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Show your eclipse setup!

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#1 Roel

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 05:10 AM

Most of you are problably starting to test your visual or photographic setup. Im am very curious about the stuff you'll be operating during the event. 

Ok, I'll kick off!

 

My last total eclipse was in 2006, Turkey. Back then I didn't have a digital camera, no smartphone and no travel mount. I did make a VHS recording from a photo tripod and although it delivered some nice footage, it didn't come near even mediocre images found online at that time. Plus fiddling with the tripod to keep the sun centered kept me away from really experience totality the way I would like to.

 

Eleven years later things changed a lot. I now have 2 DSLRs, a tracking mount and 2 smartphones. This ables me to automate everything and end up with much better pictures and video than before. So this it what I'll be bringing along next August:

 

Attached File  cameraunit1.jpg   209.06KB   30 downloads

 

1. Nikon D3200 DSLR with a 600mm f/8 mirror lens

2. Nikon D3100 DSLR with a 500mm f/8 mirror lens

3. Star Adventurer RA unit

4. Wooden block cut at 42 degrees to replace the original SA wedge and prevent camera shake, mounted on a home made wooden mini tripod.

5. A smartphone running EclipseDroid to automate photography through the D3200

6. Solar filters (of course)

 

The D3200 will make an automated sequence with lots of different exposures at specific calculated times.

The D3100 will make a HD movie clip

Another smartphone aimed at our observing group will be recording a widefield video.

 

Attached File  cameraunit2.jpg   141.53KB   21 downloads

 

Attached File  cameraunit3.jpg   104.63KB   14 downloads

 

With everything set a few minutes before totality the only thing I have to do is remove the filters at the right time.

In theory... laugh.gif

 

Test runs and images are promising though. This is a test shot of the sun through the 600mm:

 

Attached File  testfotootje.jpg   31.83KB   26 downloads

 

Ok, now show us your gear!


Edited by Roel, 06 June 2017 - 05:15 AM.

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#2 charotarguy

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 08:12 AM

Awesome setup Roel. The mirror lenses you are using who is the manufacturer, I have the Samyang 500mm F6.3, planning to use it for the eclipse.Also what type of lens ring have you used for No.1 camera? 


Edited by charotarguy, 06 June 2017 - 08:14 AM.


#3 Roel

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 09:38 AM

Thanks! The 600mm is an old Sigma f/8 from the 80's, mounted on the DEC unit of the SA with its original rotating mounting ring. The small one is an even older Tokina f/8.

#4 REC

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 09:38 AM

Most of you are problably starting to test your visual or photographic setup. Im am very curious about the stuff you'll be operating during the event. 

Ok, I'll kick off!

 

My last total eclipse was in 2006, Turkey. Back then I didn't have a digital camera, no smartphone and no travel mount. I did make a VHS recording from a photo tripod and although it delivered some nice footage, it didn't come near even mediocre images found online at that time. Plus fiddling with the tripod to keep the sun centered kept me away from really experience totality the way I would like to.

 

Eleven years later things changed a lot. I now have 2 DSLRs, a tracking mount and 2 smartphones. This ables me to automate everything and end up with much better pictures and video than before. So this it what I'll be bringing along next August:

 

attachicon.gifcameraunit1.jpg

 

1. Nikon D3200 DSLR with a 600mm f/8 mirror lens

2. Nikon D3100 DSLR with a 500mm f/8 mirror lens

3. Star Adventurer RA unit

4. Wooden block cut at 42 degrees to replace the original SA wedge and prevent camera shake, mounted on a home made wooden mini tripod.

5. A smartphone running EclipseDroid to automate photography through the D3200

6. Solar filters (of course)

 

The D3200 will make an automated sequence with lots of different exposures at specific calculated times.

The D3100 will make a HD movie clip

Another smartphone aimed at our observing group will be recording a widefield video.

 

attachicon.gifcameraunit2.jpg

 

attachicon.gifcameraunit3.jpg

 

With everything set a few minutes before totality the only thing I have to do is remove the filters at the right time.

