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One for Andy maybe?


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Unfortunately, Rob, Michael Covington doesn't even mention Practika's in his book, Astrophotography for the Amateur - so all I can do is make an uneducated guess. :)

I would say that, being a Practika, it will be a manual camera which doesn't rely on battery power for extended exposures. That is good for astrophotography.

I've only ever used a Practika once (and can't remember the model no) which I borrowed from a friend. It was fully manual & I was pleased with its performance.

I would therefore submit that this camera would be suitable for astrophotography.

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Well done James. That link confirms that its a manual camera. So long as the 'B' setting works, it will be ideal for astrophotography.

P.S. Something tells me that its the same model as the one I borrowed from my friend.

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The Bulb mode works without a battery so that's also good isnt it Andy.......

I was looking at a canon A1 the other day looked a nice camera no money as yet i have other things to buy(ep's of Gaz).. May get an slr soon though. The olympus om1 seems a fav of astrophotographers what are your thought's on that Andy?

James

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The Bulb mode works without a battery so that's also good isnt it Andy.......

James

Sure is James! The last thing you want is for the B setting to close during an exposure before its finished because the batteries have died! :x

Again, Covington's book (which I've just consulted) is strangely silent on Cannons' ' so I can't really comment on the A1 except to say it's a stretch of road in the UK (arn't I funny). Geez! :oops:

You're 100% right about the OM!. Being fully manual with mirror lock up & interchangeable screens, it's widely regarded as the no.1 camera for astrophotography.

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so I can't really comment on the A1 except to say it's a stretch of road in the UK (arn't I funny). Geez!
must be a big roll of film for that oh sorry thats the tarmac :)..amusing as ever andy..

I dont understand the Mirror lock up andy, how does that come into play?

From my searching for the OM1 it's quite pricy for an old camera i supose it's worth it if it's mint..(150gbp on average).

James :idea: :?:

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Yea the OM1's are certainly not the cheapest second-hand cameras around.

Re mirror lock up - slr's have a mirror inside them which enables you to see the image through the viewfinder before the exposure is taken. With normal SLR's, when you trip the shutter this mirror filps up at the same time the shutter opens. As it clangs against the roof of the SLR, this can cause vibrations at the start of the exposure (which means brighter stars could show up as jiggles on the film).

Mirror lock up means that you can get the mirror to bash itself at the roof of the camera before you trip the shutter. You can then open the shutter as before which means in effect NO VIBRATION.

Very neat! :)

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Thanks for the excellent description andy make perfect sence too, a great little feature esp for astrophotography now i know that i dont think i would want a slr without it! :shock:

Kudos Andy :thumbright:

james 8)

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When i started out in astrophotography in 1986 most of the hard up people at my local club owned the Practika MTL3 or more commonly the MTL5B. Both were perfect for that role, as Andy said, completely manual.

Those of us who were mega hard up (me) owned a Zenith. I kept it to this day for sentimental sake. I actually considered loading it with film the other day to do some star trails or even put it on the camera drive.

Anyway, Rob, the MTL3 should be a good camera to play with.

Regards

Russ

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People tend to knock the Zenit. It's a bit like the 'Tasco' of the camera world - but for astrophototgraphy its an ideal camera; albeit being built like a brick! :)

Like Russ I owned a Zenit for many years - and it served me faithfully on many an astrophotography outing. :)

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LOL! Whatever the 'E' stands for James (fraid I don't know) its still a perfect camera for astrophotography. It uses the old M42-type fitting (like the Practika, I believe) - but you can pick up adapters & lenses, second hand, from the likes of Jessops.

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I will give it a whirl Andy with the 35mm lens, needs a good clean though. Try for the easy star trails first then some constellation shot's to get used to the camera and film. Deep sky with Slrs still hold a charm other cams cant produce bit like records and cds...

James

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Yeah look good with the tree's that surround it too :) (make polar aligning HELL) asked for it to be cut down 3yrs ago and promised me 10^933^2345 times they would! Love tree's dont get me wrong but if it means more sky then i aint gonna hug one.

James :twisted: :)

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Mine was (is) a Zenit II. Cost £25 brand new inc 58mm lens. I did use it for a couple of years as my normal camera too. Worked fine.

Then got the Canon AE1, oh how i loved that camera.

Right thats it got the urge now to get a film. Been a few years now, 2002 was the last time i bought a film. I wonder if Fuji Sensia II 400 colour slide still exists? Or Kodak Ektachrome 200 slide?

Andy, any ideas what's available these days?

Russ

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I have a Canon A1 I use for most of my non astrophotography work, (which is somewhat limited, I admit). I tried it for some long exposures of a Perseid meteor shower one year. The battery died after about 6 10-minute exposures. The A1 uses battery power to not only raise the mirror, but to hold the shutter open. At roughly $6 US each for the batteries, you could go broke fairly quickly. (At least, I could.) It is in all other ways a wonderful camera.

For astrophotoography, I use a Canon FTb, an older model, fully mechanical camera. The battery in it only operates the built in light meter. It also has mirror lock-up and even a mechanical time release shutter control. I love this feature in tandem with mirror lockup. You can frame your picture, set your bulb setting, lock up the mirror, set the time delay shutter release, push the button and let the mount/camera/telescope settle down before the shutter goes off.

The OM1 is popular for its mechanical operation as well. They're not cheap cameras, but there's a very good reason for that;They're not CHEAP Cameras. :)

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Right thats it got the urge now to get a film. Been a few years now, 2002 was the last time i bought a film. I wonder if Fuji Sensia II 400 colour slide still exists? Or Kodak Ektachrome 200 slide?

Andy, any ideas what's available these days?

Russ

IMO two films stand out Russ for astrophotography.

Kodak Elitechrome 200 is super red-sensitive & fine grained. It has very low reciprocity failure, too. You can pick this film up in your local Boots, Jessops etc.

The other film I'm not so sure about still being available (can't see it on Jessops website). :) It was Fuji Provia 400 - also a slide film. As film continues to die, it may be that this film has been discontinued.

I'd get a roll or two of the Kodak film. Great for picking up nebulosity in Cygnus!

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