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Annular Eclipse 31 May 2003

Scope 1

[Scope1/Jpg]

Eclipse 2003 [Dornoch Scotland, 4:40am Sat 31 May 2003; OM1 / ETX125]

We'd never taken photographs through the telescope before. But while the scope itself performed perfectly, there were various problems with the OM1 camera. And of course these chose to manifest themselves just as the sun peeked through the clouds....

First, the cable release wouldn't work. It had worked the previous day, but like every other cable releases we've owned, it broke. And at the worst possible time.

Never mind, we thought, we'll use the self-timer on the camera. But it appears Chris forgot how to work it, or it just misbehaved. It's clockwork (one of the big advantages of the OM1 for astronomical work is its mechanical nature -- the only thing that needs a battery is the meter, which is largely irrelevant for astrophotography), and the winder was flapping around loosely. Perhaps the spring had broken....

So we ended up triggering the camera with the ancient finger-on-the-shutter-button method, with the attendant danger of camera shake. And we didn't even use the mirror lock-up feature.

But despite all this, and the usual difficulty of focusing a telescope through a camera, the shots turned out surprisingly well, at least for a first attempt. With the weather and the poor visibility, we're happy to have seen anything at all, and pleased that the photos turned out reasonably. It was a successful expedition.

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Image details

Photographer: Chris
Taken: Dornoch Scotland, 4:40am Sat 31 May 2003
Original format: Scanned at 300dpi from a 6x4 print
Camera: Olympus OM1 / Meade ETX125EC prime focus
Film: Fuji Superia 800
Exposure: 1/30 sec * f16
Focal length: 1900mm
Photodesk processing: Dust removal; gamma adjustment; cropping; scaling


© 2003 Lee Montgomerie / Chris Terran
All images are copyright and may not be reproduced without permission

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