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Old Mar 14, 2008, 1:54 PM   #1
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Looking for a 2" eyepiece, that take full advantage of the telescope and camera, with a large diameter lens, long focal point and eye relief for hopefully around $100, for all around Astro/Terrestrial viewing first and second trying to get into digiscoping.

Telescope: 80mm aperture and 600mm focal length. (Celestron C-80ED APO Refractor) F/7.5
Epieces, that I have:

William Optics 1.25 " 45 Deg. Erecting Prism
Orion 2x 3-Element Barlow, 2" Shorty-Plus
Antares 1.25" W70 Series Widefield Eyepiece - 8.6mm
The Orion 2" diagonal & adapter
The scope comes with a Plossls 25mm EP and a
1.25" 45 degree erect image diagonal (Diagonal no good for astro use)

Camera: Lens 37mm dia. and is equivalent to a 35 - 420mm focal length lens. (Panasonic DMC-FZ30)
F2.8 to F3.7 with Leica 37mm Dia. solid lens Dc Vario-Elmarit 1:28-3.7 / 7.4-88.8 ASPH.

Lenses I have been looking at, to name a few:

WS 70 & 80 Degree 2" Oculars 70 Degree field [size=32] mm $89.95 ea (University Optic)
Antares 2" W70 Series Widefield Eyepiece - 34mm Our Price: $99.00
WS 30mm 80 degree field 2" Oculars Wide field? $69.95
Willian Optic = SWAN 40 = $118.00 SWAN 33 = $118.00
Orion Telescopes = 32mm and 38mm Q70 2" Wide-Field Eyepiece $99.95
30mm or 42mm GSO Superview 2" EP $63 and $65.

Or any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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Old Apr 21, 2008, 4:04 PM   #2
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H!

I think if you check the panasonic section of this board, you can get some good advice.

I would suggest to do so, I did and found lots of worthwile information. About digiscoping as well.

There is a comparision of two eypieces with an william Optics APO, the (cut and pasted out of an German Astro Suppliers Webshop, with whom I have shaken hands with ;-)

[align=center] Art. Nr. Kurzbeschreibung VK Euro Superview 75 2" Okular mit 75mm Brennweite und
M52 GewindeanschluĂź
156,-[/align]came out first. I think you call it "Swan", because of the drawing on its container.

I would suggest you get this one.
You need a converter from the 52mm threads on the lense to the 55mm of the Cam.

I could dig up a German source via E-Bay, you need a 55-52 converter (first is size of lense-thread, second is filter thread),
but your friendly Astro or Photo-Shop will be helpfull.

Good luck, and tell me your Results!

Ahh...you can chek for "ankh" in the dp-review forum for panasonic. Gence would probably tell you the same, but just go and ask the helpfull folk at the Panasonic section of this site...

I am lusting after a Maksutov Cassegrain-but at the Moment, the one proposed by my Astro Supplier is not available with 2" eypieces...

Please tell me about your resualts, and don`t forget the friendly Panasonic folk on this board and dpreview. They will be interested as well.

Cheers,
Michael



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Old Aug 8, 2008, 1:55 PM   #3
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Sorry, you will not be able to digiscope with a FZ camera, the optical system is far too large. Check out my Aug 7 post to TScott. Gene Smith

Update Aug. 12

Well, SORRY again. I do see that people are digiscoping with the FZs. See later post concerning the use of 2 inch eye-pieces for digiscoping with the Pan FZ cameras. Gene
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Old Aug 9, 2008, 10:56 AM   #4
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I am not sure, but this link shows that a bit of digiscoping is possible:
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=15876424

I wouldn't exactly say I can sense any kind of Problem in those pictures taken with a FZ.

Regards,
Michael
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Old Aug 10, 2008, 6:35 PM   #5
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Ahed and Michael:


Sorry Ahed, in my first reply I missed consideration of your question about a 2 inch eyepiece. I do have a 2 inch Celestron E-Lux 32mm eyepiece and I found that it DOES fill the frame of my Lumix DZ 7 and DZ30cameras with about 1.5X zoom. The eyelens measures about 1.4 inches in diameter. Had not tried it before now.

