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  1. #1
    Tarantr's Avatar
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    Default Focusing DSLR For Astrophotography



    Hi All got a question,

    last night tried some wide view shots from my Cannon 1000D DSLR both by piggy backing and attaching it to the scope with. Problem im having is focusing.

    When in manual mode and focusing through the view finder the stars look like they are in focus and look great on the 2 1/2 inch screen. But put them on the PC one would think that i dont have 20/20 vision!!

    Is there a trick to it? What am i doing wrong?

    Colmination issue?

  2. #2
    sxinias's Avatar
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    Focusing through the view finder, even if you use a 3x angle finder, is very difficult to do; a lot of trial and error corrections until you get it (focus on a star, photograph it, review the photo at 10X, adjust the focus, repeat until you get it right).

    With your Canon 1000D, use its "live view" feature; it works great. Get the star on the view screen, magnify the image, then focus the scope using the image on the camera's view screen; very simple to do. If you wear glasses, wear them when you are focusing. Keep in mind, some nights the seeing is so poor that stars will not be well defined. Again, using the live view feature of your camera will graphically show this as you are trying to focus as the star will be moving around.
    Last edited by sxinias; 05-31-2011 at 07:31 AM.
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  4. #3
    Tarantr's Avatar
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    Default

    Hey Sxinias,

    I think i need to read up on what my camera can do.
    But thank you for the advice. Will try it tonight if weather pemits.

  5. #4
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    Default

    Hi Tarantr,

    You can also enlarge the image to full size on your camera's LCD screen after you take the photo. If the enlarged preview is out of focus, you know you have to adjust (though it takes a lot of practice and patience to figure out how much to increment the "blind" adjustments). This is the quickest way to check if stars are in focus.
    The best way is to use a laptop with Canon EOS Utility to remote control the camera. You can see the live preview full size on the computer screen before taking the picture.
    -Mark


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    Hi Mark,

    Thanks something else i can try.

    Cheers

    Tarantr

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    Default

    Get a Bahtinov mask. This has helped me to get my Nikon in perfect focus. Very easy and fast to use. It was reccomended here by other users and that was the ticket...

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    I second the Bahtinov mask. Also, when trying to photograph faint fuzzy objects, do your focusing on a bright star first, then lock the focuser before moving to the object you want to photograph.

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    Default

    It is not uncommon to have to take a few shots to get your focus accurate.
    Keith's suggestion about focusing on a bright star first is a good one.
    I have never used a Bathinov mask but believe they are very good. I use my live view at 10 X magnification and get very good sharp focus.
    It all takes time and patience...
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  14. #9
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    I normally use a Bahtinov mask and the live view feature of the camera. As I have a Canon I open EOS utility in my laptop and use the 200% view to focus as accurately as I can. I then take a picture with the test shooting function to have a brighter image and see if the pattern is actually showing a good focus (live view image can be dim if the star is not very bright, but a picture of a couple of seconds shows the pattern very nicely).

    Spending more time to get an excellent focus is not wasted time. It is better to spend 10 more minutes focusing than to find out that the entire shooting session was done with a non-perfect focus that ruined all the pictures.
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  15. #10
    Tarantr's Avatar
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    Default

    Hi All,

    Thanks i looked up the Bahtinov mask and it looks like the way to go.

    I will head down to the local Scope shop on friday and pick one up.

    Thanks to All!

    Tarantr

 

 
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