Space: The Slightly Blurred Frontier


As I mentioned in a previous blog, one of my favourite new gadgets is the Canon Digital Rebel SLR. Finally getting back to an SLR after years of "ordinary" digital cameras has been a wonderful feeling: not least because of the ease at which I can connect the Rebel to my NexStar 5 telescope.

For a few days in the past few weeks, the skies cleared over Seattle, and I was able to rush outside, set up my telescope and take some pictures. I have to say that I was a little disappointed with the results - they certainly didn't seem as sharp as I'd hoped. I was wondering if the mirror flipping up in the camera itself was causing some vibration.

The C# connection is that I've been working on some image processing utilities in C#, but of course, no amount of filtering can fix blurred starting images.

Anyway, if you have any suggestions for improving the photographs or technique, please leave a comment!






Comments (3)

  1. Denny says:

    Well what about this:

    "and I was able to rush outside, set up my telescope and take some pictures."

    thermal effects perhaps?? try keeping the gear outside for at least 30 minutes *BEFORE* taking any photos….

    the classic problem is the mirror or lens cooling down which makes the focus unstable.

    could this be it?

  2. Jeff says:

    I’ve had the Canon 10D for awhile and D60 before that. They’ve changed the way I approach photography.

    The focus system in that camera (allegedly the same as the 10D) is notorious for being a little soft focus on longer lenses in terms of auto focus, but with you using a telescope I’m not sure what to tell you. What shutter speed are you using? Are you using a remote release (or at least the timer)?

  3. John says:

    Hmm. I’m using a remote release, but I think the camera is still moving itself when I take the picture.

    Good point about the thermal instability…

    Next clear night – April? – I’ll try again. Thanks all!

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