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Orion Nebula with the Tair 3
Lens: Tair 3 300mm F4.5 Preset Camera: Pentax K-x Photo Location: Northern Colorado ISO: 1600 Shutter Speed: >6s Aperture: F4.5 
Posted By: Colorado CJ, 02-23-2012, 09:37 PM

I just constructed a barn door tracking mount so I can start making long exposure astrophotos. It isn't quite finished yet, but I couldn't help jerry rigging it to use it for a little while tonight.

I attached my Tair 3 300mm lens and camera to the barn door tracker and here is what I got with my first photo.

It is Orion Nebula taken at F4.5 and a 10 second exposure at 1600 ISO. You can see that it isn't perfect yet. I don't have the tracker fully finished, so it wasn't aligned quite right to Polaris, so the stars are a little oval.

Once everything is working and adjusted right, I should be able to get up to around 5 minute exposures with the tracker. When I can do that, I can stack multiple images to get a hubble-like photo. It will definitely take some experimenting and learning though since this is my first step into astrophotography.

Here is the 10 second exposure. A longer exposure would show much more of the nebula and many colors, this is just my first test image.



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02-23-2012, 09:53 PM   #2
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CJ, that is a cool project and you already have great results, this should be interesting for sure. Will keep my eye out for your next posted thread.
02-23-2012, 11:10 PM   #3
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If this is just a first test shot I can't wait to see the next! Excellent!
02-24-2012, 12:24 AM   #4
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Nice I've always wanted to build one of those. Can you post a picture of it when it is done?

02-24-2012, 05:32 AM   #5
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great stuff

want to share some pics and details of your barn door mount?
02-24-2012, 06:08 AM   #6
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WOW!! This is beautiful, CJ!
02-24-2012, 06:38 AM   #7
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Nice shot and an amazing coincidence.I built one at GE several years ago and they do track really good but I don't use it much living here just outside of Boston near US Rte 1 where the light pollution is awful.Here's my finished product along with a 30sec shot of Orion taken with a Takumar 135mm lens.--charliezap
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02-24-2012, 07:05 AM   #8
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Nice Charlie! Mine is nothing like that though, just made out of wood, some hinges and some electronics.

I don't have any photos of the mount yet, but here is the plan I used to build it. I made a cut file and had my CNC cut all the wood parts to get it as accurate as possible.

A Tracking Platform for Astrophotography | Gary Seronik.com

02-24-2012, 07:56 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Colorado CJ Quote
Nice Charlie! Mine is nothing like that though, just made out of wood, some hinges and some electronics.

I don't have any photos of the mount yet, but here is the plan I used to build it. I made a cut file and had my CNC cut all the wood parts to get it as accurate as possible.

A Tracking Platform for Astrophotography | Gary Seronik.com
I checked it out CJ and it looks very neat. As you can see mine is lacking a powered drive but with a little practice a person can turn the screw at 1RPM and achieve a decent shot.To check the accuracy I mounted a 400mm lens on it and centered on a star.I waited 5 minutes and turned the screw 5 turns and son of a gun the star was right back in the center.Maybe this summer I'll drag it out and try it again.Maybe I'll sell it to someone who can make great use out of it.The tripod is interesting.I bought it at a flea market for $5. It's a Stanrite--- American made- wooden and stainless steel and was made in the 50's.--charliezap
02-25-2012, 08:43 AM   #10
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Here is a shot of the setup as it sits right now. I am waiting on a ball head to arrive so that I can get rid of the wobbly jerry rigged mount.

I have a green laser attached to the mount right now to point the mount at Polaris, but I'm going to install a polar scope to get the mount aligned exactly.

Sorry for the poor photo, I only have one real digital camera, so this was taken with my Ipod.


02-26-2012, 08:32 AM   #11
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That is a nice looking barn-door.
03-04-2012, 05:54 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Colorado CJ Quote
I just constructed a barn door tracking mount so I can start making long exposure astrophotos. It isn't quite finished yet, but I couldn't help jerry rigging it to use it for a little while tonight.

I attached my Tair 3 300mm lens and camera to the barn door tracker and here is what I got with my first photo.

It is Orion Nebula taken at F4.5 and a 10 second exposure at 1600 ISO. You can see that it isn't perfect yet. I don't have the tracker fully finished, so it wasn't aligned quite right to Polaris, so the stars are a little oval.

Once everything is working and adjusted right, I should be able to get up to around 5 minute exposures with the tracker. When I can do that, I can stack multiple images to get a hubble-like photo. It will definitely take some experimenting and learning though since this is my first step into astrophotography.

Here is the 10 second exposure. A longer exposure would show much more of the nebula and many colors, this is just my first test image.


Wow, just wow! On a dslr with a handwinded, homebuilt piece of crap () that is just amazing. Amazing.

edit: that is not a S smile but a ; , dont know why it does that...
03-04-2012, 05:58 AM   #13
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Is that a single shot exposure or several 10īs stacked?
03-04-2012, 10:30 AM   #14
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It is a single 10 second exposure. Once I get the ball head mounted, I'll do about 30 15 second exposure and stack them.
03-08-2012, 03:00 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Colorado CJ Quote
It is a single 10 second exposure. Once I get the ball head mounted, I'll do about 30 15 second exposure and stack them.

Looking forward to see your resaults!
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