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Sony 200-600 mm Lens for Astrophotography?


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Has anyone use the Sony 200-600 mm lens for astrophotography? I'm considering it for lunar photography. I also have the 1.4x and 2.0x teleconverters and the Sony 100-400 mm lens. I also have telescopes, but feel one gets better resolution from camera lenses than reasonably prices amateur telescopes.

John

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hello, John,
two months ago I started (!) to use the Sony SEL200600G with a Sony Alpha 6000 and optionally the 2x teleconverter SEL20TC for astrophotography.

For the bright objects of our solar system (Sun (with sun filter!), Moon, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn) a simple tripod and the Sony remote shutter release (alternatively time shutter release) is sufficient. Only the focusing is difficult due to the somewhat shaky construction.

For light fainter deep sky objects, stars, etc. I bought an astronomical mount three weeks ago, because with a camera at rest the exposure time is limited to approx. 1/6s (1200mm focal length) to a maximum of 1s (200mm) due to the rotation of the earth. But here I am still testing.

For the moon I use, depending on the moon phase, ISO 100 to 200 and exposure times from 1/150s to 1/15s. With longer exposure times the air turbulence (the seeing) becomes noticeable.

Added an example of the 5 day old (1800mm focal length 35mm equivalent, F13, ISO 100, 1/15s) and as a link of the 11 day and 14 day old moon (different 1/60s, respectively 1/125s):

2135315493_Mond4.7TageF131_15s1800mm.JPG.233a37fa290afda75ce752d25206dbe4.JPG

https://abload.de/image.php?img=mond10.8tagef131_60s1vsk0f.jpg

https://abload.de/image.php?img=mond13.7tagef131_125s9jjjp.jpg

A fourth picture shows the so-called "Golden Handle":

1329820001_Mond-goldenerHenkel.jpg.1251f3adee3f9927a0ba86be2992f58d.jpg.

An image with a much longer exposure time to show the scattered light of the earth on the dark side of the moon (900mm, F6.3, ISO-800, 1/6s):

https://abload.de/image.php?img=vomerdlichtbeschienenm3kev.jpg

The sun with a tiny sunspot (Baader 5.0 sunlight filter film, 1800mm, F13, ISO 200, 1/750s):

https://abload.de/image.php?img=sonnemitkleinemsonnen0zk9z.jpg

With Venus, Jupiter and Saturn I am still testing the optimal shooting conditions (so far settings similar to the moon) and have not yet achieved any presentable results. 

Many greetings,

Jörg

 

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21 hours ago, joerg said:

Hello, John,
two months ago I started (!) to use the Sony SEL200600G with a Sony Alpha 6000 and optionally the 2x teleconverter SEL20TC for astrophotography.

For the bright objects of our solar system (Sun (with sun filter!), Moon, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn) a simple tripod and the Sony remote shutter release (alternatively time shutter release) is sufficient. Only the focusing is difficult due to the somewhat shaky construction.

For light fainter deep sky objects, stars, etc. I bought an astronomical mount three weeks ago, because with a camera at rest the exposure time is limited to approx. 1/6s (1200mm focal length) to a maximum of 1s (200mm) due to the rotation of the earth. But here I am still testing.

For the moon I use, depending on the moon phase, ISO 100 to 200 and exposure times from 1/150s to 1/15s. With longer exposure times the air turbulence (the seeing) becomes noticeable.

Added an example of the 5 day old (1800mm focal length 35mm equivalent, F13, ISO 100, 1/15s) and as a link of the 11 day and 14 day old moon (different 1/60s, respectively 1/125s):

2135315493_Mond4.7TageF131_15s1800mm.JPG.233a37fa290afda75ce752d25206dbe4.JPG

https://abload.de/image.php?img=mond10.8tagef131_60s1vsk0f.jpg

https://abload.de/image.php?img=mond13.7tagef131_125s9jjjp.jpg

 

A fourth picture shows the so-called "Golden Handle":

1329820001_Mond-goldenerHenkel.jpg.1251f3adee3f9927a0ba86be2992f58d.jpg.

