Does anyone care to say an LX7 can't do astro?

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Lumixdude
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Does anyone care to say an LX7 can't do astro?
3 months ago

This is just a test shot I was doing with my LX7 tonight. This really is one of the most versatile cameras that I have owned.

HDR Image composite:

ISO 400-1600
F/1.4

30 second manual exposure

Focus set to infinity.

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Lumixdude
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Re: Does anyone care to say an LX7 can't do astro?
In reply to Lumixdude, 3 months ago

being able to eat so much light with an F/1.4 lens also means you can really get away with some lower ISO shots you wouldn't get away with a large format camera with a slower lens. That in turn negates the fact that the LX7 really doesn't resolve clean images above ISO800. All in all I'm relatively impressed for the first time I've attempted this kind of shot with my LX7. Here I was thinking it wouldn't resolve the night sky properly.

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bolador
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Re: Does anyone care to say an LX7 can't do astro?
In reply to Lumixdude, 3 months ago

Wow!

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Lumixdude
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Re: Does anyone care to say an LX7 can't do astro?
In reply to bolador, 3 months ago

Yes The only ongoing need I can see these days for myself for an SLR camera over something pocketable like this is zoom. In those circumstances I'm thinking really I might as well grab a micro 4/3 format camera like a Lumix DMC-GM1 or similar. In which I won't need long lenses anyway due to the crop factor.

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danielsonkin
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Re: Does anyone care to say an LX7 can't do astro?
In reply to Lumixdude, 3 months ago

Beautiful image.  Thanks for the inspiration.

Daniel

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Cyril Catt
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Re: Does anyone care to say an LX7 can't do astro?
In reply to Lumixdude, 3 months ago

For travel, I take an LX7 and 18 mm LWA52 accessory lens, for wide and dim subjects (usually interior or nighttime shots), and a complementary camera with a longer zoom (such as the ZS15) for more distant subjects (usually daytime shots). As well as giving me a wider range of capabilities, which satisfy my needs, at a lower cost and weight than alternative systems (with even greater capabilities an IQ), the two provide a degree of backup in case of battery or card problems.

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Lumixdude
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Re: Does anyone care to say an LX7 can't do astro?
In reply to Cyril Catt, 3 months ago

Definitely, I was thinking for a while that I needed an SLR, there really is no need for it. I have a TCON-17x for when I need a bit of extra length in my zoom, and it's simple enough to attach, but I'm still a bit short. A TZ would be nice but then there's the issue of IQ.

I've been waiting about the last year or so for a solid camera body like the GM1 and may just head in that direction for extra versatility. However, the LX7 really can do just about everything you throw at it. The only other thing I could ask for is telephoto in a small body, but then the GM1 can do that and you can pick up a prime as well.

I think if anything that's the next direction I'm going to head in as it adds the versatility of actually having lenses and means I can probably just carry my LX7 bare. Due to it's fast lens and fixed aperture above F/2.3 the LX7 really does cover 90% of the situations any photographer would throw at it though with a sufficient compromise between IQ/sensor size/body size.

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bondiblue
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A few of mine (LX3, LX5).. LX7 should do better...
In reply to Lumixdude, 3 months ago

... In knowledgeable hands  you should be able to do better than these. On paper the LX7 should have a 2 stop advantage over the LX5, and personal experience suggests the greatest problem in the northern hemisphere will  be to find really dark skies allowing you to use f/1.4 to advantage, I'm a bit spoiled down-under !

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KCHAWK
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Re: Does anyone care to say an LX7 can't do astro?
In reply to Lumixdude, 3 months ago

Very interesting and prompts me to try yet something else with my LX7.

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Lumixdude
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Re: Does anyone care to say an LX7 can't do astro?
In reply to KCHAWK, 3 months ago

I'm actually in Australia, I didn't bother to go any further than the end of my street, but for testing purposes the shot came up well I should have actually spent the time in going a bit further and getting out of the light pollution, I'm sure I'd have gotten a better shot.

Your LX5 shots are great but you can really see the ISO noise in a few of them. The LX7 really does resolve night shots a lot more cleanly.

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Erik Ohlson
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Re: Does anyone care to say an LX7 can't do astro?
In reply to KCHAWK, 3 months ago

Although the OP's photo of the night sky is interesting, I'm afraid I do not see much relevance to "Astro" photography in it aside from imaging a few stars.

