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ZWO ASI1600MM Pro with Canon DSLR Lens

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#26 ezwheels

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Posted 30 March 2019 - 11:09 AM

Ordered!


Edited by ezwheels, 30 March 2019 - 11:09 AM.


#27 Jon Rista

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Posted 30 March 2019 - 12:48 PM

Hi guys! Let's go!

 

General info:

 

ASCOM Canon Lens Controller Mark II is a fully integrated solution without external units and any extra wires. PCB with all electronic components have been installed directly in the adapter. It turned out not so easy to place all the electronics inside the adapter, but we did it.smile.gif

 

Now 26.5 mm adapter is a combination of 17 mm base adapter and 9.5 mm spacer. This design will be much more versatile.

  • 17 mm adapter is ideal for monochrome camera (ASI1600MM for example) with filter wheel. 17 mm (ASCOM Canon Lens Controller) + 20 mm (ZWO EFW) + 6.5 mm (ZWO cooled camera) = 43.5 mm.
  • 26.5 mm adapter is suitable for color camera (ASI294MC for example). 26.5 mm (ASCOM Canon Lens Controller) + 11mm (T2 ring) + 6.5 mm (ZWO cooled camera) = 44 mm.

17 mm base adapter has no filter mount (designed for use with the filter wheel). 9.5 mm spacer has M28.5x0.6 thread for mounting 1.25" filters.
Moreover, the bayonet is made of metal. No plastic parts. This ensures a reliable lens mount.

 

This is our default range. But we are ready to design the custom adapter for your requirements and according to your drawings with any mount type (thread, flange) and without any additional spacers to achieve more rigidity.

 

SGP (via ASCOM):

Quote from PM with one of the CN users:

 

TheSkyX:

Many thanks Rodolphe Pineau for creating X2 focuser plugin for TheSkyX. It supports OS X, Windows, RPI-3, Linux Ubuntu.

You can find it here: https://rti-zone.org...ser_plugins.php

 

INDI drivers:

Quote from our mail:

Yes, we plan to implement INDI drivers for our products (summer 2019 for ASCOM Canon Lens Controller).

 

Nikon adapters:

Quote from our mail:

Canon 200 mm f/2.8 lens and a 50 mm f/1.8 lens is a part of our test setup. This lenses work perfect with ASCOM Canon Lens Controller (both focus anf iris). Unfortunately, Nikon lenses will not work. Nikon has its own command protocol. Nikon-Canon adapters are only mechanical adapters, without converting the command protocol. You can install a Nikon lens on a Canon camera, but the autofocus and aperture control functions will not work.

 

USB wire & current consumption:

Сurrent consumption didn't exceed 0.28A when testing my lenses (200 f/2.8, 50 f/1.8, 18-55). I think USB cable with double USB-A connector should provide sufficient power, especially from USB 3.0 port. Moreover, the second connector can be connected to a separate power supply.

 

Availability:

A new batch of Mark II controllers (M42x0.75 mm for APS-C cameras) will be available after 08.04.2019.

 

Our web page and our plans:

I apologize, in the near future (April-May 2019), the information on the project page will be completely updated. This is due to the constant improvement of the product recently. Now we get feedback from our users and make small changes. We also develop full frame adapters for QHY247/367, ASI094, SBIG STL11000. I hope we can present them in May 2019.

 

 

Dear Frank, thank you for testing our product! Could you put a list of all tested lenses? Now we are collecting information from our users and then publish it on the project page. This is very important for us.

 

This means we have something to work on and we will try to improve our product. Thanks for your review!

 

Dear CN users, you can see below some photos of actual version of ASCOM Canon Lens Controller Mark II.

 

Best regards, Sergey.

 

Hi Sergey,

 

Looks like an amazing product! I wish I had it two years ago. :p I've been imaging with a Canon 600mm f/4 L II lens for years and never had a good solution to control it with.

 

I do have ONE key question, though. How strong is the mount, tension clips? All EF adapters, and I've used every one there is, and also hacked up my own from parts of various models, have serious tilt issues. Even with a camera as light weight as the ZWO ASI models, I have had tilt issues due to weak tension clips and generally incomplete adherence to the EF mount design in EF adapters.

