Steadypix, better luck with smaller camera

Just set up my telescope with the Orion Steadypix adapter clamp and a Canon S100, a little point and shoot pocket camera. Works much better than trying to hang the old dSLR off the clamp. Much more room to maneuver, less weight, and I can get the camera to reliably focus through the eyepiece.

The Steadypix has more play in it than I’d like. The camera moves 2-5° if I push it, in the axis around the tripod bolt. But I think the play is in the rod attachment that lets you swing the whole camera out of the way, not in the tripod bolt mount. Also focussing is tricky. I focussed for my eye first and then the camera was mostly in focus, but I still had to turn the telescope focus a bit. And with that much weight I have to sort of pull up on the focusser, whatever clutch there is in the focusser doesn’t want to lift the whole camera. Getting this really sharp is going to be very difficult.

Camera settings.. Full manual mode, f/6.3 (stopped down a bit for sharpness), ISO 1600. Lens is zoomed in a bit so I don’t see the circle of the eyepiece, just the center of the eyepiece image. Camera manual focus set to as near focus as possible (10 inches?) and then focus with the analog knob on the telescope while watching the live preview screen. 1/1600s exposure for daytime, but of course much less at night. Irritatingly the S100 doesn’t have a jack for a shutter release, so I’m stuck doing the 10 second timer thing to avoid shaking the camera too much when taking a picture.

Sample images below are 1×1 (at ~1200px wide) of a distant tree during daylight. RAW mode with Lightroom default developing, also camera JPG. Honestly the quality here is pretty bad, but we’ll see what happens at night.

IMG_1483 copy IMG_1483