter for the Panasonic Lumix GF3. ...so I "made one" out of duct tape, I kid you not.

First focus test image on a random starfield in or around Lyra:


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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #6062735 - 09/04/13 01:52 PM

Tim, any idea what that arc is near the top of the frame?

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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #6062738 - 09/04/13 01:53 PM Attachment (12 downloads)

I shot a bunch of the Pleiades, trying out various ISO settings. I get decent low noise if I keep the ISO at 800, but the nebulosity doesn't quite come through. At 1600, it's decent, but I'm going to have to coad several frames to beat that noise down. The GF3 has in camera noise reduction that I don't know how to turn off (if I wanted to).

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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #6062746 - 09/04/13 01:58 PM Attachment (10 downloads)

I didn't do any guiding, and although I see drift between frames (so I know I wasn't polar aligned as well as I had thought), the stars don't trail much in a minute exposure (the maximum possible with the GF3).

I took a shot of M33 when it was near the zenith and PAINFUL to center in the finder! When I tried to recenter, it was too hard so I moved on to another object. Based on this single exposure with ISO 1600, I wish I'd stayed and taken more frames! I notice now, looking at the image in detail, that my "duct tape camera adapter" must have been sagging, because the stars are out of focus on the right, and I collimated the scope before the session.


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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: Chuck Hards]
      #6062752 - 09/04/13 02:02 PM

Quote:

Tim, any idea what that arc is near the top of the frame?




I was right under the telephone cable to the house. It was probably a reflection off of it, though I don't know why it's so curved. I did notice a couple times during the night that if someone were driving near by, I'd get a faint reflection off their headlights off the wire. That and distant lightning.

It was an amazing night. Dead calm, perfectly clear skies to the horizon (thunderboomers were really far away, so I only saw the flashes), and shirt-sleeve until about 3am! Doesn't happen in Milford all that often - where we use an anvil hanging on a chain for a wind sock!

-Tim.


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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #6065495 - 09/06/13 01:16 AM Attachment (9 downloads)

So here's that set of 5 Pleiades shots stacked in Photoshop. I have out of focus stars in these, too. Guess I won't be using the Duct Tape Field Adapter (DTFA) again soon!

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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #6065645 - 09/06/13 06:37 AM

Great images.

Rich (RLTYS)


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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: Rich (RLTYS)]
      #6065723 - 09/06/13 08:23 AM

nice shots, even without everyting working in perfect concert you were able to get good results. That's where skill comes in, being able to get meximum performance using what you have, despite having to futz with the equipment.

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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: dgreyson]
      #6065805 - 09/06/13 10:06 AM

What's humorous is that I can't find any adapters for the micro 4/3rds camera to a telescope in a quick google search - other than the lame clampy gizmoids that attach it afocally to an eyepiece. I want to go prime focus (need to with the 130 anyway).

So I think I'm going to order a few extra body caps and bore holes in them to attach tubes to get me 1 1/4", 2" and Epsilon 130 adapters for the camera.

-Tim.


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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #6065904 - 09/06/13 10:55 AM

Tim, nice photos. Just curious, do you have a photo of your Duck Tape adapter?

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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: madeline]
      #6065923 - 09/06/13 11:04 AM Attachment (11 downloads)

Ah yes! The DTFA:

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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #6065925 - 09/06/13 11:06 AM

It was sorta hard to photograph because it was dark, and because it no longer existed when I rigged down for the night (I think I threw the wad of duct tape away).

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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #6065958 - 09/06/13 11:28 AM

Whatever works.

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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #6066899 - 09/06/13 09:39 PM

Quote:

What's humorous is that I can't find any adapters for the micro 4/3rds camera to a telescope in a quick google search - other than the lame clampy gizmoids that attach it afocally to an eyepiece. I want to go prime focus (need to with the 130 anyway).

So I think I'm going to order a few extra body caps and bore holes in them to attach tubes to get me 1 1/4", 2" and Epsilon 130 adapters for the camera.

-Tim.




Hello Tim, I sent you a PM for what you are looking for. You will just have to add a M42 T-Mount 2" Adapter such as one from Baader. Astro-Physics also make a very nice 2" adapter as well.

Stephen


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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: Stargoat]
      #6066999 - 09/06/13 11:04 PM


Man, I'm getting old!! I just read my first post on this thread and see that I did mount the gf3 on the Tak and I'd completely forgotten! And it was only a couple months ago!