 

Does your device fully conform to the EF mount design specs, and does it have very, very strong tension clips? Tilt has been the largest issue I've had to deal with when imaging with camera lenses. The only adapter out there that so far seems to eliminate it is the Geoptik, which uses a clamping ring design which is very unusual, but works quite well.

 

If your device eliminates tilt, then I'm ecstatic and can't wait to give it a try. 



#28 Palomar

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Posted 30 March 2019 - 02:33 PM

Hi Sergey,

 

Looks like an amazing product! I wish I had it two years ago. tongue2.gif I've been imaging with a Canon 600mm f/4 L II lens for years and never had a good solution to control it with.

 

I do have ONE key question, though. How strong is the mount, tension clips? All EF adapters, and I've used every one there is, and also hacked up my own from parts of various models, have serious tilt issues. Even with a camera as light weight as the ZWO ASI models, I have had tilt issues due to weak tension clips and generally incomplete adherence to the EF mount design in EF adapters.

 

Does your device fully conform to the EF mount design specs, and does it have very, very strong tension clips? Tilt has been the largest issue I've had to deal with when imaging with camera lenses. The only adapter out there that so far seems to eliminate it is the Geoptik, which uses a clamping ring design which is very unusual, but works quite well.

 

If your device eliminates tilt, then I'm ecstatic and can't wait to give it a try. 

Yes, you are right, this is a serious problem. I came across adapters with a weak clamping force, which left a large gap when attaching the lens.

Our solution is very simple. Now we don’t use Canon macro ring parts and make the bayonet ring on the milling machine. This way we can choose the optimal thickness of the bayonet ring, which, in combination with the spring gasket, eliminates backlash and gives a reliable result. We try to make this mount very tight. Tighter than a standard mount on Canon cameras. I think for the astrophotography purposes it is more appropriate.

 

Of course, this is not full compliance with Canon EF specifications, but this design works quite successfully (tested on SBIG STF8300M).


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#29 Jon Rista

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Posted 30 March 2019 - 02:55 PM

Yes, you are right, this is a serious problem. I came across adapters with a weak clamping force, which left a large gap when attaching the lens.

Our solution is very simple. Now we don’t use Canon macro ring parts and make the bayonet ring on the milling machine. This way we can choose the optimal thickness of the bayonet ring, which, in combination with the spring gasket, eliminates backlash and gives a reliable result. We try to make this mount very tight. Tighter than a standard mount on Canon cameras. I think for the astrophotography purposes it is more appropriate.

 

Of course, this is not full compliance with Canon EF specifications, but this design works quite successfully (tested on SBIG STF8300M).

Thanks for the response! Sounds like you guys have put in some effort to try and address tilt. I think I'll be giving this a try. I have been using the Canon lens for years, and have either focused with the DSLR, or a home built pulley and belt focuser. The DSLR focusing seemed to be great, the pulley and belt system not so much.

 

I actually have another question. Since this interacts with the lens electrically. Do you guys control the IS group at all? One of the other issues I have had with the Canon 600mm lens, I believe, is IS group float. This has caused loss of data as I track through the meridian, usually costing me about an hour of imaging time...sadly, the best imaging time there is. I did not have the problem originally, when I was using my DSLR, and I suspect the DSLR must have powered the IS group so it wouldn't drift. I'm curious if your device might do the same.



#30 Palomar

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Posted 30 March 2019 - 03:19 PM

I actually have another question. Since this interacts with the lens electrically. Do you guys control the IS group at all? One of the other issues I have had with the Canon 600mm lens, I believe, is IS group float. This has caused loss of data as I track through the meridian, usually costing me about an hour of imaging time...sadly, the best imaging time there is. I did not have the problem originally, when I was using my DSLR, and I suspect the DSLR must have powered the IS group so it wouldn't drift. I'm curious if your device might do the same.

We do not control IS group by serial commands.

