One of my big astro goals for the year is to get my scope and iPhone working together to do some basic imaging. I’m not looking for Hubble quality, just some souvenir pics that I’m happy to keep and share. Maybe I’ll even print a couple. But that’s about it. And generally, I’m looking for single-frame shots, not detailed stacking and processing. I’ve broken the process down into six main steps, and step one is marrying the lens to the smartphone. I’ll talk more about that another time, but the moon is a great target to start with as it lets you see your results pretty fast — the so-called trial and error method.
First up for the night was my Hyperion 36mm 2″/1.25″ lens. It’s a big piece of glass, and I thought I would easily fit the whole moon into the image. Well, not so much. It was difficult to get the phone aligned over the EP, or rather the EP aligned under the phone, and with a good-sized image. I succeeded, but not as much as I expected. I put the ISO down to 15 to avoid washing out the whole image (after all, the moon is SUPER BRIGHT), auto-white balance, the camera is hard-set in the phone to f/2.4, and that left me playing with the duration time.
At 1/10th of a second, i.e. .1s, the upper right quadrant got overexposed and washed out:
At 1/13th of a second i.e. .08s, it’s less washed out, but still not much detail:
At 1/15th of a second, i.e. .07s, unsurprisingly there’s not much difference but a little less washed out:
At 1/125th of a second, a big jump to .008s, there is a lot more detail but the rest of the moon goes dimmer:
And at 1/200th of a second, i.e. .005s, the upper quadrant has decent detail, most of it being lost more by the angle than by the exposure:
And continuing with the same settings, I jumped down to the bottom of the moon:
Overall, I succeeded in getting images with that lens. But I wouldn’t say it is my favourite lens to marry to the phone.