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16" Lightbridge and Photography

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#1 dmiladinovich

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 11:00 AM

Hi everyone,

I've owned the 16" lightbridge for a few years now and i'm starting to get interested in photography. Is anyone here experiences with taking pictures with the 16" Lightbridge or if anything experienced with taking pictures with a telescope at all??

Since the number of locations for purchasing telescopes adn their accessories around me is limited im forced to buy things online. Before i do i usually like to know as much about what im buying especially for things like this. I need to make sure the adapters and everything fit together correctly and that im doing this right.

Specific question i have:

Do i need to buy an adapter piece for the telescope?? (I do understand that this may depend on the camera and most cameras have their own t-adapters.) I'm wondering because if I have the adapter that comes with the camera do i need another one for the telescope or will it fit right in?? Before I purchase a camera i want to know which cameras will work with my telescope or how can i know this.

I was hoping to contact a product specialist from Meade but I'm having a hell of a time trying to contact any form of customer service from Meade unless i had already bought something from them and have an order number. Kind of ridiculous customer support if you ask me but anyways....

Here is a link to the telescope i own: http://store.meade.c...-dobsonian.html
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#2 MistrBadgr

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 01:56 PM

I cannot speak about taking pictures with a Lightbridge. I do know they do not track automatically, which is necessary for much of the astronomical images that you can see. There are people that can sell you or make you equipment that can allow tracking, but I do not know enough to talk about it.

As far as Meade Customer Support goes, on the Meade company website, www.meade.com, there is a customer support page with a toll free number. I am not sure what they can tell you about taking pictures with your Lightbridge, since that is not what, I believe, Meade intended as a use for that scope. However, it would not hurt to make the call.

Hope this helps,

Bill Steen
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Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

#3 dmiladinovich

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 11:32 AM

Thanks Bill.

To clarify this will be my first time taking images using a telescope so i'm just learning the ropes. I don't mind right now not being able to track with the scope because as of right now I just want to be able to attach a camera and take some sort of image. From there I feel like i'll learn what i need to do next to improve my experience.

Right now i've done some research and it looks like Meade provides a mount for Cannon cameras. The camera I'm looking at is a Canon EOS Rebel T3. There is a massive sale on Buy.com http://www.buy.com/p.../224538450.html
Here is the link to the Canon website for this camera: http://shop.usa.cano...10051_275682_-1

On the Meade website i found this T-Adapter: http://store.meade.c...os-t-mount.html

I'm trying to understand how all this will fit together. I was wondering if this T-Adapter will fit directly to my camera or do i need another adapter. I contacted Canon and they were not able to provide informaiton on whether or not the Meade adapter will interface immediately with my camera or if i need any other kind of camera adapter. Below is my conversation between Canon and I:

I emailed them: "Hi I’m curious about your cameras and how I can mount them to my telescope. I have a Meade Lightbridge Telescope that I want to fix the camera to. It looks like Meade has a T-Adapter from this site: http://store.meade.c...os-t-mount.html
However it mentions that I need a “Camera Adapter”. I’m not sure what that is and I’m planning to call Meade with my question as well. The Canon Camera I’m planning on ordering is the EOS Rebel T3. "


They replied with: "
Thank you for contacting Canon product support regarding the use of your EOS Rebel T3.
While we don't have information regarding the connection you're after, the adapter should be available from Mead.
The Canon EF lens mount is the mount that you'll be looking for on the adapter. You may also see the EF-S mount listed.
Please let us know if we can be of any further assistance with your EOS Rebel T3. Thank you for choosing Canon.

Sincerely,
Richard
Technical Support Representative"


After this conversation i googled the EF mounts and it looks like that is the type of mount that is on my camera. That statement at the end of the Meade Cannon T-Adapter page (the one i linked earlier) about a camera adapter is bugging me and I dont understand what adapter they are talking about that I need.
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#4 MistrBadgr

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 04:26 PM

I hope someone that really knows about this will reply. But, I do have a little experience from many years ago when I worked in a photography shop. Years ago, there were a number of different brands of camera lenses that came with the "T" fitting. You would purchase the T-adapter for the specific camera that you had.

I believe the T adapter fits into the telescope and comes out to a standard "T" fitting. Then, you will need to have a specific adapter that mates with the "T" adapter and fits the specific camera. For your telescope, you need either the eyepiece projection T adapter than Mead sells that fits over an eyepiece and does eyepiece projection into the camera, plus a T adaptor for your specific camera, or a universal T adapter that some other companies make, plus the appropriate adapter that would fit onto your camera lens.

I will look this over some more and post again if I can figure out anything.

Hope this helps,

Bill Steen
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Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

#5 MistrBadgr

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 04:40 PM

I made a mistake in the last post.

There is no camera lens used when you attach the T Adaptor to your camera body. I believe the EOS T-Adaptor is part of what you need. This piece is what you need to adapt your camera to the T Mount piece that hooks onto the telescope. Meade makes the mount that fits over an eyepiece and uses the eyepiece projection principle to put an image onto the camera's photo plane.

In order to use the telescope as if it were the eyepiece, it will require a universal T mount made by someone else. This device would fit into your focuser like an eyepiece would. The adapter for your camera would be attached to the universal T Mount and then to your camera. I do not know for sure if the Meade T adapter would fit to the other company's T mount. I think it would, but not having fitted the two together, I cannot tell you that they will work together.

If I am not correct with any of this, or if anyone knows if a universal T-mount is truly that, please post.

Thanks,

Bill
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Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

#6 JohnGraham

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 07:26 AM

You can certainly use the Lightbridge for basic lunar photography. Planetary imaging may be possible using a camera capable of streaming video and a little luck (I gotta give this a try). For lunar photography all you need is a means of adapting your camera (without lens or eyepiece) directly to your focuser. You will probably need a mild Barlow to bring the focus out a bit. I use an EOS to t-thread adapter fitted with a t-thread-1.25" adapter (though a 2" would be better), and a 2", 2x Barlow. I started a new topic showing a recent example of a lunar image taken with my Lightbridge 16. I would have posted it here, but I didn't see a way to attach an image to a reply and there isn't an appropriate spot in the gallery.

So yeah, basic imaging is certainly a possibility with the Lightbridge 16 and we used to do this sort of stuff all the time way-back-when before driven mounts were common.

Have fun!

-John
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#7 dmiladinovich

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 03:33 PM

Thank you both of you for you're help. I got sunk into course work over the last couple months and now that it is warming up out im thinking of taking pics through my telescope. To recap it looks like i'll be needing the following products:

Meade Cannon EOS T-Adapter: http://store.meade.c...os-t-mount.html

Im not sure about these:
Variable Projection camera adapter: http://store.meade.c...apter-1-25.html
Off-Axis Guider: http://store.meade.c...xis-guider.html

The variable projection camera adapter does not seem necessary but i'm curious based on John's comments about the barlows. I think the off-axis guider is cool and a very nice accessory to have but before i invested in that i'd like to figure out how to mount the darn thing. If anyone has any good places to shop for a Barlow please post :)).


Also,

I started a new topic showing a recent example of a lunar image taken with my Lightbridge 16. I would have posted it here, but I didn't see a way to attach an image to a reply and there isn't an appropriate spot in the gallery.


Go ahead and post a link to your thread on the 16" light bridge if you can. I couldn't find it. However i did see a some of the posts you put in your gallery and they are really amazing and inspiring. for the rest of you that are interested in what he did: http://www.meade4m.c...249-johngraham/




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