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Camera Platform

astrophotography DIY equipment eq mount


Alen Koebel

Camera Platform

Back when I did film astrophotos I made a simple wooden platform for the Vixen GP-DX that allowed me to mount an 80mm guidescope and two 35mm film cameras, one with a 300mm f/4.5 telephoto lens. I used this setup to get wider-angle photos than I could get with my main telescope, with typical exposures up to 45 minutes and some one hour long. I did manual guiding at 112x but the GP-DX mount was so accurate (with PPEC training) I only had to look in the illuminated-reticle eyepiece occasionally to ensure good tracking. Most of the many wires in the photo are for Kendrick dewheaters attached to every objective lens. I still use the 80mm guidescope and the Vixen mount when I do prime-focus DSO imaging today. But for telephoto work this particular set-up has been completely replaced by a K-3II DSLR with Astrotracer and a 200mm lens mounted on a tripod. Apart from a dewheater on the lens's objective on humid nights and in the winter, that is all! Compare the images in my gallery taken with both setups. The images from the far simpler DSLR setup are superior.

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