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RobDob
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Reged: 04/10/10

Loc: Brentwood (East Bay Area), CA
Nice Moon Tonight
      #5536478 - 11/23/12 11:52 PM Attachment (47 downloads)

Good obligatory features tonight on the moon, starring 'The Great Clavius' and the surreal 'Bay of Sinus Iridum'!

Starting with the big picture:
[Edit - turned down the brightness]

Edited by RobDob (11/24/12 01:38 PM)


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RobDob
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Reged: 04/10/10

Loc: Brentwood (East Bay Area), CA
Re: Nice Moon Tonight new [Re: RobDob]
      #5536480 - 11/23/12 11:53 PM Attachment (36 downloads)

The Great Clavius:

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RobDob
sage


Reged: 04/10/10

Loc: Brentwood (East Bay Area), CA
Re: Nice Moon Tonight new [Re: RobDob]
      #5536486 - 11/23/12 11:57 PM Attachment (35 downloads)

Sinus Iridum:

Edited by RobDob (11/24/12 12:44 AM)


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azure1961p
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Reged: 01/17/09

Loc: USA
Re: Nice Moon Tonight new [Re: RobDob]
      #5536788 - 11/24/12 08:30 AM

I have always loved the solidified *swells* of rge Maria the bay of rainbows area. Nice pics Rob. I was clouded out last night.

Pete


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NeilMac
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 09/25/10

Loc: MedHat, AB, Canada
Re: Nice Moon Tonight new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5537190 - 11/24/12 12:41 PM

Very nice!

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RobDob
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Reged: 04/10/10

Loc: Brentwood (East Bay Area), CA
Re: Nice Moon Tonight new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5537193 - 11/24/12 12:44 PM Attachment (30 downloads)

Thanks Pete and Neil, after looking through the many many pics taken, found a much better shot of Clavius w/o the rotation and fuzzies:

Edited by RobDob (11/24/12 12:46 PM)


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mark8888
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 09/24/10

Re: Nice Moon Tonight new [Re: RobDob]
      #5537271 - 11/24/12 01:48 PM

Awesome pictures. Nice new clavius!! How did you get these pics? Afocal, DSLR, webcam, space ship... ??

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RobDob
sage


Reged: 04/10/10

Loc: Brentwood (East Bay Area), CA
Re: Nice Moon Tonight new [Re: mark8888]
      #5537341 - 11/24/12 02:48 PM Attachment (30 downloads)

Ahah! Thanks Mark. My setup is very simple:

Stock Z12
28mm Edmund RKE eyepiece(circa 1982)
Coolpix S6300 16 Megapixel 10x optical zoom (from Costco)
Good sky!

Afocal through the eyepiece, no fancy mounting - Point n shoot. Set camera flash off and center field autofocus, zoom a few x till getting a good framed image, keep nudging the dob to keep things centered. The secret is taking many, many pics, then sifting through for the few good ones. I think the RKE eyepiece works great for afocal because of minimal glass and long eye relief.

Grabbed another pic of the Bullialdus (crater in the center) and ghost crater region:


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mark8888
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 09/24/10

Re: Nice Moon Tonight new [Re: RobDob]
      #5538250 - 11/25/12 03:58 AM

Quote:

Ahah! Thanks Mark. My setup is very simple:

Stock Z12
28mm Edmund RKE eyepiece(circa 1982)
Coolpix S6300 16 Megapixel 10x optical zoom (from Costco)
Good sky!

Afocal through the eyepiece, no fancy mounting - Point n shoot. Set camera flash off and center field autofocus, zoom a few x till getting a good framed image, keep nudging the dob to keep things centered. The secret is taking many, many pics, then sifting through for the few good ones. I think the RKE eyepiece works great for afocal because of minimal glass and long eye relief.





Thanks for the response! You know, Mr. RobDob, I find this post above very interesting, very interesting indeed. As it happens I also like to take afocal pics in virtually the same way that you do... and they turn out similarly. Yours are brighter and show more detail, as I'm using a lot less aperture, but they're clearly in the same family. For example here's my take on Clavius, or a wider moon shot, here are a bunch of pics etc.

