LX5 Astrophotography (Part II)

Started Nov 2, 2010 | Discussions
Barry Carter Veteran Member • Posts: 4,372
LX5 Astrophotography (Part II)

LX5 outfitted with Lumix DMW-LT55, 1.7x teleconverter (similar to TCON17), for EFL of 153mm at full optical zoom. Camera riding piggyback on tracking Questar telescope. Imaged at ISO 400, RAW, 60 sec. 4 best of 10 exposures selected, RW2 files converted to TIF using Silkypix. Images stacked and processed with ImagesPlus 2.82. NR using Neat Image Pro. Final processing with Paint Shop Pro X2. Imaged on 2 Nov 2010. Orion's Belt and Great Nebula M42.

Ciao....Barry

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depscribe Senior Member • Posts: 1,223
Re: LX5 Astrophotography (Part II)

stunning!

and delightful to have found someone actually doing this, because it's my intention to pretty much dedicate my lx3 to living on the hind end of a five-inch celestron; i've shot plenty of stuff through it with the d-200 via t-mount, but i've never done eyepiece projection. (i'll do just lunar detail and maybe occasionally saturn or mars or jupiter, in that i don't have either an equatorial mount or a clock drive.)

i've got all the hardware but not a clue where otherwise to begin, as in, for instance, which eyepiece i'd most like for maximizing light and avoiding vignetting; likewise, what settings are a good starting place for the camera -- zoom length? macro? and, most of all, how to avoid a battle between camera focusing and focusing the telescope, in that i'd see the image only on the back of the camera.

not much to ask, eh?

thanks for any information you can impart and, again, gorgeous photograph.
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depscribe
some pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/depscribe/collections/

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OP Barry Carter Veteran Member • Posts: 4,372
Re: LX5 Astrophotography (Part II)

Well, if you are going to use the LX3, the first thing you need is an adapter tube (e.g. LA4). You'll be shotting afocally, so take a look at my afocal page:

http://www.barrie-tao.com/afocal.html

Next, take a look at some of the details on some of my images with the LX3:

http://www.pbase.com/rat8bug

A good place to start is with a Badder Hyperion 13 or 17mm eyepiece. Alpineastro.com has them in stock now. Then you'll need a step-ring to mate the adapter tube to the eyepiece thread.

Here is one of my lunar images taken with LX3 and a 127mm maksutov telescope shown here: http://www.barrie-tao.com/apex127.html
RAW, ISO 200, 1/20 sec, using an 18mm eyepiece.

Ciao...Barry

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depscribe Senior Member • Posts: 1,223
Re: LX5 Astrophotography (Part II)

right -- i'd read your page and have all the coupling stuff; wanted to know if there was anything lx3-specific as to settings, and particularly how to deal with telescope/camera focus -- manual? zoom position? and so on.

which is to say that your afocal page may be -- no, definitely is -- over my head.

thanks!
--
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OP Barry Carter Veteran Member • Posts: 4,372
Re: LX5 Astrophotography (Part II)

Here are the LX3 specifics:

  • Manual mode

  • RAW

  • WB= Sun

  • 4:3

  • AF

Half press the shutter button until the auto-focus beep (green LED) sounds, then press shutter all the way. Or you can press the Focus button (one thing I miss on the LX5). These are the key points. Just take pictures; you'll figure it out.

Ciao....Barry

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depscribe Senior Member • Posts: 1,223
Re: LX5 Astrophotography (Part II)

many thanks -- it gets very clear and cold here on winter nights in the woods, so i look forward to freezing my way to some pictures this winter. (of course, this means letting the telescope cool down outside first . . .)
--
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OP Barry Carter Veteran Member • Posts: 4,372
Seven Sisters

The Seven Sisters is known as the Pleiades or M45 in the Constellation Taurus the Bull. Imaged with LX5 with Nikon TCE3 ED 3x Teleconverter attached. With this TC, one needs to use the Manual Focus mode, which is much easier to use and more precise than the LX3. But still is a challege. Settings were RAW, ISO 400, WB=Sun, 6 x 60 sec, full optical zoom. Frames stacked and processed using ImagesPlus 2.82, after Silkypix conversion of RAW files to 16-bit uncomprssed TIF. Further processing using Neat Image Pro and PSP X2. Total focal length was 270mm at f/3.3 or faster. The Nikon TC has a 72mm objective lens, so it gathers a lot of light. Here is the rig used.

M45 (Pleiades):

Ciao...Barry

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digby dart Veteran Member • Posts: 6,163
Re: LX5 Astrophotography (Part II)

Very nice wide field astrophotography image Barry. The little Questar is a meant to be a very nice piece of astronomy kit, you certainly got it to deliver here.
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OP Barry Carter Veteran Member • Posts: 4,372
Re: LX5 Astrophotography (Part II)

I diid not use the Questar as a tracking platform here. The Vixen mount was used, and the LX5 was fitted with a Nikon 3x Teleconverter.

digby dart wrote:

Very nice wide field astrophotography image Barry. The little Questar is a meant to be a very nice piece of astronomy kit, you certainly got it to deliver here.
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panamforeman
panamforeman Senior Member • Posts: 1,296
Re: LX5 Astrophotography (Part II)

Just what I need, a picture a white dots!

To each his/her own I guess!

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