From my previous post, you’ll see that I was set up in my backyard on Saturday, August 10th, with my Celestron NexStar 8SE, stock alt-azimuth mount, an iPhone XS Max phone running Night Cap software, the Phone Skope smartphone adapter, and a 25mm Celestron Plossl. My second set of targets for the night was planets. The moon was pretty close to Jupiter, so that was a wash, and not that far from Saturn, but I thought I might as well try since I was already out.
With digital zoom maxed out the wazoo (never a great approach to get good results), ISO at 50, and duration at 1/10s, I did a couple of single frames of Saturn. I have to say, while they’re not great, they didn’t completely suck either.
There’s even some colour in there. Shocked me that I could get ANYTHING with digital zoom and so close to the moon, but hey, I’ll take it. » Read the rest
I have blogged previously that I’ve set a goal for myself of figuring out how to work my iPhone to take pics through the telescope, and I’ve had earlier success for the moon. But to be honest? The moon is dead simple. If I set an ISO between 24 and 50, and play with my duration to be between 1/100th of a second to 1/300th of a second, and it’s relatively in focus, I can get “something”. The more moon there is showing, the brighter it is, and it’s easy to get washed out without a filter, but any of the setup problems virtually disappear when it’s the moon.
On Saturday, August 10th, I stuck my head out of my back door, saw the moon and went ahead and set up. As always, I’m setting up a Celestron NexStar 8SE, stock alt-azimuth mount, and an iPhone XS Max phone running Night Cap software. » Read the rest
I already blogged about the new Phone Skope adapter that I was able to review as a demo unit. On August 1st, I took it back out to see what I could get for Jupiter and Saturn. Between July 31st and August 1st outings (i.e., during the day on the 1st), I revisited online what various people were doing with different scopes and smartphones to get seemingly much more impressive results than I was. I knew, for example, that Andrew Symes used video, and I had experimented a bit with video, but without much luck.
But when I reviewed a whole bunch of posts online on Facebook, google images, and Cloudy Nights, I had a small eureka moment. Not only were all of them using video, they were all using WAY more power than I was. While I was going up to a 15mm Plossl on my scope, which gives me about 135x magnification, I was reluctant to go much higher at risk of introducing too much turbulence and noise in the images. » Read the rest
On July 31st, I did a full test of the Phone Skope adapter while imaging in my backyard (full review available at Review – Astrophotography using a Phone Skope adapter). The various pieces fit together nicely and it has much nicer weight than the Celestron NexYZ behemoth. However, while it was a great test of the adapter, I wouldn’t say I made great success on my imaging technique.
I got a couple of shots of Jupiter:
I relied heavily on digital zoom, and found one of the moons photobombing:
And Jupiter is great, but everyone wants to see Saturn, right?
I even managed a shot of Albireo, not that you can really tell that is what it is.
A good test of the demo adapter I borrowed from Phone Skope, and a couple of interesting images in there. But the digital zoom is too noisy and I still need to improve my focus. » Read the rest
Today I’ll be reviewing the Phone Skope smartphone adapter for astrophotography using an iPhone XS Max and a Celestron NexStar 8SE telescope. But before we get to the review, I’ll give you a bit of history and colour commentary for my limited background in astrophotography to help inform your understanding of my review.
Getting started with astronomy and dipping my toe in astrophotography waters
I bought my 8SE scope just over five years ago, and my primary interest is and always will be visual observing. I have a small interest in astrophotography, and early on I played with a NexImage 5 webcam just to see if it was something I would cotton to quickly and fall in love. I didn’t. One of the reasons I had chosen the 8SE in the first place with its alt-az mount and goto capabilities was that I hate setup time, I don’t have the patience for an equatorial mount (at least not in my current configuration where I need portability for viewing), and adding in cables, a laptop, etc., » Read the rest