Wrapping up a crazy weekend with a very successful opening of the San Juan River exhibit. I am writing to follow up on some of the "return to astrophotography" musings I posted earlier. To reiterate some of my criteria for re-entry:
- Ease of setup. This means no computers, no autoguiding, and lightweight mounts and scopes.
- Quality data in one night. The system must be fast and produce superb images.
- Everything must come together in a unique package that I am not seeing done by anyone else. This is very challenging, but we will give it a try.
So, I revisited some of my first impressions of astrophotography
and recalled that I just loved the Schmidt camera field of view. Today everyone seems to be headed for the big 20" RC and small fields of view, at least with one non-mosaiced
frame. My first thoughts on an imaging system were the Tak FSQ
. Now this is a great scope and may be in my future, but I believe I have found a better alternative for my needs. The Canon 135mm f2 lens performed for Loke
Tan very admirably on his trip to Chile. I revisited his website as I recalled the remarkable
photographs taken with that lens and the SBIG
11000 camera. The 135 stopped down to 5.6 provides excellent quality at a fast speed. The field of view is roughly 9x6 degrees which is nearly equivalent to a 5" Schmidt camera. Even better is that it should not require a computer or sophisticated equipment for focusing as I should just be able to utilize infinity for focus on the barrel. I just reviewed the field of view in compositions on my star charts and I calculate at least 10 compositions that I feel are worthy to pursue with this lens. It should be simple to piggyback on a scope and should not require autoguiding
with a well trained PEC
mount. So, that is the update today as we are looking at the 135mm f2 lens with the modified Canon 400XTi
camera from Hutech
. Now to find a mount! No hurry, just thinking out loud, remember?
Addendum: After further research, it appears that the Canon 200mm f2.8L II lens is very good giving a little tighter field of view at a very affordable price. So this is perhaps the direction now.