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Old 28-11-2007, 07:22 PM
astroturf (Bryan)
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Canon 400D EOS

Hi everybody

I'm looking at purchasing one of these as my interest in photography grows,
there are some good deals at the moment

the Questions are : can this camera be easily adapted to use in astrophotography as well?
If so what sort of success could I expect? & what sort of extras would I require for (a) piggyback on LX90 &(b)actual fitting to the visual back of the LX90 via micro focusser etc?, would the camera take images via eyepieces(e.g Orion stratus)

As you can see I'm pretty much in the dark on this one,any feedback would be greatly appreciated

Cheers
Bryan
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  #2  
Old 29-11-2007, 08:44 PM
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cookie8 (Vincent)
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Hi Bryan
Like you I am pondering the same questions. I'm seriously considering between a used Canon 350D or brand new 400D. I have never used a SLR before but some packages are really tempting. Check this out Bryan:
http://www.d-d-photographics.com.au/canon400d.htm
I think prices will come down even more post-christmas.
Cheers
Vincent
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  #3  
Old 29-11-2007, 09:21 PM
Dennis
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Hi Bryan

There are two main types of photos you can take with a DSLR and a telescope and both really require a polar aligned equatorial mount to allow long exposures to be taken:

1. Piggyback where you mount the DSLR + lens on the ‘scope/mount and use the tracking capability of the mount to take wide field exposures.

2. Prime focus where you remove the eyepiece and replace it with the DSLR, minus its lens, but fitted with a special adapter. Effectively, your telescope now is a super telephoto lens and the DSLR simply holds the CCD chip to record the image.

Both these techniques require your mount to be an equatorial mount and be to polar aligned, so you can take long exposure photos without having the stars trail.

The standard 400D has a built in filter that cuts off a lot of (useful) light at the red end of the spectrum, which is unfortunate as objects such as the Eta Carina nebula are rich in these wavelengths and the built in filter does a good job of cutting these out, so you only record a fraction of what is available.

Some people have their 400D’s modified (expensive) by having this filter removed, allowing the full spectrum to reach the CCD chip.

If you use the DSLR + lens AND the Stratus eyepiece, this is called “afocal” photography and will usually give you highly magnified photos of the Moon, albeit with some vignetting. It can be difficult to hold the camera steady and get a nice focus with this technique, whilst avoiding any vibrations from the mirror slap as it flips up to expose the CCD.

Well, that’s a very brief sprint through some of the issues, I hope it proves helpful.

Cheers

Dennis
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  #4  
Old 30-11-2007, 09:51 AM
astroturf (Bryan)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cookie8 View Post
Hi Bryan
Like you I am pondering the same questions. I'm seriously considering between a used Canon 350D or brand new 400D. I have never used a SLR before but some packages are really tempting. Check this out Bryan:
http://www.d-d-photographics.com.au/canon400d.htm
I think prices will come down even more post-christmas.
Cheers
Vincent
Thanks Vincent
The price is good at that shop & they allow you to pick up if your'e local.
They also have an extensive catalogue covering lenses etc(I thought some astro ep's were expensive!)
Have a look at this one http://www.quikshop.com.au/canon-400...k-p-15567.html
Its been suggested there may be inferior grey imports floating around & if purchasing to make sure it has a "Canon" warranty rather than dealer warranty,I don't know how true it is - food for thought
Cheers
Bryan
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  #5  
Old 30-11-2007, 10:27 AM
astroturf (Bryan)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis View Post
Hi Bryan

There are two main types of photos you can take with a DSLR and a telescope and both really require a polar aligned equatorial mount to allow long exposures to be taken:

1. Piggyback where you mount the DSLR + lens on the Ďscope/mount and use the tracking capability of the mount to take wide field exposures.

2. Prime focus where you remove the eyepiece and replace it with the DSLR, minus its lens, but fitted with a special adapter. Effectively, your telescope now is a super telephoto lens and the DSLR simply holds the CCD chip to record the image.

Both these techniques require your mount to be an equatorial mount and be to polar aligned, so you can take long exposure photos without having the stars trail.

The standard 400D has a built in filter that cuts off a lot of (useful) light at the red end of the spectrum, which is unfortunate as objects such as the Eta Carina nebula are rich in these wavelengths and the built in filter does a good job of cutting these out, so you only record a fraction of what is available.

Some people have their 400Dís modified (expensive) by having this filter removed, allowing the full spectrum to reach the CCD chip.

If you use the DSLR + lens AND the Stratus eyepiece, this is called ďafocalĒ photography and will usually give you highly magnified photos of the Moon, albeit with some vignetting. It can be difficult to hold the camera steady and get a nice focus with this technique, whilst avoiding any vibrations from the mirror slap as it flips up to expose the CCD.

Well, thatís a very brief sprint through some of the issues, I hope it proves helpful.

Cheers

Dennis
Thanks Dennis

You've certainly filled in most of the blanks(& possibly opened a can of worms!)

if you were to modify(remove) the 400d filter,would that then enhance the camera for normal use as well or make it less suitable?

the way I'm reading it ,the 400d has a maximum 30 sec shutter speed ,is this also udgradable?

