Good morning, Michael;
In the Minolta line, anything, from the SR-7 through the SR-T series, which has the Mirror Lock-Up (MLU), and a "B" setting on the shutter speed dial, will work fine. Do not worry about the accuracy of the timed speeds on the camera, as long as the shutter works properly when opened and closed with a cable release on "B." You will be using exposure times from a few seconds to perhaps hours with a tracking German Equatorial Mount and/or guiding. The one place where you might use the timed settings on the shutter speed dial is with lunar photography. Once you get into the Minolta X Series of cameras, they require batteries that will be affected by the frequent cold temperatures encountered while hanging off the back of your telescope, especially during the winter when we have reasonably long times available for photography at night, and they probably will not have an MLU. This is a case where the simple older mechanical cameras are still preferred, and they probably will be cheaper. The Anglefinder or Anglefinder V helps getting the focus right and puts the eyeport in a position that is much more comfortable to use with your telescope.
While I have hung one of my Minolta SR-T 102 bodies off the back of my little telescope, I actually prefer the Nikon F2 with the Type M Focusing Screen and the DW-2 Magnifying Finder (6x). The Type M Screen with the cross hairs for aerial image focusing does help in getting the focusing right where you want it. It is just a little more convenient than using the ground glass collar area on the Minolta viewfinder screen. Not too much more convenient, but there is a difference.
Ralph Javins, Latte Land, Washington
When they ask you; "How many Mega Pixels you got in your camera?"
just tell them; "I use activated silver bromide crystals tor my image storage media."
For years before the digital invasion all the telescopy enthusiasts held the Olympus OM1 in high regard for its light weight, mirror lockup and adaptability.
I've always assumed that the mirror slap wouldn't be a big problem for astrophotography since the exposure is so long. It's just a quick slap at the beginning and end of the shot, then you keep it open for ages, right? So little light would reach the film during that time that it would pretty much be negligible, right.
I may be mistaken though. I don't personally practice astrophotography, but maybe I'll try sometime.
You are correct!
SLR mirror slap is not a big problem for long exposures (longer than 1 second). However, it is a problem for exposures in the 1/15 to ½ second range and that is where many lunar shots are taken.
Regarding the suggestion for the Nikon F, the mirror lockup on this wastes a frame of film every time that you engage it, so maybe not a good option?
My astrophotography is limited to shooting the moon & I use a Nikon F3 with a DW4 finder. The finder is great for avoiding getting a crook in the neck. Although the F3 is an electronic camera it does have a mechanical T setting which will keep the shutter open without draining the battery. Not that I can see me ever using it.
NAS sufferer with far too much Nikon kit.
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Well, I decided to go with a SRT-101 because I already have a T-mount and lenses for my other Minoltas. I thank all of you for your input.
I Recommend The Ultimate Affordable Minolta Masterpiece !
The Minolta XE-7, I bought mine used 33 years ago.
It can be used on B without a battery. And thanks to the
Digital Disaster, they are extremely affordable $ 50 - 100 !
A dumb question here, but why do you need mirror lockup? Aren't astronomy photos taken with long exposure times? If so then wouldn't any mirror slap dampen away rather quickly compared to the exposure time, and therefore be negligible? If it were a problem then why not just release the shutter and hold a dark hat in front of the optics for a second or two and then pull the hat back?
By the way, there is one SLR (Exakta) that has a "T" setting, which should be more convenient for long exposures than cameras with only a "B" setting for timed exposures. I don't know if there are other brands that feature a T setting.
Well, mirror lockup is useful for Lunar photos. That is my main interest right now since I don't have a tracking mount (I'll need to save up for one of them).
I didn't realize he meant lunar shots. You're right as well.
Originally Posted by narsuitus
I was thinking stars. That's where my mind must be.