Kurt Friedrich

My astrophotography efforts starting back in 2003 with fairly primitive equipment up to the present.

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Current Equipment

2008 ASTRO-PHYSICS 140mm f7.5 Starfire EDF

5.5" aperture with 2.7" Focuser (140EDF27) on Tak EM-200
Purchased new in January 2008 ser # 14075-61
Guide scope: Orion 90mm fully coated achromatic objective lens of 500mm focal length (f/5.6)

"Astro-Physics introduced the prototype of this new triplet apochromatic refractor at the
Northeast Astronomy Forum (NEAF) on April 28, 2007. Roland designed this scope with
approximately the same focal length as our original 155mm f7 StarFire (as well as the
130 f8 and f8.3 StarFires), so that it can be used with all of the same specialized
astrophotography / imaging accessories that were originally designed for these earlier
telescopes. Visual astronomers will enjoy the 1050mm focal length, which allows a full
range of eyepiece designs from simple to complex to produce extremely sharp planetary images.
We are certain that astro-imagers, as well as visual observers, will find this scope a real joy to use."

On EM-200 with guide scope
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On EM-200 with guide scope using Celestron NexGuide (July 20, 2018)
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Picture of Roland at NEAF introducing the 140.
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A nice coincidence occurred, as I happened to by in Maui the week before Christmas, and Marj and Roland
where staying only 2 miles away. They were nice enough to invite me to meet and even buy me a drink.
It was a wonderful opportunity to talk to them for about 2 hours, just days before they finished making my 140.

Picture of Marj and Roland that night.

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Celestron 9.25 Schmidt Cassegrain Starbright XLT coated

Was new to someone else in March of 07, I bought it in April of 09
Some very favorable comments from the amazing Damian Peach http://www.damianpeach.com/c925review.htm
Clear aperture is 235mm (9.25”) with a 35% Central Obstruction (by diameter.) 2350mm fl
The telescope differs slightly to many other SCTs in that it utilizes an F/2.5 primary mirror,
instead of the typical F2 primary. This has been touted as perhaps one reason as to why the C9.25
has such a good reputation – longer focal length primary mirrors are much easier to figure to good accuracy.
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Astro-Tech AT80LE f/6 Ohara FPL-53 doublet

Use either visually on my LX70 mount
Or for a wide field lens, piggy packed on my EM-200
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Meade LX70 M6 6 Inch Maksutov-Cassegrain

My "just pick up and drag outside" scope. Got this in Sept 2016, replaced my Celestron C6 Schmidt Cassegrain
1800mm Focal Length, f/12 Focal Ratio, 8x50 Finderscope
The LX70 mount is fine for visual, and my C6 polar finder scope fit right in.
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Meade ETX Maksutov-Cassegrain Tube 1250mm f/13.8

Got this Mar 2015 For terrestrial or astro photography on the Bogen/Manfrotto Tracker Tripod and Compact Geared Head #3275.
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Also have 2 older manual camera lenses for wide field shots:
1) Nikon Nikkor-ED 180mm f/2.8
Ser# 381090 of 380004 - 454048 made Mar 81 - Dec 05, so made in first year, 1981
2) Nikon Nikkor-ED 300mm f4.5 AIS
S# 213004 of Ser# 210001 - 238835 made Dec 81 thru 1999, so made in first year, 1982

Effect of using AP Advanced Convertible Barlow

With my camera (Canon Rebel SL1 and a simple camera adapter which adds 2" from back of bayonet, I get about 2.523 magnification.
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Previous Equipment

Celestron C6 150mm f/10 1500mm fl SCT

Got this in Feb 2010 Use on a Celestron Omni CG-4 German equatorial mount‏ using manual tracking. Great to just pick up and drag outside.
In Sept 2016 I saw a good sale on the Meade 6" Mak and replaced this C6
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(For a few years, I was a moderator on the William Optics Yahoo Group
and William would make me great deals on new scopes so that I would try them
out and publish photos from them. Therefore I went though quite a few WO scopes.)

