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Smartphone Astrophotography

astrophotography imaging equipment
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1779 replies to this topic

#26 Joe Gerardi

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Posted 27 September 2016 - 10:44 AM

I don't want to recommend any one vendor on eBay, but this is the mount I was referring to that I got:

 

Cell phone mount

 

s-l225.jpg

 

It's pretty much a universal fit for all cell phones. I think the really big ones (7" or so) would be too big.

 

..Joe


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#27 astrochef

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Posted 27 September 2016 - 10:52 AM

I've posted this picture in a couple threads over the last few months, so as always, try not to laugh. I started with a $5.00 plastic trigger clamp from Home Depot. The rest is cardboard, styrofoam and duct tape. Oh yeah and a piece of a bamboo kabob skewer to keep the phone in place if tilted too far. The mount on our Nexstar 102 gt is not real stable so I wanted something light. The styrofoam spacer gives me some play for varying eye relief between EPs and I cut up the box the Galaxy 6 phone came in to use as a cradle so it would stay put. It's definitely not pretty, but it's lightweight and stable once clamped on. Voice control on the shutter makes it hands free once the settings are chosen

 

 

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#28 Den25

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Posted 27 September 2016 - 12:21 PM

I'm not sure if I want to do full blown astrophotography, but a few pictures of the moon and planets would be nice. Should I try one of these with my 80mm scope or what?

#29 Joe Gerardi

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Posted 27 September 2016 - 01:31 PM

Of course. Start the way we all did: holding your phone up to the eyepiece.

 

It's once you get a great shot or two that the bug REALLY hits! :grin:

 

..Joe


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#30 SteakAndEggs

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 09:01 PM

Thank you all for the replies. I took this one today with my S7 and my Zhumell 8 inch Dob!

 

attachicon.gifSaturno_20160915_190_g4_ap15.jpg

 

Hi, Lucas.  I adjusted your pic, a tad, on Lunapic.  You did great.

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#31 HQuest

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Posted 05 January 2017 - 07:31 PM

I took this Orion 30-sec exposure with my iPhone 7 last November. Had a lot of problems with my mount, as you can see. Used Camera+ app.

The black and white moon shot was taken during one of the past super moons also in October/November, also with Camera+ app. Can't remember settings :(

The moon on my avatar was taken maybe some two years ago, during another super moon, with another iPhone.

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Edited by HQuest, 05 January 2017 - 07:36 PM.

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#32 jhenders

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 09:06 AM

Orion taken last September with an iPhone 6 using Night Cap Pro set at 3200 ISO.  Captured a video and stacked the individual frames.
Messier 42 The Great Orion Nebula

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#33 bamastar

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 09:25 PM

received_1667316826617537.jpeg .   

If I would have read this a year ago, I would have replied that not much will come from smartphones as far as astrophotography and not to expect to much. I have recently received a little guidance from a man who is doing great things with a IPhone and a Questar, and started giving this a new approach. This is M37 from a Galaxy Grand Prime, using the FV\5 Payed app for Android and a 15" Discovery dobsonian. Edited in Snapseed


Edited by bamastar, 17 March 2017 - 09:30 PM.

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#34 LorenBall

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 09:52 PM

Imaging with my Questar and my iPhone SE for the last 6 weeks or so has been very interesting. I had no idea that such a thing was even possible until recently.

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Edited by LorenBall, 17 March 2017 - 09:53 PM.

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#35 bleep

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 08:58 AM

Imaging with my Questar and my iPhone SE for the last 6 weeks or so has been very interesting. I had no idea that such a thing was even possible until recently.

Nice!  Do you mind sharing which app and the settings you use?



#36 LorenBall

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 01:12 PM

 

Nice!  Do you mind sharing which app and the settings you use?

 

The app have been using the most is NightCap Pro. The cost is $2.
 

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#37 LorenBall

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 02:09 PM

M41

89mm f/14.6 Questar telescope, 24mm eyepiece, iPhone SE camera, 30 second exposures, stacked 2 images in Nebulosity 4, ISO 8,000, NightCap Pro, Apple Photos processing, Snapseed processing.

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#38 LorenBall

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 02:15 PM

Messier 37
 

89mm f/14.6 Questar telescope, 24mm eyepiece, iPhone SE camera, 30 second exposures, stacked 6 images in Nebulosity 4, ISO 8,000, NightCap Pro, Apple Photos processing, Snapseed processing.

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#39 LorenBall

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 03:05 PM

From information I have gathered in other forums, it seems to me that smartphone imaging is still under the radar of most amateur astronomers. Granted, this format is not likely to ever be APOD material, but it seems like the logical way for people newish to astronomy to get stared into imaging with their telescopes.
 

Rather than spending a lot of money for a dedicated camera, people can use the smartphone camera they already have in their pocket. This will produce nice enough images for them to see for themselves if this is a hobby worth pursuing, and at very little in the way of additional cost to them.
 

My Questar and iPhone SE allows me to get to about magnitude 14 in 30 second exposures, and by stacking about 10 images, I can easily get to beyond magnitude 15. That is deep enough to keep a person with average curiousity busy for a lifetime. FYI, magnitude 15 is about 10,000 times fainter than the faintest stars we can see with the naked eye from most amateur observing sites.
 

