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Old 31-01-2005, 10:24 PM
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janoskiss (Steve H)
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mating 35mm SLR to focuser

Do any of you have experience with using 35mm SLRs for astrophotography?

I would like to find out what the best way is to mate a 35mm SLR camera to a 2" focuser.

Ideally I want a camera lens that would fit in the focuser at one end and attach to the camera at the other. (A camerapiece, as opposed to an eyepiece.) Given the large number of incompatible camera lens mounts, this is unlikely to happen.

So, any suggestions on what is the best way to use a good quality 35mm film SLR with amateur scopes?

[PS. I have a Nikon F65, but it drains the battery while the shutter is open, so it's no good for long exposure shots. I also have a Petra SLR somewhere that might be good for long exposures. If not, I'm planning to get an all-mechanical 2nd hand SLR.]
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Old 31-01-2005, 10:43 PM
rumples riot
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All you really need with an SLR is a t adapter and perhaps and EP adapter to go with the T adapter. I did film for some years prior to digital and it does have its draw backs. However, that being said good film is techpan 2415 for B/W and 3200 konica is also very good colour film. A mechanical camera is imperative for film photography and so too is a release cable.

Bear in mind, that if you use colour, you can develop yourself, but you will need to get your shots printed at a store. This is where it can get expensive and you will find that within a shot period of time you might have been better off buying a digital SLR. However, if you want to give it a go, there are some rewards that come with it.

Hope that I have helped.
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Old 31-01-2005, 11:45 PM
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Thanks Paul. I haven't given much thought to what film I'd use, so thanks for the tips. I was thinking of using a fast chrome (slide) film for colour, and something very fast for B/W.

Can you tell me more about T adapters? I did a quick google search and I gather it's like a normal camera lens but it fits in the focuser; I must get one that fits my camera, and I need several for different magnifications...

Anyway, where do I get one of these T adapters?
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Old 01-02-2005, 12:08 AM
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[1ponders] (Paul)
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Damn I wrote a big response to your query janos and it didn't post for some reason, so I'll try again

I was going to suggest slide film janos. (I wish I could remember what I said before) With slide film what you shoot is what you get, as it is a colour positive film. As opposed to normal print film with is colour negative film. Here your at the mercy of your photo processing shop as far as colour balance etc is concerned. However if you choose colour negative most slide scanners these days and photoshop, I believe, can convert colour negative film to a positive image.

Paul I have some bad news for you regarding Kodaks Techpan films. I've read in other forums that Kodak stopping production.

If you're looking for films to use have a browse through this site. I picked up a lot of useful info there

http://www.robertreeves.com/index.html

or more specifically the links on this page

http://www.robertreeves.com/filmtest.htm

If you're seriously considering film photography then try to get hold of "Astrophotography for the Amateur" by Michael Covington. Basically the beginners bible to film astrophotography. Or "Atro Photography, An Introduction to Film and Digital Imaging" by H.J.P Arnold.

If you do decide to try your hand at it then be prepared to go through quite a few rolls of film getting your techniques perfected. One of the reasons people are turning to digital photography.

I'm not even going to try to preview this, this time so excuse the grammar and spelling
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Old 01-02-2005, 12:28 AM
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janoskiss (Steve H)
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Paul R, Your msg got thru this time. Thanks for your advice.

Still, the biggest puzzle is how to combine scope and camera, i.e., how to turn the scope into a camera lens.
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Old 01-02-2005, 05:11 AM
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iceman (Mike)
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Just ring up Bintel, they'll have the adapters you need. Tell them your scope and camera, and you're done.

However if you're expecting to do long exposures on your new shiny dob, I wouldn't bother with your T adapters. No tracking = no long exposures.

If you're planning on using your dob+SLR for lunar/planetary imaging, it's a pretty tough way to do it with film. You're much better off using a digicam or a webcam, like I have done.

Hope that helps.
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Old 01-02-2005, 09:50 AM
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Another thing to think about janos is, if you're using a dob (well any scope really but *particularly* a push/pull alt/az type mount), mirror flip will bugger up your shots for anything slower than about 1/60 sec so you will be pretty restricted with what you shoot. If you can post your telescope details, particularly f ratio I can find you the exposure ratings for the most likely objects you will try to shoot for. As Ice says if you're going for planetary shots, think webcam.
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Old 01-02-2005, 11:15 AM
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Motion blur does not worry me. There is an algorithm that I'd like to try out, with refinements to suit astrophotography without tracking. I'd need to motorise at least one of alt/az axes to make it work. See:

Alex Rav-Acha and Shmuel Peleg (2005), Two motion-blurred images are better than one. Pattern Recognition Letters, vol. 26(3), pp. 311-317. Here is a preprint copy.

The "mirror flip" problem can probably be worked around by blocking the light for a few seconds before and after the shutter is opened. Cheap webcam is not an option at present, because it'd need a not so cheap laptop.

Paul, my scope is an 8" f5 dob.
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Old 01-02-2005, 10:47 PM
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Hi Guys, Just to add a few things. I also read in S&T,I think, that Kodak were stopping production of their techpan 2415 film.
Janos, You can use a piece of black card in front of your lens to stop shutter shake. Just needs 4 or 5 secs. The question of running out of batteries on long exposures is to do what I did when I made my curved rod camera tracker,use an external battery pack. Your local electronics store will have *AA* battery holders,(x2/x4/x6/x8), which you can wire up very easily. I made up a *dummy* battery(same size as original), out of a piece of suitably sized dowel, attached the 2 (red & black) wires to it and just plugged it in, in place of the original battery.
HTH,
ps. didn't like the idea of filing a slot it my Canon camera battery cover, but I did!

Last edited by RAJAH235; 01-02-2005 at 10:52 PM.
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Old 01-02-2005, 11:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by RAJAH235
I also read in S&T,I think, that Kodak were stopping production of their techpan 2415 film
Yes, as far as I know, Kodak are abandoning the chemical medium altogether and are putting all their efforts into digital.

Quote:
Originally posted by RAJAH235 ... I made up a *dummy* battery(same size as original)...
Thanks. That's a good idea. The f65 has weird batteries though.
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Old 02-02-2005, 08:53 PM
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Janos, I have attached two different 35mm SLR's to my scope with much success. For my fujica, the camera body uses threaded type lenses so it was a simple connection of a T-ring (that came with my scope. You could get a really cheap used one in such places as astromart or maybe andrews might have them too), straight onto the focuser which the camera then threads directly onto. However, with my olympus, the lenses attaches using a different kind of mount system (a screw-in bayonet type mount) so I needed an extra olympus T-ring adapter (bought it off astomart for a really good price) that connects the camera to the T-ring, which then attaches to the scope.
So that's my experience with connecting these ancient cameras. Hope that helped
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