There’s lots of ways to get frustrated. I find adjusting telescope lenses and trying to shoot photographs through them to be a winner. It takes a sick amount of familiarity and having hacked a 6-inch Newtonian together in about 72 hours, I’m a lot more familiar with other things. So I thought I’d practice in the daytime to cut my teeth a little.
What I didn’t understand at first is that the magnification happens in the eyepiece, which sits snug in the Focuser (that jutting piece of hardware that winds up and down). So a high-powered wide-angle eyepiece is great for your eye, but less so for a camera. The camera becomes the Focuser and, simply, a magnifying lens provides the magnification.
Before I practiced focusing and shooting trees, I had to re-tool my haphazard telescope mirrors.
I’m used to shooting through a magnifying lens. Really. It’s become a fun tool in my bag. I plunk the lens right up against the camera and with the focus set to the nearest setting possible, I sway toward and away from the subject. This technique suits photographing objects through a telescope pretty well. Software in post can turn the digital images 160-degrees (or however much you need) so that up is up.
As a proof of concept, it works. I’ll aim to steady the images, predict outcomes and then transfer all this brainy stuff to 120mm film.
On closer examination, I estimate these leaves to be not only six light years away, but also moving away from us at about half the speed of light. My telescope kung-fu is strong.