So I was really irritated with my failure the other night and stewing over it. While doing that, I wanted to verify if the USB hub was the culprit for the slow data transfer.
I took a shot with the 60MM lens with APT and sure enough, pretty fast. The image was completely black though (lens cap deliberately on). For some reason, I figured I wanted a shot with the cap off. Probably to make sure that the preview showed up rapidly.
Took a shot and it was way overexposed (as I was at ISO 6400). Tuned things down and they just didn’t look … right. It was hard to explain. So I turned the lens to the doorway and took it and just got a weird block of color.
Thinking either the lens or the cable or something else was the problem, I figured “Start from the most simple configuration” and took the camera off the computer and took a frame. Out of focus but fine.
Plugged it back in and “weird”. Kept doing this with various targets until I realized … it was horribly zoomed. But the lens is a prime, not zoom, and APT has no way to even change the zoom.
I was again, pretty frustrated until I looked down at the BULB setting (I don’t really know why) and saw the image preview was in “1:1” mode.
Wow, the words I uttered are definitely not blog-friendly. All that messing around was almost certainly because I was digitally “zoomed” by a huge amount due to the preview! I don’t even know what effective zoom, but it was a lot.
Worse, there are no scrollbars (unless you pick that option in the 1:1 mode) or indication you are at 1:1 so, especially in the dark, it was really hard to tell.
So hopefully this was the source of the issues and all will be fine next time. However, I am a little concerned.
Let’s say the “zoom” was 5x. Then on my 60MM, that should be something like 300MM. And if that’s really how it is framing targets at 300MM, this is going to be “interesting”
Unfortunately since the Prime 300MM uses a lens-mount and is too long for the camera, starting with the 60MM for framing and then “Zooming” by putting on the 300MM lens won’t be enough.
For now I am going to start with the 60MM prime and then put the 70-300 in it’s place (even framing up @ 70mm) before I decide how to proceed.
My plan is to use the degree markings on the ballhead to see if I can
- Polar align
- Get Polaris in the center of camera view (approx)
- Turn the tripod head to the appropriate declination (90 dec is pointed to North)
- Swing in RA (maybe using the inclinometer) to the RA coord (or alt value if using inclinometer). If I can frame at 300 that way, it would be awesome.
I still have the issue of the 300, but if I can frame at 300, I generally don’t mind most images at that anyway (just need a pano head with degree markings for framing)
Hopefully I can start to frame objects and actually get some images, rather than just talk about it.