But maybe you're right and you only need to power the lens electronics to stabilize IS group. In that case it should work in contrast to external belt focusers.


Edited by Palomar, 30 March 2019 - 03:23 PM.


#31 Jon Rista

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Posted 30 March 2019 - 04:16 PM

We do not control IS group by serial commands.

But maybe you're right and you only need to power the lens electronics to stabilize IS group. In that case it should work in contrast to external belt focusers.

Yeah. I am hoping that just powering the lens will be enough. I usually had IS switched off on the lens when using the 5D III, and never had any issues. 



#32 Jon Rista

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Posted 30 March 2019 - 04:46 PM

We do not control IS group by serial commands.

But maybe you're right and you only need to power the lens electronics to stabilize IS group. In that case it should work in contrast to external belt focusers.

Thanks for the info, Sergey! I've pre-ordered one. Looking forward to trying it out. I have some tilt issues with the Canon lens that I hope to fix soon. Aside from that, I have always found it delivers amazing sharpness and small stars for it's size. I have a side-by-side adapter from ADM, and I may give dual-scope imaging a try, combining data from the FSQ and 600mm.



#33 freestar8n

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Posted 30 March 2019 - 05:00 PM

Hi Sergey and welcome to CN.

 

For the OP - I hope it's ok we are talking about this controller and not simply an adapter.  

 

Sergey you asked about what lenses it works with - and it works with all that I have tested:

 

17-40 f/4, 135 f/2, 300 f/4 IS, and Sigma 15mm f/2.8

 

All were listed in your lens.txt file.

 

All lenses seem to work fine without a separate 5V power supply.

 

The IS lens showed no sign of IS activity - which is fine and I didn't expect IS to work.  I think that if you put such a lens on a tripod it is recommended to turn it off anyway.

 

Control of the zoom would be useful for certain things if it is possible - but no big deal.  Woops - not awake yet.  The zoom isn't even motorized.  Never mind.

 

All in all it seems to work fine and has a solid attachment.  I can also use it with Kenko extension spacers - which isn't a surprise since it is just passing the signal through.

 

I went ahead and ordered a thin ZWO filter wheel for it.

 

One thing to test would be to see if the USB hub in the ZWO cameras can control the lens.  I assume it should work ok - and that would mean one cable to the camera and a separate short cable to the lens.  I have an old 1600 with no hub inside so I can't test.

 

Thanks for providing this device - it looks like a powerful addition.

 

Frank


Edited by freestar8n, 30 March 2019 - 05:06 PM.

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#34 Ed D

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Posted 30 March 2019 - 05:32 PM

ZWO DOES sell an adapter (well 2 different ones actually, one for using with the filter wheel, and one without).  However the quality of these adapters isn't great, as they don't old the lens very rigidly and are prone to potential tilt issues.  I have heard really good things about the Geoptik Canon EF adapter though. I know that I have seen a few people that image with this camera using canon lenses, so hopefully one of them can chime in and give you better advice than I am able to.

I have the new version of the ZWO adapter and don't find any of the problems that were common with the original.  It holds both of my Canon lenses securely, and the lenses go on and off without any binding or other issues.  The feel is no different compared to installing and removing the lenses on my T3i.  I use my adapter and Canon lenses with my ASI290MC for very wide fields.

 

Ed D

 

IMG_1659.JPG

 

1 - IMG_1656.JPG

 

M45 Pleiades 2019 02-06 JPEG.jpg

 

Hyades 2019 02-06 JPEG.jpg



#35 Ed D

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Posted 30 March 2019 - 05:43 PM

The newer Canon lenses have electronic focus using stepper motors.  Thus, the electronic focus won't work on the ZWO adapter.  The way I use my 18mm-55mm is to first mount the lens on my camera, set the focal length and focus, then turn off the camera.  I then mount it on the ZWO camera and adapter and focus by slightly turning the focal length adjustment.  Don't knock it, it works.  My 55mm-250mm lens has manual focus, so no issues there.

 

For me it's an easy and inexpensive solution for wide field imaging with a small sensor planetary camera.  With an ASI1600 you should be able to get some insanely wide fields.

