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anybody doing high-magnification photography?
Old 07-13-2006, 10:58 PM   #1
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anybody doing high-magnification photography?

I think I'm getting sucked into a new hobby, but I'm sure I'm going about it the wrong way.

It's sort of the combination of two toys I've been trying to acquire (or build):

1) I'd like to get a nice observation telescope since we have a nice view, but the good ones seem to cost a couple thousand.

2) I'd also like one of those cool web cams with remote control zoom/pan/tilt, but the network digital cameras I've found with z/p/t, even the pricey ones, all seem to have poor resolution and lousy lenses.

So, I've found a pretty good spotting scope (a cheap Russian thing called the Yukon 6x100x100).* *The large lens means it has good light gathering, and it'll magnify up to 100x.* *Perfect for peeking into windows 8 miles away.

And then I found that the thing has a digital camera mount, so I bought one.

I grabbed one of my digicams, put everything together, and snapped a pic.* *Well, it turns out that pushing the shutter release button makes things bounce up and down like crazy at 100x magnification.

So.... I tell myself that I need a remote control for the camera.* *Turns out I have an old Canon G2 that supports a remote control, but I can't find the remote.* *But I did find the remote control software!

The software lets me remote the view finder (good thing, since the G2's LCD broke years ago), lets me control the flash and the zoom remotely, and, of course, let's me shoot remotely.* *Cool!

So, I can shoot pics without jiggling the scope/camera too much, but I'm finding two things are still a pain:

1) Even with the remote setup, I still get vibrations from the floor that prevent me from getting a stable image.* * I'm thinking about cutting out part of our deck and putting a concrete pier in place.* *This would also be cool for astro telescopy as well.

2) Even with the remote view finder, positioning and focusing the telescope is a royal pain.* * Now I want a remote-control digital scope adjuster too (I know these things exist for astro scopes).

Basically, it feels like I'm headed down a slippery and expensive slope.* *What I'm really looking for is a web cam with good resolution, a good telephoto lens, and remote control for pan/zoom/tilt.* *Does such a thing exist?
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Re: anybody doing high-magnification photography?
Old 07-13-2006, 11:06 PM   #2
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Re: anybody doing high-magnification photography?

Is the woman that hot?

Ha
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Re: anybody doing high-magnification photography?
Old 07-13-2006, 11:11 PM   #3
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Re: anybody doing high-magnification photography?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
Is the woman that hot?
If I ever get the web cam setup, you can judge for yourself.
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Re: anybody doing high-magnification photography?
Old 07-14-2006, 12:38 AM   #4
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Re: anybody doing high-magnification photography?

Not sure you are going to find a stock web cam that meets your specs. Lens would be the first major issue if you want 100X. You may have to cobble your own lens set up on the web cam. The other stuff should not be too hard to find but all of them on the same web camera could be a challenge.

You may have to go with a more professional level of digital camera to get the better lens and the resolution and shutter control you want. Expect to pay a lot for such a setup.

Depending on your creativity and your skills you might be better off making a camera yourself out of various parts you find that meet your needs. One can also buy stabilization systems for your telescope but they may still allow some jiggle with your current setup. A cement platform that is independent from the deck will go a long way to eliminate movement from you moving around.

Sounds like a neat project.
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Re: anybody doing high-magnification photography?
Old 07-14-2006, 04:57 AM   #5
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Re: anybody doing high-magnification photography?

I helped my daughter build a 6" Dobsonian telescope for a science project and then I got hooked briefly on astro photography using a $10 web cam and free image stacking software. Here are some pictures I took of Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and the moon:
http://www.heffernans.org/gallery/AstroPhotos

There is a Yahoo Group for this topic called Quick Cam and Unconventional Imaging Astronomy Group. I am leaving town until next Wednesday but would be glad to talk to you about this stuff when I get back.
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Re: anybody doing high-magnification photography?
Old 07-14-2006, 09:47 AM   #6
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Re: anybody doing high-magnification photography?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
Is the woman that hot?

Ha
Maybe theres no woman involved and theres a tiny weener joke in here somewhere...
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Re: anybody doing high-magnification photography?
Old 07-14-2006, 10:09 AM   #7
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Re: anybody doing high-magnification photography?