(I like to tell the grad students, when they think I've just said something really smart, that "I've forgotten more than you'll ever learn")

So maybe that t-ring adapter you mentioned will work after all, Stephen!

It's been really hot today, and it was a long day, so I'll have to check things out in the morning to verify before I start ordering stuff.

Tim


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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #6067258 - 09/07/13 05:30 AM

Beautiful scope there Tim, and again its testament to the belief that all things can be solved with duct tape

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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: checksum]
      #6180789 - 11/07/13 11:08 AM Attachment (8 downloads)

So I was out last night with the 130 and a pile of "new" old Konica lenses, to experiment with figuring out which will be best for AP. Seeing was so so, but I wasn't shooting planets. Lots of high cirrus, so not very transparent. And, of course, I'm only 7 miles north of downtown L.A. In a white zone, or very close to it.

"the white zone is for loading an unloading of passengers..."

But the scope looked so cool, I had to take a pic. Well, I intended to take a picture of every lens I tested on the scope, but the battery in my iphone died before I changed lenses.

Here's the scope with the Konica 135mm/f3.2 lens on the GF3, mounted piggyback on the Tak with a ball mount.


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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #6180794 - 11/07/13 11:10 AM Attachment (7 downloads)

'Nother view

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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #6180802 - 11/07/13 11:19 AM

Looks good, Tim. What's the camera-to-telescope mount you're using? Can't quite make it out in the photos.

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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #6180842 - 11/07/13 11:40 AM

I didn't take any shots through the scope for a couple reasons: 1) it wasn't really dark, so there was no point! 2) I seem to have dislocated my camera adapter for the 130. I've seen it somewhere recently, so it's not lost. I just couldn't remember where I had it last. I'd need to take the Canon ring out of the Tak adapter to run the Panasonic, but I probably will just use the Canon for imaging through the Tak, since the Panny can't take bulb exposures.

I was pleasantly surprised by the results I got, though. Most of the problems I had focusing, which were minor only, was picking the best focus position. One of the lenses in particular - the 35-100mm f/2.8 Konica Varifocal (a real monster with a 3" front element) - would give me red stars *just* one side of best focus, so I'd go back and forth to find the best position. It gave really sharp stars to the corners of the field, though, at both extreme FL settings (after writing this, I decided to process a sequence of 5 frames in Astro IIDC, and there is coma toward the corners, but it's not to eggregious for f/2.8!).

I'll post samples, but probably mostly in the DSLR forum.

-Tim.


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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: Chuck Hards]
      #6180852 - 11/07/13 11:43 AM

Quote:

Looks good, Tim. What's the camera-to-telescope mount you're using? Can't quite make it out in the photos.




It's an old ball mount. Either Exakta or Zeiss (if they made parts like that). But don't quote me. I'll look it up when I go out to my shop later.

-Tim.


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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #6180875 - 11/07/13 11:56 AM Attachment (7 downloads)

Actually, squozen down from 4000 pixels wide to only 800, this looks pretty good. Single 13" frame, processed in Astro IIDC and resized in Preview to fit this page:

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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #6180880 - 11/07/13 11:57 AM

Brightest star is Vega, with epsilon Lyrae to the upper right of Vega.

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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #6180893 - 11/07/13 12:04 PM

What lens?

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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #6180902 - 11/07/13 12:10 PM Attachment (5 downloads)

The Soligor 200mm f/3.5 lens has sharper stars in the corners than the Konica Varifocal (which is much worse at 35mm than at 100mm):

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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: Chuck Hards]
      #6180908 - 11/07/13 12:12 PM

Quote:

What lens?




The lens in the pic with the scope is a Konica 135mm f/3.2 that I bought with the Konica SLR rig at the Pasadena swap meet on Sunday. I'll have to verify, but I think the 135mm f/3.5 Konica lens I've used before is a tad sharper. But I might not have been in best focus last night.

-Tim.


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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #6180935 - 11/07/13 12:21 PM Attachment (7 downloads)

It may not look like it, but I think the Konica 200mm f/3.5 has a tad less coma than the Soligor. Problem is, the Konica frames aren't in best focus. But at 800 pixels wide, (80% reduction), it's hard to see. Mainly shows as a halo around Vega:

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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #6180946 - 11/07/13 12:28 PM Attachment (11 downloads)

Here's the view with the Konica 135mm f/3.2 that's shown in the pic with the scope above. At full resolution, the stars are pretty nice and sharp all across the frame. I like this lens. I should do some critical comparisons between it and the 135mm f/3.5 that I found at the swap meet several months ago.

