[AZ-Observing] Re: Question about Digital Camera Adapter for Eyepiece Photography

  • From: Wil Milan <wmilan@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: az-observing@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 24 Dec 2001 17:15:44 -0700

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I don't have the specific models you cited, but sometime last year I built 
a digital camera coupler that connects my Nikon 990 to a Nagler eyepiece. I 
found it to work quite well for bright targets such as the sun and moon as 
well as terrestrial photography. I used it to shoot a time-lapse video of 
the Christmas eclipse last year; see

http://www.astrophotographer.com/Eclipse_2000Dec25_WM.gif

That is a multi-frame GIF file which you can download and play as a 
time-lapse video of the eclipse. It was shot with the Nikon 990 and a Tele 
Vue Pronto equipped with a home-made solar filter (using Baader Planetarium 
filter material). This version of the image is much reduced in resolution 
from the original.

This is about the easiest type of astrophotography one can imagine. You can 
use the Nikon's zoom to adjust the magnification, and if you set the 
autofocus mode to single autofocus the Nikon will do fine focusing for you.

To avoid vibration I suggest you get the remote cable release sold for the 
900-series cameras. If you don't want to spend the money (it's a bit 
pricey) you can do what I do: Use the self-timer to trigger the shutter, 
the delay allowing time for vibration to die down before the picture is 
snapped.

The Nikon 990 (and I suspect the 950 and 995 as well) can take fairly long 
time exposures, but the lack of cooling limits the practical maximum to 8 
seconds or so. On very cold nights you might be able to go a bit longer, 
but on such nights the batteries will not last very long.

I hope that helps,


Wil Milan
http://www.astrophotographer.com/
"The heavens declare the glory of God
And the firmament proclaims His handiwork."
   -- Psalm 19:1

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