2006 William Optics FLT110 110mm F/7

Purchased new Nov 3, 2006 ser # 060016
WO said it was a TMB designed air spaced triplet with "best Ohara ED" glass
On a Losmandy GM-8 Equatorial Mount with Losmandy digital encoders and JMI mini-max readout
Guide scope: Celestron NextStar 80mm Achromatic Doublet f/5
Picture on GM-8 with Guide scope and camera
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Picture on GM-8 with WO matching Field Flattener and Guide scope
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2006 William Optics ZenithStar 80mm APOgrade

555mm Fluorite (FPL-53) Doublet apochromatic lens, TMB codesigned, f 6.9, STM coated
Purchased new June 2006

Picture on Bogen/Manfrotto Tracker Tripod and Bogen/Manfrotto Compact Geared Head #3275
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Picture on GM-8 with TV 4x Powermate WO24mm CP4500
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2006 William Optics ZenithStar 110mm F/7

Purchased new May 25 06 ser # 069915
TMB designed air spaced triplet with "best Ohara ED" glass
On Losmandy GM-8 Equatorial Mount with Losmandy digital encoders and JMI mini-max readout
Guide scope: Celestron NextStar 80mm Achromatic Doublet f/5
Picture on GM-8
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Picture on GM-8 with Guide scope and cameras
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Picture with two 2" extenders, TV 4x Powermate, Canon
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2004 William Optics Megrez 80mm Triplet Fluorite

f/6 480mm Purchased new in November 2004 ser # 048093
There was quite a flap about the use of the word "Fluorite" on this scope.
From the TMB Yahoo group message #28321 Mon Oct 3, 2005: "The 80mm/600mm (and 480mm) is a TMB design,
and used fluorite for the center element for the first five years in production. It has been redesigned,
using SD glass. There is no loss in color correction. It was always made by LOMO, no one else. This lens
is used in a few different telescopes, and gives the best images of any 80mm lens on the market. I hope
that clears up any misinformation about the 80mm lenses." Thomas Back.
(The LOMO company Thomas refers to: http://www.lomoplc.com/ )
I really regret selling this scope.
With Canon 70-200/4.0 EF-L lens on Celestron ASGT mount
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With Celeston Guide Scope on the GM-8
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Meade ETX-70AT

Got this very cheap, missing my Questar, but it was not an acceptable substitute.
Got rid of it pretty quickly (Jan 06).
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1992 Astro-Physics 130mm F/8 Starfire EDT

on Tak EM-200. Purchased used in July 2003 ser # SF58240
While waiting for a new AP scope, I got this excellent used one.
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Autoguiding with cheap web camera and laptop was a major step forward.
Guide scope is a Orion 90mm fully coated achromatic objective lens of 500mm focal length (f/5.6)
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Another AP Ad
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TeleVue Genesis

~1990 100mm f/5 Used this May through July 2003, sold when I got the AP130 f/8
f/5 was much better for astrophotography.
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Taking pictures with the CP4500 using ice to cool the camera's chip to reduce noise.
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Orion Optics (U.K.) 5.5" Mak

New Nov 2002 kept until July 2003. Got the Nikon CP4500 and started digital astrophotography.
Was an excellent scope, esp for planets, but too slow and narrow (f/12) for general astrophotography
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With guide scope and illuminated crosshair eyepiece for manual guiding. (Yes, those are hose clamps)
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Obsession 18" Galaxy

#863 Bought new in October 2002
Digital astrophotography was starting and decided to go that way. Sold June 2003.
Note the Questar baby scope.
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1999 Questar Standard

Had this for about 2 years, sold Jan 05 to fund WO 80mm and new Losmandy GM8 mount.
Wish I had kept it. Objective was too small to be a great scope, but was beautiful
piece of engineering and great for a travelling scope.

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Mounted on a cheap Celestron tripod I got some decent long exposure pictures with it.
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With sufficient "counter weights", could do piggy back wide fields.
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The days of film cameras and 30 minute manual tracking with illuminated crosshair eyepiece

6" Astro-Physics Starfire

fl 1300mm ap152 f/8.55
Had this for 13 years, new in 1989, sold in 2002
but in move from Sudbury to Redmond, moving company chipped objective,
On Losmandy GM8
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S&T Ad that hooked me
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Broken Lens (Met the guy sold it to several years later at Table Mtn, and he was
still using it extensively. The breaks did not affect image quality noticeably.
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TV Renaissance

Early type from TeleVue's Pearl River Days 101mm f/5.5 serial #1104 bought used in 1987 Had this for 15 years, sold in 2002 Kept this in NH vacation house.
Great views from house on top of hill in the middle of nowhere.
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Meade Research Series 12.5" Reflector

1987-89 Better by far, but the mount was not up to the task of guided long exposures.
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Bausch & Lomb Criterion 4000

4" x 1200 mm Feb 84 I believed their add that you could see things and photograph with it.
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Gilbert Refelctor (2.5" mirror?)

Got this for Christmas when I was about 11. I was excited to see the moon and Jupiter's moons.
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Copyrigth © Kurt Friedrich 2014, 15, 16