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Smartphone Astrophotography

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#626 eclecto-acoustic

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Posted 04 February 2019 - 05:58 PM

You don't need the P20 Pro for either of those features, just to be clear. I have the standard P20 which is equipped in the same way.

 

The Pro basically gives you a bit more processing power, a bigger/better screen and a 3rd rear colour camera sensor with 5x optical zoom.


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#627 GeezerGazer

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Posted 04 February 2019 - 06:57 PM

You don't need the P20 Pro for either of those features, just to be clear. I have the standard P20 which is equipped in the same way.

 

The Pro basically gives you a bit more processing power, a bigger/better screen and a 3rd rear colour camera sensor with 5x optical zoom.

 

Good info!  Thanks.  

 

Here's a link to some images taken by CNer Gavster in the UK using his Huawei P20 Pro in mono-mode.  He took several images using night vision with a Chroma 5nm H-a filter on a 1x lens, meaning that there is NO magnification, showing H-a subjects across a 40° swath of sky.  We typically post in the EAA forum:

 

https://www.cloudyni...h-night-vision/


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#628 SeaBee1

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 12:03 AM

Man, you guys have gone deep! Great stuff!

 

I have been meaning to post something here for some time, but time has been at a premium for me. I got the night off tonight and had intended to do some observing. I mean, you know, it's a NEW MOON for crying out loud! So... I kept poking my head out the door... only to be greeted with an infernal cloud blanket and in perpetuity. The clouds... My last viewing opportunity was the eclipse. Prior to that... I truly can't remember... if I was a cloud observer, I could be in heaven... crap... I digress...

 

Ok, so I have been looking for a smartphone adapter that is robust AND easy to use. The ones I have used so far have just been... inadequate. Until now...

 

Most of you have probably already heard of it and may even have used one. But, I felt compelled to do a small review of this thing. It really works well for me and I think others can find it useful. Oh, yeah it's the Celestron Nexyz. Pictures as follows...

 

gallery_241784_6459_145011.jpg

 

^^^ Notice the eyepiece clamping system. The surfaces are flat. In use, this is a small problem to be aware of. When mounting it on an eyepiece it is very easy to introduce a tilt and cause problems with lining up the image on the phone screen. This happened to me and took me a few to figure out what was going on. The clamping surfaces should be "V" shaped in order to offer a solid and square registration that won't slip. Celestron... pay attention!

 

Ok, next slide...

 

 

 

gallery_241784_6459_39136.jpg

 

^^^ Now notice the metal gears for the XYZ axis adjustments. That's a good thing and they are very smooth in operation. But not at first... Celestron decided to use plastic gibs, which I am not a fan of, for the dovetail ways. When I unboxed the unit, the first thing i noticed was sloppy movement. Fortunately, the gibs have adjustment screws. Once I made the adjustments, the movement became very machine like. Very nice!

 

In practice, this unit makes it very easy to center the object on your phone camera and focus was easier to achieve. I wish I had more samples to post but I have been only able to get it out for the eclipse. Without further ado...

 

gallery_241784_6488_67155.jpg

 

^^^ Equipment: SW 120ED mounted on a Celestron AVX. Sadly, I ruined these images with my post processing. Still gotta figure that stuff out. The images are better on my iPhone.

 

gallery_241784_6488_44611.jpg

 

^^^ Halfway to totality. My wife, granddaughter, and her friend had a blast. It was their first lunar eclipse and my second.

 

gallery_241784_6488_6323.jpg

 

^^^ This one came out a bit better than the previous, at least to me. I was surprised to see a star peeking out on the upper right side of the Lunar disk.

 

All in all, I am pleased with the adapter, in spite of the little niggles I mentioned.

 

Clear skies guys!

 

CB


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#629 GeezerGazer

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 01:33 AM

I was out tonight at home, a LP Red Zone, with marginal transparency because the humidity was so high at 70+%.  But with Night Vision attached directly to a Nikon 105mm lens (f:1.8) producing a 10° FoV, a 5nm H-a filter and my iPhone XR using NightCap Camera app, I was able to get 3 good images before it got too cold... supposed to hit 29° F here tonight!  The Rosette was taken at ISO 8000, 1/2s exp. averaged for 15s, the California and Flaming Star (IC 405 & 410) were both taken at ISO 4000.  The really high ISO is needed to compensate for the very narrow band 5nm H-a filter.  From a green zone, I can image these using a 12nm filter and lower ISO; from the city, I need the narrower band filter to block more of the LP.