In theory... laugh.gif

 

Test runs and images are promising though. This is a test shot of the sun through the 600mm:

 

attachicon.giftestfotootje.jpg

 

Ok, now show us your gear!

Very, very cool set-up! It will be fun looking at your results! I used a 600mm Cat for the 1991 eclipse. This year, Canon DSLR with a 600-1000mm zoom!

 

Tell me about that EclipseDroid thing you are using on the phone?



#5 REC

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 09:54 AM

Well, one of my "gear" is a Meade 9x63 mounted on a mirror mount, called "Sky Window". You place it on a table and look down through the bino's at the reflected image. No worry about being steady!

 

Betcha I''m on of a very few in the county that will be using this kind of set-up. The company no longer make them. The name of the company was Trico mfg. Bought them in 1999.

 

Camera: Canon T2i Vivitar 600-1000mm zoom.

 

Scope, PST Celestron 80ED

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#6 SteveRosenow

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 02:32 AM

This is mine.

A Nikon D5100 will be attached to the Meade APO, while a D5500 will be running on the main LX200 OTA.

Also coming with me for the eclipse is my wife, and several of our telescopes.

Attached File  DSC_7406.jpg   346.39KB   13 downloads


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#7 foxwoodastronomy

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 05:36 AM

Steve,

 

Does your 10" f.6.3 LX 200 have a focal length of 1575mm?

 

And you are going to do prime focus with a D5500, which has a 1.5 crop factor?

 

So you will be working at 2362mm.

 

I guess my question is, why?

 

Tell us the plan.

 

Gordon

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#8 REC

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 09:22 AM

Steve,

 

Does your 10" f.6.3 LX 200 have a focal length of 1575mm?

 

And you are going to do prime focus with a D5500, which has a 1.5 crop factor?

 

So you will be working at 2362mm.

 

I guess my question is, why?

 

Tell us the plan.

 

Gordon

Great comparison! Looks like the 1000mm range fits the bill best. Last eclipse I used a 90-ETX 1250mm and had just enough room to get most of the corona, but a longer exposer  would have had more, but it probably would over flow the FOV. Especially now with an APS sensor in my DSLR. Back then, I used a film camera.



#9 Roel

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 09:42 AM

A combination of relative widefield (the Apo) and close-up pictures (the SCT) makes sense to me. Great combo!

(The posted comparisons seems to be for 35mm camera's and full frame sensors, which is quite confusing because the vast majority of DSLRs (and Steve's one too) have APS-C sensors)

#10 Roel

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 09:51 AM

This image also shows the FOV on APS-C scale (in blue): http://www.mreclipse...35mmScale1w.JPG

#11 foxwoodastronomy

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 11:04 AM

A combination of relative widefield (the Apo) and close-up pictures (the SCT) makes sense to me. Great combo!

(The posted comparisons seems to be for 35mm camera's and full frame sensors, which is quite confusing because the vast majority of DSLRs (and Steve's one too) have APS-C sensors)

Roel,

 

The posted slide images do not have any consideration of what chip a camera has, they only demonstrate what Sun disk image scale you need to have on your image if you want to have room for the corona.  This slide demonstration is about your "effective focal length" with whatever gear you are using.  Really the only good way to know is to take pictures with your gear now, with a solar filter and the full Sun disk image and make sure you have padding around the Sun of at least 2 disk diameters.  The camera chip makes no difference by itself, what it images with the glass in front of it is what is important, the end result of the entire rig.

 

As you start to get a longer "effective focal length" of 1000 to 1200 mm you will begin to cut off outer corona at the longer shutter speeds.

 

This is explained in my Demystifying Solar Eclipse Photography threads pinned to the top of this forum.

 

So that was why I was asking Steve why he wanted to work at an effective focal length 2362mm, he may have a good reason, I don't know, I just wanted him to expand on his plans.

