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Astro Imaging for Dummies?

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#1 penguinx64

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 07:19 AM

I just ordered an Olympus Pen PL8 mirrorless DSLR camera.  This small camera uses a Micro 4/3 mount lens, maybe the same as a Panasonic Lumix?  I'd like to try taking some astro pictures with this camera and my Celestron C6-N OTA.  I hear the scope has a standard camera thread, if I remove the eyepiece holder.  Is this a T mount thread?  Would I be able to use a Micro 4/3 to T ring adapter to attach this camera to the scope?  I also see some T2 adapters.  What's the difference between T and T2?  I'm not sure what kind of adapter I need.  I've never done any Astro Imaging, besides holding a point and shoot camera up to the eyepiece (like my moon picture to the left).  Any help would be appreciated.

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Edited by penguinx64, 07 December 2017 - 07:21 AM.


#2 einarin

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 07:54 AM

I believe this is the one you need:

https://www.ebay.com...yEAAOSwstxVBABv

 

But if you have only Alt Az (Versago II) mount moon will be your only target.


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#3 penguinx64

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 08:31 AM

Yeah, I know an alt/az mount isn't great for imaging.  I might be able to get a 1/2 second exposure at best with the Moon or Jupiter.  Or maybe a dim shot of the Orion nebula.  The scope has an f/5 mirror.  I'm not expecting much.  But it's worth a try if the adapter is only $10.  It's gotta work better than holding a point and shoot camera up to the eyepiece.



#4 bobzeq25

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 11:17 AM

Yeah, I know an alt/az mount isn't great for imaging.  I might be able to get a 1/2 second exposure at best with the Moon or Jupiter.  Or maybe a dim shot of the Orion nebula.  The scope has an f/5 mirror.  I'm not expecting much.  But it's worth a try if the adapter is only $10.  It's gotta work better than holding a point and shoot camera up to the eyepiece.

A major problem with astrophotography is that it's complicated and unintuitive.  The camera is nothing at all like your eyes, as far as astrophotography is concerned.  There's a gigantic chasm between taking images of sunlit objects in the solar system, and even "bright" DSOs.

 

With the Moon and planets, 1/2 second exposures are far too much.  You'll get solid white balls of light.  You actually use exposures more like daylight photography, say 1/100.  That will work fine with your mount.

 

The images will be somewhat blurred by atmospheric turbulence, seeing.  There's a technique called "lucky imaging" that makes this better.  All this is covered in his excellent book for beginners.

 

http://www.astropix....gdpi/index.html

 

In contrast, 1/2 second is woefully inadequate for even "bright" DSOs.  Taking those images is like taking pictures with a long telephoto lens.  At night.  In a moving car.  <grin>

 

It's not that your mount is "not great" for that.  It's that it's hopeless.  An exercise in frustration.  Taking DSO images is not at all like visual astronomy, not just putting a camera where your eyes were.  It's _completely_ different.  The tiny pixels can work magic, but only if used correctly.  They have needs.  <smile>

 

The cure for that is to lose the telescope, which just messes things up.  Take DSO pictures with a camera and a lens.   You can start with just a tripod, move up to a camera tracker.  Store bought ones cost $300-500, you can DIY a "barndoor tracker" for much less.  All covered in this excellent book.

 

http://www.astropix....bgda/index.html

 

Short posts here can only do so much, really only answer specific questions.  I've tried to be responsive to your thread title.  <smile>

 

But the books are the real answer to getting into this, even in a small way.  They're "astrophotography for ordinary people".  <grin>  I pretty well guarantee they're worth the money, whether or not you take this far.


Edited by bobzeq25, 07 December 2017 - 11:24 AM.


#5 isogroup

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 11:20 AM

I just did a couple of shots with my Pen 6 through an f4 300 mm Nikon lens. ISO 3200 and three seconds got sky fog. That chip is really sensitive. Try one and two second shots and see if you get something usable. With eight seconds on my 90mm f7 scope I got a usable M42 shot with tracking mount.


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#6 penguinx64

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 11:44 AM

I tried taking still pictures of fireworks at night before.  It didn't work very well.  But when I switched to video mode, the video came out great.  I'll have to try that with the telescope too.



#7 bobzeq25

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 01:22 PM

I tried taking still pictures of fireworks at night before.  It didn't work very well.  But when I switched to video mode, the video came out great.  I'll have to try that with the telescope too.

That's what "lucky imaging" is all about.  Described in the book.




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