Bought new camera.

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by Fred Williams, Nov 8, 2005.

  1. Hi folks.
    I'm very pleased with myself. After months of comparing and
    researching I finally settled on the Fujifilm S9000. I ordered it
    today and it should come by Friday, maybe next week.
    I mostly take nature photographs, but also some indoor portraits
    and figure skating. I really like the features and the Super CCD
    sensor that Fuji has put into this camera. It's going to serve me
    well, I'm confident. The only thing that will be really awkward
    is adapting it for my 8" Newtonian reflector telescope, and I
    don't think I'll even try.
    Once I've taken some photos I can tell you more. This will be my
    first digital camera. I've been using a Konica FC-1 for close to
    thirty years, and before that a Zenit B, and back in high school
    an Olympus Penn EE or whatever it was. I'm really looking forward
    to producing some good results with the S-9000. The Konica has
    been great for a film camera, but I'll just be able to do so much
    Fred Williams, Nov 8, 2005
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  2. Fred Williams

    Paul Allen Guest

    One of my biggest disappointments on switching to digital (with an
    Olympus C700) was that it locked me out of shooting the night sky.
    In order to avoid being swamped by noise I have to use a short
    shutter speed, and then I don't capture enough photons to make an
    image. The S9000 has better noise characteristics than other cameras
    in its class, but it can't match a DSLR. It'll be interesting to
    see what you can do with it.

    Paul Allen
    Paul Allen, Nov 9, 2005
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  3. Well, it's impossibly hard to mount the fixed lens camera, and as
    I said I don't think I'll even try. 300mm would get me a decent
    shot of the moon and with the 1.6 multiplier on the front even
    closer, but with the telescope the question is, "What part of the
    moon do you want to photograph?" Never mind, there'll be enough
    things to photograph without astronomical subjects... I've got
    three cats, for starters, but I'll need to get a "cute" blocking
    filter to protect the sensor.(;-))
    Fred Williams, Nov 9, 2005
  4. Fred Williams

    Rich Guest

    DSLRs are perfect for this because they can be used with or
    without and eyepiece in the telescope, because you can remove their
    The problem with doing this with a big prosumer is the lens size. In
    order to avoid massive vignetting, you need an eyepiece in the
    telescope with large elements. Something on the order of a 2"
    eyepiece with a 32-40mm focal length is good. I've used a 2" 55mm
    eyepiece with my Olympus C8080 and can just manage an unvignetted
    image at one zoom setting with a telescope with a 1000mm focal length
    Here's a shot:

    .. There are some eyepieces now with threaded
    upper ends that you can use with a step down ring and your camera.
    The main trick is to get the lens as close to the eye lens of the
    eyepiece as possible to avoid vignetting.
    My guess is that the lens on the Fuji would require a custom eyepiece
    with elements at least 55mm across to avoid vignetting.
    You could custom make one with two 100mm elements used to produce
    a Plossl eyepiece with a f.l. of about 50mm.
    Rich, Nov 9, 2005
  5. Thanks. It sounds like a lot of work. If I really need the
    capability, I'd rather just buy the S3. (;-))
    Fred Williams, Nov 10, 2005
  6. Fred Williams

    Paul Allen Guest

    It's amazing what you can do with a little plywood! :)

    I've built two 6" Newtonians in my life. Both had plywood tubes
    because the material is easy to work, light, and strong. Constructing
    a bracket for the camera and bolting it to the tube is just the
    sort of Rube Goldberg contraption that would fit right in around my
    'scopes. It's a little harder when the tube's cylindrical, or
    you don't really want to drill new holes in it, or...
    My C700 goes out to an equivalent 320mm, which I found disappointing
    for the moon. 1.6x gets you out to an equivalent 480mm, which is
    getting close.
    I've been able to shoot the whole moon with my 6" f/4.5 through a
    TeleVue wide-field 25mm eyepiece. The results demonstrated the
    effect of too many optical elements between the subject and the
    sensor. :)
    That's sure the way it's turned out for me. I shoot way more
    now than I ever did with film.
    Maybe a clear filter to protect against nose-prints? :)

    Paul Allen
    Paul Allen, Nov 10, 2005
  7. An excellent low cost idea. Fortunately for me I had a
    brother-in-law who was a manager in heavy industry. He got his
    people to weld a 10" aluminium tube for my 8" mirror. What I'm
    missing is a clock drive and equatorial mount. I ground the
    mirror myself.
    Yeah. Mine is an f/6.3 8" and with a 12.5 mm eyepiece it gets
    nice and close. Hmmm, yes I seem to remember going directly to
    35mm film with my old Konica and getting the full moon easily
    within the field.
    :)-D) Right! I'll be able to get to within 1 cm with the S9000
    so close-ups will be in the cards. I might try to stay back a bit
    to avoid being silly.
    Fred Williams, Nov 10, 2005
  8. Fred Williams

    Paul Allen Guest

    I didn't think there was much amateur mirror-making going on any
    more. I made my two mirrors more than 30 years ago when I was in
    an amateur astronomical club. That club put a hand-made 12.5"
    instrument on a surplus Navy gun mount and installed the thing
    in a dome on an old Nike radar tower. They organized star-party
    camping trips to the dry side of the state and taught dozens of
    people how to build telescopes.

