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Question about Canon 40D and astrophotography

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#1 ROBODOG

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 07:20 PM

Hello, I am getting a Canon 40D from a friend and was wondering if I would have to modify it or if I can still use it for astrophotography as-is. I will consider modifying later if I have to, I would just like to start using as-is first. Any information about this camera and what I'll be able to do would be greatly appreciated. This would be my first attempt at astro photography and will be learning it with this camera. Total newbie to it. I am currently just a sky viewer. I currently have a LX200 8" EMC and a Genesis 500 non-sdf on an EQ5 mount. Thanks in advance.

 

The stuff I am getting is as follows:

Canon 40D
Lens: Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM + HOYA UV filter
Lens hood
3x 8GB CF Memory cards
2x batteries
1x charger
Canon Strap
Canon Bag
USB connector cable
S-Video out cable


Edited by ROBODOG, 22 October 2020 - 07:20 PM.


#2 acer88

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 08:50 PM

The Canon 40D is perfectly fine as-is for astro imaging, you can mount it to your telescope of use it for widefield. I still have mine for a backup camera in case something happens to my primary DSLR or OSC cameras. I have used it in the past for all my astro imaging and it did a great job. Its a great place to start until you are comfortable and ready to upgrade to a CMOS/CCD. 


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#3 Michael Covington

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 10:08 PM

I did a lot of astrophotography with a 40D about ten years ago and still have it and use it occasionally.  It is unmodified.  The modification only increases sensitivity to hydrogen-alpha nebulae and does not help with other celestial objects.  So enjoy it!  "Silent shooting" is worth knowing about (see the manual) -- it's what Nikon calls "electronic first-curtain shutter," a way to reduce vibration for lunar and planetary work.  For deep-sky work use mirror lock and don't worry about silent shooting.


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#4 ROBODOG

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 02:57 AM

Thank you both. This is exactly what I was hoping to here! If you still have any of the images you took with the 40D I would love to see a few. Cheers to Luna 



#5 MHamburg

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 01:10 PM

I used a 40D (modded) extensively before upgrading to a 6D. The main difference I found was that the 6D is a much less noisy camera (besides being also a full-frame sensor.) Here is a shot with the 40D.

Michael

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#6 acer88

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 04:09 PM

Thank you both. This is exactly what I was hoping to here! If you still have any of the images you took with the 40D I would love to see a few. Cheers to Luna 

http://www.astroches...sh/IywzYFgKYAo=

 

Here is a shot taken with the 40D many, many years ago at the Black Forest Star Party in Cherry Springs, PA. The 40D is quite capable and also allows you some room to grow without breaking the bank. If you do not want to modify the camera, you can add filters to help you obtaining certain spectrums. 


Edited by acer88, 23 October 2020 - 04:18 PM.


#7 ROBODOG

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Posted 31 October 2020 - 11:41 AM

Thank you all. Very helpful!



#8 GR-Amateur

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Posted 31 October 2020 - 07:33 PM

Get a T-ring & T-adapter for canon if you don’t already have..

#9 the Elf

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Posted 02 November 2020 - 04:58 PM

The trick is to start with bright objects and/or use fast lenses. With this combination you can get excellent images with almost any camera. The Pleiades are large and bright and so is the Great Orion Nebula or the Rosette Nebula. If you pile up some 2-3 hours of these you won't be disappointed!


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#10 ROBODOG

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Posted 04 November 2020 - 02:59 AM

Also, my plan was to connect the canon 40D to my Tele Vue Genesis F/5 on an HEQ5 mount. I can also use my LX200 8” SCT but I would need to get the wedge.  I wasn’t planning on using lenses. Although it comes with a few listed below. Thoughts?

 

Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM + HOYA UV filter  

and a

Canon EF 50mm F/1.4 USM
 with 3 filters (UV, Neutral density, polarizing)


Edited by ROBODOG, 04 November 2020 - 03:03 AM.


#11 the Elf

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Posted 04 November 2020 - 11:13 AM

Only very few lenses work well for AP. As a general rule these are primes. Zoom lenses are not recommended. The primes often have to be stopped down but this adds spikes to the stars. Using a step down ring on the front and leaving the internal aperture open removes the spikes. When you use a Ha modified camera some lenses create flares from the electronics that emit deep red light. The nifty fifty is regarded as one of the cheapest lenses that works for AP but the field of view is so large that even large objects appears as tiny dots only.

