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Need help with imaging!


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#1 Xenogazza

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 07:26 AM

Hello all, I'm new to the forums and fairly new to stargazing with a telescope too (approx. 6 months) I have managed to see Jupiter and Saturn but, I really want to photograph these planets and I can't work out exactly what equipment I need!
I have a meade ds2090 at-tc telescope with the standard set of 5 lenses (6-25mm) and I have a fujifilm s7000 camera. I will purchase a set of colour filters and I need to buy a camera adapter and a 'T' bracket (I think!)
I know my scope takes 1.25'' lenses but, I don't know (and can't find out) if I can connect to my camera as its not listed with any of the camera kits descriptions - are all kits compatible with with most cameras? Or will I have to to make something myself or even buy a different camera??
If anyone has any advice whatsoever on the subject or can point me in the right direction I would be forever grateful as I'm completely in the dark and don't know where to start with any of the things I need to buy!

Many thanks in advance!

#2 Xenogazza

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 12:00 PM

I've measured the lense on my camera (the threaded part) and it is 55mm. So, I think I need a t adapter which is 55mm on one thread and the camera adapter needs to fit into the 1.25'' lens receptor but, I'm not sure I'm working it out correctly and I still don't know how to make sure the camera adapter fits the 55mm t adapter?!


#3 MistrBadgr

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 03:05 PM

Welcome to the forum!

I do not know all that much more about astro photography than you do. But, I have picked up a few things just reading posts. There are some here that take pictures just by holding the camera up to the eyepiece. Normally, the take a whole bunch as carefully as they can and weed out the blurry ones.

The telescope you have is a nice introductory one. I have one and have bought them for both of my daughters (grown).

There are a couple of ways you can use your camera with it attached. The first way is with your camera and no lens in it or eyepiece in the scope. You can purchase a T-adapter that fits your specific camera and then another adapter that fits into the eyepiece holder. Meade probably does not have the specific T-adapter for your camera, but the camera company probably does.

The second way is similar to people just holding their camera up to the eyepiece, except that there is something to hold the camera in place. One type fits over the camera lens and then over an eyepiece, with tightening screws, if I remember correctly. The other type mounts onto the focuser and has an adjustable rod system that the camera mounts onto.

Whatever method you use, I would be concious of the weight of the camera and other equipment. Even though it can be used for taking pictures, the DS-2090 is a bit light for anything with any real weight to it and will tend to sag with you.

There are also imagers that you can purchase that slide directly into the eyepiece holder and plug into a computer. If you have a laptop or netbook, this method can be fairly easy to do, at least in its rudimentary form. The price of imagers start at around $100 and go to some figure you probably do not want to know about. Meade does not sell imagers any more, but there are some on the second hand market.

Hope this helps,

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

#4 Philip Pugh

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 10:46 PM

I'm thinking of writing a book on this subject but it is unlikely that I will start writing it this year. To be honest there's a lot of experiments I intend to do first, not to mention that I'm writing a fictional book this year. Whilst I regularly moan about not having money for expensive equipment (and those that do moan about not having even more money, etc), there aren't enough clear nights and spare time for image processing to try all tools and methods.

You CAN hand-hold cameras to the eyepiece and you get better with practice but take plenty of shots and select the best. It is still the main method I use. The most "affordable" method of taking decent images of the planets is a webcam but it is a tough learning curve and can drive you mad.

My advice is to start off with the Moon. Here's my lunar images, excluding the very latest: http://s197.photobuc...n?sort=3&page=1

#5 Xenogazza

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 11:29 PM

Many thanks to you both for your good advice, I will experiment by holding the camera to the lense tonight - if it's clear! - and see what happens. I will also look into connecting an imager to my computer in the near future.
I'll let you know how I get on!
Thanks again! :)

#6 Xenogazza

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 02:12 AM

Well, I managed to buy a bracket that (after modifying) I can now clamp my camera to the lense of the telescope.
Now I really appreciate the pictures others have taken as I realise how hard it is to get a clear image!
After messing around with the exposure, aperture, timers, focus etc... I managed to get one picture of Saturn that appeared as a tiny (almost unseeable) speck, when I zoom in you can clearly see its rings! I'm pleased with my first attempt but, I clearly have a long way to go yet and I will try to photograph the moon when it's in a place I can see it easily!
Again, thanks for the advice - I've just got to improve my techniques now!

#7 MistrBadgr

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 02:22 AM

Please keep us posted on how things go for you. Your stumbling blocks and successes help everyone learn.

Besides, it is fun to hear about what you do.

Best Regards,

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

#8 Philip Pugh

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 04:42 AM

You might also like to post your images on the web, such as Photobucket. Here's mine and you can also create your own account from the same site: http://s197.photobuc.../?sort=3&page=1

#9 Xenogazza

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 01:10 PM

I'll create an account at some point soon - I'd like to get at least one more recognisable image of something first though!
I'm having difficulty still getting any kind of clear picture, they all seem over exposed - no matter what Settings I use on the camera - I think I'm possibly having trouble focusing the camera as I can see the telescope is in focus but the 'over exposed' look could be due the the image being blurry?!
I also need to get some filters to see if they help but, the fact that I took a couple of pics that weren't over exposed or blurry on my first attempt confuses me somewhat and makes me think focus could be a key issue.

The weight of the camera did prove a problem for me originally but, I've shifted the scope further forward in its mount and they seems to have solved it. I'm still waiting for the moon to be visible from my garden to I have an easier target as this is indeed a very frustrating process at times!

#10 Russell

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 03:03 PM

I believe your camera has a manual focus mode and a "Focus check function" button. When you press that button, the central portion of the image (through the camera viewfinder) is shown enlarged and you can check the focus that way.
You can also use a terrestrial object in the daytime (when you can see better what you are doing) to test out some of your settings.
Russell Hurlbert

#11 Xenogazza

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 04:35 AM

The focus check sounds like it would be very useful - I'll look into that ASAP. Yesterday, I did try to test the focus on a chimney about 300 metres away, the first picture focused well but, the next two I struggled with. It was a useful test as I now know how small the image is - even through my 25mm lens (which is the largest I have) now I know how hard it will be using the the 6mm lens as when it's dark you can't see where the image begins and ends.
Last night was too cloudy so, hopefully tonight I will have more joy!
Thanks Russell.

#12 Russell

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 05:24 PM


Well, I managed to buy a bracket that (after modifying) I can now clamp my camera to the lense of the telescope.


May I ask, just what kind did you get?

And don't worry about posting some of your pictures that show a problem you are having because it will help greatly in identifying any problem.
Russell Hurlbert

#13 Philip Pugh

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 12:17 AM

For bright objects, you can try using flash to get better contrast. This is counter-intuitive but it works.

I've been using compact digital cameras for years but I'm taking baby steps with my DSLR.




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