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Old 18-08-2007, 04:28 PM
BBOSTJAN
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Vixen VX-1 kamera User manual

Helo!

I would like to take some photos of the sky and so I manage to get old Vixen VX-1 kamera. Unfortunately without any User manual or other material.

I try to find some additional information on the web but since the camera is rather old there is not much to see.

So, I am searching for some kind of User manual for this kamera to have basic instructions how to use it.

Just for information, I have Vixen GP102M telescope on ordinary GP mount.

Best regards, Bostjan
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  #2  
Old 18-08-2007, 07:01 PM
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bojan
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Welcome to IIS, Bostjan
I tried to Google a bit but nothing came up
I am sure someone here will be able to help....
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Old 18-08-2007, 10:49 PM
Dennis
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I think that the Vixen camera was modeled on a Pentax 35mm film camera, maybe the K/KM/KX or K1000 model(s).

What controls, dials, etc are on the top plate and what are their markings? On these manual cameras, you can set the film ISO rating, shutter speed and I think the metering is a match needle system in the viewfinder.

Cheers

Dennis
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Old 19-08-2007, 06:24 PM
BBOSTJAN
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Halo!

Here is the picture of the camera:

http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/a...1&d=1187515198

I belive that that is the only model the Vixen has produce.

I am searching for some kind instructions for the camera on how to take pictures with it from the begining to the true picture. Since I do not know all the function of the camera it is hard to begin with since this is not an ordinary photo kamera.

Regards, Boastjan
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Old 19-08-2007, 08:24 PM
Dennis
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Hi Boastjan

Just to get the ball rolling, I have marked up your photo to identify some of the basic controls Ė here is the modified image.

I have also included a scan from an old Vixen catalogue that I have.

Cheers

Dennis
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Old 19-08-2007, 09:11 PM
BBOSTJAN
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Halo Dennis!

Thank's, that was very nice from you.

I manage to get also some other information (unfortunately in German language -> so if somebody is interesting to get German short manual I can provide it) but I am still not sure if the light in the field of view (as Praktica ABC photocamera) is of some use when the photos are taken. I got the immpresion that for good photos the time less than a minute is out of the question.

If someone use this camera please let me know if the procedure of takeing the picture is more "try and repair" or is more "user friendly" with this camera.

Regards, Bostjan
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Old 20-08-2007, 06:43 AM
Dennis
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Hi Boastjan

Here is how I used to connect my Pentax KM 35mm film camera to my Vixen ED102S refractor for Prime Focus astrophotography.

Prime Focus means that effectively, the telescope simply replaces the camera lens and as is acting like a super-telephoto lens, in my case with a focal length of 920mm.

Prime focus is good for getting the Moon completely in the frame and with say, 100ASA film, I think for a half moon (1st or 3rd Quarter) you will need an exposure of around 1/125 sec.

Cheers

Dennis
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Old 20-08-2007, 06:50 AM
Dennis
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Hi Boastjan

To take a photo on a telescope, I always use a shutter release cable which screws into the shutter release knob. If you press the shutter release knob on the camera directly, you risk shaking the camera which will give you blurred photos. The shutter release cable is a flexible cable that allows you to release the shutter without physically touching the camera.

One other problem with an SLR (Single Lens Reflex) camera like your VX-1 or my Pentax KM, is that when you press the shutter release, either directly or using the cable, the first action is that the mirror flips up and then the shutter exposes the film. When the mirror flips up, the force of this can cause the camera to shake at exposures of less that say, 1/125 sec. Some cameras have a “Mirror Lock Up” function so that you can manually flip up the mirror, wait say 10 secs for the vibrations to die down, then release the shutter to make the exposure.

Cheers

Dennis
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Old 20-08-2007, 08:30 PM
BBOSTJAN
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Helo Dennis!

The shakeing the camera is really a problem. As enthusiastic photographer I know that problem from using telelens on some older digital kameras on which this problem is much more noticable. That is also why I try with ordinary photocameras. What do you think, if I use more sensitive film (400, 800 ASA), the time would be shorter but probably the picture will be very grany or blure?

The procedure you describe (prime focus) I already try but I do not have fix tripod (not a quality one) and my pictures are nit sharp. So I wonder what would happen if I would like to have larger magnification (look my second picture)? Would it be projection picture on the film smaller or darker (or probably both). Since the bigger magnifications should have "smaller time" of expositure what is the cure for makeing nice pictures?

And one stupid question: I have motor driven mount which works fine for the stars obeservation (as in infinity distance objects). How does reflect the Earth rotation on moon or mars photo observation?

http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/a...1&d=1187609295
http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/a...1&d=1187609295
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Old 20-08-2007, 09:45 PM
Dennis
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Hi Bostjan

This is scary – you seem to have the same Vixen parts that I have; see my eyepiece projection photo attached!

It is a few years since I last used film, and I understand that a modern ISO400 emulsion is as good as the older ISO100 emulsions that I used to use. So, the extra speed of the ISO400 emulsion should allow for a faster shutter speed and keep camera shake to a minimum.

One old rule was that for a lens of focal length L, use the reciprocal to set the shutter speed. So, for a 200mm lens, use 1/250 sec; for a 500mm lens, use 1/500 sec to minimize camera shake.

Unfortunately, with the long length of a telescope and the camera attached to the focuser, this acts like a long mechanical lever and so even the smallest of vibration becomes magnified and can ruin a photo.

So far, I have only spoken of the Moon which is a bright object allowing a relatively fast shutter speed and the tracking of the mount is not that important.

