Taking on a new challenge: Astrophotography
After a number of very enjoyable years of observing and exploring many new deep sky objects, including fainter galaxies and nebulae, I began to have an urge to capture these objects on film, so that I could share my observations with others. I already owned a high quality single-lens reflex (SLR) camera, so I acquired the necessary accessories for Astrophotography. The photo to the right shows my initial set-up the new endeavor: An off-axis guider assembly (which had a small prism to pick off a portion of the field of view and direct it to an illuminated guiding eyepiece - also shown), a T-ring to attach my SLR camera, which has a right-angle 8X magnifier attached, and a cable release for the camera.
Also shown is the solid-state drive corrector, which allows me to vary the tracking rate of the drive motor, in order to keep a guide star centered in the crosshairs of the guiding eyepiece. Although it looks crude by today's standards, this was "state of the art" in the 1980's. In those days, CCD's and auto-guiding cameras were far in the future!
BELOW IS A PHOTO OF ME USING THE NEW
ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY SET UP.
In those days, guided astrophotography could be tedious! Keeping that star centered in the crosshair illuminated reticle of the eyepiece was a chore!
The Reward: In those days the image above was
considered a successful result! This is a 1 hour hand
guided exposure on Konica 3200ASA slide film.
The object is NGC-4565, and I even managed to capture 14th mag. NGC-4562!! (lower right)