 

Thanks,
Gordon



#12 emh52

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 11:38 AM

The perfect set up for the eclipse is something bedeviling us all. I was at the 2010, 12, 13, 15 eclipses and each had its issues of weight limits for exotic travel, moving ships limiting FL, at Lake Turkana in 2013 a sandstorm that forced us to observe the 11 second eclipse from a small plane at 10,000 feet, and Svalbard in 2015 was a bit chilly. 2017 is a chance to do it right. The set up I am testing is a Vixen VSD telescope on an ioptron mount. I’ll be doing Moon photography for scale, time tests, etc and see if this is the configuration I want (see:  https://flic.kr/p/UdA1o2 )

 

1. The telescope- the optics of the Vixen is great, illumination circle designed for medium format so 35 mm will be flat and even. At 3.8 F  it will be fast and native 380 mm becomes 570 mm @ F3.8 which is at the bottom range of acceptable. Testing a 1.4X teleconverter's effect on resolution which gives a better 798 nm at loss of one stop.
2. The cameras- On the Vixen a Nikon D500 DX camera 20 megapixels, newest sensor tech, but most important it has a buffer that can do >200 images without stopping and with a tiny rest mideclipse to catch up I can probably get closer to 300 images. A second camera can be mounted on the rings using a Arca quick release I attached, shown is a wide angle zoom but I am thinking of going with either a F1.4 50 mm, or 20 mm lens to get varying exposures using a 9 bracket to that can later be processed to bring up planets using a D800 36 megapixel camera that writes slower but will capture the wider sky. Also mounted on the side not shown is a FLIR thermo imaging camera.
3. The mount, an iOptron pro mount- has on board battery capable of 8 h tracking. Easy to sync to Solar. Fine adjustments are easy.
4. Using the Arca quick release I configured a Televue solar finder to do initial alignment and then taken off before the piggyback camera is attached. Tested this and works fine.
5. The site, I’ll be in Idaho near Yellowstone. My lodging is toward the edge of the centerline with 1 min 9 sec- but it will be an easy drive to a site near the center line for a bit more than 2 min. I can fedex/UPS to the location in advance if I want- so different from the exotic travel eclipses so it is indeed the chance of a lifetime.

 

Thumbnail  (shown) and full resolution of setup.  https://www.flickr.c...t_photos/1CX5H3    and  https://flic.kr/p/VrQYUB

 

I’ll likely have a fisheye running on interval timer in background on a tripod for full sky tripod and will trigger several minutes before to do full brackets and likely to capture full sky shadow w/o any attention. The mount configuration places everything in front of me, I can glance at it live view but largely focus on seeing myself.

There is an eclipse folder that includes some planning photos and past eclipse photography (including eclipses by Venus and Mercury otherwise known as transits).

 

see: https://www.flickr.c...t_photos/NA8692

 

Plans subject to change- but for the moment this is the setup I considering and need to work with it on the Moon and decide if it is it.

  

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#13 SteveRosenow

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 12:06 PM

Steve,

 

Does your 10" f.6.3 LX 200 have a focal length of 1575mm?

 

And you are going to do prime focus with a D5500, which has a 1.5 crop factor?

 

So you will be working at 2362mm.

 

I guess my question is, why?

 

Tell us the plan.

 

Gordon

I want to capture the closeup of the inner solar corona and chromosphere using a Celestron reducer/corrector. The LX200 f/6.3's focal length is 1600mm, and with the reducer I've estimated it drops down to somewhere near 900.

Since I also have a D5100 running tandem on a Meade APO @ 450mm, I should be pretty fine. That way I can combine the stuff from the D5500 and D5100 for some excellent post-processed shots.

I also hope to capture some lunar limb profile shots during the partial phases, and capture the profile of the lunar limb and estimate them against the Watts lunar limb calculations, and see how accurate they are (just for my own sake, LOL).


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#14 foxwoodastronomy

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 12:14 PM

emh52,

 

Love your setup!  Nice work.

 

Gordon



#15 foxwoodastronomy

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 12:21 PM

I want to capture the closeup of the inner solar corona and chromosphere using a Celestron reducer/corrector. The LX200 f/6.3's focal length is 1600mm, and with the reducer I've estimated it drops down to somewhere near 900.

Since I also have a D5100 running tandem on a Meade APO @ 450mm, I should be pretty fine. That way I can combine the stuff from the D5500 and D5100 for some excellent post-processed shots.