I'm currently "experimenting" with a DSI, would the Canon offer a bigger FOV & could the 3.3 reducer I have ,be used to any advantage?

Cheers
Bryan
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  #6  
Old 30-11-2007, 10:49 AM
Dennis
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The 400D should, like most DSLR’s, have a B (for Bulb) setting where you can make a manual exposure for as long as you keep the shutter release pressed. I’ve seen images here on IIS where members have taken 5 to 10 minute exposures using this technique, although this does bring its own challenges of tracking, noise in the image, etc.

I understand that a modified DSLR (filter removed) can have its White Balance customised to make terrestrial photos look natural/normal. However, I also believe that you would need to replace the removed filter with a same thickness optically flat glass filter to allow auto focusing to work accurately.

Cheers

Dennis
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  #7  
Old 30-11-2007, 10:58 AM
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madwayne (Wayne)
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Hi Bryan,

I have the exact same scope and other gear that you are talking about (except the focal reducer and that is on my shopping list in the near future). The 400D has a bulb setting which means you can have the shutter open for as long as you like, the longest default setting is 30 seconds from memory. The 400D also has mirror lock which allows you to open the mirror and avoid mirror shake when taking your photos. You will need to consider a remote switch for this so you do not physically touch the camera when taking the photo (otherwise you will get camera shake).

You will also need to consider an equatorial wedge (also on my shopping list) to allow you to polar align the LX90. This will allow you take exposures longer than about 15 to 20 seconds. I took some photos last weekend and star trailling is noticeable at 20 seconds but minimal at 15 seconds (I use the standard tripod at the moment).

I also notice in your initial post you ask about piggy backing the 400D. You can get a piggy back bracket that is designed for the LX90 so there is no holes to be drilled. You just remove the 3 allen key bolts from the back end of the scope (nothing falls out from inside ), fit the bracket and screw in the longer bolts that come with the bracket. The camera screws onto the bracket like it does a tripod. You will then need to think about lenses but that is a whole new post completely, I use the 60mm macro lens at present it seems to do a reasonable job.

Prime focus is also very achievable. I capture around 1/3 (give or take) of the moon doing this, to give you an idea of the magnification you achieve.
You will need an adaptor which screws onto the camera where the lens would normally go and then another bit screws in there that has an eye piece size fitting that then connects the camera to the scope.

All of the telescope and camera to telescope bits and pieces are all readily available from Bintel in Glebe (I'll give them a plug as they have helped me out so much in my short time star gazing).

Sorry if I have rambled on a bit but there is so much to learn and it is a darn big hill to climb. I hope I have given you some further insight.

Clear skies.
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  #8  
Old 01-12-2007, 04:41 PM
bloodhound31
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I have the 400D and absolutely LOVE it!

Here's one of my first few photos through the 400D with an ED 80 as my lens.

Baz.
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  #9  
Old 01-12-2007, 07:05 PM
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xelasnave
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I have done a 45 minute exposure for a wide field on a 300 d and the 400d is better and bigger
alex
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  #10  
Old 04-12-2007, 09:15 PM
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cookie8 (Vincent)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astroturf View Post
Thanks Vincent
The price is good at that shop & they allow you to pick up if your'e local.
They also have an extensive catalogue covering lenses etc(I thought some astro ep's were expensive!)
Have a look at this one http://www.quikshop.com.au/canon-400...k-p-15567.html
Its been suggested there may be inferior grey imports floating around & if purchasing to make sure it has a "Canon" warranty rather than dealer warranty,I don't know how true it is - food for thought
Cheers
Bryan
Bryan, thanks for the link. Unbeatable price so ordered one yesterday
Vincent
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  #11  
Old 04-12-2007, 09:20 PM
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citivolus (Ric)
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In regards to Canon warranty, I called them about it a few months ago. Their statement was that in order to carry a warranty here, it needs to be purchased from a Canon Australia authorized dealer. If in doubt, you could probably call their warranty department and verify that a given supplier is legitimate.
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Old 04-12-2007, 09:21 PM
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citivolus (Ric)
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Oh, and the ones on the page mentioned above do say in large print "Imported Stock". It would however still be ideal if you are planning to nullify your warranty by doing an IR mod anyway.
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  #13  
Old 24-12-2007, 09:34 AM
Marc
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Hello everyone,
I really don't post as often as I should (addicted to other fourms!)
I have bought myself the 400D and am chuffed with it. My goal is to use it for deep sky stuff, although I'm discovering slowly that I should have saved my pennies for an SBIG of some order. Either way, I'm going to buy soon a T-ring and adapter, as wide field shots at full RAW might provide some awsome images.
My question is: While it's adaptable to prime focus, can I use the T-ring to attach my camera for EP projection? ie, I have a 5mm Excel I would love to take piccies of Mars with. I know the Maxview 40 is the go here, but was hoping to economise.
Thanks,
Marc
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