Start with the Genesis. Here is a review:

http://scopeviews.co.uk/TVGenesis.htm

"There is a problem though and it is false colour. The Genesis’ achromatic nature shows up when imaging and every white or blue star is surrounded by a pretty blue halo. Fine for casual imaging, with a fast speed and flat field, the Genesis is not for the keen imager."

With some effort the blue halos can be dimmed a bit in post processing. Being a Petzval it comes with a flat field unlike other regular scopes. f/5 is fast enough for a high signal level and slow enough to deal with focus and temperature change. To get your feet wet and learn it is a good choice. If you the blue halos start to annoy you get an APO. The HEQ5 should be fine. Including the camera you are a bit over 6kg. 500mm is not too hard to handle.

The LX200 is the best way to frustrate yourself. The focal length is way to long to deal with as a beginner, the focal ratio is way to slow to get any good signal, the fork mount, on wedge or not is not optimal and you def. need guiding, most likely OAG. Keep this experiment for later when you have a bunch of good results with the Genesis.

If you use the mounts GOTO function (as opposed to computer control with plate solving) get a Telrad to find the alignment stars.When you start out with the Pleiades in a moonless night and shoot 30sec subs at ISO 800 you'll have a great image.


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#12 ROBODOG

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Posted 07 November 2020 - 02:11 PM

Thank you so much! A lot of great information. I will definitely start with the genesis. I am a complete beginner to photography in general so it will take a while to get there. But I am excited to just be able to get my feet wet and just get started and begin to learn and head the right direction. I think this will be a good starter setup to learn a few ins and outs. I’ve got the pole scope circle aligned properly and a starbeam finder so I should be ok to start. Any great links for beginner Astro photography would be great also. Thanks all



#13 the Elf

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Posted 07 November 2020 - 05:51 PM

https://www.youtube....h?v=9d0292TBMHo

https://www.youtube....h?v=zQB6UnrTEEM

https://www.youtube....h?v=sW8NyT3r2LU

https://www.youtube....eature=youtu.be

https://www.youtube....h?v=Z9jePIkHjG0

 

http://www.elf-of-lo...ingStarted.html

 

Enjoy!



#14 ROBODOG

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Posted 08 November 2020 - 12:02 AM

Thank you! I’ve got my homework for the weekend. Thanks



#15 the Elf

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Posted 08 November 2020 - 05:30 AM

Putting a few milestones up to give you some orientation:

 

- choose what to image (nebulae, galaxies, planets, moon, sun)

- pick equipment suitable for the object type (there is no one fits all)

- understand what data you need and how to get it (calibration frames, actual object, camera settings, etc.)

- shoot your first images

- understand the general processing workflow that consists of pre and post processing

- pick the software. It can be two different programs for pre and post or one software that does both

- do the pre procsssing

- if you succeed upload the unprocessed stack and post a public link, the community will process it for you and give you feedback on the data quality

- if you fail doing the pre processing upload all your files (that is a lot of data!) and someone will help and give feedback

- learn post processing and try to resemble the examples from the community

- fine tune whatever needs to be tuned, follow the advice, get more processing skills, find your own style.

 

That is a 2-5 year time table. You have done the first 2 steps so far.

In Nico Carver's video you can see different pre and post processing options. Most people start with free Deep Sky Stacker for the pre and use Photoshop when they already own it or try free Gimp. Dedicated software is not free but much more fun to work with as it is made for the task.

 

The beginner recipe for a stunning first image is this:

- pick a large and bright object like the Pleiades or the Great Orion Nebula or the Rosette Nebula or the Great Hercules Cluster

- image from a dark place if possible. Don't image when the moon is up. Dark sky is by far the most efficient booster.

- pile up several hours of total imaging time. Rule of thumb: for twice the light pollution level you have to quadruple the over all time!



#16 the Elf

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Posted 08 November 2020 - 05:59 AM

You may want to get the Baader Protective T-Ring for your camera:

https://www.baader-p...-48-and-2".html

It is excellently built, has no play, comes with lots of parts and it can hold 2'' filters inside.

If you put the Semi-APO filter in there

https://www.baader-p...apo-filter.html

it will tame the blue halos from your Genesis. I just processed my first session with this filter on an askar 180 semi APO that suffers from blue halos as well. The result is stunning. No halos at all while color balance is almost natural.

 

54x 3min unmodded Canon 800D at ISO 200, askar 180mm, Baader Semi Apo filter, quick and dirty processing for a preview only:

 

preview_low.jpg


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