James W. Young,
April 26, 2015
I have decided to be
different this week! What is this, you ask? This is a very
out-of-focus image of the star Vega taken with the 24-inch
telescope at JPL's
Table Mountain Observatory on October 31, 2007. This
particular image was
used to confirm the final mirror alignment of the telescope
after the primary
mirror was removed for cleaning and re-coating of aluminum, then
The dark circle in the center is the obscuration of the
secondary (smaller) mirror
that reflects the starlight down to the camera at
the base of the telescope tube.
Carefully note the small faint dot of light in the
very center of the dark circle.
If the alignment of the optical mirrors was not perfct,
this dot would not appear
in the center.
The four symetrically placed dark lines from the center circle
to the outside larger
circle edge, are the refraction patterns of the four thin metal
'vanes' that hold
the secondary mirror and housing. The one at the bottom is
darker (and wider)
because it has an additional thin wire cable to supply the
necessary voltage to
control the motion of the mirror (in and out of focus).
Any question? Write to me at: email@example.com
The alignment of a telescope's optical system is one of
the most critical factors
in making accurate astronomical observations.
Jim seen here on the southern
California coast in December, 2009
(photo by his wife, Karen) Gallery of images Specialties
Born January 24,
1941 in Portland, Oregon.
Jim's first camera use was during a family vacation to Crater Lake
National Park in 1951. He was able to
use his mother's Kodak Bantam f/4.5 (828 roll film) to image Crater
Lake on Kodachrome slide film. The
Bantam camera's film format size was 28mm x 40mm, about 30% larger than
the standard 35mm format,
(24mm x 36mm), commonly in use today.
Lake National Park - July, 1951, by J. Young
first camera was a Christmas gift from his parents in 1952, a Kodak
Brownie Hawkeye Flash model
which used 620 roll film, both B&W and color print film.
Kodak Brownie Hawkeye
Mike and my mother, in the summer of 1953, by J. Young
In May 1959, Jim's brother Michael bought Jim his first 35mm SLR, an
(version 4), and Jim began taking
'flash' photography of various school and church dances in Seattle
using Kodachrome slide film. This camera
came with a 50mm f/2.8 Tessar lens., which to Jim later added a 135mm
telephoto lens. He also obtained a
Leica- METER 3 exposure meter.
Exa (version 4)
Church dance in Seattle in 1960, by J. Young
The Exa SLR was primarily used with Kodachrome slide film using an
attachable fan-fold flash 'bulb' unit.,
similar to the one shown here:
It wasn't until after joining the U. S. Army in 1959 (he was allowed to
camera to 'boot' camp!), he
acquired a Honeywell Strobonar 600 electronic stobe.
Honeywell Strobonar 600
While at Fort Knox, KY, in 'Radio School for the Army in 1961, Jim
frequently took pictures in the city of
Louisville while on weekend leave. On one
such weekend, while staying at a downtown Sheraton hotel,
Paul Anka and Dick
Clark came into the lobby after a local concert,
and Jim asked them if he could take
a picture . Yes.....
and Dick Clark in Louisville, KY, in 1961, by J. Young
When Jim was hired
by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 1962, he worked at Table Mountain
where a newly acquired Zeiss Ikon Contarex camera was used for both
astronomical photography, and site
Comet Bennett from
Table Mountain Observatory, in April, 1970, by J. Young
A full compliment of Zeiss lenses included the following:
Biogon 21mm 1:4.5
Distagon 35mm 1:2
Planar 55mm 1:1.4
Olympia-Sonnar 135mm 1:2.8
Olympia-Sonnar 250mm 1:4 Jim acquired a
Fujita 66 (2 1/4 x 2 1/4 120
roll film) camera in the early 1970s, a medium format camera
used primarily for landscape/nature photography. This has a
Fujita 80mm f/3.5 lens.
Halberg (future wife), Salt Lake City Temple Square, June, 1974, by J.
The Exa camera served Jim well, but by the middle 1970s, it was failing
in its normal reliable performance.
Coupled with the need to send and disply printed pictures of his
growing family and children, Jim bought a
new 35mm SLR, a Pentax K-1000 in late 1976.
Ecola State Park, Cannon
Beach, Oregon, August 1991, by J. Young
Jim used the following Tamron lenses with his Pentax cameras:
Tamaran 28-300mm 1:3.5-6.6
Vivitar Catadioptric 500mm 1:8
(also a Promaster Spectrum 7 auto Teleconverter MC7 2X)
He no longer used Kodachrome (slide film), but moved to Kodacolor print
films. Very soon Jim had four of
these cameras, included two K-1000 SE models, and was on to much more
serious photography, especially
nature and people. With many church social events, along with
weddings and receptions, Jim gained much
needed experience toward his future goal of being a free-lance
photographer after retiring from JPL (2009).
In 2006, Jim purchased a Sunpak 544 electronic stobe to replace the old
Honeywell Strobonar 600.
These Pentax cameras served Jim quite well through 2000. With the
advent of digital camera technology
already everywhere, Jim continued to stay with print/slide film
cameras, but began investigating possible
digital cameras as a future replacement. In the winter of 2002,
he bought a Minolta DiMage 7, a 5.2 MP
DSLR, and finding it better than expected, Jim purchased a 7Hi in 2003,
and gave the 7 to his wife, Karen.
These two cameras had a built-in 7X zoom lens (28-200mm equivalent to a
35mm camera), and a 2X digital
zoom. The pixel frame size was 2560 x 1920.
Island, Alaska, July 2004, by J. Young
In the spring of 2005, Jim recognized that digital photography was
where he wanted to spent the remainder
of his photographic career. He then purchased a Canon 20D, 8.2 MP
DSLR camera. Along with the camera,
he also bought 4 Canon lenses:
EF-S 10-22mm 1:3.5-4.5 USM
EF 16-35mm 1:2.8 L USM
EF 24-70mm 1:2.8 L USM
EF 70-200mm 1:2.8 L IS USM
The maximum pixel frame size
is 3504 x 2336, both RAW
Desert (from Table Mountain), California, August, 2005, by J. Young
Finally in September, 2009 Jim went for the gold and purchased a
new Canon 1Ds Mark III, 21.1 MP DSLR
camera along with 2 new lenses: EF 85mm 1:1.2 L II USM EF
400mm 1:2.8 L IS USM Super Telephoto Lens
Canon 1Ds Mark III
The maximum pixel frame size is 5616 x
3744, both RAW and JPEG.
Lighthouse, Oregon, November, 2009, by J. Young (yes,
those are comorants flying above the wave and lighthouse!)
Rounding out his Canon system, he added the following items: EF
1.4x II Extender EF
2x II Extender
EF 24mm 1:1.4 L II USM Tachar
(converted for the Canon mount)
In Decemer, 2011 the following items were added:
EF 1.4x III Extender
EF 2x III Extender
EF 8-15mm 1:4 L Fisheye USM
EF 70-200 1:2.8 L IS II USM
In May, 2012 Jim acquired a Russian Maksutov MTO-1000mm 1:10
(converted to the Canon mount, and to use for astronomical guiding
In August, 2012 Jim also acquired a Canon VIXIA HF G10 Camcorder
(This is an HD CMOS Pro)
Purchased May, 2013
Canon 60Da, 18 MP DSLR, 5200 x 3462 pixels (for
EF 24-70 1:2.8 L II USM
Purchased February, 2015 EF 200mm 1:2 L IS USM Telephoto Lens