    That's a manageable size for an 8" mirror. Were you influenced
    by Jean Texereau's book? My 6" f/4.5 was supposed to be a "richest
    field" scope, a la Walkden's article in Amateur Telescope Making,
    Book 2. It's been a lot of fun, but it would need a corrector
    lens to make the focal plane flat enough for prime-focus photography.
    And then I'd need a clock drive and a better mount...

    Paul Allen
    Paul Allen, Nov 10, 2005
  9. Ah ha! I made mine in 1976, only 29 years ago.(;-)) during my
    last year at University. I've since toyed with the idea of a
    12.5" or even a 16", (if you're going to put in the work, why not
    go whole hog?!) But I just don't have the inclination these days.
    I just checked my bookcase and yes, it was Jean Texereau's book
    that was basically my bible. I now have it siting on the desk
    beside me as I write this. It was a great resource, and I'd use
    it again if I were going to build another.
    Goodness yes, clock drives and mounts are expensive. I used to
    know a guy from Vermont who claimed that it was easy to cobble
    together a mount and clock drive. I remember he had offered me
    some old rusty bearings to use, but I didn't like the looks of
    them, nor his cavalier attitude towards the project.
    Fred Williams, Nov 10, 2005
  10. Fred Williams

    Rich Guest

    I check using their adapter wizard, but this site doesn't show an
    S9000 adapter yet. You could keep looking though or email them
    if you want. It's not really too difficult to use a prosumer.
    Rich, Nov 11, 2005
  11. No, it's not difficult at all to "use" it, but I don't really want
    to do astronomical photography, well, not as much as when I was
    younger. The thing is I have a fixed lens and as you pointed out
    there would just be too much glass in the way to do anything
    serious. I suppose I could try the video thing and combine a
    bunch of 640x480 images to pull out detail, or go into rapid fire
    shooting at full resolution and combine those and see what comes
    out, great resolution but that would get into some ultra large
    files to hold the data, even compressed... Might be fun, though.
    Some serious number crunching involved there.
    Fred Williams, Nov 11, 2005
  12. Fred Williams

    Paul Allen Guest

    Yup. I've toyed with making an 8" mirror, but I don't seem to
    have enough time as it is. As I recall, my last 6" mirror took
    25 hours of labor to get to the polishing stage. I'm not sure my
    elbows could stand up to the effort of an 8" mirror. :)

    The funny thing is that I don't get the scope out much at all.
    The fun part was making it, I think.
    Yep. I also had the three-volume Amateur Telescope Making series
    from Scientific American. The great thing about Texereau's book
    was that it described one particular telescope design from start to
    finish. The ATM series was a large collection of articles by various
    writers, making it a fine reference and a poor tutorial.
    Ah, but cobbling things together is the fun part! In the summer of
    '73, I built an equatorial mount out of cast-iron pipe T's. It had
    setting circles, with the RA circle driven by a weight and a cord
    wrapped around a custom-turned pulley and regulated by an old alarm
    clock. I found all but three of the Messier objects that summer,
    and having a quick and accurate way to point the scope made all the
    difference. I'm sure none of my astrophotography attempts from that
    summer have survived, but I still remember how much fun it was
    calculating the diameter of the RA axis pulley and then seeing the
    finished design actually work. I couldn't have had more than $25
    invested in the whole thing.

    Thanks for the flashback, man!

    Paul Allen
    Paul Allen, Nov 11, 2005
  13. I think I could stand up to the physical aspect of grinding one.
    I seem to rememeber mine taking longer than 25 hours, but I've so
    many other projects going, piano practise, photography, computers,
    and I'm a bachelor, so I have house cleaning to do as well. :)-P)
    I know exactly what you mean.
    Yup, OK.
    You're very resourceful, and I do have a woodworking shop, but
    that time thing keeps getting in the way. I want to be out in the
    woods taking pictures.
    Thanks back at you. I enjoyed the flashback too.
    Fred Williams, Nov 11, 2005
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