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07-23-2008, 07:53 AM   #1
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First test with 1000mm K10D

I just got a Christmas present at the door. An Ebay auction of Pentax stuff that included a Meade Schmidt Cassegrain 1000mm f10 reflex lens.

So here's a couple of quick test shots and I was too excited (lazy??) to use a tripod. So the ISO was at 800. Hand held with SR set to the max at 800. So I know with a lower ISO, a tripod and cable release, these can be better. I also shot these as Jpegs in camera. RAW's would be sharper and look better overall.

The lens is a Mirror reflex and I think it's actually a telescope. There are 4 screws in the barrel grouped (in an odd pattern) together right where a range finder lens would mount. Plus the hard shell aluminum case is not a typical lens case. There are also no front filter threads or a drop in filter holder in the back as you would expect in a lens. Last no easy way to add a hood. I'll have to think of something for daytime stuff... Meade was known for telescopes and not camera lenses from what I've read.

It has a T adapter with a T2 k-mount adapter. Easy to mount and the lens is very light considering the FL. Almost impossible to shoot distant objects hand held. Just too shaky and such a limited FOV. It also has a somewhat unique tripod mount (dual screw with a center post slot)

First a car parked about 60-70 feet away @ 1/400th (Looking for some PF but none evident so far)


Second a flower about 35 feet away @ 1/640th


Last another flower at 35 feet @1/500th. I was slightly off on the focus with this one but look at the flower bud on the lower right side.


There's some noise in the shots as I'll have to get used to that "great" M lens exposure stuff on a k10D and these were a bit underexposed. A little sharpening was done to each shot just to see how it would hold up.

Edit: The resized images here don't look nearly as good as on my screen. The noise jumps out and the sharpness seems to drop. I'll post some ISO100 images as soon as it stops raining.

Is it and FA*XXX? Nope. but it seems like a very good lens and I thought I'd share this in case anyone else comes across one at a reasonable price. It's going to be slow to use MF, ME, and tripod at least 80% of the time. Bokeh will be typical mirror stuff with bright highlights and aperture is fixed at f10. There's no front screw thread for an ND and it's at least 6 inches across so it might be hard to find one anyway. But in the right situations, it seems like it might do a good job.

I'll get out the tripod and do some more serious tests with the lens to see if wildlife is really possible. I'll post some more pictures to the thread to give a better understanding of the ablities and weaknesses.


Last edited by Peter Zack; 07-23-2008 at 08:31 AM. Reason: Comment on resized images
07-23-2008, 08:15 AM   #2
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Oh my.. 1000mm... I still remember last time you talked about 1000mm lens :P and the photos are great too, I can see the spider web near the yellow flower.
07-23-2008, 09:34 AM   #3
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OK I'm not getting any work done today. That's for sure. I just couldn't wait till the weekend to try this out on the tripod.

A few more notes. The focus ring is on the back of the lens. It's a smaller (than the lens barrel) around the T mount extension tube. Focus is 810 degrees (2.25 complete turns). A little tough on the K10D to focus without a split screen. Might just have to use the ME Super on this a bit.

So some more test shots. All at ISO 200 Tripod and mirror lockup. There really isn't much PF or CA at all as you will see. I did resize these and do a little contrast adjustment and USM. One thing for sure, this lens doesn't produce SMC type contrast. The camera's AF system can't tell when the image is focused. So no trap shooting or AF assist. it's manual all the way! Now the light is crappy here today with rain periods, so maybe on a sunny day that will improve.
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Last edited by Peter Zack; 07-23-2008 at 10:25 AM.
07-23-2008, 09:36 AM   #4
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A couple more:
It was windy but the lens froze the leaves well. Very little CA or PF in the shot. The trees are about 500 feet from my shooting position Btw.
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Taken with a Star D 2x PKA TC so at 2000mm from 30 feet 1/60th (the light is changing a lot with the rain clouds)
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1/60th (anyone want a 2000mm macro lens?)
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It certainly will out perform a Bigma with a 2x TC @500mm (equaling 1000mm) not withstanding the slower controls, lack of AF and f10.

