Vintage Lenses

The Lenski and Star Adventurer deliver an image at last

Back in April this year I was reading up on how simple prime lenses from the 70’s and 80’s can be excellent for wide field astrophotography and had for a pittance. I started browsing ebay to see what was available late one evening and ‘accidently’ acquired a 1976 Soviet made f4 135mm prime lens for the princely sum of £25 (I know there are a few other club members who have similar ‘accidents’ whilst idly browsing second hand sites!). This is clearly a bargain so long as you ignore the price of tracking mount to put it on… (in my case a Star Adventurer).

To cut a long story short, the lens appeared to be more or less sound- but through a combination of human error and other factors I didn’t manage to get a decent image out of it before the short summer nights rolled in.

Roll forward to yesterday, and coming home from our summer holidays in France found I had a clearish night. After a long day of driving the sensible thing would have been to go to bed, but where’s the fun in that?

See below for a 2 frame mosaic (my first- yay!) acquired over 55 minutes (45 mins on Deneb and 10 mins on Sadr when the clouds rolled in) plus calibration frames. Transparency wasn’t great and the tracking was pretty awful (I didn’t polar aligned very well, making the image quite soft) so I think this can be quite a lot better, but I’m still quite excited about the potential of this little rig to use alongside my main kit.