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Tom Polakis
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Re: Best Red Filter (Physical or App) for iPad? new [Re: Alvin Huey]
      #5507228 - 11/06/12 04:56 PM

Quote:

Hi Tom,

I know that we can dim down the SkySafaris...But for other apps, such as my downloadable observing guides with a pdf reader, it won't work.

CS,
Alvin





Agreed. It's way too bright for other apps, even with brightness turned all the way down.

To that end, I just order the Red Eyes Cling from Sirius, so I will soon do a side-by-side comparison of Astro Gizmos with it. I'm not happy with the pinkish color of the Astro Gizmos film.

Tom


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btschumy
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Re: Best Red Filter (Physical or App) for iPad? new [Re: Tom Polakis]
      #5507409 - 11/06/12 07:06 PM

Quote:

In addition to turning the iPad's brightness all the way down, you need to go into SkySafari's brightness settings, and also turn it at least halfway down. That should bring the chart down to a manageable level, although I still find the thin toolbar below the chart to shine a bit too brightly at this level. That toolbar is nearly acceptably dim in the night vision mode with the AstroGizmos filter in place.




Tom,
At your instigation I looked at the code that tints the toolbar in night vision mode. I have found a way to make that glow disappear and the whole bar is darker. It will be in the next release.

FYI, implementing night vision on iOS is pretty hard. You can't just set the color of the various controls to whatever you want. You have to jump through hoops to trick some visual elements into drawing with a reddened tint.


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Alvin Huey
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Re: Best Red Filter (Physical or App) for iPad? new [Re: Tom Polakis]
      #5507860 - 11/07/12 02:20 AM

Tom,

Let me know your results.

Thanks,
Alvin


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Tom Polakis
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Re: Best Red Filter (Physical or App) for iPad? new [Re: Tom Polakis]
      #5518758 - 11/13/12 09:46 PM

Quote:

It's way too bright for other apps, even with brightness turned all the way down.

To that end, I just order the Red Eyes Cling from Sirius, so I will soon do a side-by-side comparison of Astro Gizmos with it. I'm not happy with the pinkish color of the Astro Gizmos film.





I received the Red Eyes Cling product today. Here is my preliminary comparison between it and the Astro Gizmos film. Hereafter, the two products will be called "Red Eyes" and "Astro Gizmos." And yes, I feel silly typing either of those names.


Red Eyes is much more floppy apparently due to thickness, whereas Astro Gizmos is closer to behaving like card stock. It does matter, since I want to stuff the film in the tight space between the iPad and its case, and that's really difficult with Red Eyes.

Red Eyes is cut such that its vertical dimension just barely covers the illuminated portion of the iPad screen. Not a problem, though, since it stays put once in place, like Astro Gizmos.

And here is the most important difference between the two. Red Eyes not only dims the light, but it also diffuses it slightly. This was immediately apparent when the two films were held up toward a light source, and it's very apparent in place on the iPad. Red Eyes has the effect of blurring everything on the screen. It is already difficult to read the screen at a light level low enough to preserve dark adaptation, so the film has to be as clear as possible. This alone sways me toward Astro Gizmos.

I'll stick with the Astro Gizmos film, and just write the Red Eyes film off as a loss. Astro Gizmos film does a nice job in my backyard observatory, which by the way is located in a white zone. One can only get to a certain level of dark adaptation in my yard, similar to observing under a Full Moon.

I haven't had a chance to try the iPad at a dark, desert site yet, but I suspect that the screen is going to be bright, even on SkySafari. That's not to say that SkySafari doesn't manage screen brightness as well as it can. I just don't think it's possible with a glowing iPad display to stay dark adapted, whereas I have been able to manage laptop display brightness adequately without so much of that annoying glow.

I hope I'm proven wrong, but I don't have high hopes for SkySafari on an iPad replacing clunky Megastar on a clunky laptop due to the glowing display issue. Hopefully, I'll find out this weekend, which looks favorable with an early moonset.