An image with a much longer exposure time to show the scattered light of the earth on the dark side of the moon (900mm, F6.3, ISO-800, 1/6s):

https://abload.de/image.php?img=vomerdlichtbeschienenm3kev.jpg

The sun with a tiny sunspot (Baader 5.0 sunlight filter film, 1800mm, F13, ISO 200, 1/750s):

https://abload.de/image.php?img=sonnemitkleinemsonnen0zk9z.jpg

With Venus, Jupiter and Saturn I am still testing the optimal shooting conditions (so far settings similar to the moon) and have not yet achieved any presentable results. 

Many greetings,

Jörg

 

Why you don't just take a shot when the moon is full w/ no clouds?  Imo taking a picture of the moon is a waste of time.

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My first deep sky image taken with the Alpha 6000 and the SEL200600G on an Ioptron CEM25P mount. The globular cluster Messier 13 in the constellation Hercules. Certainly not comparable to high resolution images from the Hubble telescope, but I like it. 40 images at 15s each (1800mm 35mm equivalent focal length, F13, ISO 1600), calibrated with darks and bias.946989834_HerkulessternhaufenMessier1344x15sISO-16001800mmmitDarksundBias.jpg.ec70944441030bcf4dfeb02cba770405.jpg

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  • 8 months later...

In the meantime, I bought a Sony A7R camera used on E-Bay and then had it astromodified (IR blocking filter removed and replaced with clear glass). With it, I was able to shoot some reflection nebulae with my Sony SEL200600G zoom lens.

The orion and running-man nebula (Composit 10x10s and 30x180s ISO-800 F6.3 @600mm 7xDarks 15xFlats 15xBias Optolong L-Pro Filter):

Orionnebel M42 Composit 10x10s und 30x180s ISO-800 F6.3 600mm 7xDarks 15xFlats 15xBias Optolong L-Pro Filter.jpg

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Certainly great shots, but certainly not taken with any SONY optics.

I plan on taking some shots tonight with a 1250mm Honeywell f10.5 -- AKA Celestron C5 on my a850. 

It's almost a full moon, but I doubt that I can come close to these pictures -- obviously taken with a MUCH LONGER optic, AND a TRACKER -- something that none of us can afford.

Edited by XKAES
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Ehm... @joerg even shared the settings and specs. Why would you doubt that?

On 7/6/2020 at 4:28 PM, joerg said:

1800mm 35mm equivalent focal length, F13, ISO 1600

600 mm @ F6.3 with 2× extender makes a 1200 mm F13. When used on an APS-C camera that becomes 1800 mm FF equivalent. What specs are impossible that you see mentioned here?

 

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20 hours ago, XKAES said:

Certainly great shots, but certainly not taken with any SONY optics.

I plan on taking some shots tonight with a 1250mm Honeywell f10.5 -- AKA Celestron C5 on my a850. 

It's almost a full moon, but I doubt that I can come close to these pictures -- obviously taken with a MUCH LONGER optic, AND a TRACKER -- something that none of us can afford.

Hi XKAES,

my optics and my cameras are from Sony, the tracker and the auto-guider not, that's right...

Attached my astrophotography equipment (description in german, sorry for this!), including my Sony SEL200600G tele-zoom-lens, which I originally purchased for wild animal photography.

Equipment mit Beschriftung.jpg

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If you are interested, XKAES, I can provide the unedited original TIF files out of DeepSkyStacker.

I delete the sometimes more than 100 RAW frames and GBytes of data that are created when shooting such an object.

I always stack in DeepSkyStacker with the same standard settings and therefore no longer need the individual images.

Hopefully, the unedited TIF files will be transformed into expressive images in post-processing. Since my workflow is not "fixed", I keep all the unedited stacked images.

