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  #21  
Old 24-01-2005, 02:22 PM
gbeal
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Yeah guys,
but like I said it hasn't happened yet, so don't hold your breath.
I really only mention it as there seems to be plenty that are thinking to get a ToUcam, and for a little more, why not get a modded/cooled one. Sit tight and as the news unfolds I will keep you all in the loop.
Gary
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  #22  
Old 24-01-2005, 02:25 PM
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Striker (Tony)
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No gary...you have us all excited and demand the toucam to be delivered to my door by the end of the week....no excuses....lol

BTW....invoice Paul (1Ponders) he is yet to know but he's buying this for me.......
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  #23  
Old 24-01-2005, 03:13 PM
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[1ponders] (Paul)
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You must still be in bed asleep Tony. Your dream's a good one
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  #24  
Old 24-01-2005, 08:10 PM
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Rodstar (Rod)
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I might also sign up for one of those ToUcam's Gary! Let us all know more when you have some specific info....I'll keep looking to see where you can get a Canon D300 for $1400. The one I looked at at CameraHouse yesterday was $1,799. Striker, what did you get for your SLR? What vintage was it?

Rodstar
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  #25  
Old 24-01-2005, 08:26 PM
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My Canon SLR was the current model...I bought the enthusiast pack with extra lense and memory card.....I only had it for 3 months.... I payed $1900 but got $200 cash back from canon......so final price was $1700...sold it to a mate of mine.....for $1500....

Here very cheap..
Ebay has heaps for sale. "Brand New"

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI....868736735&rd=1

Last edited by Striker; 24-01-2005 at 08:30 PM.
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  #26  
Old 24-01-2005, 08:40 PM
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Rodstar (Rod)
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I would have paid that too. Sounds like a fair price. Not sure about buying through e-bay from the US....if a local posts one at a good price I would consider it.

Rodstar
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  #27  
Old 25-01-2005, 02:09 PM
gbeal
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Guys,
I recall seeing them here for NZ$1400 with lens, so that makes it about AU$1300 or so, but the dreaded God Save Tasmania will add another 10% (don't laugh it is 12.5% here).
Want me to keep an eye open for one?
Saw one on Astromart today for about (memory is shot) US$625.
Gary
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  #28  
Old 25-01-2005, 02:17 PM
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When I bought mine a couple of weeks ago Ted's Camera house had them for $1399 with a $200 rebate package of a camera bag and 256 meg memory card. You don't get a memory card when you buy the camera.

A 256 card will give 16 normal photographs in raw format, more for astrophotography (I've found nearly double). If your thinking of getting a canon then get at least a 512 meg card. The 256 makes a good backup for those really busy nights.

Happy snapping
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  #29  
Old 25-01-2005, 03:46 PM
rumples riot
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Thought I might weigh into the fray.

Get these, either the D70 or the Canon 300D. The canon is better for Ha and since most nebula are Ha, that should settle it for you. I love my D70 but this limitation does get frustrating.

Now for planetary get the Toucam, I got the uncooled one, but this seems to do a good job as is, still you might want to get the cooled one.

Only other thing you will need is Registax3 (freeware), and photoshop (not free) and later either the wedge or my field derotator .

Astrophotography will get you in and you will end up spending more and more money. But the enjoyment is really worth it. And besides its not like buying a fishing boat is it?

Best of luck
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  #30  
Old 25-01-2005, 04:05 PM
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I thought all software was free.....oh thats right...it's where I get it from.....woops
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  #31  
Old 25-03-2005, 11:57 PM
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got a question about prime photogrpahy with a digital cam. I've got a fuji finepix 3800 which has a treaded lens so i can buy a step down ring and attched it to the rear cell of my LX90. Experiemented tonight just holding it there and i could not get a clear focus nor could i get rid of the secondary baffle from the shot.