last a quick cell phone shot of the setup. It has the 2x TC attached. The Tamron 28-75mm is in front as a reference.
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Last edited by Peter Zack; 07-23-2008 at 09:53 AM.
07-23-2008, 12:52 PM   #5
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holy $#$#!.
puts the SR to the test eh? LOL. Tripod definitely needed for that beast.

definitely decent on the PF, judging by that shot with the cloudy sky with the leaves.
07-23-2008, 01:04 PM   #6
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Wow. That's what I call a lens with a camera mount and not the other way around...
07-23-2008, 01:11 PM   #7
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Looks to me as a decent and sharp lens. Is it heavy? Hard to handle? And do people stare at you when you're using it? (might be a reason to paint it white! )
07-23-2008, 01:54 PM   #8
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Yeah it's big but not very heavy. These reflex lenses are basically hollow. One moderately thick front element and a small mirror pointed back toward the camera. The rear element is a full diameter glass mirror. The rest of the chassis is empty. The nice thing is you can clean the inside yourself. I could see some dust and moisture on the inside of the front element and I just unscrewed the front (like taking a filter off) and cleaned the inside like new.

It is much much lighter than the Bigma and much more comfortable to carry around. Syb, my neighbour saw me testing it out and thought it was a Bazooka. It's fat but shorter than the Bigma.

07-23-2008, 05:29 PM   #9
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Just going to give this a little bump so others can see a long lens possiblity.
07-23-2008, 05:43 PM   #10
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Yes it is a telescope. Meade made those years ago as sort of a table scope. For large one, I have a telescope 2000mm F5, tube is 96in long and 19.5in in diameter, total weight with tracking platform, 175lbs. Some people call it a missile when they see it. I will try someday to attach the my K10D to it, Moon shot maybe.
07-23-2008, 06:20 PM   #11
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I thought it was denis. Thanks for the confirmation. I'd love to see a shot of the 2000mm Wow f5. That's fast. I know very little about telescopes. It would be cool to see some astro photography from a lens like that.

Last edited by Peter Zack; 07-24-2008 at 04:48 AM.
07-23-2008, 06:46 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by maxwell1295 Quote
Wow. That's what I call a lens with a camera mount and not the other way around...
i definitely agree!
07-24-2008, 03:56 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Denis Quote
Yes it is a telescope. Meade made those years ago as sort of a table scope. For large one, I have a telescope 2000mm F5, tube is 96in long and 19.5in in diameter, total weight with tracking platform, 175lbs. Some people call it a missile when they see it. I will try someday to attach the my K10D to it, Moon shot maybe.
Don't give me any ideas with my Celestron NexStar 8SE now that reversing image orientation is one click away
It already has an M42 adapter in the case and it's own tripod

Last edited by gkopeliadis; 07-24-2008 at 04:12 AM.
07-24-2008, 04:19 AM   #14
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I don't know these small Meade scopes, we have a new 16-inch in our observatory and I know the 12- and 8-inch modells. But in scopes you usually use screw-in filters at the back. Not directly on the scope, but somewhere in the camera tube. There are so many different camera tubes, that there is no general rule, but they should use a 2-inch filter (48mm screw thread), for which you find loads of NDs and colour filters.

As I don't know this scope, you should have a look at the front lens. If it is very thick, it should be a Maksutov lens, if it is very thin, it will be a Schmidt lens. The latter might be a little bit better (I assume, it will be a Schmidt, as most Maksutovs are slower than f/10), but need regular collimation, after transport. If you have never done that, you should ask a local astronomy club to explain that process.

A proper lens hood will be as long as the whole tube assembly, but will improve contrast significantly. Some people use flexible sheets of black plastic or even cardboard, which are simply wrapped around the front and fixed with velcro.

How is the focusing mechanism. Does this scope/lens sport the focusing knob on the lower right backside?

regards
Ben
07-24-2008, 04:26 AM   #15
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Peter, this is in deed incredible. Good to see how it holds up with the sharp edges in the images.
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