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March Challenge from Suk Lee

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#1 Echo

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Posted 21 February 2004 - 04:55 PM

Hello fellow wide-field film astrophotographers! For this month's challenge, we selected a target virtually anybody with a 35mm film camera will be able to shoot, the constellation LEO with Jupiter hanging just below.

In addition to the attractive composition, this target:
- is framed nicely by any 50mm "normal" lens, or any point-and-shoot set to "normal" zoom
- is available at a reasonable time (8pm California, 11pm Massachusetts)
- can be shot in mid-March when the moon is below the horizon
- does not require guiding - just polar align your mount and shoot

Attached is a composition chart showing what you can expect with a 50mm lens and suggested exposure table. In addition to straight shots of Leo and Jupiter, you might try adding some filters (star, haze, etc.) for additional effects.

Let's see what you can do!

Attached Files


 

#2 Suk Lee

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Posted 09 March 2004 - 05:19 PM

Folks:

For you dudes and dude-ettes in (now) sunny CA, starting tonight, the moon will be low enough, compared to Jupiter, that you can start shooting Jupiter and Leo at a reasonable time (like, 7:30 tonight).

For the folks in the Eastern US, it'll of course be much later but your sky will be nice and dark at 10:30.

Which reminds me of a joke:

"This just in from the CBC! The National Research Council has determined that the Earth will explode at 10 pm Eastern Standard Time! Half an hour later in Labrador!"

You have to be Canadian to get it.

Let's see those photos!

Cheers,
Suk


 

#3 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 09 March 2004 - 11:54 PM

This is neither film nor long exposure so it doesn't count, but I thought I'd see what I could whip up quickly tonight. The moon was starting to rise and there were some clouds in the area, so less than ideal conditions. Jupiter is really washed out due to the wide open aperture. Let's see what the film crew can come up with!

Posted Image

4 shots (ISO 200, F/2, 3 sec), stacked and processed in PS7, noise removal in Neat Image.
 

#4 Suk Lee

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Posted 10 March 2004 - 12:09 AM

Nice one!
 

#5 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 18 March 2004 - 01:06 AM

- is available at a reasonable time (8pm California, 11pm Massachusetts)

Darn, does that mean it'll be up in the middle of the day in Japan? :grin:

(I think you meant 8pm local time, wherever you are.)
 

#6 Suk Lee

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Posted 18 March 2004 - 02:53 AM

(I think you meant 8pm local time, wherever you are.)


Urk, yeah.
 

#7 Charlie Hein

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Posted 19 March 2004 - 12:02 PM

Suk: How much of a bracket offset would you suggest to use when shooting this? I'm considering hauling out my Canon EOS Elan IIe and trying this tonight. I always waste a ton of film when bracketing shots, so if you can provide a starting point from your experience, it would be a big help.

Charlie
 

#8 Suk Lee

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Posted 19 March 2004 - 01:55 PM

Charlie:

I just took a bunch of shots of 15 minutes @ f4 @ ISO200 and they came out nicely. While I have a f1.4 lens, it doesn't stop vignetting until f4!!

Depending on your sky, I'd try 7 @ f4, 15 @ f4, 30 @ f4, the latter if your sky is pretty dark. If your at a darksky site, you could probably do an hour at f4 and get nice big stars.

I'm not entering in the competition, but here's a link to what I got http://home.att.net/...ter_in_Leo.html

It's a stack of a regular unfiltered shot, and another through stacked Cokin diffusion filters.

Cheers,
Suk

PS, take two each, I *always* manage to catch a plane...
 

#9 Charlie Hein

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Posted 19 March 2004 - 05:39 PM

PS, take two each, I *always* manage to catch a plane...


Thanks for the tips... I'll never forget looking at the Sisters one night with my 2" 32mm, and having a plane fly right through the FOV. Startled me so bad I almost wet myself!