I also hope to capture some lunar limb profile shots during the partial phases, and capture the profile of the lunar limb and estimate them against the Watts lunar limb calculations, and see how accurate they are (just for my own sake, LOL).

 

Steve,

 

Great, thank for posting your plan.  Understand now.  With your Nikon D5500 behind your reducer with the system at 900mm you will be working at 1350mm effective focal length.  That's a lot of telescope and  a lot of weight to shoot at 1350mm, but I understand you have to use what you own.

 

Sounds like you will have fun!

 

Gordon



#16 Roel

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 12:38 PM

Great idea, Steve. The combination of a large aperture combined with an f/6,3 focal ratio also means you'll be able to use much faster shutter speeds and/or lower ISO settings than many others shooting at 900mm. You might end up with some of the sharpest and noise free shots of Baileys Beads and prominences. Thumbs up!

#17 emh52

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 12:50 PM

Gordon

 

thanks for the comment- testing out your solar eclipse timer, might well be my conductor for the event with me just playing first fiddle. 

 

eliot



#18 Roel

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 12:51 PM

By the way Emh52, that is a great shot you made at Svalbard! Is it a multiple exposure HDR? (It's something I intend to do with my images)

#19 emh52

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 01:07 PM

I have both singles and stacked, that one is a single exposure

 

check out

 

https://www.flickr.c...t_photos/AxL5eJ

 

and https://flic.kr/s/aHsk8PwbYN

 

for varying photos  in particular you can see individual exposures for Svalbard in https://flic.kr/p/UdxZL5

 

these photos were all taken with a fixed tripod, Nikon D800, 300 mm F4 and 1.4X teleconverter we were quite weight limited but in retrospect

the temp at Svalbard might well have made a motor mount non functional so perhaps it was for the best.

 

2017 offers the prospect of really doing right with no limits.

 

eliot



#20 foxwoodastronomy

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 04:25 PM

Great idea, Steve. The combination of a large aperture combined with an f/6,3 focal ratio also means you'll be able to use much faster shutter speeds and/or lower ISO settings than many others shooting at 900mm. You might end up with some of the sharpest and noise free shots of Baileys Beads and prominences. Thumbs up!

Roel,

 

Steve has an interesting setup which makes me think about a few things we all can discuss.

 

Maybe Steve will post a test image of a properly exposed filtered full Sun disk image, telling us the filter he used (full aperture or partial aperture) the shutter speed he used, the exact f-stop, the ISO he used and then we can also see his field of view at 1350mm

 

I love threads like this!  It is so much fun to talk about the nuances of eclipse photography and planing to photograph something that you can't practice for and can't do a second take. Is this fun or what?

 

Eclipse photography is tricky, it's always a combination of f-stop, ISO and a WIDE range of shutter speeds.

 

We need some more information from Steve about his set up:

 

1.  His f-stop was starting at f6.3 and he is focal reducing it.  You can be TOO fast for eclipse photography.

 

2.  I have a D5000 (Steve said he had a D5500) and my slowest electronic ISO is 200 and the fastest shutter speed is 1/4000.

 

3. Is he using a full aperture solar filter or is he stopping it down?  Many people look at the Sun by building a solid cover for the front of their scope and then cutting a 3 or 4 inch hole, off-axis, for a smaller 3 or 4 inch solar filter.  You'd never know the difference with your full Sun disk image.  This has to do with his full Sun disk image testing for exposure, not with what will happen with the filter off, because of testing now however, it's related.

 

4.  Is using Baader film or metallized glass for his full disk and partial phases and what is his exposure there?  Transmission of light through these is different.  Again, testing.

 

5.  Bailey's beads are really bright!  You could have a rig where you can't limit the light enough, f-stop too fast, ISO not slow enough and can't get a shutter speed fast enough.

 

6.  We all have risk of internal reflections with the really bright parts of eclipse photography: objective glass, primary and secondary mirror and the surfaces of glass on the reducer.  He won't know until he looks at his images after the eclipse is over.

 

7.  Steve said he wants for concentrate on inner corona and chromosphere.  The inner corona is really bight.  If you can't limit light enough, it will be blown out and you won't see chromosphere at all.

