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Thread: ISS in prime focus

  1. #1
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    ISS in prime focus

    Over the next 5 days I have about 4 high passes of the ISS over my observatory ( greater than 45 degree max elevation at -1.8 Mag.)
    I'm planning to do my first try at prime focus photography with a LX90 (8") using a Nikon D70 at ISO 1000 and a 1/500 shutterspeed.
    I'll be using a red-dot finder to manually guide and a Hartzman filter to pre-focus my scope before the pass.

    What do you guys recommend to use as a focus target prior to the ISS pass; would a focus on "any old star" give me good focus on the ISS or what is the best way to go on this one ?

    Thanks,

    Stephan, Stargate Observatory

  2. #2
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    Hi Stephan,

    Focusing on the moon if it's visible is best, otherwise a star. At that distance, they'll both effectively be "infinity" anyway.

    Cheers

  3. #3
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    Hey Thanks Mike,

    Figured as much but I read some website's that recommended focus on moon over stars would be better.
    We'll see what happens tomorrow evening.
    I'll post some results if they work out.

  4. #4
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    Hi Wolfhound...welcome to BAUT!

    and also you could try contacting JAICOA....Mr Rivera recently shot some ISS passes:
    Quote Originally Posted by JAICOA View Post
    Well I gave it another try and the weather this day was pretty nice. I was able to catch the best of the frames and here they are. Much better height but unfortunately looking at the backside, the sun in front of it and me behind it. Clear Skies to All.
    http://www.bautforum.com/attachments...-36-fr-3ll.jpg
    best regards

    edit: i just wanted to add that we'd gleefully wait for your compositions / shots...

  5. #5
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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by mahesh View Post
    Hi Wolfhound...welcome to BAUT!

    and also you could try contacting JAICOA....Mr Rivera recently shot some ISS passes:


    best regards

    edit: i just wanted to add that we'd gleefully wait for your compositions / shots...

    Thanks,

    Glad to have found this website.
    I'm no stranger to Astronomy; have been involved for the last 20 years.
    I currently have my own observatory by my house with a 8"LX90 on a permanent pier computer controlled from my "warm" room ( gets cold here in Colorado); aka as my wife calls it the doghouse.

    My main focus over the last years has been planetary photography and I'm now starting to dabble a bit in deep sky imaging.

    I'd like to however get good at ISS photography since it simply fascinates me.

    I'll post some results this weekend if they work out.

  6. #6
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    ISS pass coming up in 28 minutes at magn.-2.0 and 52 degr. inclination.
    Scope and camera are ready............
    Cross your fingers that this works out for a first time..

  7. #7
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    Well, shot 144 images and I definatively need to get closer; I'll try it with a webcam next time.
    Dissapointing for a first time but I'll stick with it for the next few days.

    Picture was made 1/1000 at iso 1600 with nikon D70 using a 2x converter at prime focus in a 8" LX90 manually guided.


  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfhound32 View Post
    Well, shot 144 images and I definatively need to get closer; I'll try it with a webcam next time.
    Dissapointing for a first time but I'll stick with it for the next few days.

    Picture was made 1/1000 at iso 1600 with nikon D70 using a 2x converter at prime focus in a 8" LX90 manually guided.

    That's good especially for your first try. Just out of curiosity, how big does it appear compared to Jupiter or Saturn?

  9. #9
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    feels (from your #6 / #7) like we are with you in your doghouse!....manual guide? nice one wolfhound...

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the positive feedback guys!
    I've got another pass coming up tonight ( only 36 degree inclination and I wopper of a pass Sunday at 67 degree inclination, -2.2 magn.).
    Will try perfecting this a bit more since I'm not too crazy about these results yet.

  11. #11
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    In my limited experience with ISS telescopic watching, you should check to see whether your telescope has any focus shift with altitude (like my NexStar 5 does) - if so, try to focus on something about where ISS will show up. That comment about the Moon being a better target may be because it has such rich detail that critical focussing is easer with some kinds of SLR viewfinders than with a single star image.

  12. #12
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    Pass 2 completed tonight and I decided to go with a lesser amount of magnification ( left the two time converter off).
    Image at ISO 800, 1/500 shutterspeed with Nikon D70, handguided with LX90 at prime focus.

    A little more detail but I'm still not satisfied.
    Tomorrow is a "overhead" pass at magintude -2.2; Third try is always the best right ?


  13. #13
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    There great images Stephan, Its a task and a joy imaging the ISS. Something to look for is the location from where you are at if at the east and the sun setting at the west you should see more of the solar panels and structure but if the sun is west and observing to the west then the shadows will make it difficult to capture the structures and vice versa when the sun rises from the east. Looking forward to see more from you and Welcome. Clear Skies.
    Like Mikes said i use the Moon, if the moon is not available Venus or a Star

  14. #14

    great pic wolfhound32

    Great pic wolfhound, Iss crosses the sky with increadible speed. Thanks for sharing.

  15. #15
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    Thanks guys for all your help.
    Tonight i've attempted my third try with a lot more succes !

    Image taken with LX90 at prime focus, Nikon DX70 with 2x convertor.
    Iso 800 with 1/500 shutter speed.

    Tons better I think !


  16. #16
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    Bingo. More support for the ol' "Third time is a charm" adage.

    Rick

  17. #17
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    That's good detail on the last image there. Well done.

  18. #18
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    A Great catch!, You have doneit a job welldone A keeper. Clear Skies

  19. #19
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    New evening, new ISS pass, new Chances; my fourt try at this and images are getting slightly sharper.
    Too bad I have to wait about 2 weeks for the next decent pass........


  20. #20
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    That is a great shot!

  21. #21
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    The image from February 04 is amazing!

  22. #22
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    That's a most beautiful detailed capture of ISS there is, Stephan. Exquisite.
    Thanks for sharing your amazing picture, pictures, I should say...

  23. #23
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    Thank you all !
    I'll keep refining my skills as more ISS passes come up ( next one will be in about 2 weeks).

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