...so I was checking to see if you do it in a similar way. It interests me a lot because the point and shoot camera I use, a canon PowerShot SD880, is on its last legs. Great camera but a few years old already. So at some point I got a newer canon point and shoot, a PowerShot ELPH 510 HS. However, I found that with this camera it's impossible to get a wide shot through an eyepiece. Technically I don't know why it is, but I can only get the very center of the field in a picture, even with a good amt. of camera zoom. So with lunar shots, you can only get a porthole view of the center of the moon. (I suppose it must have to do with the focal length of the camera lens... or, uh, something like that.) Searching ebay, I was finding it costly to buy another PowerShot SD880 in decent condition, as it's old... so I'm glad to know that the Coolpix S6300 is another option. I wonder... do you (or any other souls browsing this thread) happen to know exactly why one point and shoot is usable for casual handheld afocal shots, and another totally isn't? And do you happen to know if other Coolpix models will work as well, or only this one?


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RobDob
sage


Reged: 04/10/10

Loc: Brentwood (East Bay Area), CA
Re: Nice Moon Tonight new [Re: mark8888]
      #5539473 - 11/25/12 09:53 PM

Wow, nice shots Mark!

I don't know the specs of the Canons, but I do know they are great little cameras! My Powershot S2IS died, hence that's why I have the S6300 now.

As far as porthole images with certain cameras probably has to do with placement against the eyepiece. Afocal photography is all about matching one optical system (camera) with another optical system (telescope).

The camera optical system needs to work within the exit pupil of the telescope optical system to get the optimum match. Think of our human eye as an analogy to the camera's optical system. Good eye relief and large exit pupil should elimate the porthole effect. Once, the camera is working within this zone, the camera now has the advantage of zoom and autofocus, a bionic eye so to speak!

So now, let's talk megapixels. The beauty of afocal images with today's 16 or more megapixel cameras is that you can take a moonshot, say a nice 3/4 moon filling most of the field. If the focus and contrast are good, you get a 5-6Meg jpg file of the moon that has a resolution of something like 4608x3456, that's a heck of alot of information! Using a good image viewer, you can zoom in and find stuff not even evident in the raw photo. That's how I got that last Clavius shot, it's just a zoom of a larger pic.

And, there is still alot information in the cropped down 800x600 or so image needed for posting here on CN. Sorry, probably straying off topic, but this is really good stuff!

Rob


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mark8888
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Reged: 09/24/10

Re: Nice Moon Tonight new [Re: RobDob]
      #5539546 - 11/25/12 10:36 PM

Thanks.. this is really excellent general advice about megapixels and everything else. I totally agree and we take pics in exactly the same way, which is why they're so similar. What I'm specifically wondering is, if you or anyone knows what specific spec/numbers on point and shoot cameras one should evaluate to see if they are usable for afocal astrophotography or not. The more easily a camera can capture the entire field, the better. One canon I have captures it with very little zoom, another will only give you a porthole even at max zoom. Two similar cameras, but one is completely unusable at a given eyepiece and one isn't. Why? What's the defining difference in the camera, is it the focal length of the lens of the camera one needs to compare, or...? How does one specifically evaluate it in combination with a given eye relief/exit pupil, mathematically, to estimate if it will work or not? In other words, you see a bunch of point and shoot cameras on the shelf at costco. Some will be usable and some won't for your eyepiece/scope setup. How exactly do you know, how do you calculate it? It would be valuable information to know before buying.

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RobDob
sage


Reged: 04/10/10

Loc: Brentwood (East Bay Area), CA
Re: Nice Moon Tonight new [Re: mark8888]
      #5539724 - 11/26/12 01:39 AM

Yeah Mark, I see your point. Definitely don't want to buy a bunch of cameras to see which will work...

I agree, it comes down to calculations of telescope eyepiece exit pupil / eye relief vs. camera aperature and f/ratios and placement of camera against eyepiece distance.

If we had numbers to calculate this it could be done. I'll work on it. The good folks at the DLSR & Digital Camera Imaging forum may be able to help also.

Rob

Edited by RobDob (11/26/12 01:43 AM)


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mark8888
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 09/24/10

Re: Nice Moon Tonight new [Re: RobDob]
      #5539736 - 11/26/12 01:56 AM Attachment (21 downloads)

Quote:

Yeah Mark, I see your point. Definitely don't want to buy a bunch of cameras to see which will work...





Totally. The 2nd Canon I bought, which cannot capture a wide field, was SO similar to the 1st Canon, yet is unusable. Fortunately I didn't have to pay for it because it was part of a budget for something else , but I would have been really disappointed if I had.

I agree, people in the photography forum might know. I've always intended to ask... I may have, once, but no one responded? There are actually very few people into semi-serious handheld point and shoot afocal astrophotography! I was hooked when I found that you could actually get a halfway pleasing pic of Jupiter with a cheap instant camera and no need to attach anything to the scope, and thus interfere with visual viewing enjoyment.