So I am about 6 weeks into this experiment, with no end in sight. As always, focus, tracking, and framing make all the difference in the world between a so-so image and a jaw dropper.

The device I have been using to hold my smartphone is inexpensive, but works perfectly. Because  it worked out of the box, I have no experience with anything else.

http://www.highpoint...pter-spca125-00


Edited by LorenBall, 19 March 2017 - 02:35 PM.

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#40 bamastar

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 03:19 PM

Lol, told ya I knew a guy that's been doing great things with a IPhone and a Questar! Mr Ball has hooked me into is experiment as well.
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#41 LorenBall

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 02:08 PM

Messier 93 is a bright open star cluster that is often overlooked by amateurs, possibly because it is so far South in the sky for observers in the northern hemisphere. That is a shame, because this is a dazzling star cluster.

Discovered by Charles Messier in March of 1781, 236 years ago this month, M93 is about 22 arc' in diameter and is at a distance of about 3,600 light years. This equates to a diameter of approximately 20 light years. The age is about 100 million years.

89mm f/14.6 Questar telescope, 24mm eyepiece, iPhone SE camera, 6 exposures of 30 seconds each, ISO 8,000, NightCap Pro, Apple Photos processing, Snapseed processing, stacked in Nebulosity 4. 

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#42 LorenBall

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 03:13 PM

The last object I imaged last night was Messier 44, a huge open star cluster in Cancer, spanning well over 1 degree in the night sky. It is called the Beehive, and also Praesepe, which is Latin for "manger". It has been know since antiquity.

The distance is nearly 600 light years, and the brightest stars are a bit fainter than magnitude 6. The total population exceeds 1,000 stars, and the age is approximately 700 million years.

89mm f/14.6 Questar telescope, 24mm eyepiece, iPhone SE camera, 6 exposures of 30 seconds each, ISO 8,000, NightCap Pro, Apple Photos processing, Snapseed processing, stacked in Nebulosity 4. 

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#43 ilovecomets

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 09:18 PM

Gotta say there are some great shots in this thread.  I've been using the native photo app and it's been a pain to adjust the exposure far enough to either not blow out planets, or inversely not get enough detail in short exposure images.  Some of you mentioned Nightcap Pro and Camera+.  Which app (or another) would be a good one to start out with?



#44 astrochef

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 08:03 AM

Nice to see this thread come back to life. 

NGC 457 is always ready for it's close up...

 

 

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#45 LorenBall

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 09:38 AM

The most natural thing in the world is to wonder what M42, The Great Orion Nebula, looks like when imaged with a smartphone attached to a telescope.
Curiosity got the best if me too, so I banged away at it Saturday night, experimenting with a variety of exposures. It is quite hard to keep from overexposing the central area and get the extremities at the same time, as is plain to see in my example below.

 

But it is recognizable. And it could not hardly be easier, as my image is a single 30 second exposure. I would love to see some other images of M42 in this forum taken with smartphones.

 

89mm f/14.6 telescope, 24mm eyepiece, iPhone SE camera, 30 second exposure, ISO 8,000, NightCap Pro, Apple Photos processing, Snapseed processing.
 

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#46 Stardust Dave

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 09:23 AM

With IPhone 6plus (8" f/10 SCT- 22mm EP)

 

Looks quite a bit like the Sunspot in LorenBall's pic further up the page.

Could be a capture from several days before this pic.

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Edited by Stardust Dave, 21 March 2017 - 09:38 AM.

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#47 cbecke

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 09:36 AM

Andrew Symes (@FailedProtostar on Twitter) has been getting great results with his smartphone through his telescope and has blogged about it here.

 

He helped get me started (before I got my DSLR).

 

I used NightCap Pro (only available on the iPhone) and held the phone to the scope using an Orion SteadyPix Pro. A very sturdy mount as opposed to the clips some are talking about here.

 

I believe the sensor on the webcam is larger than that on a smartphone, so it is able to grab more photons. That's definitely the difference when you step up to a DSLR. The astrophotography cameras have higher sensitivity per pixel and cram a lot of those sensitive pixels into the sensors, so you get a resolution advantage and less noise.

 

Looks like you're getting great results so far!



#48 cbecke

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 09:39 AM

 

 

Nice!  Do you mind sharing which app and the settings you use?

 

The app have been using the most is NightCap Pro. The cost is $2.
 

 

Note that NightCap Pro is only available for iOS.

 

(disclaimer: I'm a beta tester for NightCap Pro)



#49 North of Sixty

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 11:48 AM

Absolutely amazing that not only can our phones take the wonderful pictures shown in this thread but they also allow us to communicate globally by text, voice and video and give us access to essentially the entirety of human science, art and history. All the negatives of today's world aside we live in aside, it is a wonderful time to be alive. 


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#50 Rovert9988

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 03:39 PM

I've been using my Galaxy S6 phone as a camera with my telescope for a while. I've managed decent Lunar and Jupiter images, but there are definitely limitations.

 

Even with a mount it's very easy to have the phone slightly crooked or something, and getting things like exposure proper take a bit of doing sometimes. Definitely a nice way to go for cheap though. It's enough to get a better handle on aligning, stacking, and processing data which will be nice when I get actual imaging equipment.

 

3/10/17 Attempt 2 1080crop

Edited by Rovert9988, 21 March 2017 - 03:39 PM.

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