October 31, 2011

Some busy days!

Phew!  Have things been busy!  As it was my birthday on Friday, the Birthday Faerie visited with cash.  Cash is good.  I took said cash out to see my mate Lance, and exchanged it for some new toys. Nice nice toys.  I got a variable camera projection mount and the noise pollution filter to play with :D  So I thought that with new kit, I would do a kit post, not been one of those for a while :)  So here's most of my kit.  I don't take all of this out, and the camera (astroCam 2) I used to shoot these with is not shown of course.

Some notes:  Galaxy tab is used for geotagging, star charts and reading books whilst waiting for timlapses.  Webcam and Finepix are not in use yet, they're earmarked for prime focus stuffs, once I get them apart.  Hardly ever use the 70-200mm, although its a fine lens indeed.  Enough of this kit-style blather Val!

Here's the first results of what can be done with them.

Here's the first shot through the camera projection mount, taken by Jacqui, so qualifies as her first astro shot ever!  Didn't she do well?  It's the crescent moon, shot on the 20D, using the 25mm mount inside the Camera projection tube.

Then toinght I bodge mounted the noise pollution filter on the IXUS80 and took 2 shots through it.  Done nothing but reduced the noise here.

As you can see that knocks the streetlights right the hell out, so I am defintely looking forward to using this both in the scope and in the camera projection mount.

I just wanted to give a big Thank You to Lance for selling me this stuff oh and the 62mm lens up there in the first Kit picture.

October 27, 2011

Into the Stella Valles rode the 600

Quite a while ago I posted a technique on eliminating/reducing star trails in your night shots. And now I have found another, perhaps easier way to make this calculation, at least for safety. This is called the "Rule of 600".

Basically you take your true lens focal length (on a 2/3 sensor you multiply by 1.6, eg 18mm x 1.6 = 28.8mm) and then divide 600 by that focal length .. this will return you the longest exposure that is possible for any given focal length lens, without the stars streaking.

So, using the 18mm Lens, that would return 600/28.8 = 20.833 seconds before trails show up.

October 26, 2011

Tweet F**king Tweet!

Well as you can see on the left there, the blog now has it's own twitter feed.  So if you'd like to follow it, we here at 1200mm would appreciate it :D

This is of course part of one of my erratic drives to do more with this space.  There's some new things coming, hopefully soon.

Also, gots a little piccy from the Bill tonight ... our trackers are on their way! w00t.

October 25, 2011

Scotts Landing TimeLapse

Scotts Landing TimeLapse a video by Astronomr on Flickr.

Ok, so here's 4 seconds of Scotts landing when the moon was insanely bright last week. I like how there's fish ... sloooow fish ...

October 24, 2011


Satellite by Astronomr
Satellite, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

As it was too late, and too spooky to head out to Conical tonight, I went nosing out here instead. once I have run the BF Noise reduction I will re-post. :D

A tale of two lenses

EF28-80 by Astronomr
FD24mm by Astronomr

Well after tonight's world cup win for the ABs, I felt buoyant enough to attempt the climb up to the proposed new observing/photo site on Conical Hill.  Well drive up there at any rate.  It wasn't until I got up there that I realised that I had lent Bill the 18-55mm Lens :).

However.  It's nice and dark up there, with the worst noise pollution visible in the two shots above.  That's the glow from Warkworth/Snells Beach.

The shot on the left is taken with the EF 28-80mm Lens, aperture 3.4, the shot on the right Sigma Super-Wide FD 24mm, aperture 2.8.

Trouble with the fast lens is how fungal it is (the stars are actually in sharp focus.

So a small success, a nice dark place to shoot, and to transport scopes up to.  Also gained a burning desire to procure a faster lens, as the 18-55 is nice, but could be a lot nicer.  When I get more $$$ I think a fast 50 might be the order of the day.

Unless of course y'all want to donate something? :)

Ok, just asking!

Here's a pic of the hunter to leave you with.

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October 23, 2011

Back to Basics

Well, Canon Photo5 is over for another year, at least as far as my images are concerned. If you're interested, you can see how my shots look, click here, to see me being punched in the face (my powder entry), and browse my other entries if you have a mind to. So now the wait for November 9 begins, which is when the Judges announce their decision and open the briefs for voting.

In location news, Bill and myself went out yesterday, searching for somewhere dark, and high. Upshot is we think we found somewhere. The top of Conical Peak Road is at this stage, looking very good for our new favorite photo and observation spot. Also we're hoping that our attempts to attract like-minded people to join us up there is successful.

Also, I have discovered a new photo site for uploading of cool things.  Wander on over to Pixoto and take a look at things there.  My stuff can usually be found int he Astronomy section :D

October 18, 2011

Please bear with us

While I try to win a 5D in the Canon Photo 5 competition.

Bill however, should have some tracker construction shots up soon ...

SO, a vote or two wouldn;t go astray :)


October 11, 2011

Wow, people liked that one!

My treated Milky Way shot got to 300 views on Flickr today :)  Only the second time one of my photos has reached that lofty view count :D

October 10, 2011

The Way and the Cross

The Way and the Cross by Astronomr
The Way and the Cross, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

One of the Church Attempts, this is the Church of the Good Shepherd in Tekapo - the clouds were pouring in fast that night, so I was rushing around trying to get some shots. This is perhaps the best of the evening.

October 7, 2011

Tekapo Motor Camp

Tekapo Motor Camp by Astronomr
Tekapo Motor Camp, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

Flame Trees and All :D

October 6, 2011

Milky Way

Treated Milky Way by Astronomr
Treated Milky Way, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

Here's what happens when I get a little fired up over post. This is from the same mt john tracker batch, with heavy contrast adjustment and post. Also some NR.

Makes we wonder where to take this blog really. Can't afford the top-end gear, so hence the journey ... anyone want to lend me a 5D Mk II for a year?

Couple more from Tekapo and Mt Cook


Steve Jobs: February 24, 1955 - October 5, 2011

We're no Apple Fanboys, but this guy did a lot of positive things for computing... rest in peace, Steve Jobs

Val and the Big Guns

Let me tell you all about the trip to Tekapo - there was fretting! The weather was playing silly buggers half the time and in the end we ended up driving back to Tekapo from Mt Cook to go on the tour.

I should say tours.  We stayed up there for 3 tours.  The Earth and Sky guys and girls were just the best.  I wanted to say a HUGE thank you to Chrissy, Matt, Christian and Chris, and of course Maki who put up with a totally spastic amateur astro-photog asking all kinds of dumb questions and gonig squeeeeeee all over  the tracker.

The photos going up on Flickr and here at the moment are a combo of my own efforts, and the ones I got up at Mt John with the help and support of the tour guys.  I really couldn't recommend these guys higher.

K, K, shutting up now.

Here's me squinting through the Big Scope!
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October 5, 2011

25 Minutes

Of the same Sky. This was at the end of the mammoth observing and photography session up the top of Mt John. My Framing Sucks. But ran out of battery after this

October 3, 2011

5 minutes

"The Milky Way is nothing else but a mass of innumerable stars planted together in clusters. "
Galileo Galilei 

This is what happens when you give your 2nd-hand 20D to the professionals up at Mt John and they stick it on a tracker for 5 minutes ....