Well, seeing is believing. Apparently a person can digiscope with a Lumix DZ camera. I am not registered with dpReview and cannot as yet contact the poster. Am working on it. I do have a Lumix DZ7 and a DZ50, both fine cameras. My favorite digiscope eyepieces are an Orion Expanse 20mm and an Orion Epic 12.5 mm. The first has an eye-lens of almost an inch and the second measures an inch in dia. I cannot fill over about half the frame of these two cameras in digiscope mode without going to about 4X zoom, which I do not like to do.

A person contacted me that has a very fine Canon G9 and asked about digiscoping. Doing some Googling I found a comment that yes it works fine if a 50mm large diameter camera lens is used for the eyepiece! Also a standard 1 1/4 inch Celestron 24mm eyepiece is mentioned as satisfactory. Anyone have information on the Canon G9 or G7 for digiscoping? I will visit a camera store with my Expanse eye piece in hand to examine the compatibility. You can hold an eyepiece in front of the camera lens to observe if it fills the viewing frame, you do not need the scope.

A large diameter eye lens and long eye relief seem to be the keys to extending the range of cameras for digiscoping. I am a fabricated scope person and am not familiar with expensive manufactured scopesmany birders buy, but I am sure typical eye lenses are far less than an inch in diameter. Of course high magnification is typically important, and that is lost with a long focal length eyepiece.

So, thanks for your post and I am interested in identification of better eyepieces and additional cameras for digiscoping. Be back when I can get additional information.

Gene Smith [email protected]


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Old Aug 12, 2008, 10:25 AM   #6
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The dpreviews are quite interesting, and thanks for pointing them out. As I read the digiscoping threads for the Panasonic FZ cameras have the following comments:

1. Digiscoping is possible with the Lumix FZ cameras when coupled with the larger eye-lenses and eye-relief of 2 inch eyepieces. However, the best results obtained seemed to be with a 75 mm. eyepiece. The resulting power would be only 1/6 th that of a 1 1/4 Orion Epic II 12.5mm, that is known to work well with a Canon A720 camera in digiscope mode, for example. This 8 meg camera is available for less than $200.

2. I saw some claims that Image Stabilization gave benefit. Common practice and advice is to turn it off for digiscoping. A camera senses internal zoom and allows motion sensors to make optimum image corrections. A camera has no input from external zoom levels.

3. Some high camera zoom levels are show in these posts. Normally for quality, zoom is kept as low as possible, just enough to fill the frame, or 2X maximum.


CONCLUSIONS: There may be different conclusions for different people. For me, I would choose not to be limited by the fewer number of 2 inch eyepieces available and the apparent lower power associated with them. I do not believe there would be any quality improvement in going to the larger Lumix FZ system. For a common subject comparison see my moon shot, http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo....php?id=124837 which was made with a Canon A550, a 7 meg. camera.


In a prior post I had questioned if a Canon G-9 was compatible with 1 1/4 inch eye pieces. I stopped into a camera store and checked. Yes, the G-9 fills the frame quite nicely with an Orion Epic II 12.5 mm eye-piece with about 1.5X zoom or less.
I see no need to go to a 2 inch eye-piece for this camera.
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Old Aug 27, 2008, 2:10 PM   #7
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Hi Gene9!

I do admit that your picture is very impresive, and having to lug around all that heavy, big (and when using a scope essentially useless) Leica Glass of a Panasonic probably is not necessary-the telescope and its mount is heavy enough, anyway;-)

When the scope does all the magnifying and gathering of extra light, there is not a lot the camera built in lense is supposed to do (which is why most people use a SLR without its lense ;-). Maybe except to not distort ;-) too much.

However, I would not want to have an additional camera lying around (we'll come to that later) when I would not use it-feels so "wasted" most of the time. So I would like to use the one camera I mainly use as well.

Your point concerning the big entrance pupil of Panasonics (notably the FZ30 and FZ50 should be worst at the moment), is a good one.