Tom


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Lane
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Reged: 11/19/07

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Re: Best Red Filter (Physical or App) for iPad? new [Re: Tom Polakis]
      #5521693 - 11/15/12 06:30 PM Attachment (35 downloads)

"Red Eyes not only dims the light, but it also diffuses it slightly."

I am going to have to strongly disagree with that statement.

I have been using Astro Gizmos for a while but decided to try the Red Eyes to see how it compares. It is definitely darker and takes away more of the color than the Astro Gizmos does. It does not reduce sharpness at all from what I can see. I am having no trouble reading the NGC numbers at all. If fact I think it may be the opposite, this film is thinner than the Astro Gizmos and may actually make things a bit easier to read.

I turned the iPad brightness down all the way and then put he sky safari brightness at 100%. Using Astro Gizmos this was way to bright for me, I would normally have this set to 50%. But at 100% the Red Eyes is perfect. If I drop the brightness in sky safari to zero, the Astro Gizmos is pretty dark but I can still read it, do the same with the Red Eyes and I can barely see anything, it is way to dark.

Here is picture with the iPad brightness turned up to about 60% and the Sky Safari brightness at 100%. I am viewing the Sun in this image. Left side is Astro Gismos and right side is Red Eyes.

The words on the left side look blurry only because of the camera focus and the angle I was holding the camera it does not really look like that. Both sides are very sharp.


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Lane
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Re: Best Red Filter (Physical or App) for iPad? new [Re: Lane]
      #5521712 - 11/15/12 06:43 PM

I am going to use the Red Eyes from now on. What I like better, it is thinner and clings much tighter to the screen. The thicker Astro Gizmos film will not lay completely flat especially as it gets older and bent up a bit.

It also eliminates colors better than Astro Gizmos. I can still see blue through the Astro Gizmos film but not Red Eyes.

I can also keep the main screen at 100% so it matches the brightness of the bottom bar and Red Eyes darkens them at the same level, instead of the bottom bar always being brighter as it is with the Astro Gizmos simply because I have to keep the Sky Safari brightness at 50% to make it work well.


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Tom Polakis
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Re: Best Red Filter (Physical or App) for iPad? new [Re: Lane]
      #5522136 - 11/15/12 11:50 PM Attachment (18 downloads)

Quote:

"Red Eyes not only dims the light, but it also diffuses it slightly."

I am going to have to strongly disagree with that statement.

I have been using Astro Gizmos for a while but decided to try the Red Eyes to see how it compares. It is definitely darker and takes away more of the color than the Astro Gizmos does. It does not reduce sharpness at all from what I can see. I am having no trouble reading the NGC numbers at all. If fact I think it may be the opposite, this film is thinner than the Astro Gizmos and may actually make things a bit easier to read.





Thanks for posting photos. I should have thought of that. In an episode of getting carried away with a project, I photographed the iPad running SkySafari with the two films, and then with the 1/8" red plastic that I use on my laptop in the field.

You are correct about the brightness. At f/4 and ISO 800, 4 seconds was about the right exposure with Red Eyes to bring the right tail of the histogram to the middle. The get the same histogram with Astro Gizmos, I had to reduce the exposure to 1.6 seconds, so it's more than one photographic stop brighter.

Since the brightness in SkySafari can be diminished to near invisibility even with the Astro Gizmos film, the density is not really that much of a concern. What both brands of films do is create muddy contrast. When I look at my laptop with 1/8" red plastic, the sky rendition in Megastar is nearly black with white stars. The films have the effect of a muted, red sky that messes with my dark adaptation too much. I wish there was a way to somehow adjust contrast in addition to brightness. So I held the 1/8 red plastic up to the iPad, and sure enough, it improves that view quite a bit.

My concern with the Red Eyes has been sharpness, and the photos confirmed that it's a problem, at least with the sheet I have. The embedded image in this post is a 100% scale crop, comparing both films. You can see the reduced sharpness with the Red Eyes film. Note that exposure is shorter with Astro Gizmos film to make the brightness comparable, but this has no impact on sharpness.