 

IMG_3804 copy.jpg

 

IMG_3805 copy.jpg

 

IMG_3807 copy.jpg


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#630 tpuerzer

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 11:54 PM

iPhone Moon

 

Moon photographed with the standard (built-in) camera app on an iPhone SE attached to a Celestron 6" SCT with a 25mm eyepiece. Flipped in post to correct the reversed image. 

 

Reading the posts in this forum have been super helpful in figuring out how to do this. 

 

One thing I can add is that I had been placing the phone too close to the end of the eyepiece. I needed to back the phone camera away a little bit to get a larger image circle. 


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#631 PolyWogg

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 08:14 AM

 

 

 

Moon photographed with the standard (built-in) camera app on an iPhone SE attached to a Celestron 6" SCT with a 25mm eyepiece. Flipped in post to correct the reversed image. 

 

Reading the posts in this forum have been super helpful in figuring out how to do this. 

 

One thing I can add is that I had been placing the phone too close to the end of the eyepiece. I needed to back the phone camera away a little bit to get a larger image circle. 

 

By jove, I think you've got it! :)

 

P.


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#632 bentleyousley

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 12:33 PM

 

 The clamping surfaces should be "V" shaped in order to offer a solid and square registration that won't slip. Celestron... pay attention!

 

 

I noticed something similar when using this mount.

 

Instead of waiting for Celestron to refine the design, I've started to do 3D printed replacement and add-on parts to make the NeXYZ a bit more versatile and stable. I posted one of the mods here:

 

https://www.cloudyni...pter/?p=8990295

 

I'm happy to share the .stl files, if you have a desire to add your own customizations. PM me and I'll email them to you.


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#633 dddinkdd

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Posted 20 February 2019 - 01:18 AM

Thanks for all the great information in this thread. I am taking it all in and preparing to utilize my S6 Edge+ w/Camera FV-5.


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#634 Flyingsnow

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Posted 20 February 2019 - 03:03 AM

Haven’t posted in a while. Great shots CB! nice to see you post again. It’s been a while. I’m liking the NV shOTS too

Took this image with my Astromaster 70 and a 12 plossl using the stock iPhone camera. Then edited in Snapseed. This is the “Super Full Snow Moon”. Hope you all like. 

Attached Thumbnails

  • D0029766-685C-4A62-96EE-2D334A333502.jpeg

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#635 SeaBee1

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Posted 20 February 2019 - 10:07 AM

Haven’t posted in a while. Great shots CB! nice to see you post again. It’s been a while. I’m liking the NV shOTS too

Took this image with my Astromaster 70 and a 12 plossl using the stock iPhone camera. Then edited in Snapseed. This is the “Super Full Snow Moon”. Hope you all like. 

Nice shot! Excellent capture of that ray from Tycho all the way up through Mare Serenitatus! I gotta get better at my post processing...

 

I love this thread! There is a TON of valuable info in here... I am still processing a lot of it... it's almost overwhelming!

 

But, yes, it's been a while since I last posted. The three W's (Work, Weather, and Wife...) have been hindering my scope time for a while now. Mostly weather though. Texas has just been miserable for any outdoor activity, much less astronomy. I have hope however. March here is traditionally mostly clear skies, if a bit windy and cool. We shall see...

 

Good hunting guys!

 

CB


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#636 diegomesa91

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 11:13 AM

You don't need the P20 Pro for either of those features, just to be clear. I have the standard P20 which is equipped in the same way.

 

The Pro basically gives you a bit more processing power, a bigger/better screen and a 3rd rear colour camera sensor with 5x optical zoom.

i do have a question, in order to take the picture through the eyepiece you use only the higher power lens of the p20 and focus it in the eyepiece right?



#637 diegomesa91

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Posted 31 March 2019 - 10:53 PM

hello everyone! i wanted to ask opinions about something i want to do sooner or later. i love astronomy and also astrophotography with my smartphone. but i own a manual dobson and although it has given me great joy and really good photos i feel if a get an equatorial mount reflector with some sort of tracking capabilities my photos would improve. and thats were you people enter. i dont want anything too pro. i was thinking about the Celestron 31051 AstroMaster 130EQ MD Telescope (https://www.amazon.c...e/dp/B0013Z42AK) but some reviews make me doubt. could you please send me in the right direction. i wont be doing any really long exposure and i tend to do very well with star hoping so a goto might not be so necessary but its not ruled out yet. thanks to all and clear skyes 


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#638 SeaBee1

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Posted 03 April 2019 - 08:33 AM

Hi Diego!