 

Ed D


Edited by Ed D, 30 March 2019 - 05:46 PM.


#36 mistateo

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Posted 30 March 2019 - 07:17 PM

I have the new version of the ZWO adapter and don't find any of the problems that were common with the original.  It holds both of my Canon lenses securely, and the lenses go on and off without any binding or other issues.  The feel is no different compared to installing and removing the lenses on my T3i.  I use my adapter and Canon lenses with my ASI290MC for very wide fields.

 

Ed D

 

attachicon.gif IMG_1659.JPG

 

attachicon.gif 1 - IMG_1656.JPG

 

attachicon.gif M45 Pleiades 2019 02-06 JPEG.jpg

 

attachicon.gif Hyades 2019 02-06 JPEG.jpg

Haha, seems like ZWO always has a "new version" after I buy the original.  Good on them for their continuous improvements!



#37 mxcoppell

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Posted 06 May 2019 - 02:48 PM

Any update on this ground-breaking product? I am glad I found this thread before I pull the trigger on the belt system! 

 

- Anybody tried SGP autofocus routine with ASCOM Canon Lens Controller Mark II? 

- What's the focus steps could be used in between 2 focus points? (for exame, 9 focus points). With the belt system and the 135mm lens, it could be only 2-4 with lots of hits and misses. 

 

Thanks in advance!



#38 Bart Declercq

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Posted 06 May 2019 - 03:17 PM

Any update on this ground-breaking product? I am glad I found this thread before I pull the trigger on the belt system! 

 

- Anybody tried SGP autofocus routine with ASCOM Canon Lens Controller Mark II? 

- What's the focus steps could be used in between 2 focus points? (for exame, 9 focus points). With the belt system and the 135mm lens, it could be only 2-4 with lots of hits and misses. 

 

Thanks in advance!

I've got it working as an Ascom device on my machine, but I haven't been able to find the time to test everything on the stars yet - had an issue where it wouldn't focus to infinity on my two macro lenses, but turns out I forgot to set the autofocus switches on those lenses to allow focus to infinity (took a while to figure that one out)

 

But my 6 month old daughter's been ill which resulted in many nights with hardly any sleep but no time for astronomy - hopefully it all clears up soon and then I'll be able to test with SGPro - in theory it should work quite well, but well have to see the practice of it.


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#39 mxcoppell

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Posted 06 May 2019 - 03:30 PM

I've got it working as an Ascom device on my machine, but I haven't been able to find the time to test everything on the stars yet - had an issue where it wouldn't focus to infinity on my two macro lenses, but turns out I forgot to set the autofocus switches on those lenses to allow focus to infinity (took a while to figure that one out)

 

But my 6 month old daughter's been ill which resulted in many nights with hardly any sleep but no time for astronomy - hopefully it all clears up soon and then I'll be able to test with SGPro - in theory it should work quite well, but well have to see the practice of it.

I just dived in. Read on a different thread talking about the AF (https://www.cloudyni... astromechanics). Looks like backlash values and step sizes will be important to make the nice V curve. 

 

Sounds to me is that the test should be starting from turning the focus ring all the way towards the infinity mark and pass it. The moving back to see where is the the focus point and calculate the step sizes. But I have no idea about the backlash. Has to be some experiment based value. :) I don't have any EF mount lens yet. Need to look for one first. 



#40 freestar8n

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Posted 06 May 2019 - 04:56 PM

I'm afraid I've been doing other things and don't have more results.  My current view is the device works as well as it can - but for some lenses like the 135 f/2 a single step is fairly large in terms of the change of focus - so the v-curve may not be fully repeatable.

 

But my 135 was repaired once and it may be affected as a result.  And I didn't play much with the backlash setting.  So - more results are needed - but from what I see the focus control unit is fine but some lenses may require special care in focus when wide open - when doing automatic focus.

 

At the same time - a big benefit of the device is that it allows remote focus without touching the lens - and for me from inside the house.  So even if I tweak focus manually it's extremely valuable and does the job well.  I'm not even sure how much focus would drift with this lens - if at all.