Yes, a stable base is a must... anything that can move the camera is bad, including wind...

Do you have the camera lens on the camera? I know that many years ago when I was looking (long before digital anything)... the telescope operated as the lens... you just mounted your 35 mm camera on the back. Maybe the camera lens is a problem... I do not know.. just throwing it out for discussion...
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Re: anybody doing high-magnification photography?
Old 07-14-2006, 11:01 AM   #8
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Re: anybody doing high-magnification photography?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
Maybe theres no woman involved and theres a tiny weener joke in here somewhere...
silly me. i thought this was going to be a thread about microscopic photography which i've always loved. didn't realize it was just long-distance voyeurism.
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Re: anybody doing high-magnification photography?
Old 07-14-2006, 11:39 AM   #9
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Re: anybody doing high-magnification photography?

Quote:
Originally Posted by donheff
I helped my daughter build a 6" Dobsonian telescope for a science project and then I got hooked briefly on astro photography using a $10 web cam and free image stacking software. Here are some pictures I took of Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and the moon:
http://www.heffernans.org/gallery/AstroPhotos

There is a Yahoo Group for this topic called Quick Cam and Unconventional Imaging Astronomy Group. I am leaving town until next Wednesday but would be glad to talk to you about this stuff when I get back.
That is awesome! I've always wanted to get a good telescope to check out the moon in more detail. I went to the Griffith Observatory on a night with a full moon and they had their telescope following it. It was incredible! I felt I was just a few hundred feet off the ground of the Moon!
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Re: anybody doing high-magnification photography?
Old 07-14-2006, 11:47 AM   #10
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Re: anybody doing high-magnification photography?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
Is the woman that hot?

Ha
He probably can't say because she's on double-secret probation... and now under surveillance
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Re: anybody doing high-magnification photography?
Old 07-14-2006, 12:23 PM   #11
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Re: anybody doing high-magnification photography?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazygood4nothinbum
silly me. i thought this was going to be a thread about microscopic photography which i've always loved. didn't realize it was just long-distance voyeurism.
Very nice image LGFNB!* I used to mess about with photomicroscopy of crystals using various filter combinations.* Also sank many hours of time into SEM images after hours while working and going through grad school.* *Do you still take shots?* I found high mag while maintaining depth of field to be most challenging for me.
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Re: anybody doing high-magnification photography?
Old 07-14-2006, 01:06 PM   #12
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Re: anybody doing high-magnification photography?

Quote:
Originally Posted by starboardtack
Very nice image LGFNB!* I used to mess about with photomicroscopy of crystals using various filter combinations.* Also sank many hours of time into SEM images after hours while working and going through grad school.* *Do you still take shots?* I found high mag while maintaining depth of field to be most challenging for me.
sorry no. maybe i'm supposed to credit the images i use from the web? apologies if so. never did microstuff though always admired it. i do love photography but haven't shot a shot since one of those roving gypsy thieves stole the canon out of my house. i have a thing about stuff that's taken from me. i generally don't replace them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence
I went to the Griffith Observatory on a night with a full moon and they had their telescope following it. It was incredible!
if i remember my childhood telescope/science days correctly, the view was supposed to be better on a partial moon. i think it had to do with the full moon reflecting too much light or the shadows created by the earth, i forget what, but, anyway, was something to do with seeing more detail.
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Re: anybody doing high-magnification photography?
Old 07-14-2006, 03:18 PM   #13
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Re: anybody doing high-magnification photography?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud
Do you have the camera lens on the camera?* I know that many years ago when I was looking (long before digital anything)...* the telescope operated as the lens... you just mounted your 35 mm camera on the back.* Maybe the camera lens is a problem... I do not know.. just throwing it out for discussion...
Yeah, I'm using their digital camera mount, which means the camera lens is looking through the scope eye-piece. If I can get this to work in principle, then I might also get their 35mm adapter in which the telescope acts directly as the camera lens. If nothing else, this should get rid of two pieces of glass and give me more light hitting the CCD.

Even without the scope, the remote control feature is pretty cool. This guy used the feature to capture plant growth:

plant growth
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