 

Since we are talking afocal smartphone AP, the options are pretty limitless, in my opinion, as long as expectations are kept in check. The fact is, while you can get some pretty good images with a smartphone, they won't compete with true prime focus AP photos. With that in mind, you can use your smartphone with appropriate adapter on just about any scope. I have used mine with both my 10 inch Dob and my EQ mounted refractors. The images I get satisfy me. Award winning? Nope, and I never had that expectation.

 

An EQ mounted refractor has the POTENTIAL to up your smartphone photo game, but I don't feel is completely necessary. If you set your goal to get an EQ mounted refractor (or reflector), get something that will please you for visual use. The smartphone AP will follow after that and is an easy addition.

 

Good hunting!

 

CB



#639 Yong54321

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Posted 06 April 2019 - 12:31 AM

Hi

Here is a photo of galaxy M83 taken with manual Dobsonian 8" telescope and iPhone 6. It is exciting to see the subtle spiral arm coming to sight. The spiral arm comes only after 1 min of long exposure. 
 

M83 DOB8 small.png

 

The next photo is also M83 but with a smaller 114mm telescope and it takes longer time to capture the spiral arm. The galaxy is above the blue square. 

 

m835 small.png

 

These are shot in Singapore. 


Edited by Yong54321, 06 April 2019 - 03:11 PM.


#640 RyanLedak

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Posted 06 April 2019 - 03:54 PM

Was just looking at this thread since I got a smartphone adapter just for kicks.

 

I was exploring the stock camera app on my Moto 6g Play and discovered this thing can go full manual!  I can adjust:

 

Focus (out to infinity)

White balance

Shutter speed (1/6000 - 1/4)

ISO (100-3200)

Some other setting (+/-)...  makes the pic brighter and darker...

Has timers at 3 and 10 sec to allow vibrations to stop.

 

Gonna try it tonight if the clouds clear up!



#641 Yong54321

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Posted 09 April 2019 - 11:11 AM

Hi

 

Here is a shot of Milky Way using my iPhone 6 and a tripod at my balcony. It uses 4 min long exposure. The Milky Way is very subtle. It is between the Saggi teapot and Scorpion tail. There is some clouds and light pollution nearby. Taken in Singapore. 

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  • MilkyWay good shot 4min.jpeg

Edited by Yong54321, 09 April 2019 - 11:22 AM.

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#642 Hilmi

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Posted 10 April 2019 - 07:02 AM

The following photos were taken on a Huawei Mate 20 Pro, the milky way shot with andromeda showing I had the phone mounted on an iOptron Skytracker Pro, for the star trails photo I just had it sitting on the tripod with tracking switched off for around 40 minutes if I remember correctly.

 

IMG_20181207_190127.jpg

IMG_20181207_195937.jpg


Edited by Hilmi, 10 April 2019 - 07:03 AM.

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#643 Hilmi

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Posted 10 April 2019 - 07:04 AM

This was my setup. I wish serious astrophotography cameras gave results this easily. This phone is crazy, it does in phone stacking for star trails with live previews. For long tracked exposures you are limited to 30 seconds but still gives impressive results

 

IMG_20181207_173507.jpg


Edited by Hilmi, 10 April 2019 - 07:06 AM.

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#644 Yong54321

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 01:50 AM

The following photos were taken on a Huawei Mate 20 Pro, the milky way shot with andromeda showing I had the phone mounted on an iOptron Skytracker Pro, for the star trails photo I just had it sitting on the tripod with tracking switched off for around 40 minutes if I remember correctly.

 

attachicon.gif IMG_20181207_190127.jpg

attachicon.gif IMG_20181207_195937.jpg

Hi

 

The Milky Way is really beautiful and you have Andromeda in it. They look good! How do you do it? You say it is 30 seconds exposure for the first photo using Huawei Mate 20 Pro? If it 30 seconds why do you need a iOptron Skytracker Pro to track the rotating sky since 30 seconds is short enough to see field rotation?

 

You inspire me to get the Andromeda with iPhone too. My setup is iPhone and a cheap camera tripod. The tracking, rotation and stacking are all done in software using MilkyCam app. So I get instant result all on the phone. 