I did a somewhat similar shot 7 years ago in December, 2006 with my TZ1, handheld (no HDR or special "Night Shot")

Orion & Canis Major, TZ1:

Two years later, on the spur of the moment while walking the dog, I put my TZ3 on a fencepost with the pocket-sized "Ultrapod" and self-timer, and aimed it - at full zoom - toward Jupiter, low in the western sky.

Heavily cropping the resulting shot, I had got Jupiter ('way overexposed) and several of it's moons:

The photo IS blurred a bit in this: [\] direction, by the movement of the earth in the one-second exposure, and I remind you, it is heavily cropped.

Yes, these Panasonic cameras do very well, indeed

And then, there is a pretty amazing shot my sister took - handheld on a moving ship at sea - of a total solar eclipse in 2005 with my tiny Minolta Xi.

The Sun (Moon) and Venus, 1 PM local time, Venus below & right of the sun:

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Lumixdude
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Re: Does anyone care to say an LX7 can't do astro?
In reply to Erik Ohlson, 3 months ago

In the truest sense it's not "astro" as in deep space or planets but I believe vaguely in the direction I pointed it I got he tail of the Crux constellation. It'd be interesting to attach a telescope to to the LX7. I'm sure you could find a way to adapt one.

If you look carefully you might be able to find one of the crosses out of the Southern Cross, not sure if its one of the false ones.

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Erik Ohlson
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Re: Does anyone care to say an LX7 can't do astro?
In reply to Lumixdude, 3 months ago

I like the increased contrast, really brings out the star images.

I'm sure that Orion looks "upside down" from your southern hemisphere perspective.  

My point is that these all can do "astro", and, yes, they can be attached to telescopes - sometimes called "Digiscoping" The "Astrophotography" forum has examples but IMHO, that's no longer a test of the camera, rather a test of the telescope and mounting hardware.

All this makes me wish I'd had a digital camera back in 2001 when, camped alongside the road (Rt4) not far from Ayre's Rock, I saw the Northern Hemisphere constellation Ursa Major stretched out JUST above the northern horizon - amazing clarity right down to the ground !

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Lumixdude
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Re: Does anyone care to say an LX7 can't do astro?
In reply to Erik Ohlson, 3 months ago

We do get a much better view of the night sky from these parts of the world and yes, your northern hemisphere perspective does have a funny habit of looking upside down

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bondiblue
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Digiscoping with LX's
In reply to Lumixdude, 3 months ago

Lumixdude, if you want to try digiscoping, in my gallery there are a couple of shots showing how I coupled the LX5 to my scopes - it just happens that the front of the LX5 lens is a perfect fit into the rubber eyecup of the Vixen LV series of eyepieces.

It's close enough that I'd suggest measure the outside diameter of the LX7 lens and wrap it with some tape to make it a neat fit either in a similar Vixen LV eyepiece, or possibly a Vixen LVW eyepiece (these also have rubber eyecups but a tad larger).

These particular eyepieces have aan important attribute - they provide 20mm of eye relief, so the camera can be positioned close enough to put the exit pupil of the eyepiece at the lens iris (well inside the lens) in order to ensure it will fill the field of view of the LX cameras without vignetting.

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One_Oldman_4U
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Re: Does anyone care to say an LX7 can't do astro?
In reply to Lumixdude, 3 months ago

Wonderful night shot. I want to try doing something like that but all the places I've bee have too much "light pollution".

Thanks for sharing!

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Lumixdude
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Re: Digiscoping with LX's
In reply to bondiblue, 3 months ago

bondiblue wrote:

Lumixdude, if you want to try digiscoping, in my gallery there are a couple of shots showing how I coupled the LX5 to my scopes - it just happens that the front of the LX5 lens is a perfect fit into the rubber eyecup of the Vixen LV series of eyepieces.

It's close enough that I'd suggest measure the outside diameter of the LX7 lens and wrap it with some tape to make it a neat fit either in a similar Vixen LV eyepiece, or possibly a Vixen LVW eyepiece (these also have rubber eyecups but a tad larger).

These particular eyepieces have aan important attribute - they provide 20mm of eye relief, so the camera can be positioned close enough to put the exit pupil of the eyepiece at the lens iris (well inside the lens) in order to ensure it will fill the field of view of the LX cameras without vignetting.

Thanks for the tip...

One_Oldman_4U wrote:

Wonderful night shot. I want to try doing something like that but all the places I've bee have too much "light pollution".

Thanks for sharing!

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I'm living pretty much in the middle of nowhere if I walked down to the beach I probably wouldn't have had that stream of light pollution. It does kinda look like an aurora though so it's not badly placed.

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