July 2020 Part 2 — This Month Through Your Adapted Lens

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
Tons o Glass 0 Class
Tons o Glass 0 Class Contributing Member • Posts: 710
Re: CPC 300/5.6 Mirror + Minolta 200/4 (NEOWISE)

Travis Butler wrote:

The first one especially is very nice!

Thank you! This stack hit quite a few roadblocks; abandoning color altogether was a move I should have made hours prior to doing so. It worked out for the best!

Do you have a preferred lens for astro?

When it comes to 300mm I have a Quantaray 300/5.6 that might render stars a little bit cleaner than this CPC 300/5.6 but it has more vignetting. I prefer either one of these when I'm using a light tripod with my iOptron SkyTracker. I try not to put its weight limits to the test .  I have yet to try it, but like your Tamron 55BB, my Minolta AF 500/8 Reflex might be great for brighter objects like Orion or Andromeda...

For wide-angle stuff, our Samyang/Rokinon 12/2 is great. Their 14/2.8 is a great budget option as well, but it may be more at home on FF.

If I want a much much longer focal length, my brother has a couple sweet telescopes that he'll occasionally let me borrow (Celestron C8, C6, both orange tube).  These are kind of daunting actually.

I've got a Tamron 500/8 55BB mirror that I tried using the first night I found NEOWISE, but I had no luck at all finding it with that high mag. I've thought about using one of the clip-on rangefinders to help, but not sure they're precise enough.

Oof! Yeah I think anyone would have had a hard time with that at 1000mm eq. I'd probably have to start with a shorter focal length lens to spot then frame the subject.  Binoculars help, and they're fun to have around while your camera doing its thing with an intervalometer.  My procedure for finding objects is as follows:

  1. Focus on any dim stars that are visible with focus magnification.
  2. Hop into Sky Map on my phone (on 0% brightness ) to get a general idea of where the object is in the sky in relation to clearly visible stars -- If you have a phone with a gyro and a compass, this free app is great and feels like cheating.
  3. Point the lens in the general direction of the subject. 
    1. Aim left/right while viewing the sky beyond your camera with your head positioned just above and behind your camera. 
    2. Aim up/down while viewing the sky beyond the camera with your head positioned just beside your camera.
    3. This is easier when the lens/scope is physically longer.
  4. If the object is too dim to see in live view, take exposures and compare them to Sky Map to hopefully get a better sense of where your camera should be pointing.
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