 

I would like to get the southern curx first before I get the Andromeda. :)

 

Have fun! 



#645 Hilmi

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 03:44 AM

Hi

 

The Milky Way is really beautiful and you have Andromeda in it. They look good! How do you do it? You say it is 30 seconds exposure for the first photo using Huawei Mate 20 Pro? If it 30 seconds why do you need a iOptron Skytracker Pro to track the rotating sky since 30 seconds is short enough to see field rotation?

 

You inspire me to get the Andromeda with iPhone too. My setup is iPhone and a cheap camera tripod. The tracking, rotation and stacking are all done in software using MilkyCam app. So I get instant result all on the phone. 

 

I would like to get the southern curx first before I get the Andromeda. smile.gif

 

Have fun! 

For the tracking i used the iOptron skytracker please refer the quoted post bellow.

 

This was my setup. I wish serious astrophotography cameras gave results this easily. This phone is crazy, it does in phone stacking for star trails with live previews. For long tracked exposures you are limited to 30 seconds but still gives impressive results

 

attachicon.gif IMG_20181207_173507.jpg



#646 Earthbound1

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 04:29 PM

Great thread!!! Very informative and likely to be a very productive alternative to other "traditional" AP modes. At least it's an inexpensive way to start and see if the bug bites hard enough to warrant shelling out big bucks.

Edited by Earthbound1, 11 April 2019 - 04:32 PM.


#647 Hilmi

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 05:13 AM

Honestly a good mobile phone with a good camera is not "inexpensive" My phone cost north of $900. It only makes sense if you already have a decent phone camera.


Edited by Hilmi, 12 April 2019 - 05:13 AM.


#648 PolyWogg

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 12:12 PM

Honestly a good mobile phone with a good camera is not "inexpensive" My phone cost north of $900. It only makes sense if you already have a decent phone camera.

I find myself both agreeing and disagreeing with that statement! :-)

I agree with the first two sentences that it is certainly not cheap.

I don't agree that it "only makes sense". I had a cellphone, point and shoot, basic cam, and a DSLR. I had a mount for my cellphone, point and shoot, basic cam, and attachments for the DSLR. I had my laptop for the basic cam and DSLR use.

 

Which ones did I try? All of them.

 

Which ones am I actively using? None of them.

The one that I WOULD be using regularly is my cellphone, I just happened to have an old Samsung that didn't work very well for AP. When I upgraded my phone this past New Year's, the key criteria for me was to expand my use into AP. So I ditched my Android world and went high-end iPhone. The overall incremental cost to do so was a couple of hundred dollars (Canadian) over my next alternative, but only because those ones had a deal (the others) and the Apple hegemony didn't.

Sooooo, I am the epitome of the regular advice regarding cameras...what's the best camera for you? The one you'll use.

 

The other pieces were too cumbersome and complicated to get started and yet I will always have my mount adapter and my cellphone with me. Maybe I'll get something good with it, maybe not; maybe I'll just play, maybe I'll really get into it and it will inspire me to use the webcam and DSLR again. I'd even love to load Magic Lantern on my little P&S camera and see what I can do with that.

 

So again, I agree it makes sense if you have a good phone camera, or if you're upgrading anyway and want to make sure your new high-end smartphone has decent options to do this too?

 

Just a nuance...and maybe just splitting hairs for some people, but didn't quite apply to me, so is an important nuance for my type of situation.

Now, if I can just get rid of the freaking snow in my life.

Paul


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#649 Yong54321

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 04:08 PM

Hi just to add some of my observation. 

 

High end iPhone has bigger pixel resolution eg 12mb 16mb.  But the camera sensor still stay the same at about 1/3 inches. In AP,  the size of the camera sensor plays an important.  So i do wish insteads of only bigger resolution,  Apple will put in a larger camera sensor too. 



#650 LorenBall

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Posted 12 May 2019 - 08:16 PM

For the last couple of years, I have been imaging with my Questar-iPHone SE on a permanent pier in my observatory.

This is not a great combination for nebula, but it works very well for the Moon, double stars, and asteroids.

The field of view is about 1 degree, the limiting magnitude is about 15, and the ease of use is about as good as I could ever imagine.

When hunting asteroids, I typically stack 18 images, with 10 second exposures. 

Using my setting circles, it is easy to put any object on the screen of my iPhone SE in under 1 minute, and the ability to focus in real time is a nice treat.

 

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