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Focal reducers and a LX200 12"GPS

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#26 greg

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 03:57 PM

6.3 & MFR-3 No spacers

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  • 2474590-6.3 & mfr3.jpg


#27 greg

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 03:58 PM

3.3 only Threaded Onto the Scope

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#28 greg

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 03:59 PM

3.3 & MFR-3 No Spacers

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  • 2474596-3.3  & MFR-3.jpg


#29 greg

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 04:01 PM

Jupiter and 2 Moons No reducer

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#30 greg

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 04:04 PM

Jupiter and 2 Moons No Reducer and Max Zoom

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  • 2474603-Jjupiter & 2 Moons Max zoom.jpg


#31 Jack Huerkamp

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 06:23 PM

All in one Place. What would have been nice would have been to add the 5mm ring to the MFR-3, then go to 10, then 15, then 20 and finally to 25 to see the effects of separating the CCD sensor from the MFR-3 lens.

Thanks, Greg


Posted Image

Jack

#32 greg

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 11:46 PM

Hey Jack Thanks for putting the images all on one page....
Much easier to compair them.

The 3.3 and MFR-3 combo yielded a very low power wide FOV.... Any Idea what F/ratio it was????

The front lens of the MFR-3 was spaced about 1.25" (just a guess here) from the Meade 3.3.

I will try this combo on larger objects like M16 and M31 from the Golden State Star Party next new moon. Objects that have a lot of stars in the field to see if such a fast combo will be usable.

Greg

#33 cold space

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 03:45 AM

Thanks for the tests Greg,

1:Did you noticed any vignetting when using the MFR-3 and the 3.3?
2:Was the 3.3 used the one Meade still puts out now?
3:I take it using the 3.3 and the MFR-3 you would not be able to get focus if you tried to use a diagonal?
4: Can you get focus using just the Meade 3.3 reducer by itself and a diagonal and/or the Microfocuser as I would be happy to get that reduction using just the 3.3 and was wondering if the diagonal can still be used ?

Thanks again,

Matt.

#34 cold space

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 03:49 AM

Does anyone know what the different Focul ratio's Greg was achieving using his LX200 12 inch scope onthe above moon test shots using the different combinations of reducers?

Matt. :shrug:

#35 Jack Huerkamp

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 12:53 PM

Greg,

The moon is 1/2 degree and assuming that, the FOV with the F/3.3 and MFR-3 is about 0.7 degrees high by about 1 degree wide. The keep on DSOs will be vignetting in the corners that may become noticeable on longer exposures.

Jack

#36 greg

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 04:29 PM

Hey Matt,
I need to check out the 3.3 & MFR-3 combo on something other than the Moon, with longer exposures and stars across the FOV to check out how much vignetting there is.

Not sure if the 3.3 is the one still sold ... it's the series 4000 #07567.

I was not able to come to focus with the 3.3, micro focuser,a 1.25 diagonal, then MFR-3.... But may be if I remove the Micro focuser and use a zero clearance 1.25 adapter and a 1.25 diagonal????? I couldn't try this combo because I do not have a 1.25 visual back...

I believe we will be able to focus using only the 3.3 and a diagonal, and if we use a 1.25 diagonal with a zero clearance 2' to 1.25 adapter, we may still be able to use our Micro focusers.

The instructions that came with the Meade 3.3 claims F/3 using their spacer and camera.... I'm not sure what F/# I was running at going straight through but adding a diagonal is the same as adding spacers and should increase focal reduction...

If I can I'll try M51 tonight before the moon comes up... I'll try the 3.3 with the Micro focuser, zero clearance 1.25" adapter and a 1.25 diagonal ... also I'll try going from the micro focuser into my 2" diagonal using the zero clearance 1.25" adapter...

I think I will be satisfied with the 3.3 FOV. If I can get an image of M51 you'll see why... M51 was way to small for my liking... M101 or M33 may be nice with the 3.3. I can't wait to check out M16 with it...