So what i'm wondering is if its possible to get a clear shot if i attach it more securily? Or does prime photography only work without the lens attached so the telescope is the lens. My viewfinder is an electronic display so i'm looking thru the lens when focusing but can't get rid of the baffle. THe lens on the 3800 is quite large, 36mm to be precise.

I also had a go at afocal with bad results, again just holding the camera. BINTEL had a device that had a 49mm thread on it and 3 adjustment screws. It slides over your eyepiece and i could get a step down ring to attach the camera. Will that produce better results????

Thanks in advance
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  #32  
Old 26-03-2005, 12:33 AM
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ballaratdragons (Ken)
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Call me dumb, but I know nothing about computer stuff. If I used a webcam (or a TouCam thing) to take photos through the scope does that mean I would have to by a laptop too? That's another $1000+.
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  #33  
Old 26-03-2005, 01:12 AM
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depends where your scope is in relation to your current computer. You would want to have it relativly close in order to be able to focus and such, unless you can do that electronically.

A laptop is the ideal solution but you'd be looking at more then $1000 if you want something half decent.
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  #34  
Old 26-03-2005, 05:21 AM
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iceman (Mike)
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Rohan, prime focus is the telescope without an eyepiece, and the camera without a lens. So yes, the telescope becomes a very large telephoto lens.

What it sounds like you were doing was afocal, where you still have an eyepiece in and the lens is still on the camera too.

Focussing at afocal can be hard, try a longer focal ratio in your camera settings, and set focus to infinity on the camera. The rings and adapters will help because the camera will be lined up better.

Ken, yes you'd need a laptop, or your desktop very close to your scope which is usually unlikely. You can get some cheap laptops off ebay, but yeh it's gonna cost around $1000 by the time you buy a ToUcam as well.

Start with afocal, i've seen some very nice results this way.
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  #35  
Old 26-03-2005, 07:57 AM
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acropolite (Phil)
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Rodstar, You asked the difference between the Kodak and a DSLR. Aside from the ability to change lenses easily DSLR's have one huge advantage and that is sensor area. Just as aperture rules in astronomy, the size of the CCD or CMOS sensor in a camera directly affects the performance, particularly noise performance. The closer together the pixels are, the more noise they generate. The chip size in the kodak is tiny, in the 300D it is approx 2/3 35mm frame size. Compare an image in daylight from the Kodak and the Canon and you won't see all that much difference. In lower light levels the Kodak image will fall to pieces, the image will be full of noise and compression artifacts. Comparing the 300D and the D70 the Canon wins hands down. For a start you can buy the 300D for $1499 or less from an Australian dealer. A lot of the popularity of the D70 comes about as a result of its stronger case, which may be better if you handle it roughly, but in all the samples and reviews I have seen the 300D comes up trumps and certainly has the best noise performance particularly as the ISO (equivalent of film speed) is cranked up. Canon has just released the 350D which is an 8Mp version of the 300D. If you get really serious, the 300D is also easily modified for enhanced infra-red performance by replacement of the infra-red filter which is inside the camera and over the CMOS Sensor. The ToUcam is still only a low resolution webcam (which has good noise performance), although the results that can be achieved from the ToUcam are excellent.

http://www.camerastore.com.au/Digita..._Cameras_1.htm has the 300D kit for $1339 ; you will also need a C/F card; I bought a 1 gig card for $140

Try these links for DSLR reviews.

http://www.dcresource.com
http://www.digitalcamera-hq.com
http://www.dpreview.com
http://www.steves-digicams.com

and this one in particular for lens reviews, bob has some good advice on his site.
http://http://www.bobatkins.com/phot...00dlenses.html

Finally a link to Pete's astronomy page (he's in Hobart) to get an idea what you can reasonaby expect from both the
300D and the ToUcam on an 8 inch MeadeLX90
http://www.users.bigpond.com/lansma/images.htm

Last edited by acropolite; 26-03-2005 at 09:33 AM.
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  #36  
Old 26-03-2005, 10:26 AM
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Iceman, i had the diagonal and the eyepieces removed hence it was prime focus i was trying, but obviously i still had the camera lens on as i can't remove it. Just wondering is it possible to get good results this way or does the fact i'm using 2 lens (telescope and camera lens) rule out the possibility of a good shot.