The number of Scopes that do have problems with 2" is bigger than one should suspect. The Orions (US) Maksutov come to mind.

Which, incidentially, is the one I am lusting after. But without a suitable 2" Kit its a no go for a Panasonic.

(now we come back to a second camera)
My Father broke his small Canon, and I lent him my "just in case" LZ5 (The one camera thats lying in the car all the time, "just in case" something that absolutley hast to be taken pictures off happens ;-), so maybe I can go out and buy a replacemt with a smaller diameter...as the Orion scope "only" has a T-2 connector (which means 42mm diameter). Additionally Lumix are very bad with low light (They do tend to shine with lots of light, thou). So a low-light camera like one of the smaller fujis might be a good companion to my FZ30.

The stabilisation is a controversial Issue-when using a Nikon 1.7 Extender to my FZ30 I did take moonshots with and without stabilisation. I have to admit that the phase of the moon was more importtant to the clearness of the picture than image stabilisation-if the moon was full, I could reduce the exposure times so much, my fixed, non astronomical mounted tripod was a non-Issue, whereas the exposures longer than 1/5 of a second were blurry most of the time, as the moon "moved" too much during this time. So maybe stabilisation of the picture via a sturdy astronomic mount and good motors is more of an issue then. And the remote shutter release ;-)

As usual, we see, the impossible has been done, but might not be the least costly or most feasible solution.

But taking a picture of the moon with a 820mm focal length from an unstabilised tripod on a wobbly balcony can be done-and is fun, too.

And maybe I'll up chances next time and use a real scope to see if I still can get away with it. Not very rational, but still lots of fun ;-)

Cheers,
Michael

Adendum: Before I bought the FZ30 I cheked the G9 as well. Great camera, no doubt. A good compromise. But concerning the power-if you use a lower power eyepiece and use just abit of power from the camera lenses, the vignetting should disappear and the magnification go up, shouldn't it? This is what I would deducce from my experiments with various add on lenses. Besides, the 55mm thread of the FZ 30 is a bonus then-you can get 1,7 , 1,5, 0,8 add-on lenses without the need of additional step up or down rings like with the A85 of Canon. So, as always, there is the dark side (better with a scope at night, easier to adopt there), and a light side (you have to put this ugly plastic extender on it to use add on lenses during the day) for the A85 and its like.

You are completly right in your conclusion-there is no wrong, there are only different choices to be right at the most important issues. And that utterly depends on the usage and the discretion of the user ;-)

Keep those moon pics coming and please explain how to take them-
except the bit with which camera to use, I think I've got that point already ;-)
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Old Sep 3, 2008, 9:40 PM   #8
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Michael:

After you expressed interest in the Orion Mak I started looking also. I have a Celestron Omni 127 SCT OTA coming this week. The optics are the same as in the well respected C-5. I also have a two inch adapter ordered that screws directly onto the back. There is an adapter made for the Orion Mak that converts to a SCT thread also so the same adapter can be used on the Mak. Another reason I am getting the SCT instead of the Mak is that the SCT is F-10 and Mak is F-12. F-10 would be better for digiscoping. I have a Konus of a couple of years ago that I was never happy with.

Some people say I can and others say I cannot successfully use a two inch eyepiece on this scope. When I get it I will attach my Celestron 32mm 2 inch eyepiece, hold up my FZ-7 Lumix and see how it works. I am not sure the limited field of view has anything to do with "stuffing the image into your larger camera". I will let you know how it works. Of course I plan to use my A-720 with the two inch tube attached to fit directly into the 2 inch back. Ok, for now,
Gene Smith
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Old Sep 7, 2008, 8:22 PM   #9
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I have received and examined my new Omni 127 SCT. I am happy with the quality of the optics. The moon looked sharp at 200X.

I was not able to digiscope with the unit with my Canon A-720, nor with the FZ-7. The lens systems were just too large for the FOV. My older 7 meg. Canon A-550 worked fine however. Hand held digiscope shots were fairly sharp. Gene Smith
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Old Sep 12, 2008, 6:58 PM   #10
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Thanks Gene!

Well, well, that is some food for thought....
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