 

Frank


Edited by freestar8n, 06 May 2019 - 04:57 PM.

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#41 mxcoppell

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Posted 06 May 2019 - 05:08 PM

I'm afraid I've been doing other things and don't have more results.  My current view is the device works as well as it can - but for some lenses like the 135 f/2 a single step is fairly large in terms of the change of focus - so the v-curve may not be fully repeatable.

 

But my 135 was repaired once and it may be affected as a result.  And I didn't play much with the backlash setting.  So - more results are needed - but from what I see the focus control unit is fine but some lenses may require special care in focus when wide open - when doing automatic focus.

 

At the same time - a big benefit of the device is that it allows remote focus without touching the lens - and for me from inside the house.  So even if I tweak focus manually it's extremely valuable and does the job well.  I'm not even sure how much focus would drift with this lens - if at all.

 

Frank

Thanks Frank. All my lenses are Nikkors and now I am looking for a Sigma 135/1.8 EF-Mount now just because this. 

 

Agree with what you commented, even the V-curve is hard or impossible to achieve, manual focus without touching the lens is already a dream scenario. A huge plus is that for those lenses do not have the aperture rings, you can easily change the aperture from the computer. WOW! 

 

I just put my order in and it will be shipped from Moscow. These folks really are doing something great. 

 

During the chat, I learned that they are doing improvement the firmware of the controller and it's upgradeable for current users. Also, they are shooting for Nikkor lens support during this summer.

 

My imaging train will be 135/1.8 - ASCOM Focus Controller - ZWO EFW - ASI1600mm for now. But I think I do need to add a 0.5mm spacer in the middle for Canon EF lens. 


Edited by mxcoppell, 06 May 2019 - 05:14 PM.


#42 mxcoppell

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Posted 07 May 2019 - 09:19 AM

My imaging train will be 135/1.8 - ASCOM Focus Controller - ZWO EFW - ASI1600mm for now. But I think I do need to add a 0.5mm spacer in the middle for Canon EF lens. 

Comment on my own words - LOL

 

Actually, I think the designer makes this 0.5mm for a reason. Considering the cases with filter, either the filter from the 31mm slot or filter wheel - assume the filter involved is 3mm thick - the mechanical back focus distance needs to be decreased by 1mm. That's 43mm for EF mount lens' case. The imaging train I mentioned in my previous post is 43.5mm. 

 

The more I looked at it. There is one concern - the diameter of the center might be too small for APS-C sensor (31mm filter slot). I think there will be dark corners for APS-C sensor. 4/3 should be fine. 

 

Another one is the support for different thread sizes on the FW/camera side - at least 2 thread sizes need to be provided with different adapters - 42mm and 54mm. Of course this will require the change to the PCB board to make the hole bigger. The center filter slot should change to 2" with threads instead of 31mm. That will make it much more appealing.

 

Just a thought.



#43 reddog1972

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 01:52 PM

Yes - ASI1600mm with Samyang 135mm f/2.0 (canon EF mount), ZWO EFW mini & Baader 1.25" SHO&Lum filters.

 

astrokraken1


#44 jerahian

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 09:36 PM

Hey all-

 

I just received my ASCOM Canon Lens Controller Mark II, and I seem to be stumped by something which I thought would be easy to figure out.  What ASCOM driver do I use to control the focus on my lens with this?  I don't see a driver download on the astromechanics.org website, and I don't see one on the ASCOM website.  Neither SharpCap nor SGP are showing anything that would connect to it.

 

In case it's dependent on how I have it hooked up, I have the following setup:

 

ZWO ASI294MC > Mark II Controller > Canon Lens EF 50mm (set to AF)

 

I have the Mark II USB connected to hub on my 294MC.

 

Any help would be appreciated.

 

-Ara



#45 freestar8n

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 09:55 PM

The astromechanics web site is a little odd - but if you click on the link to read more about the old controller you eventually find a page to download software:

 

 https://astromechani...g/download.html

 

That will give you the ascom driver that you need.