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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #6180999 - 11/07/13 12:52 PM

Nice work Tim. That's pretty darned good for 7 miles from downtown LA.

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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: terraclarke]
      #6181022 - 11/07/13 01:01 PM

Terra, no doubt! In my book, 7 miles from downtown is still pretty much right in LA. Tim has a Zen/Karma thing working for him, I'm convinced.

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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: Chuck Hards]
      #6181027 - 11/07/13 01:05 PM

I should post a raw frame!

My first attempt to take a 60" exposure of Lyra with the 135mm at f3.2 gave me a white screen. 20" was still too long, but 15" (with the first 2" or so lost to "the hat trick") worked well enough.

Tim


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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #6181044 - 11/07/13 01:16 PM

It's not a white hat, is it?

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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: Chuck Hards]
      #6187248 - 11/10/13 06:08 PM Attachment (6 downloads)

Quote:

Looks good, Tim. What's the camera-to-telescope mount you're using? Can't quite make it out in the photos.




Here it is in the daytime. It's a "Stroboframe" made in W Germany. I picked it up at Julian star fest this summer, right after buying a new Vixen ball mt from one of the vendors. Figured I'd keep both.


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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #6187254 - 11/10/13 06:12 PM

I need to find the vixen ball mt and the adapter for putting the canon onto the 130. I put them away someplace safe, because I can't find them!

Tim


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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #6187264 - 11/10/13 06:16 PM

This morning, I was looking at those images I took through the camera lenses, and was surprised that I picked up 13.4 magnitude stars with the 135mm f/3.2 in those ~13 second exposures with the Panasonic Lumix gf3 set at 160 ISO! Damn!

Tim


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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #6187324 - 11/10/13 06:46 PM Attachment (4 downloads)

I also swapped the Tak adapter out of the canon mount and out in place of the t thread insert to the m 4/3 adapter and it works! Here it is set up for the obligatory hazy afternoon shot of downtown LA, to make sure I can reach focus with it.

This is such a better way to image with this scope than a dslr, because the panny is so much smaller and lighter than the canon.

What I'd like to do is get a full frame mirror less camera, like one of the new sony alpha 7s for this. But the canon D6 is cheaper! It doesn't have a tiltable LCD screen, but for the epsilon or one of my newts, I don't need that, since I can rotate the tube to get it accessible. I also have backyard eos, so I wouldn't need the screen anyway while imaging with a canon.


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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #6187386 - 11/10/13 07:31 PM

So I have a few minutes before dinner so I cut some black felt strips to add to the lens cap so the bloody thing doesn't fall off anymore!

I'm going to take a fee lunar shots with it too, but probably after dinner.

Tim


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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #6187465 - 11/10/13 08:22 PM

That's a clean setup, Tim. You can tell just by looking at it that it weighs less than the DSLR.

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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #6187468 - 11/10/13 08:24 PM

Thanks for the detail shot. I'm guessing that it stays where you put it, and doesn't creep, otherwise you wouldn't be using it.

Quote:

Quote:

Looks good, Tim. What's the camera-to-telescope mount you're using? Can't quite make it out in the photos.




Here it is in the daytime. It's a "Stroboframe" made in W Germany. I picked it up at Julian star fest this summer, right after buying a new Vixen ball mt from one of the vendors. Figured I'd keep both.




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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: Chuck Hards]
      #6187556 - 11/10/13 09:12 PM Attachment (8 downloads)

My first lunar shot with the E-130 and the GF3:

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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #6187561 - 11/10/13 09:15 PM

That was a single 1/500th second frame, cropped, sharpened a tad and saturated as much as Preview would let me.

I might try putting a 2x telextender in the loop, to get the moon bigger. I tried shooting movies at 1080p, but they're really small, so I must be doing something wrong.

-Tim.


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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #6187579 - 11/10/13 09:24 PM Attachment (5 downloads)

I used the Gimp to sharpen just a tad more and saturate the colors a bit more.

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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #6187581 - 11/10/13 09:25 PM

Looks like your seeing is pretty good, I bet you could easily push that past 2X. How are you focusing? That looks good too, at least on my screen.

