Coming back from a short break in Devon I was pleased to find the tripod and accessories for the Astrotrac had arrived. It was also good to find that all the threads were compatible with fixing the Astrotrac to the tripod and the Canon 40D to the ball-head fitting.
I have a Timer Remote Controller (TC-80N3) for the 40D which makes programming an evening’s imaging a doddle. What is not quite so easy is manually focusing the 40D to a star. Using Live View I find the LCD display on the back of the camera too small, and the image moves around all over the place with my clumsy hands on the focus ring. I hook up the laptop to the camera and go into live view mode (x10 magnification) and I find the much larger laptop screen more to my liking. With the camera set to autofocus you can then focus the camera through the laptop by clicking on the focus movement arrows. Hands off focusing means the image is rock steady on the screen and you can see quite clearly how well you are focusing the target star. When you have achieved best focus, simply flick the lens switch from autofocus to manual, remove the laptop, connect the Timer Remote Controller and you’re ready to go.
I took some images at 28mm focal length around the Deneb region last night. I will now check to see if anything came out.