Paracorr Type-2: Imaging the Skies with Luca Marinelli
This week’s guest blog post is by Luca Marinelli. He images the sky with a Teleskop Service ONTC 10″ Carbon Tube f/4 Newtonian equipped with our Tele Vue Paracorr Type 2 coma corrector.
I have been interested in photography since a very young age. I remember learning to take pictures with my father’s Russian-made Zenit-E 35mm fully-manual SLR (you had to remember to close the iris by hand before shooting to set the desired aperture!) when I was in elementary school. I have pursued nature and adventure photography ever since and some of my images have been published.
I am a physicist and, professionally, I am a different kind of imager: I develop technologies for brain MRI at GE Research. In graduate school, I had friends in the astrophysics and astronomy departments, but I never formally studied astronomy. Almost two years ago, for my oldest son’s fourth birthday, my wife and I decided that it would be fun to get a little telescope as a present for him. I looked around and bought a Celestron NexStar 102SLT. The moment I put my eye on the wobbly eyepiece I was hooked. Immediately I decided to try and connect my DSLR to it. Of course, it didn’t work. I couldn’t even balance it. That didn’t deter me, I bought an equatorial mount and started pointing my camera lenses to the sky. Of course, shortly after a real imaging telescope was next and the rest, as they say, is history.
Paracorr Type 2 has been an invaluable component of my imaging train. Stars are always tight and round, with no discernible aberrations.
After imaging for about a year with a 4″ refractor, I wanted to get more reach for smaller targets and higher resolution. After considering several optical designs, I ordered a carbon tube fast 10” Newtonian astrograph from Teleskop-Service in Germany. After many conversations with experienced imagers, and poring over images on Astrobin.com, I decided that I didn’t want to “walk the steps” up the quality ladder for coma correctors and went straight for the top! The Tele Vue Paracorr Type 2 has been an invaluable component of my imaging train. Stars are always tight and round, with no discernible aberrations. Furthermore, it is fairly forgiving of the exact spacing to the sensor, allowing me to optimize rotation of the sensor relative to the off-axis guider for different camera. It doesn’t require sub-mm optimization of the spacing from the field lens to the sensor of the camera either, which is a huge time saver when swapping cameras. I prefer to spend my time collecting data than fiddling with tiny spacers.
Luca images from primarily from his backyard outside of Albany, NY. He is a member of the Albany Area Amateur Astronomers. This October he will give a presentation to the club on astrophotography and what we can learn about the Universe from our images. When the telescope doesn’t have a camera attached to it, Luca’s whole family now enjoys observing the sky through Tele Vue Nagler and Ethos eyepieces on the 10” Newt.
Did you observe, sketch or image with Tele Vue gear? We’ll like your social media post on that if you tag it hashtag Tele Vue and the gear used. Example:
#televue #paracorr #horseheadnebula #barnard33
About 2″ Paracorr Type-2 (VIP-2010)
Our highly versatile 2″ Paracorr Type-2 comes with a “Tunable-Top” for visual use. It can handle both 2″ and 1¼” eyepieces with the included 2″-1¼” adapter. The Tunable-Top feature moves the eyepiece up and down to maintain the proper eyepiece field-stop to Paracorr lens distance to optimize coma correction. For f/3 Dob/Newts, the Paracorr Type-2 makes star images at the edge of the field of view 25 times smaller than without any correction.
You can separate Paracorr’s optical assembly from the Tunable-Top and use it with Tele Vue imaging system components to permit imaging with DSLR and CCD cameras. APS size formats 27mm-diameter or smaller are recommended to minimize field vignetting. (BIG Paracorr Type-2 is the 3″ version of the Paracorr designed for imaging with big chips.) Ideal for mirrors as fast as f/3, this is an essential accessory for wide-field imaging through fast Newtonians.