If you have a motorized equatorial mount, the mount should track at the “Sidereal Rate”, making a complete revolution in 23hours 56mins. With my Vixen GPDX mount and a telephoto lens of up to say, 300mm, I can usually take photos of 10 to 15 minutes duration without any star trailing. This is with the mount accurately polar aligned and the RA tracking motor running at the sidereal rate.

However, if I move up to my Vixen 102mm f9 refractor (918mm focal length), I am usually limited to only 3 to 4 minutes exposures towards the South Celestial Pole (small circles) and 1 to 2 minutes in other regions of the sky (larger circles) before I get star trailing. At focal lengths of over 1500mm I am lucky to get 20 to 30 seconds before stars begin to trail. This is with 35mm film. I have found that tracking with CCD cameras is even more critical and shows up the smallest of tracking errors.

I also have a CCD camera with an internal guide chip. This chip is used for auto-guiding (as opposed to simple tracking) for imaging faint Deep Sky Objects, such as galaxies that require long exposures (30 to 60 minutes). I find a suitable guide star and place it on a reference pixel. The guiding software then makes small calibration movements Up, Down, Left and Right so it calculates how much it must energise the tracking motors to bring the guide star back to the reference pixel if the guide star drifts off due to tracking errors, atmospheric refraction, etc.

Using this auto-guiding technique, you can expose an image at say, 1500mm focal length for 5 or even 10 minutes and still get round stars as the guide chip ensures the guide star remains stationary on the reference pixel.

So, in summary, for the brighter objects such as the Moon and Planets at prime focus, tracking is not an issue as exposures are relatively short. However, when you use eyepiece projection, then the image is highly magnified and become quite dim. To record any detail, you would typically require exposures of say 1/8 to Ĺ second and these would be a severe test of the rigidity of the mount.

I now use a webcam to take highly magnified images of small areas of the Moon and the Planets, as the webcam can expose the CCD chip at say, 1/30 sec with no mirror shake. Also, the webcam can capture say, 30 frames in 1 second and run for say, 60 seconds so you effectively have taken 30 x 60 photos = 1800 frames.

At least some of those frames should be sharp during the moments of good seeing which may only last for say, 1 to 2 seconds at a time. A program called Registax can then analyse these 1800 frames of the movie file from the webcam and select the sharpest frames before stacking them together and produce a final image that is sharp and detailed.

We’ve covered a lot of ground here, I hope I haven’t confused you.

Cheers

Dennis
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Old 21-08-2007, 03:23 AM
BBOSTJAN
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Halo Dennis!

Yes it is really interesting fact that we have very similar equipment and I belive that I am the luckiest guy right now. You see, Slovenia has only 2 milions of inhabitans so there are no so many people (in count and percentage) which acts as amateur astronomers and uses Vixen telescope (so I didn't have jet proper man for my problems).

You really gave me a lot of useful information in the last post which I will have to try in near future also in practial point of view to see what would be for me the best.

One more question: Do you use color filters in taking pictures? Are they more for detaled observation or does it have some impact in picture quality? By my opinion, the moon filter from Vixen could have better impact also on the photo picture.

Second, on dual axis controller (DD-1) are three speeds: 1.5x, 2x and 32x. I can't fugure it out why 1.5? For what objects? Is it usable only for fine adjustments?

And finaly: Did you try to take picture of the sun? (Probably yes, so...) Do you have some special filter on your 102M telescope mounted to take the pictures?

Regards, Bostjan
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Old 21-08-2007, 06:20 AM
Dennis
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Hi Bostjan

I havenít used colour filters on my astronomy photos, but I do understand that certain colour filters can help bring out detail on planets such as Jupiter. Here is a link.

On the DD-1 controller I used the x1.5 correction speed when manually guiding to make small guide corrections. For this technique, I used an off-axis guider, somewhat similar in design to the flip mirror in one of your previous posts.

My off-axis guider had 3 ports or openings;
  • One where the camera was fitted to take the photo.
  • One where an eyepiece was fitted to find, frame and focus the object.
  • One where a guiding eyepiece was inserted.
The camera port and eyepiece port can be used alternately via flipping an internal full size flip mirror. Here is a link to the Taurus Tracker off axis guider that I used to use (I had the Mk II)

The guide port accepts a relatively high power (9mm-12mm) eyepiece with an illuminated reticule. Using this eyepiece, you find a suitable guide star reflected by a small built in mirror that picks off a small area of sky just outside the field of the camera. By watching this star, you keep it centred on the cross hairs of the illuminated guiding eyepiece by pressing the DD-1 buttons at the x1.5 speed.

This technique, provided you donít fall asleep at the eyepiece, makes sure that the image being formed in the camera will have nice round stars.

In terms of a solar filter, always use a full aperture solar filter approved for astronomy that fits over the objective lens of the Ďscope. Never use the type that fits on the eyepiece, as these will break and blind you, either from the Sunís rays or the splinters of glass. If you do use a full aperture solar filter, either remove the finder scope or place the lens caps on to prevent any accidents.

By the way, do not use the x32 slew speed for too long a time as I understand that the components inside (a voltage regulator) can overheat and burn out. I only use the x32 speed for a few seconds at a time to centre an object.

Also, if using a mains power adapter to provide power to the DD-1, make sure it is centre negative otherwise you will destroy the DD-1 as it does not have any reverse voltage protection circuit inside.

Cheers

Dennis
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Old 03-03-2014, 07:32 AM
dfahs
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BBOSTJAN,

Please try the following email to get help with your camera. I have the same camera, but the manual is in Japanese, so I requested they send me some information
Vixen Optics
1023 Calle Sombra Unit C
San Clemente, CA 92673

Phone: (949) 429-6363

Fax: (949) 429-6826
Email: Info@vixenoptics.com

from: Diya
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