In any case, I'm very happy to see that the Coolpix S6300 works so well, and may well end up buying it. The price is good! So, if you zoom a bit with it, you're able to see the whole field? Whatever you see in the eyepiece, you're able to fit into the frame of the photo? Judging by your pic at the top of the thread, I guess the answer is yes, but I thought I'd make sure.


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mark8888
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Reged: 09/24/10

Re: Nice Moon Tonight new [Re: mark8888]
      #5539741 - 11/26/12 02:04 AM Attachment (21 downloads)

Here's a moon shot I got with the first Canon, which isn't sold new anymore. I'm not able to capture the whole field like this with the newer Canon, but it seems that you are with the Coolpix.

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RobDob
sage


Reged: 04/10/10

Loc: Brentwood (East Bay Area), CA
Re: Nice Moon Tonight new [Re: mark8888]
      #5539769 - 11/26/12 02:57 AM

Nice Jupiter pic! Just came in after watching a nice Jupiter moon transit.

Edit: Nice moon pic!

Hey now this is the moon forum! Ok a Jupiter moon so we're back on topic.

"So, if you zoom a bit with it, you're able to see the whole field? Whatever you see in the eyepiece, you're able to fit into the frame of the photo?"

It depends on the eyepiece. Go for about 30mm plus or minus 5mm.

Edited by RobDob (11/26/12 03:01 AM)


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mark8888
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Reged: 09/24/10

Re: Nice Moon Tonight new [Re: RobDob]
      #5539804 - 11/26/12 04:31 AM

Quote:


It depends on the eyepiece. Go for about 30mm plus or minus 5mm.




Sounds like you were able to do it with that camera then. OK good, thanks.


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RobDob
sage


Reged: 04/10/10

Loc: Brentwood (East Bay Area), CA
Re: Nice Moon Tonight new [Re: mark8888]
      #5568462 - 12/12/12 11:31 PM Attachment (15 downloads)

So, I'm still going over all of the pics taken from this night and have been researching here on CN about craterlet resolution on Clavius. I found a very informative thread here from photonovore:
http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbarchive/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/1220899/Main...

Having that as a benchmark, in the following piccie, was able to detect ~3km craterlet resolution. Not bad considering it's just a quick point n shoot pic with a cheap camera, but could do better...

Rob


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Perigny270
super member


Reged: 10/23/11

Loc: Temiscaming, Quebec
Re: Nice Moon Tonight new [Re: RobDob]
      #5568736 - 12/13/12 07:02 AM

Great afocal shots! I am impressed with the quality - and thanks for the advice. I'll have to fool around with my new Coolpix L610.

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azure1961p
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Reged: 01/17/09

Loc: USA
Re: Nice Moon Tonight new [Re: Perigny270]
      #5569115 - 12/13/12 11:50 AM Attachment (13 downloads)

Heres a desaturation I did and a little image sharpening. Hope you dont mind as the cameras CA was there. The original has a higher sensitivety to half tone subtelties but the CA was a little evident. I did a little unsharp masking to pinch the highlights a little more and to overcome the slight blur due to either seeing or camera shift.

I used to use a Sony Cybershot with the Carl Zeiss lens and it was ok but if i was ever off even a smidgen in comes the CA. Desaturating the color pic does wonders for that. What I highly highly highly recommend thyough - if your camera is obliging is to shoot video. About a thousand frames to fifteen hundred. Then stack the file in Registax [free] add wavelets, resize, attenuate contrasts and WOW. The ONLY true bother here with your camera for that is having it mounted stationary to the scope. You can hand hold the camera as its shoting video but its maddeningly uncontrollable. What happens in processing is that the stcked images incur alignment errors when the image drifts off the screen. In those cases you might be able to get a dozen frames to stack or so but its a lost potential. You can get nice pix with snapshots, but no matter how big the dslr or point n shoot, stacked videos have a sizeable edge I could never equal in still shots.

Give it a whirl if you can.

Pete

Edited by azure1961p (12/13/12 12:03 PM)


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Tom and Beth
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/08/07

Loc: Tucson, AZ
Re: Nice Moon Tonight new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5569524 - 12/13/12 04:16 PM

Just FWIW on your point and shoot cameras that are "almost out to pasture"

There are several websites that detail how to turn the cameras mentioned into a "Trail Cam" or nature viewing camera. It's way OT for this forum and web site, but perhaps you won't have to relegate them to a drawer.


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