geoflewis Posted February 5, 2021 Share Posted February 5, 2021 (edited) After humming and hawing for years, I finally pulled the trigger on a 35mm lens for my old astro modified Canon 600D. I wanted something portable for 'grab and go' widefield full constellation and MW shots. My 600D has barely been used in the past 5 years since I moved over to mono CCD imaging, in fact I sold the camera a few years ago, then bought it back a year later and still have not been using it. The lens I purchased was 2nd hand off mpb.com, and is the EF F2 35mm IS USM. It arrived in excellent condition as advertised. I had a couple of hours clear sky last night between 11pm and 1am, so quickly set up my Star Adventurer Pro mount with the camera and lens. I only did a quick and dirty polar alignment, so was pleasantly surprised to see that I could get round stars up to 4 min exposures (I didn't try anything longer). I experimented with the different exposures, F2 through F4 and ISO 800 and 1600. F4 certainly yields better star shapes than F2 and its a bit of a crap shoot between ISO 800 and 1600. Here are a couple of processed images. Both images are single exposures, Orion 3m at ISO800/F4 and the MW shot 2m at ISO1600/F4. The Orion image is cropped, mostly the remove bad LP gradient and blurred tree tops (remants still showing) towards the horizon. Not bad for single exposures and definitely something to do rather than hours of long exposures with the CCD as and when (or even if) the skies allow..... I had a lot fun popping over different regions of the sky and then took a half a doz 2m subs of each of the Taurus and Auriga regions. These were stacked without any calibration, stretched and put together a 2 panel mosaic in MS ICE... Bands of cloud started drifting through Taurus and shortly after the entire region was lost to clouds. The images off the modified 600D all turn out very red, which makes processing them something of a challenge, so I'm going to have to learn how to best process these wide FOV images. That said I can see me doing a lot more of this, either instead of mono CCD imaging, or at the same time when the gear in my observatory is working on deeper DSOs. Adding to the rig, I have today taken delivery of a couple of items to help automate the imaging with this get up and go configuration. They are: a HitecAstro Single Channel Dual Port Dew Controller (https://www.modernastronomy.com/shop/accessories/dew-control/single-channel-dual-port-dew-controller/) so that I can wrap an old short dew strap around the lens, which I'll run off a Tracer LION battery that I've had for several years, but hardly ever use, and a Hahnel Captur Timer Kit (https://www.wexphotovideo.com/hahnel-captur-timer-kit-canon-1610616/) so that I can run sequences of longer exposures without the need for me to stand by the rig and fire the shutter every couple of minutes with my remote control. It will be interesting to find out how automated these 2 additions allow the Star Adventurer Pro, plus camera and lens to become, even though currently I have no plan to try guiding the mount and will capture to the camera's SD card. My wish is the keep the rig as self contained as possible, so no laptop, etc. Thanks for looking. Edited February 5, 2021 by geoflewis updated the Orion image 7 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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