ANyway i'll see how much step down rings are today, if there not much then i might as well give it a go.
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  #37  
Old 26-03-2005, 11:24 AM
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Rohan, the simple answer to your question is, no. The two lenses definitely means that the setup won't be able to form an image and hence, it will not focus at all. It's like trying to put another normal lens in front of your current camera (just tried it out with my cameras just to see what it looks like...not a pretty picture!) - and the telescope is essentially another incredibly long telephoto lens so there is no way you can get it to focus.

I have just bought two step down rings at US$6.95 each off ebay that will allow me to attach my point and shoot digital camera (non-removeable lens as well) to my camera adapter (which holds the eyepiece in place). Hopefully I got the sizes right. Step down rings shouldn't be too expensive rohan, mine cost a little more than what I've seen them going for on ebay as I had to get weird sizes. The Bintel device you described sounds like a great idea, then all you need is a step down or step up ring, depending on the size of the thread on your digital camera (mine is 52mm so I had to get a step down ring).
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  #38  
Old 26-03-2005, 01:10 PM
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john_drummond (John Drummond)
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Hi Rod,

I have not read all the replies, but if I had $1000 for a cemera I would go for a Canon EOS 300D (Rebel, Kiss). The 350D and 20D have recently hit the market and there are a few of these 300D's on the second-hand market now. A mate just got one for about $1000 ('Trade-Me'). The beauty of these is that you can remove the IR filter and get a camera that is much more receptive in the hydrogen-alpha (the reds of emission nebulae).

I would hazzard to say that internationally this is the most popular 'cheaper' digital SLR. The lenses detach like a normal SLR, and a T-Ring and barrel are put into the eyepiece holder of the scope to do prime focus astrophography.

I have the 300D's big brother - the 10D (same chip but magnessium alloy cased - as oppossed to plastc for the 300D - but who's going to drop it anyhow?)

Cheers.

John Drummond
Gisborne, New Zealand
E 178* 03', S 38* 40'
email: john_drummond@xtra.co.nz
website: http://www.possumobservatory.co.nz
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  #39  
Old 26-03-2005, 02:32 PM
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Cheers silvinator. Just went shopping for step down rings, no one had the 55-50 which was required for prime focus so i guess thats lucky cos it would have been a waste. Got a 52-49 ($7.85) thou so going get my dad to pick up the adaptor from bintel on tuesday and then i can fire away at some afocal images. Managed to get this image of saturn just holding the camera so hopefully will get something a bit better with the camera secured. Cheers.
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  #40  
Old 26-03-2005, 04:45 PM
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seeker372011 (Narayan)
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Rod:

All the smart money seems to be taking the view that with the launch of the Canon 350D and the 20D (astrophotography special), there are going to be plenty of 300Ds on ebay as people trade up.

There is no question in my mind-after having played with a modified Toucam for over a year, the Canon 300 D (which I have used only a couple of times so far) is so far in front it is worth every dollar extra-it cost three times what my Atik 1 c cost me.

BTW I bought it new from Hong Kong through ebay. you still have to pay freight, insurance and then Australian Customs, bless thier souls, slug you with a processing fee and GST but I still wound up saving around $100 compared to buying from my local Camera house.

my 2c-go the digital SLR route. A canon T adapter costs about $45 from bintel (from memory); a camera adapter from andrews is advertsied at $19.

You will probably eventually want to buy DSLR focus-$56. And then of course you can start thinking of guide scopes-what are you going to guide with? You will need a modified webcam or meade LPI or DSI..

and then filters..

And you wouldnt want to begin without Photoshop 6 or 7 (or CS if you really want to spend money).

astronomy can be an expensive hobby. Photography can also be an expensive hobby. Combine the two ..there are no savings to be had!
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