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Images Taken Through 2 Inch Lenses

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Astrophotos Through 2 Inch Lenses



This page presents examples of astrophotography through a 2" (50mm) lens. Photographs Displayed On This Page Were Taken With Small Telescopes And Telephoto Lenses No Bigger Than Two Inch Aperture. The Moon and Sun pictures were taken through a 2 inch f/15 telescope with Jaegers optics. The comet photographs were taken with an SLR 35mm camera using a 135mm telephoto lens, mounted piggy back on a 6" Newtonian that had a clock drive.

All of the pictures on this page except the Solar ones were taken with conventional 35mm film. The Solar images were taken with a modified Quickcam Express webcam. I use SLR cameras (Single Lens Reflex) because I can remove the lens easily. My particular models are an Exa II, a Pentax K1000, and a Zenit. The Exa's are no longer made but are still around. A good yet inexpensive alternate choice would be a Zenit. These cameras have just enough capability (both are SLR's), yet are simple and inexpensive.

For piggyback photography (camera with telephoto mounted aside telescope) any camera would do, but SLR's make it easy to substitute a telephoto lens for the regular one. A time exposure with a guided camera without a telephoto will record stars well below what you can see, but it will also show a very large field, even in excess of entire constellations.

Check out how to make a simple piggyback mount at Piggyback Mount.

The photographs of the Moon and planets on this page were done by replacing the lens with an adaptor that is just a 1.25" snout. This snout fits into a standard 1.25" focuser, making mounting of the camera easy.

The books I'm familiar with on this subject are Skyshooting by the R. Newton and Margaret Mayall, and George T. Keene's Star Gazing with Telescope and Camera. Neither are new, but both describe well how to use conventional film cameras to get great photographs.

Now-a-days, I would still recommend film cameras for inexpensive star photography. For Lunar and Planetary, I like digital, because the computer can be used to average many images, which helps reduce the effects of seeing.

To find an SLR or CCD camera, use this astro-customized search engine:

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Hale Bopp comet, EXA slr, 135mm Telephoto, 800 ASA Film, 5 Min Exposure. Click Image for Greater Size.
Moon Image, Plato Region, 2 Inch Jaegers f/15 Refractor, EXA slr, Plus X Film, Barlow Projection. Click Image for Greater Size.
Moon Image, Apennine Mountains, 2 Inch Jaegers f/15 Refractor, EXA slr, Panatomic X, Barlow Projection. Click Image for Greater Size.
Moon Image, South Polar Region, 2 Inch Jaegers f/15 Refractor, EXA slr, Panatomic X, Barlow Projection. Click Image for Greater Size.
Moon Image, Alphonsus Region, Waxing Moon, 2 Inch Jaegers f/15 Refractor, EXA slr, Panatomic X, Barlow Projection. Click Image for Greater Size.
Moon Image, Alphonsus Region, Waning Moon, 2 Inch Jaegers f/15 Refractor, EXA slr, Plus X, Barlow Projection. Click Image for Greater Size.
Sun Image, Annular Eclipse of 1994. Hand-held Polaroid SX70 Through 2 Inch Jaegers f/15 Refractor. Click Image for Greater Size.
Sun Image, Mercury Transit: November 8, 2006. Hand-held digital camera looking through 2 inch Jaegers f/15 refractor. Click Image for Full Size.
Expanded, 6 Image Stack of Mercury: November 8, 2006.
2012 Venus Transit Photo Venus Transit, June 5, 2012. Afocal photo through 2 inch f/15 refractor using 400 ASA B/W film and a 35mm Pentax K. A number of sunspot groups are also visible in the photo. Click on thumbnail to see larger image.