About me

Theo

I’m just a guy  who happens to have two complementary hobbies: photography and astronomy.

I use a Canon EOS 600D, a 650D and a modded Canon 350D with an assortment of lenses, telescopes and mounts.

  • Canon EFS 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM
  • Canon EFS 18-135mm
  • Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 for landscapes and starfields
  • Sigma 120-400mm 4.5-5.6 APO HSM (Not the sharpest lens around but definately not the the most expensive.. )
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.8
  • Canon EFS 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
  • Canon EFS 55-250mm f/4-5.6

An impressive list of non-impressive camera lenses, except for the 60mm macro and Tokina. Also, the 55-250mm zoom lens has a surprising sharpness to it at 250mm. See here.

My astronomy gear includes a reasonably old Meade 8″ SCT (Scmitt Casegrain) telescope with a f/6.2 focal reducer / field flattener and a variety of gadgets, webcams, home built CCD camera, etc.  I also have an Orion EON ED 80mm refractor with a field flattener.

I use an iOptron SkyTracker for long exposures on a tripod. One of my current projects include an autoguiding star tracker with stepper motor and Arduino processor.

I now have an Skywatcher EQ6-R as my main mount.

Using a ZWO ASI224MC for polar alignment and guiding.

I have used Astrobin to host some of my images at full resolution. Look at http://www.astrobin.com/users/TheoP/. This site is not free anymore and I am not publishing new photos there.

Future plans:

  • I have a small metal lathe and want to make more worm wheels. Maybe I could sell a few of them to help me buy a new mount. (This is not so easy, I discovered)
  • I have modified my Canon 600D camera to replace the infrared filter with a clear glass filter. The focusing distance of the converted camera have changed a small amount and my Tokina lens does not reach infinity anymore. I will have to re-adjust the CCD in the 600D to get the focusing distance within reach of my lenses again.
  • I want to sell my modified 350D as well as my normal 650D. Anybody interested?
  • Build a camera box with peltier cooling for the modified 600D to reduce noise on long exposure astrophotography shots.
  • Get a full frame Canon camera body (Canon 6D MkII ?) and a set of L lenses.
  • O yes, and win the lottery to finance all of this.
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3 thoughts on “About me

  1. Bryan

    Just a word of caution on your second plan. With the full frame body you will lose more than half of your resolution of celestial bodies. The Canon 70D might be a better fit for astrophotography, or a used 7D maybe? I have both the 7D and 5D Mark III and I seldom bother mounting it to my scope. I’ll defer to you experience though. Great blog! I recently finally took the plunge into astrophotgraphy myself. I love it. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  2. Michael Lukes

    Hi,
    I really like your auto guiding setup, I’m wondering if you’ve ever considered implementing an ascom soultion as opposed to the st4 solution you have?

    Reply
    1. Theo Post author

      Hi Michael,
      Thanks for your comment.
      Ascom is a serial data format and it would be a fairly big change for me to implement it. It may be easy enough to do but I have not looked at implementing a serial interface. My mount is a very simple machine and the stepper driver and autoguider is meant to be as simple as possible. It is not meant to interface into a commercial mount or software at this stage. I suspect that you are trying to use the ascom interface to connect the mount to software that can then drive the mount. I can’t see me having time to develop that any time soon. I recently got a Skywatcher EQ6-R mount and is still trying to use it properly – The weather is not playing along….

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