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Astrophotography Quick Reference

Ecuador's Astrophoto Equipment

MIZAR (later exported to the US as TAL-1)

I use a Russian 4.5" (114mm) f/7.1 Newtonian telescope since 1991. It features a rigid equatorial mount but has no clock drive, or any other tracking device. This means that it can do limited astrophotography (lunar or manually driven piggyback). I use the following eyepieces : 25mm Plossl (32x), 15mm Kernel (54x), 4mm Orthoscopic (204x), plus a 3x Barlow lens. Also color eyepiece filters help in low contrast targets (like Jupiter's belts). Actually, this was not my first telescope. I had a small 40mm refractor with a variable eyepiece (8x-32x) since 1988. Of course, I don' t quite consider the small refractor as a telescope, since it is only good for the moon. I still use it though, as a large focal length telephoto, mostly suitable for the moon and sun.

The EOS REBEL is a special edition of the EOS 1000QD (more metal - less plastic, no built-in flash). It is an excellent SLR camera, although not well suited for long exposures, as it relies completely on battery power. It has an exposure range of 30sec to 1/2000sec with automatic, programmable or manual controls. I have used it exclusively from 1992 to 1996, as I bought the Zenit in 1997 which is better suited for astophotography. Of course, for shorter exposures, or not astronomical targets this camera is really good.
Zenit 122
As I wanted a mechanical camera that supports a cable release I bought this Russian SLR (Jan. '97). It has an exposure range of only 1/30sec to 1/500sec, but the bulb setting is independent of battery power. It has the popular M42 "screw" type lens mount that accepts many manufacturer's lenses, but this camera is cheap and it started having problems with film loading after not very much use.
Canon F-1
Unfortunately my Zenit started having some problems with the film loading, so I replaced it with a (far better) Canon F-1 (manufactured in 1979). I use an M42/Canon FD adapter to attach my old lenses to the F-1. The F-1 has an exposure range of 2sec to 1/2000sec and uses the battery only for the photometer functions. It also supports multiple exposures and mirror lock-up. Since I acquired this camera on the summer of 2000, you will not see any photos taken with the F-1 for a while...
Minolta XD-5

I recently (2001) got this camera, which is the world's first multi-mode exposure 35mm SLR (manufactured in 1979). It has shutter or aperture priority, manual metered mode and X-Sync at 1/100. The supported exposures are from 1sec to 1/1000sec (electronic) plus the mechanical B and O (at 1/100).


For the Canon EOS:

35-80mm (f/4.5-f/5.6) Canon EOS AF ZOOM lens. (1992)
80-200mm (f/4.5-f/5.6) Canon EOS AF ZOOM lens. (2000)

For the Canon F1:

28mm (f/2.8) Chinar lens. (2001)

For the Zenit and F-1 (M42/FD adapter):

50mm (f/2.8) Praktika lens. (2000)
58mm (f/2) Helios lens. (1997)
300mm (f/4.5) Helios lens. (1997)

For the Zenit, F-1 (w. M42/FD adapter) and EOS (w. M42/EOS adapter):

400-1600mm (f/10-f/40) Haley Optical telephoto/telescope. (1988)

For the Minolta :

45mm (f/2) Rokkor lens. (2001)
28mm (f/2.8) Soligor lens. (2001)
28-80mm (f/3.9-4.9) Albinar lens. (2001)



85A (My favorite - the best for sunsets)