Greg

#37 Gavin Bray

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Posted 23 June 2008 - 02:43 AM

Greg

I was curious as to why you seemed to get a greater reduction using the Meade F3.3 FR rather than the MFR-3 + 25mm ERs but then read that you had the micro-focuser between the FR and Mallincam. You may be getting more reduction than F3.3 with this setup. It will be interesting to see what a star field looks like.

Also, you're using an LX200 rather than an LX200R or ACF?

Gavin

#38 greg

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Posted 23 June 2008 - 10:25 AM

Hi Gavin,
My I'm using a 12" LX200GPS

Greg

#39 noisejammer

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 08:37 PM

Hey Greg

I'm not familiar with the Malincam, but I was able to use my LX200/12 at f/2.2 by rebuilding the f/3.3 reducer optics into a 2" tube, removing the visual back and inserting the reducer into the baffle tube. This eliminated the swing through problem (which is probably why you want to use a diagonal.

I selected the reduction by adjusting the separation of reducer and camera. IIRC, the usable field diameter was around 12 mm, although coma was bad at the edges. Operating at f/2.5 produced significantly better results. Be aware that focus is extremely critical.

If it helps, I later discovered that there's a commercial solution... http://www.ziplink.n...lester/FLR.html

clearest
Bruce, Toronto

#40 cold space

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 04:17 AM

Well Gavin and I did some testing the other night using my LX200r 12 inch and came across some intresting results. Using my MFR3 and 2 extension tubes we were getting down to around F5.5 with acceptable images that I thought till we put in Gavin's MFR4 and wow, this focal educer clearly out performs the MFR3 in both focal reduction and quality of image. We think the MFR4 wwas running at around F4.5 or thereabouts. So I am now going to order the optec 3.3 with the "c" adapter so I can attach it to the Mallincam. Has anyone else tried this reducer and the LX200 scope or with a Mallincam?, Optec state that the maximum chip size for the 3.3 maxfield reducer is 9mm and the Mallincam has an 8mm chip so I think this reducer will work fine.I read a report on Dr Clay testing the F3.3 optec reducer and he was using a LX200R 16 inch and he was getting a reduction of around F2.8,and on a older LX200 16 inch a reduction around F3 so if I can get F3 ish my camera will be running 9 times faster than native F10 and alot better than 4 times faster using the MFR3 at F5.5, can't wait to try but it will be two weeks to ship out this reducer from the US to Aust.I will be hoping to use this combination with my Star diagonal if I can get focus.Optec have a reputation for building fine reducers and this new maxfield next gen sounds good. Feel free to add any comments or experiences on this type of reducer and if you think I could still put the assembly of 3.3 reducer- c adapter- Mallincam into my star diagonal. I will go ahead and place my order next Monday if I hear no real issues.

Regards Matt.

#41 greg

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 11:43 PM

Hey Bruce,
A very interesting approach ... Thanks for the link.

I am dealing with so much smoke from the fires here in Cal. that I can't do any testing ...
last night I went outside to check conditions and the only stars I could see were VEGA, Arcturus, and the three stars that make up the handle of the Big Dipper...

I did some day time tests on a pine tree about 1/2 mile away... I used the Meade 3.3 treaded on to the scope, I tried a Celestron 1.25 SCT adapter and a 1.25 diagonal... It wouldn't focus... I tried a SCT 2" diagonal with a zero clearance 1.25" adapter and it still wouldn't focus.... With the bits and pieces I have the Meade 3.3 will only focus straight through.... and it will do that with or without the Meade Micro Focuser.

It will also focus straight through using the Meade 3.3 and the MFR-3 for a reduction probably in the F/1.5 to F/2 range, but I need a brake in the smoke before I can see how good or bad the image will be stacking all that glass to run so fast....
Like I said before... At this point it doesn't cost any more to give it a try... :O)

Thanks
Greg

#42 greg

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 12:08 AM

Matt,

It will be nice if you can figure out a way to use a diagonal with a 3.3 reducer... I'm looking forward to your results, hope you can post some images for us.

Here's a link comparing the older Maxfield 3.3 and the Meade 3.3... http://www.isomedia....al_reducers.htm

Looks like they both required about the same amount of back focus, and they both have pros and cons.

