Old 5th March 2006, 13:38   #1
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A picture is worth... $7,000?

Beautiful picture in the back of my April 2006 issue of Astronomy magazine. I knew of the camera that took it (the one I really want), and know it's expensive as royal shit, so I decided to look up the other pieces of equipment.

First, here's a shot of the image in the magazine:



And now the 3 pieces of equiptment that was used to take that photograph:

Canon EOS 20Da camera:

Cost: $2195


Skywatcher EQ6 Equatorial Mount:

Cost: $1314


Canon EF 200mm f/1.8L USM:

Cost: $3699



The price of all that makes baby Jesus cry. The results produce an optical orgasm, though...

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Old 5th March 2006, 16:30   #2
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It's still less than the price of a good telescope though. And that pic's really cool.


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Old 5th March 2006, 16:35   #3
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Wow. You could use another SLR, but the f1.8 is a tricky matter...

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Old 5th March 2006, 17:29   #4
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Why is it so difficult to find a telephoto zoom lens with a long focal zoom range and an aperture that goes lower than f2.8? It seems like all the lenses that have apertures lower than f2.8 are all just telephoto and have no zoom. >:|

Cool picture, though.
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Old 5th March 2006, 20:33   #5
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that canon lens looks NASA. what gives? most canon lenses are black or silver to match the cameras...
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Old 5th March 2006, 20:58   #6
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Wow it's beautiful! I didn't know you could take pictures like that with equipment of only $7000. That's a bargain!
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Old 5th March 2006, 21:30   #7
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you could save money and dismantle a normal 20d and remove the IR filter yourself :P
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Old 6th March 2006, 01:24   #8
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I set up my SLR on a home made tripod. You'd face it towards the south celestial pole, and then mount the camera on release the shutter, which I then placed a planetry gear set up to wind a platform to move at the same rate the sky did. The pictures came out very nicely on film.

Saggitarius is a beautiful part of the sky to capture. I remeber getting a few shots of that area on film and the Lagoon Nebula (M8) is such an amazing spectacle.

The price of that equiment I think is well worth it, if you into that sotr of thing, but personally is you don't have a telescope, buy some binoculars and use both eyes if you want to get started in astronomy.

Maybe one day I'll gather up all my pennys to get something along thise lines. That shot is just amazing.

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Old 6th March 2006, 14:18   #9
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Being in North America I've always lamented not being able to see so much of the southern hemisphere's night sky.

But next January I'm going to visit a friend in Curitiba, Brazil, so maybe I'll get to see more of it then.

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Old 6th March 2006, 17:06   #10
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optical orgasm...
if youre going to buy that equipment share the results with us please.
but the tripod is definitly overpriced

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Old 6th March 2006, 17:36   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by ASD5A
the tripod is definitly overpriced
It's an equatorial mount though, not just a tripod!

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Old 6th March 2006, 17:37   #12
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and? what does it what a tripod cant do?

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Old 6th March 2006, 17:51   #13
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equatorial_mount

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Old 6th March 2006, 18:50   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by sgtfuzzbubble99
Why is it so difficult to find a telephoto zoom lens with a long focal zoom range and an aperture that goes lower than f2.8? It seems like all the lenses that have apertures lower than f2.8 are all just telephoto and have no zoom. >:|

Cool picture, though.
They would be huge and extremely expensive. To get that kind of light gathering power, the lens has to be very large in diameter. Add a zoom mechanism to that and it gets unwieldy very quickly.

As far as price, larger lenses are more expensive because, besides being larger, it is more difficult to make a larger lens with the same precision as a smaller lens.

Cool gear! I have a f5.2 28-300 zoom for my Canon. It works great for stationary objects... I don't mind waiting a few extra seconds.

For sky shots, I need to get a motor drive mount... a time exposure of more than a couple of seconds causes stars to go cylindrical.

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Old 6th March 2006, 19:19   #15
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A better-levelled version.

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Old 6th March 2006, 21:11   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by ASD5A
optical orgasm...
if youre going to buy that equipment share the results with us please.
but the tripod is definitly overpriced
$7,000 is about half what I make annually. The chance of me owning any of those three pieces of equipment, yet alone all three at once, is slim to none.

As for the EQ mount being over-priced… well, that’s been explained.


Here’s a series of 40 images I stacked. Since I don’t have an EQ mount, I get the star trails effect. Each of the 40 images were 15 second exposures, and my camera takes 15 seconds to process those images. Plus one second in between shots is 10 extra seconds. I set my camera to take a group of ten 15 seconds shots in a row, and I repeated that 4 times. The stacked result shows the movement of the night sky over a 21 (or so) minute period of time. The center star is Polaris, the North Star. The Big Dipper can be made out towards the upper right section of the image.

Pic is reduced by 50%, and brightness adjusted:


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Old 6th March 2006, 22:35   #17
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noisy.
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Old 6th March 2006, 22:54   #18
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Yes, it was 40 images stacked togehter. Not to mention, it's only a $200 camera.

Here's ONE of the 40 images:


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Old 7th March 2006, 00:35   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by sgtfuzzbubble99
Why is it so difficult to find a telephoto zoom lens with a long focal zoom range and an aperture that goes lower than f2.8?
Because lenses have to get bigger to collect the same amount of light at increasing focal lengths. In zoom lenses, because of inefficiencies, the problem even becomes bigger.

It is pretty unusual to see lenses below F 2 that have zoom optics. To get F8 at 3500mm, this Minolta "lens" I have uses a 4 " mirror.

In optical terms, it's what they call a Schmidt camera. What I call it is a really expensive lens that is just about useless

Check out these pictures from Grove Creek...

http://www.gco.org.au/astrophotos/index.html

I think I'd be more keen on astronomy if I was in the southern hemisphere.

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Old 7th March 2006, 03:25   #20
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Quote:
noisy.
Yes, but cool.


Quote:
They would be huge and extremely expensive. To get that kind of light gathering power, the lens has to be very large in diameter. Add a zoom mechanism to that and it gets unwieldy very quickly.

As far as price, larger lenses are more expensive because, besides being larger, it is more difficult to make a larger lens with the same precision as a smaller lens.
Quote:
Because lenses have to get bigger to collect the same amount of light at increasing focal lengths. In zoom lenses, because of inefficiencies, the problem even becomes bigger.

It is pretty unusual to see lenses below F 2 that have zoom optics. To get F8 at 3500mm, this Minolta "lens" I have uses a 4 " mirror.

In optical terms, it's what they call a Schmidt camera. What I call it is a really expensive lens that is just about useless
True. It's just really annoying and irritating that it's pretty much impossible to find a lens that has exactly what I'm looking for... much less being able to afford it.

Cool pictures, though.
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