Comparisons of the films and laptop filters can be found in these photos.

Red filter tests for iPad

By the way, my settings that would be suitable for visual observing at a dark site would be iPad brightness all the way down, and SkySafari brightness at 50% with Astro Gizmos, or 30% with Red Eyes.

Tom


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Lane
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Re: Best Red Filter (Physical or App) for iPad? new [Re: Tom Polakis]
      #5522178 - 11/16/12 12:42 AM

If there is a difference in sharpness on mine, I can't see it. At any rate I can read the NGC numbers very clearly.

I am using IPAD 3 - are you using 2 or 3 ?


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Lane
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Re: Best Red Filter (Physical or App) for iPad? new [Re: Lane]
      #5522183 - 11/16/12 12:51 AM

"By the way, my settings that would be suitable for visual observing at a dark site would be iPad brightness all the way down, and SkySafari brightness at 50% with Astro Gizmos, or 30% with Red Eyes."

I think you wrote that backwards, you mean 30% with Astro Gizmos and 50% with Red Eyes, since Red Eyes is darker.


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ThreeD
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Re: Best Red Filter (Physical or App) for iPad? new [Re: Tom Polakis]
      #5522184 - 11/16/12 12:53 AM

Perhaps the best comparison photos for sharpness would be to set the brightness levels you would actually use which should then (hopefully) result in the same exposure for both the photographs.

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Tom Polakis
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Re: Best Red Filter (Physical or App) for iPad? new [Re: Lane]
      #5522753 - 11/16/12 11:41 AM

Quote:

If there is a difference in sharpness on mine, I can't see it. At any rate I can read the NGC numbers very clearly.

I am using IPAD 3 - are you using 2 or 3 ?






I am using an iPad 1. I'd expect that better resolution of the later model iPads to look cleaner.

Perhaps I received a bad sheet of the Red Eyes film. You would certainly see a difference between the two films that I have, as the photo illustrated.

You are correct that I reversed the SkySafari brightness settings: 30% for AstroGizmos and 50% for Red Eyes.

Tom


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Lane
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Re: Best Red Filter (Physical or App) for iPad? new [Re: Tom Polakis]
      #5523062 - 11/16/12 03:23 PM

The NGC numbers are considerably sharper on the iPad 3 than they are on my iPad 2. That is the primary reason I gave my grand niece the old one and bought myself an iPad 3. I was having a hard time reading those numbers at night. So that could be the difference.

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Lane
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Re: Best Red Filter (Physical or App) for iPad? new [Re: ThreeD]
      #5523064 - 11/16/12 03:26 PM

Quote:

Perhaps the best comparison photos for sharpness would be to set the brightness levels you would actually use which should then (hopefully) result in the same exposure for both the photographs.




That is not possible, the screen becomes so dark that the camera requires a 30 second exposure to see it and of course that blurs the letters.

You will just have to take my word for it. On the iPad 3 there is absolutely no problem with sharpness under either of these products. It sounds like with the iPad 1 and 2 that Astro Gizmos may be better.


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Tom Polakis
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Re: Best Red Filter (Physical or App) for iPad? new [Re: Lane]
      #5523172 - 11/16/12 04:40 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Perhaps the best comparison photos for sharpness would be to set the brightness levels you would actually use which should then (hopefully) result in the same exposure for both the photographs.




That is not possible, the screen becomes so dark that the camera requires a 30 second exposure to see it and of course that blurs the letters.





Actually, it is quite possible, and ThreeD's suggestion is a good one. A better pair of photographs would have used the same exposures for both products. The iPad was close to the brightness levels that you'd actually use (50%), and dialing it down to 30% would have increased the exposure time to about 8 seconds, not 30. Other than a minor increase in dark current, how would that blur the letters?



Quote:

You will just have to take my word for it. On the iPad 3 there is absolutely no problem with sharpness under either of these products. It sounds like with the iPad 1 and 2 that Astro Gizmos may be better.