The new Maxfield 3.3 looks like a complete rework of the old design, much better, and even a lot better price too...

Please be sure to let us know how it works for you... And show us... ( Images Please )... :O)

Greg

#43 cold space

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 01:07 AM

No problem Greg,
I will get the Optec 3.3 reducer in the next 2 weeks and have ordered the "C" mount Mallincam adapter from Optec as well. It is a totally re-designed foul reducer and I will let you know when I have got it and done some tests. I will post some images when I get the reducer.

Matt.

#44 greg

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 04:28 PM

Thanks Matt,
I'm still waiting for the smoke to clear.... It doesn't look good for this New Moon..

Greg

#45 Jack Huerkamp

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 04:32 PM

If you could install a 2" diagonal first and then insert the f/3.3 focal reducer - and then somhow install a 2" to 1.25" adapter and MallinCam, you may get focus. The problem is by changing the f/10 light cone to f/3.3 at the rear of the tube, the focal point is moved closer to the tube.

Jack

#46 Jack Huerkamp

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Posted 29 June 2008 - 04:28 PM

Next weekend, I will experiment with the following setup:


Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

By having the F/3.3 focal reducer between the diagonal and the camera, it may be possible to achieve focus. Only testing will tell. Regarding the machined adapters shown in the photos, I had them made several years ago by a machinist. However, they can now be purchased from ScopeStuff.

Jack

#47 Gavin Bray

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 01:37 AM

Jack

I've read that the distance between the FR and CCD is critical. Does the 1.25" visual back provide the required separation to achieve a 0.33 focal reduction?

Gavin

#48 greg

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 02:51 AM

Jack,
I really think you are on to something here. It makes sense to place the focal reducer on that side of the diagonal..... I was separating the camera to far from the reducer by putting the diagonal between them.

I have about the same setup ready to test this weekend only instead of the 1.25" visual back I will place my Meade Micro focuser between the 2" diagonal and the MallinCam.

I know that the Micro focuser can add or reduce the space between the MallinCams Chip and the focal reducer and that will change how much focal reduction I end up with, But I'm not sure if my 12" SCT will have enough focuser travel to get the focal plane to the reducer.

A SCT 2" Diagonal may shorten the light path a little, and it would be nice to be able to remove the 2" barrel and thread the reducer right into the diagonal to shorten the path further.

Greg

#49 cold space

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 05:55 AM

Greg, you have to keep the focal reducer at the recommended space between the CCD and the reducer to get the required reduction. For the time been I have been using Rock's MFR3 attached to the camera and inserting into the 1.25 attachement of my 2 inch Meade diagonal on my 12 inch LX200R and have had no problems focusing it. I used Gavins MFR 4 last week and set it up the same way and it works a treat with the diagonal. The optec unit I am getting is a 2 inch lense and barrel and it slips straight into the 2 inch diagonal instead of a 2 inch eyepiece. Optec sell a "C" thread adapter which according to their parts list was designed for the Mallincam. So I can now go diagonal-optec 3.3 maxfield reducer-"C"adapter then Mallincam and they assured me I will get focus.(I better or I will be sending it back). This should get me down to around F3.3 as their adapter will keep the exact distance between the CCDof the Mallincam and the reducer.

The only thing that concerns me is the "R" optics are already corrected for coma at the edge of view and the optec reducer corrects for coma in the older LX200 scopes. I have seen a couple of images taken through the LX200R scope and the Meade .33 reducer and the optec one and it does slightly appear to introduce a little negative coma but that could be because of any number of things could have have been happening with focus etc and the images still look great to me and these were all done using a DSI camera and I am mainly into visual using the Mallincam video so am not too worried if I get a slight bit of coma as I am chasing faster optics.

The older optec 3.3 was designed for chips upto 9mm and now the new Max field goes to a 11mm chip and the Mallincam I think has a 8mm chip so the Mallincam chip will fit onto this extra field with room to spare so I hope this experiment works for my needs.

I will let you know once I get it and try out.

Matt.

#50 Chris Schroeder

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 07:13 AM

Looks interesting Jack, do you think the MFR-3 would work with this combination as well?


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