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Tony Lovell built this 900mm camera lens using £250 of surplus government optics, a custom-machined aluminum body, and lots of ingenuity. It looks great, and the resulting shot of the moon (above) isn’t too shabby, either. An equivalent commercial lens would cost many thousands of dollars. [thanks, Robert!]


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Comments

  1. Colecoman1982 says:

    Gotta love places like surplusshed.com (not that I know if that’s where this guy got his stuff, but they have all kinds of similar optics goodies like this)

  2. Colecoman1982 says:

    Gotta love places like surplusshed.com (not that I know if that’s where this guy got his stuff, but they have all kinds of similar optics goodies like this)

  3. Colecoman1982 says:

    Pete and Repete walk into a store. Pete comes, out who is left?

  4. craig says:

    Not to poo-poo the result, astrophotography is a learning processs that always gets better and better… but with the cheapest of 60mm department store telescopes I can get tight shots on the moon, like Mare Imbrium where Apollo 15 landed, the plain, 3 craters and mountain range. Of course I have a digital camera with a small lens that aligns with the telescope eyepieces better. 35mm camera lens is quite big, so I guess that is a hurdle there. Keep experimenting. I have gotten shots of Saturn, Jupiter and their moons. Of course this requires equitorial tracking for the slow shutter speeds, but with all homebrew hardware. Fun fun!

    1. Matt Mets says:

      I guess for astrophotography this lens probably doesn’t make much sense– I think the main difference between it and a less expensive lens is that it has a large aperture. This gives you the option of using a faster shutter speed in low light conditions, or decreasing your already small depth of field.

      1. craig says:

        THAT, Matt is the good thing about this lens is the large light gathering capability. Of course I can take crisp tight shots of the moon through a 60mm telescope on a stationary tripod, the light off the moon is so bright. But anything else in the night sky requires the longer exposures, and you have to track with it because of the earth rotating and eveything in the sky moves west. If a telephoto lens on the 35mm could get this combo to zoom in more, I wonder what the Orion Nebula would look like if you could track with it for an hour or more.

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