 

 So, with a setup I used successfully 2 times, a 500mm zoom lens and 2x teleconverter, therefore working at 1000mm, my aperture is about 3 1/2 inches, my ISO was 200 and my f-stop was 12.6 and I was shooting inner corona at 1/250 second, chromosphere at 1/500 second and 1/1000 of a second.  And my setup was numerous "stops" slower than Steve's.

 

This is why, in my lecture on eclipse photography I emphasize knowing what you setup does on a full Sun disk image with the solar filter you plan to use.  It gives you a feeling for your starting point for shutter speeds with your particular setup.  If for instance you have to use a shutter speed of 1/2000 to get a properly exposed full Sun disk image with a filter on, your system may be too fast.  How are you going to limit light any more for the non-filtered eclipse images.

 

These are all things and variables we must all ponder and test for ahead of time with all of our varied setups.  And the only thing we can do to is test on filtered full Sun disk images and maybe some Moon shots.  But these only get you close and let you guess about the true dynamic range of eclipse photography.

 

That is what makes it fun and anxiety producing at the same time.

 

Gordon



#21 SteveRosenow

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 04:44 PM

 

Great idea, Steve. The combination of a large aperture combined with an f/6,3 focal ratio also means you'll be able to use much faster shutter speeds and/or lower ISO settings than many others shooting at 900mm. You might end up with some of the sharpest and noise free shots of Baileys Beads and prominences. Thumbs up!

Roel,

 

Steve has an interesting setup which makes me think about a few things we all can discuss.

 

Maybe Steve will post a test image of a properly exposed filtered full Sun disk image, telling us the filter he used (full aperture or partial aperture) the shutter speed he used, the exact f-stop, the ISO he used and then we can also see his field of view at 1350mm

 

I love threads like this!  It is so much fun to talk about the nuances of eclipse photography and planing to photograph something that you can't practice for and can't do a second take. Is this fun or what?

 

Eclipse photography is tricky, it's always a combination of f-stop, ISO and a WIDE range of shutter speeds.

 

We need some more information from Steve about his set up:

 

1.  His f-stop was starting at f6.3 and he is focal reducing it.  You can be TOO fast for eclipse photography.

 

2.  I have a D5000 (Steve said he had a D5500) and my slowest electronic ISO is 200 and the fastest shutter speed is 1/4000.

 

3. Is he using a full aperture solar filter or is he stopping it down?  Many people look at the Sun by building a solid cover for the front of their scope and then cutting a 3 or 4 inch hole, off-axis, for a smaller 3 or 4 inch solar filter.  You'd never know the difference with your full Sun disk image.  This has to do with his full Sun disk image testing for exposure, not with what will happen with the filter off, because of testing now however, it's related.

 

4.  Is using Baader film or metallized glass for his full disk and partial phases and what is his exposure there?  Transmission of light through these is different.  Again, testing.

 

5.  Bailey's beads are really bright!  You could have a rig where you can't limit the light enough, f-stop too fast, ISO not slow enough and can't get a shutter speed fast enough.

 

6.  We all have risk of internal reflections with the really bright parts of eclipse photography: objective glass, primary and secondary mirror and the surfaces of glass on the reducer.  He won't know until he looks at his images after the eclipse is over.

 

7.  Steve said he wants for concentrate on inner corona and chromosphere.  The inner corona is really bight.  If you can't limit light enough, it will be blown out and you won't see chromosphere at all.

 

 So, with a setup I used successfully 2 times, a 500mm zoom lens and 2x teleconverter, therefore working at 1000mm, my aperture is about 3 1/2 inches, my ISO was 200 and my f-stop was 12.6 and I was shooting inner corona at 1/250 second, chromosphere at 1/500 second and 1/1000 of a second.  And my setup was numerous "stops" slower than Steve's.

 

This is why, in my lecture on eclipse photography I emphasize knowing what you setup does on a full Sun disk image with the solar filter you plan to use.  It gives you a feeling for your starting point for shutter speeds with your particular setup.  If for instance you have to use a shutter speed of 1/2000 to get a properly exposed full Sun disk image with a filter on, your system may be too fast.  How are you going to limit light any more for the non-filtered eclipse images.