Charlie
 

#10 Charlie Hein

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Posted 20 March 2004 - 11:52 AM

Well, there's a reason why they *always* say, "It's not as easy as it looks". I'm totally unsure if I even got one good shot last night from the SLR. However, the night wasn't a total wash, because I learned how to cope with a problem. It's a good thing - now, instead of 10,000 things to figure out, I've only got 9,999!

My first problem to overcome was the piggyback mount on my Atlas tube ring. No matter what I did, the camera just would not snug up on the mount as is. Gravity isn't just a suggestion - it's the law - so somewhere within a minute or two of opening the shutter, the camera would shift off target, ruining the shot.

Fortunately, just before I succumbed to the urge to toss the SLR into the neighbor's pool, I was struck with the thought that I might be able to use the head from my trusty pan-tilt tripod to get a more solid base for the camera.

To my delight, I found that the head is mounted to the post on the proper size screw, so I tried it out.

Success!

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Now, the mount isn't my excuse anymore! Onward and upward!

...maybe I'll make the December Challenge from Suk Lee!

Charlie
 

#11 Blueshark928

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Posted 22 March 2004 - 08:28 AM

Hi Charlie,

Awhile back at a small photoshop near home, I found a Manfrotto micro ball head that is an absolute joy to work with on top of my EQ-3 piggyback mount. It has a nice large wingnut to clamp the ball head and it holds like a vise. Very easy to aim. I would'nt recommend long focal length lenses with it however.

Heres a link

Manfrotto 3009 Micro ball head
 

#12 Charlie Hein

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Posted 23 March 2004 - 06:22 PM

Hi Charlie,

Awhile back at a small photoshop near home, I found a Manfrotto micro ball head that is an absolute joy to work with on top of my EQ-3 piggyback mount.


That's even better! Thanks for the link!

Charlie
 

#13 Blueshark928

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Posted 27 March 2004 - 12:35 AM

Hi All!

I finally got it together and managed to cobble together this my first ever piggyback widefield constellation shot. Its a 4 min unguided exposure on Kodak E200. I used an Olympus OM1n 35mm SLR w/Zuiko 50mm normal lens @ f1.8. The camera was mounted on top of my 120mm achromat and then the eq-3 mount was drift aligned untill an alignment star held for 10 minutes on a 9mm recticle crosshair mounted in a TV 2.5x Powermate. I scanned the negative (processed by a local pro shop - Penn Camera in Laurel, MD) into raw *tif format file with a Nikon Coolscan V ED. No preset levels. Just straight scan. Then using Paint Shop Pro 8,0 I adjusted curves, unsharp masked and threw on the border and text.

Any constructive criticism is welcome. Thanks for looking

Attached Files


 

#14 Suk Lee

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Posted 27 March 2004 - 01:54 AM

John:

:thewave: Great first piggyback - everything came together.

You might want to try f2.8 - you've got a little aberration in the corners. It's the rare lens that's going to be able to go sharp to the corners @ 1.8.

Best,
Suk
 

#15 Blueshark928

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Posted 27 March 2004 - 02:42 AM

Hi Suk,

Thanks so much! And thanks for the tip on the F-ratio. Heres another one i did 5 nights earlier (which means i got it backwards and this is really my first ever piggyback shot) only with my OM2n and a 28mm wide angle @ f4. The film was Kodak Elitechrome 400. Not much abberition as the 50mm f1.8. I think i like the Elitechrome 400 a little better. It required very little curves adjusting to the raw TIFF as it was pretty evenly dark blue. However since this was really my first attempt at guiding too, my stars are a little bloated. My drift alignment was not so good as on March 23rd and it was really windy. Mount was all over the place. I now see first hand the importance of a good drift polar alignment. My unguided shot with a larger lens with has much less bloating than my guided shot here.

I love this hobby.

Attached Files


 

#16 Suk Lee

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 01:02 PM

So, any other takers out there? We've extended the challenge to mid-April, and the winner of the challenge will have a guaranteed position in the May users' photo gallery.

Any more takers or is John K. the runaway winner?

Cheers,
Suk
 


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