 

Frank



#46 jerahian

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 10:14 PM

Frank, thank you so much!  I would have never found that on the website, and I had done a web search for it as well and managed to find an old driver which wasn't working, so I was getting quite worried.  Everything works like a charm now!  Much appreciated.

 

-Ara



#47 freestar8n

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 11:02 PM

Frank, thank you so much!  I would have never found that on the website, and I had done a web search for it as well and managed to find an old driver which wasn't working, so I was getting quite worried.  Everything works like a charm now!  Much appreciated.

 

-Ara

Great - glad to help.

 

For new users the main helpful tips I would suggest are:

 

  1. Download the ascom driver and the direct focusing app from that web site
  2. Make sure the contacts are aligned when you connect the adapter to the lens
  3. The lens should be in Auto mode - not Manual
  4. Some lenses will move the outer focusing ring when the driver changes focus - but for other lenses that outer part does not move.  So just looking at the lens you may not see anything move - but inside the focus motor is doing its thing.
  5. If the outer thing doesn't move - it may allow you to clamp onto that part of the lens to support it in a ring or something.  But it may be risky - and you absolutely cannot do that if it does move when focusing.
  6. For my canon 135 f/2 one step focus change has a big effect.  For other lenses it may not be as critical.
  7. Beware of backlash compensation settings if you use something like SGP.  Make sure they are set for your lens or else it may go slamming to infinity and act crazy every time you move focus one way - and it way overshoots for backlash compensation.

 

Have fun-

Frank


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#48 flolic

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 06:31 AM

One of the other issues I have had with the Canon 600mm lens, I believe, is IS group float. This has caused loss of data as I track through the meridian, usually costing me about an hour of imaging time...sadly, the best imaging time there is. I did not have the problem originally, when I was using my DSLR, and I suspect the DSLR must have powered the IS group so it wouldn't drift. 

There is an (electro) mechanical system that locks floating lens in IS module when not in use. It unlocks only when you enable lens IS switch and half press camera shutter release button (i.e. when IS is active).
The very moment when IS stops, lock reengage. The problem is, even when mechanism is locked, it still allow some small lateral movement of the floating group. That's not a problem for general photography, but can interfere with astrophotography.

Because the way how the system works, there is no way to achieve better "precision" by powering the IS module. You rely on mechanical tolerances of floating group lock.

Why you didn't have problems when using your DSLR is mystery to me...



#49 Florent.

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 01:12 AM

Hey all-

 

I just received my ASCOM Canon Lens Controller Mark II, and I seem to be stumped by something which I thought would be easy to figure out.  What ASCOM driver do I use to control the focus on my lens with this?  I don't see a driver download on the astromechanics.org website, and I don't see one on the ASCOM website.  Neither SharpCap nor SGP are showing anything that would connect to it.

 

In case it's dependent on how I have it hooked up, I have the following setup:

 

ZWO ASI294MC > Mark II Controller > Canon Lens EF 50mm (set to AF)

 

I have the Mark II USB connected to hub on my 294MC.

 

Any help would be appreciated.

 

-Ara

 

Did you test the ASCOM Canon Lens Controller Mark II on the sky ? To see if the device is solid as a rock with no tilt issue.?

 

I am very interested by this device for a future ZWO ASI183M with its FilterWheel using a Sigma Art 50mm F/1.4

 

Florent



#50 freestar8n

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 03:36 AM

Did you test the ASCOM Canon Lens Controller Mark II on the sky ? To see if the device is solid as a rock with no tilt issue.?

 

I am very interested by this device for a future ZWO ASI183M with its FilterWheel using a Sigma Art 50mm F/1.4

 

Florent

Hi-

 

I have a separate thread with results using the filter wheel here:

 

https://www.cloudyni...s-ha/?hl= canon

 

It is very snug - in a good way - and makes a tight connection to the lens.  At least in my version.  The 135 f/2 images I show are wide open and the field looks good across the 1600 sensor.  I also show images with 15mm lens - that are not as good across the field.  But I think the connection is very solid.

 

Frank


  • Florent. likes this


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