Excellent shot.

I was thinking of shooting the moon tonight myself, but I'll be in bed in about 45 minutes. Have to get up at 4 AM tomorrow. No holiday for me.


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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: Chuck Hards]
      #6187598 - 11/10/13 09:39 PM Attachment (5 downloads)

Well, I get jpeg artifacts when I do that. Will be going back outside after a bit and I'll try to set the camera to take raw or tiff files.

Here's a different frame, slightly different processing, full scale (if it's not too big).


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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #6187604 - 11/10/13 09:41 PM Attachment (6 downloads)

And with more color saturation:

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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #6187610 - 11/10/13 09:43 PM

That's starting to show artifacts. I had to compress it more.

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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #6187882 - 11/11/13 01:16 AM Attachment (3 downloads)

Just came in from taking 50 frames of the Double Cluster. I set the ISO to 800, but still had to keep the exposures to 10 seconds each. I downloaded them as 16-bit Tiff files to my Mac, and used Astro IIDC to assemble them into a "movie" so I could let it align and stack them. This is the cropped result, resized to fit the file size limit to post.

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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #6187887 - 11/11/13 01:23 AM

Picked up fainter than 15th magnitude stars.

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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #6223308 - 11/29/13 12:23 PM Attachment (10 downloads)

So, over Thanksgiving Eve, I was out at Cosmic Acres. I figured I'd fiddle with some AP while the weather was still good. And it was! It was cold and clear. Probably in the 40s, but I didn't measure it. I just put my bunny suit and a heavy coat on and all but my feet stayed toasty warm.

Took several shots through the Epsilon, including this surprising one of Comet Lovejoy just after it rose over the rocks and as the high clouds were thickening. I took this shot because I couldn't be sure I was looking at the comet in the finder, it was getting so obscured. So, this shot was to help me frame it in the Tak, in case I got a sucker hole placed just right. Well, I never did, so this was my "best" shot. I was actually surprised i saw it at all, since it wasn't visible in that part of the sky due to the thickening clouds. The original was pretty washed out. I did my best to stretch out the bright background without killing the comet too badly:


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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #6223345 - 11/29/13 12:41 PM

Very nice picture Tim. Wish my skies were darker so I could take nice pictures like that.

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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: starman876]
      #6223449 - 11/29/13 01:42 PM Attachment (11 downloads)

Here's one of M42. Stack of 4 frames, 1 min exposure each, 1600 ISO.

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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #6223460 - 11/29/13 01:47 PM Attachment (9 downloads)

And here's a fisheye view of Cosmic Acres, featuring the Tak E-130 illuminated by my computer screen (apparently). Taken with my old Nikon Coolpix 4500 with Fisheye converter. Exposure a few minutes long. The camera can take shutter exposures up to 8 seconds and bulb up to 5 minutes. But beyond 8 seconds, you have to hold the shutter button down the whole time! Which is why the stars wiggle, not just trail. My hand got tired before I got to 5 minutes, and I wasn't timing the exposure with a watch.

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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #6224670 - 11/30/13 07:19 AM

Great images. Wish I had a site like that to observe from.

Rich (RLTYS)


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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: Rich (RLTYS)]
      #6438056 - 03/30/14 04:48 PM

I just read the review of the new epsilon 130D in S&T that Dennis di Cicco writ up.

I feel so good now! Mine doesn't have the fine focuser (but I bet I can add one) and it doesn't have the "digitally-optimized" corrector (but I can upgrade, if I want), and it's not on a dovetail plate (don't need one, since I have an original mount). But it's still essentially NOS, came with a complete mount and an eyepiece and camera adapter. And with shipping was still under $2K - less than half the price of the new OTA as equipped for the review.

I don't think I'll change a thing, either. Granted, I haven't tried full-frame imaging with it (don't own a full-frame camera, except for a few film cameras), and I have yet to get "really serious" about AP with it, so I don't know whether I'd want to change the corrector at some point.

As for fine focusing, I can use one of my "Armstrong Microfocusers" (http://www.harborfreight.com/4-inch-ratchet-bar-clamp-spreader-46805.html, clamped to one of the focus knobs and used as a fingertip lever arm).

Plus, mine has the cool old Tak olive green color accents that match the EM-1 mount!

-Tim.


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Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #6438636 - 03/30/14 11:14 PM

Really nice pics, Tim!

- Bob


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