 

These are all things and variables we must all ponder and test for ahead of time with all of our varied setups.  And the only thing we can do to is test on filtered full Sun disk images and maybe some Moon shots.  But these only get you close and let you guess about the true dynamic range of eclipse photography.

 

That is what makes it fun and anxiety producing at the same time.

 

Gordon

 


Ask and ye shall receive.

Taken at ISO100 using a D5500. 1/400 sec. using a Thousand Oaks full-aperture 'Solarlite' filter. Since the inner corona has been described as being as bright as the sunlit side of a crescent moon, I'll be shooting at roughly 1/320 second at ISO100 at totality. For Baily's Beads, I'll be shooting at 1/4000 second with a partial aperture mask. Still have to work out the details of that, though.

Attached File  DSC_0052.jpg   31.39KB   7 downloads

 


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#22 Roel

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 04:51 PM

A Meade LX200 is a f/10 system, so it will be f/6.3 with the reducer.

Gordon, you are right about Bailey's Beads maybe being too bright when your camera is limited in ISO settings or shutter speed. The aperture mask is a great idea! You can for example shoot Beads with this mask on, and totality at full aperture.

 

By the way,  I found this wonderful website of Xavier Jubier, which gives guidelines about camera setting for different eclipse phenomena. http://xjubier.free....seExposure.html
You can play with various camera settings and it also shows the field of view with sensor/focal length combinations. I use these parameters for planning my automated sequence.


Edited by Roel, 07 June 2017 - 04:56 PM.


#23 SteveRosenow

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 05:08 PM

A Meade LX200 is a f/10 system, so it will be f/6.3 with the reducer.

 

Not true. Some Meade LX200s came from the factory with f/6.3 native optics. They called them "Meade Wide-Field" optics.

For a while, Meade produced f/6.3 native SCTs under the LX6 Premiere edition, which carried over when the LX200 was introduced in 1992. Since mine is a Classic model, it is one of that livery. The OTA was originally an LX6, but the same OTA was used in the early LX200s.

Mine is a native f/6.3, so with the reducer it ends up being around an f/4 system (plus or minus a couple f/ratio). 



#24 Roel

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 05:25 PM

Sorry, my bad.. But f/4, that's fast!!

#25 foxwoodastronomy

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 05:59 PM

Steve,

 

Beautiful.  I absolutely love it!  A picture is worth a thousand words!  Thanks for posting it.  You are right on target.

 

Your picture confirms some things about your setup and also the things I say in my talk.

 

1.  You image looks close to the scale of 1350mm.  It actually looks a little bigger to me, and that may have to do with your plane of focus on your rig.  But is looks great!  I know that is the scale you want to have.

 

2.  The SolarLite, as far as I understand was supposed to have transmission characteristics like their glass and from your image and your data I think that is true.

 

3.  I really like your exposure at 1/400.  The thing that interests me about it is the fact that I usually lecture to have the full Sun disk image a little more yellow that what I am seeing on my computer screens via your posting.  It maybe more yellow for you at home.  So I wonder what your 1/320 looks like?  Whatever, your image re-enforces one of the things in my talk and something that you have also figured out.  For any given system using a Thousand Oaks filter, the exposure of a bight yellow Sun disk image is very close to the exposure of mid corona.

 

4.  I am actually surprised you system is not faster than that, meaning needing even a faster shutter speed for the full Sun disk image.  Doesn't matter, you exposure is a good test for the light passing through your rig.  So the photography math works, at f4 you are about 3 stops faster then my favorite 1000mm setup (f12.3) and at 1/400 your shutter speed is about 3 stops faster shutter speed than I would usually use (1/60 for Sun disk).  It just validates the stuff I talk about.

 

5.  So you mid corona exposures will be right at about 1/320, you will have to be about 2 stops faster than that for the tight inner corona and chromosphere.

 

6.  Beads and diamond ring need to be 4 or 5 stops faster than the mid corona exposure.  So your 1/4000 plan is sound.

 

Love your plan man.  You are going to do great!  Thanks again for posting the picture and all the data.

 

Gordon


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