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My point was that it's just not a 600mm lens.  Look at his set-up!  If all you have is a 600mm lens, there is no way you can create those images.  Add is a few thousand bucks worth of additional gear? Go for it!

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You certainly have a weird way of making your point, practically calling someone a liar untill you are called out...

On 3/29/2021 at 5:51 PM, XKAES said:

certainly not taken with any SONY optics.

 

On 3/29/2021 at 5:51 PM, XKAES said:

obviously taken with a MUCH LONGER optic

 

23 hours ago, XKAES said:

This is nothing anyone can do with a Sony 200-600mm zoom.

A Sony 200-600 combined with a Sony 2× Teleconverter on a Sony a6000. Nothing extraordinary there. Sure, it's the equatorial mount, the filters, elaborate preparations, proper camera settings and extensive post processing where the magic happens, but the optics are as Sony as it gets.

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To be clear: all the effort with the equatorial mount and elaborate post-processing, which caused me a learning cycle of more than half a year and a financial expenditure comparable to the purchase of a SEL200600G lens and a SEL20TC teleconverter, which are not cheap either, is only needed to photograph faint deep sky objects!

All the lunar images I posted here in the forum almost a year ago were taken exclusively with the following equipment: Sony A6000 camera, SEL200600G lens, SEL20TC teleconverter on a wobbly aluminium tripod! Partly I used a remote release RMT-DSLR2.

I used the following procedure for this:

1. Frame up the moon in the picture, filling about approx. 80% of the horizontal image area.

2. With the help of the focus magnifier, focus on a crater on the terminator as well as possible (today I would use the Bahtinov mask and a bright star!).

3. Use an exposure time of well under 1/10s (see below) and ensure a vibration-free release with the built-in timer or a remote control. Take 5-10 shots to catch one moment with little air turbulence, until the moon has finally run out of the frame.

Because I was unsure whether the focus was perfect, I went through this whole process 4-5 times in one evening and got a really beautiful moon image every night. I have to admit that in the beginning I even shot pure JPG and only did moderate post-processing (exposure and maybe a little sharpening). Of course, all the individual images with embedded meta data still exist and have not been deleted...

In this way, not only the moon can be photographed, but also various double stars and the bright planets (Venus, Jupiter, Saturn). However, the planetary images (my best Jupiter image is attached) are by no means comparable with those taken with fast and long focal length telescopes and special planetary cameras (webcams), which film thousands of pictures and do not take photos...

According to the "500 rule", you can use 500/1800 = approx. 1/3s exposure time with a fixed camera and an 1800mm lens on a tripot. In my experience, however, 1/6s is just about possible, 1/8 to 1/10s is better and anything shorter causes no problems at all.

With an equatorial mount, single exposure times of 15-30s are possible at such long focal lengths (1200-1800mm).

Only with an autoguider you can you achieve such good tracking that several minutes of exposure time can be achieved, which is very helpful for dark deep sky objects!

Jupiter F13 1_90s ISO-200 1800mm mit Registax gestackt und wavelet bearbeitet.jpg

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On 3/30/2021 at 8:57 AM, joerg said:

Hi XKAES,

my optics and my cameras are from Sony, the tracker and the auto-guider not, that's right...

Attached my astrophotography equipment (description in german, sorry for this!), including my Sony SEL200600G tele-zoom-lens, which I originally purchased for wild animal photography.

Equipment mit Beschriftung.jpg

My setup will be similar -- I can't tell exactly from the photo, but how is your guide scope attached?

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Hello Keith,

my guide scope contains a mounting with a screw hole.

Guidescope.jpg.4979837b9905a9e3d590be891c69b0cf.jpg

Around the zoom lens, or rather around the rear area with the selection levers for the autofocus modes, I have attached a tube clamp that also comes from astro supplies. To protect the lens and because the diameter of the clamp is a bit too large, I clamped a layer of cardboard in between, which holds quite well.

Rohrschellen.jpg.2fb8412bae6a6e4d32f76e92025b1655.jpg

 

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