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Re: Photography And Aperture

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Posted by Larry Usrey on February 28, 2000 16:04:13 UTC

: First of all let me say that planetary photography is the toughest to do. If you are learning astrophotography, try piggy-back or plain star portriats first. The moon will be OK too, since it's big and bright. I would do planets last until you get the hang of doing simpler things. Most of the deepsky stuff will require shutter lock up for long periods of time. If your camera has a electric shutter, make sure you have extra batteries. Also I'm assuming you have a bulb setting for the shutter; if not, your camera will not work for astrophotography other than the moon. At prime focus, the f-stop will be the same as your focal ratio of your scope. Maybe yours is a f/9 or 10 or so. With eyepiece projection, your f-ratio will increase resulting in longer exposure times. If you are doing the moon, you could use 200 or 400 speed film. There are filters to consider also. If you use no filters at all, you can get away with using 100 of 200 film. With filters (lunar) 400 speed will do. I use Royal Gold or Max (Kodak) for the moon and stars. Prime focus is desireble because the f-ratio is the same for your scope. There are many thing to consider that I have not touched on. Try the moon first. You can go for the planets, but be perpared for disappointments. This hobby can be very frustrating and rewarding at the same time. Good Luck!!

I agree with Kip however I would like to add a couple of things. Like Kip said be prepared for a lot of disappointments and frustration. One of the most difficult things is to get proper focus. You can think you are at focus and burn up a lot of film without a sharp one in the whole bunch. The are various ways to get proper focus but one of the best items that improved my focusing is a item called a Intenscreen focus screen which replaces the focus screen in your camera the range from $80.00 to $100.00 and another item is a knife edge focuscer which you can probably pick up for about $100.00. After all of this you are at the mercy of the atmosphere, at the moment you trip that shutter you have no idea how steady the atmosphere is, so be ready to burn up a lot of film, thankfully film is cheap. I like to use prime focus for lunar photos of the whole disc and eyepiece projection with a 10mm eyepiece for planetary and lunar close ups. I also prefer 400 speed film. One thing to remember is any problems within the system like bad focus or bad atmsophere or bad alignment is also magnified with the more magnification you use. When everything works good you will feel very satisfied and pleased with the outcome. Good luck and clear skies, Starman:>)

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