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Thread: Celestron CPC 1100 with a vintage Cannon AE-1

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    Default Celestron CPC 1100 with a vintage Cannon AE-1



    My first post seeking advice in regards to picture taking through my telescope. I have a vintage (1981) Canon AE-1 that I would like to try and take pix with through my Celestron CPC 1100. I'm easily entertained so I'm sure whatever pix come out will make me happy. I've been taking pix with my cell phone held up to the eyepiece and was happy about those so far. But I'm looking for a little better with the Cannon AE-1.

    So my questions basically are:

    1) What connector do I need in order to connect the camera up to the telescope?

    2) What would be an ideal film (100, 200, 400, etc.)? I've currently got Fuji 400 speed film on hand.

    3) Any suggestions on aperture settings would be helpful too.

    Again, I'm not expecting super advanced results, just something that looks better then what I'm getting now by holding my cell phone camera up to the eyepiece of my telescope.
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    Default Re: Celestron CPC 1100 with a vintage Cannon AE-1

    Wow! Take me back a few years. Film! I can't answer #1 but - 400 is pretty fast and hence grainy. I'd go with much slower film. A long time ago I tried ASA 32 (as I recall) for DSOs (Deep Space Objects) and got pretty good results. Aperture is not an issue - I presume you are wanting to use the telescope as the lens - that is not doing afocal photography. If I'm looking at the correct scope it is a 2800mm FL which makes it an f10 - which is very slow. This scope would take great planetary pictures, but you will have to be very well aligned in order to get deep space objects. Slow film + slow scope is not a great combo. If you are taking planetary photos, try using the ASA 400. Jupiter, Saturn, Mars are fairly bright so a faster film should be able to give good results. Be aware though that 2800FL (telescope)/43 (camera) yields about a 65x magnification. I hope you have a good enlarger. Good luck!
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    Default Re: Celestron CPC 1100 with a vintage Cannon AE-1

    Thank you for the information. I'll probably first start out taking pix of the moon and then progress towards other objects. What piece of equipment would I need in order to connect the camera to the telescope? Is that called a T-adaptor or something like that? I'm primarily utilizing 2" components, so the T-adaptor would need to be compatible to that size.
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    Celestron with both 1.25" and 2" Eyepiece setups.

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    Default Re: Celestron CPC 1100 with a vintage Cannon AE-1

    Hello Iz2,

    the Canon AE1 has a very good and reliable mechanics, I also used to have this camera, and been shooting pics on classic films through the unsurpassed ultrafast Canon aspheric lenses.

    The Fuji 400 films are the stretched Fuji 200, for the astronomy not as good as the Fuji 200.
    The Kodak Royal Gold films have a steeper gradation, and on the nebulae they are at the moment the only sensitive emulsions to the red H-Alpha emission.

    Some of my old pics on the classic films are enclosed. They have been taken on a fix tripod, no tracking.

    Wishing you successful trying the old way of astrophotography,

    JG
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    Default Re: Celestron CPC 1100 with a vintage Cannon AE-1

    Wow, old school! I did this back in the '60s with a Minolta and C8. Moon pics are OK, planets, well, all I can say is that they were there and that was an accomplishment for the time. But compared to even the least expensive electronic imager of today, they are junk.

    But, you will need a camera 'T adapter", Celestron sells this. Then hook it up and shoot. But, after a few rolls of film and botched developing, you are approaching the cost of a planet camera, maybe $150-200.

    Just my thoughts, save for the CCD,
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    Default Re: Celestron CPC 1100 with a vintage Cannon AE-1

    Those are really nice pix. If I was able to get those also with my setup, I'd be quite happy for the time being. Thank you for sharing.
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    Default Re: Celestron CPC 1100 with a vintage Cannon AE-1

    Quote Originally Posted by sdbodin View Post
    Wow, old school! I did this back in the '60s with a Minolta and C8. Moon pics are OK, planets, well, all I can say is that they were there and that was an accomplishment for the time. But compared to even the least expensive electronic imager of today, they are junk.

    But, you will need a camera 'T adapter", Celestron sells this. Then hook it up and shoot. But, after a few rolls of film and botched developing, you are approaching the cost of a planet camera, maybe $150-200.

    Just my thoughts, save for the CCD,
    Steve
    Thank you for the information. I've never heard of a "planet camera" before. I'll have to research that one. In the meantime, I'm simply tinkering around with the camera that I already have. I've seen a few T adapters for sale, and they really aren't all that expensive, yet.
    Celestron CPC 1100 StarBright XLT GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain 2800mm Telescope
    Celestron with both 1.25" and 2" Eyepiece setups.

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    Default Re: Celestron CPC 1100 with a vintage Cannon AE-1

    Depending on the cellphone, cellphone cameras trump film in most cases. The issue is having a camera app that allows for long exposures (15s, 30s, 60s, etc), a stable mount for the camera, and an eyepiece that best works with the phone's camera. Once that's handled, brighter DSO cellphone imaging is very doable. This thread over on that other site is a prime example.

    Now if you're set on using film, keep to very bright objects like the Moon and planets unless you shoot wide field. Otherwise you will need careful tracking/guiding and extremely long exposure times. A lot of this has to do with film reciprocity, where film loses sensitivity the longer the exposure time. For example, a 30 minute exposure at f/4 requires an almost 200 minute exposure at f/8 to get the same results.
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    Default Re: Celestron CPC 1100 with a vintage Cannon AE-1

    For adapters, you will need a T-ring for the Canon, and a "universal" T-adapter for the scope. I don't know how much Canon changed their lens mount when they went digital, so make sure the vendor knows that you want the T-ring for a film camera, in case they aren't compatible. (I think they are compatible-ish, so the same ring may work for both SLRs and DSLRs, but it doesn't hurt to check.)

    Personally, I would go for the 400 film, just because your processing options are so limited with film. However, I bow to JG's greater experience: I'm know that he knows more about this than I do.

    You don't have to worry about "aperture". Your scope is fixed at f/10, so that's what you will be shooting at.

    Since stacking is not an option, you are going to have to collect all your photons in one exposure. Take the longest that you can physically control. You will need guiding. In the old days, they guided manually, by looking through a guide scope with a reticle eyepiece and manually hitting the Up, Down, Fast and Slow buttons to keep the star centered.

    Good luck!
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    Default Re: Celestron CPC 1100 with a vintage Cannon AE-1

    Holy cow! I learned photography with an AE1. I still have that camera somewhere and have so many good memories with it. I even had a couple pics published that I shot with it. I cant really add anything other than what has been said about the speed of the film you select but look forward to seeing the results. Can't wait to see how the pics turn out of the moon.

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