I showed with photographs that the Red Eyes film that I received blurs the screen considerably more than the Astro Gizmos film. The point of my original post was only to compare the two products. I am certain that the same comparison with the two films that were delivered to me would show similar blurring even on an iPad 3 display, despite it being intrinsically sharper than my iPad 1.

If you can't readily see the difference, all I can figure is that the Red Eyes film has changed for the worse since you received yours or mine came from a bad lot.

Tom


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wbb
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Re: Best Red Filter (Physical or App) for iPad? new [Re: Tom Polakis]
      #5523401 - 11/16/12 08:02 PM

Tom, I don't think you got a bad piece of the Red Eye material. My piece is slightly diffused also, but I have no complaints on my iPad 2. There are a lot of members in my astronomy club that use the red eyes on their iPhones and iPads, and have never complained about any bluriness. But that does'nt mean you don't have an issue. It's all personal preference. Just saying that the red eyes is actual cling material and it comes slightly diffused.
Bill


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Jeff Morgan
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Re: Best Red Filter (Physical or App) for iPad? new [Re: Tom Polakis]
      #5523577 - 11/16/12 10:46 PM

Quote:

A better pair of photographs would have used the same exposures for both products. The iPad was close to the brightness levels that you'd actually use (50%), and dialing it down to 30% would have increased the exposure time to about 8 seconds, not 30. Other than a minor increase in dark current, how would that blur the letters?




Folks are putting a lot of thought into the proper exposure protocol for the comparison.

But really, isn't the naked eye impression what matters here? It sounds like Astro Gizmos is the way to go.


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Alvin Huey
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Re: Best Red Filter (Physical or App) for iPad? new [Re: Jeff Morgan]
      #5523814 - 11/17/12 02:55 AM

Quote:

Quote:

A better pair of photographs would have used the same exposures for both products. The iPad was close to the brightness levels that you'd actually use (50%), and dialing it down to 30% would have increased the exposure time to about 8 seconds, not 30. Other than a minor increase in dark current, how would that blur the letters?




Folks are putting a lot of thought into the proper exposure protocol for the comparison.

But really, isn't the naked eye impression what matters here? It sounds like Astro Gizmos is the way to go.




I respectfully disagree with AstroGizmos unless you have the iPad3 and only the iPad3...anything else is way too bright...unless you decide to use SkySafaris pro and only SkySafarisPro as it has it's own dimmer app...once you leave that app...be prepared to lose your dark adaption...even with three pieces on .


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Lane
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Re: Best Red Filter (Physical or App) for iPad? new [Re: Alvin Huey]
      #5525596 - 11/18/12 06:55 AM Attachment (21 downloads)

Either one works fine on the iPad3, but you can get things darker with the Red Eyes.

Here is a shot blown up to show the resolution - red eyes on top, astro gismos on bottom:


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Tom Polakis
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Re: Best Red Filter (Physical or App) for iPad? new [Re: Lane]
      #5526035 - 11/18/12 12:34 PM

Quote:

Either one works fine on the iPad3, but you can get things darker with the Red Eyes.

Here is a shot blown up to show the resolution - red eyes on top, astro gismos on bottom:





Good photos, which show very little difference between the two. I need to start searching Craigslist daily for an iPad 3. That increased screen resolution must really help. I feel like I'm buying an iPad only as a platform for running SkySafari!


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LivingNDixie
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Re: Best Red Filter (Physical or App) for iPad? new [Re: Tom Polakis]
      #5526203 - 11/18/12 02:02 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Either one works fine on the iPad3, but you can get things darker with the Red Eyes.

Here is a shot blown up to show the resolution - red eyes on top, astro gismos on bottom:





Good photos, which show very little difference between the two. I need to start searching Craigslist daily for an iPad 3. That increased screen resolution must really help. I feel like I'm buying an iPad only as a platform for running SkySafari!




I have thought about getting an iPad and Sky Safari was one of the major selling points! I have Sky Safari plus on my Mac Book and I love it. Sky Safari with Moon Atlas, Mars Atlas and Gas Giants you are set for observing.


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