Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Smartphone Astrophotography

astrophotography imaging equipment
  • Please log in to reply
1725 replies to this topic

#676 Flyingsnow

Flyingsnow

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 263
  • Joined: 27 Sep 2017
  • Loc: Hicksville, Long Island, New York

Posted 25 June 2019 - 09:11 PM

What did you do -- single frame capture, series and stack, or video? Helpful to share details for others to learn...like me smile.gif

PolyWogg

sorry Polywogg,

 I captured video on my phone using the Nightcap app, about 15 seconds worth,. no filters. I then imported into PIPP to convert it to avi.

from there I imported the avi to RegiStax and stacked about 500 frames and edited it in the wavelets while still in RegiStax. After that I imported the files to my phone and tuned them up in Snapseed.

there are some very helpful tutorials on YouTube for doing this. Its actually a lot easier than I thought it would be and I am disappointed that I waited so long to start doing this. I did however buy a laptop specifically for this. Nothing super special for the laptop even. I got a "renewed" one off of Amazon for $205. 128gb hard drive, 8gb ram and core i5 processor.


  • SeaBee1 and PolyWogg like this

#677 PolyWogg

PolyWogg

    Messenger

  • -----
  • Posts: 440
  • Joined: 26 Jul 2017
  • Loc: Ottawa, Canada

Posted 25 June 2019 - 09:13 PM

THanks FS...it was the video part and the basic processing after that I was curious about. :) I've only had minor success with planets on single frame (10s) exposures, no stacking, etc., and videos are next. :)

 

P.


  • Flyingsnow likes this

#678 Flyingsnow

Flyingsnow

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 263
  • Joined: 27 Sep 2017
  • Loc: Hicksville, Long Island, New York

Posted 25 June 2019 - 09:20 PM

THanks FS...it was the video part and the basic processing after that I was curious about. smile.gif I've only had minor success with planets on single frame (10s) exposures, no stacking, etc., and videos are next. smile.gif

 

P.

Angle frames are difficult, especially woth poor seeing conditions. This is my best single frame Jupiter. Although I do believe I screenshot’d it from a video on my phone. Then edited it in Snapseed. 



#679 Flyingsnow

Flyingsnow

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 263
  • Joined: 27 Sep 2017
  • Loc: Hicksville, Long Island, New York

Posted 25 June 2019 - 11:17 PM

THanks FS...it was the video part and the basic processing after that I was curious about. smile.gif I've only had minor success with planets on single frame (10s) exposures, no stacking, etc., and videos are next. smile.gif

 

P.

Single frames are difficult, especially woth poor seeing conditions. This is my best single frame Jupiter. Although I do believe I screenshot’d it from a video on my phone. Then edited it in Snapseed. 

Attached Thumbnails

  • 5946CBB7-4B87-4113-B189-A73D41982064.jpeg

  • SeaBee1 and PolyWogg like this

#680 Flyingsnow

Flyingsnow

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 263
  • Joined: 27 Sep 2017
  • Loc: Hicksville, Long Island, New York

Posted 30 June 2019 - 01:47 PM

Here’s another moon image. Processed from a video I took in September. iPhone 7 and a Celestron Astromaster 70 through a 12mm plossl. Processed in PIPP and RegiStax. 333 frames stacked, edited in registax and finished in Snapseed on the phone. 

Attached Thumbnails

  • 9C85A1D7-4494-49D1-8DA5-D66C0698803C.jpeg

  • therealdmt and SeaBee1 like this

#681 SgtSluggo

SgtSluggo

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 50
  • Joined: 07 Jun 2019

Posted 01 July 2019 - 03:10 PM

Anyone using a smartphone mount cheaper than the NexYZ? The NexYZ really looks like it would cover my lightning port and I want to be able to do remote triggers with my headphones.  I was also hoping to find one that was a little lighter. 

 

This Gosky one seems to have decent reviews and an okay design-

https://www.amazon.c...1-1-spons&psc=1

 

If it matters I don't really care if it is hard to swap the phone out as I will only be using mine. 


  • SeaBee1 and Flyingsnow like this

#682 SeaBee1

SeaBee1

    Skylab

  • *****
  • Posts: 4,251
  • Joined: 19 Mar 2015
  • Loc: Under the DFW light barrier

Posted 01 July 2019 - 05:45 PM

Anyone using a smartphone mount cheaper than the NexYZ? The NexYZ really looks like it would cover my lightning port and I want to be able to do remote triggers with my headphones.  I was also hoping to find one that was a little lighter. 

 

This Gosky one seems to have decent reviews and an okay design-

https://www.amazon.c...1-1-spons&psc=1

 

If it matters I don't really care if it is hard to swap the phone out as I will only be using mine. 

 

I have used that one, it is well built and works well, but I found it a bit fiddly to center the iPhone camera over the center of the eyepiece. If you are using an Android, those have the camera in the center of the phone body and that will make it easier. The NexYZ solved all my positioning issues when using an iPhone.

 

YMMV

 

CB



#683 Flyingsnow

Flyingsnow

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 263
  • Joined: 27 Sep 2017
  • Loc: Hicksville, Long Island, New York

Posted 01 July 2019 - 05:48 PM

Anyone using a smartphone mount cheaper than the NexYZ? The NexYZ really looks like it would cover my lightning port and I want to be able to do remote triggers with my headphones.  I was also hoping to find one that was a little lighter. 

 

This Gosky one seems to have decent reviews and an okay design-

https://www.amazon.c...1-1-spons&psc=1

 

If it matters I don't really care if it is hard to swap the phone out as I will only be using mine. 

I use them both. I had the Gosky first and it is fine. Better for shorter focal length ep’s as the longer ones require the phone to be further away for relief and it’s difficult to get the holder back that far away. 

When you get it, line your eyepiece up with your camera so you see a perfect circle of the ep in your viewfinder and then tighten It down. Leave the part that holds your phone loose enough that you can remove your phone but tight enough that it doesn’t slip out, this’ll make it easier to slide your phone into position at the ep. Then when you go out to view and try to take a pic, clamp the holder to your eyepiece, just firm enough to hold it in place, line up your phone until you can see it’s centered over the ep then adjust the distance for relief and then you can tighten it down to the ep. after a while, if you use the same ep regularly, you will know your where to set the holder and setting up for imaging with your phone will become quicker every time. I would suggest getting a Bluetooth shutter release as you may accidentally yank on the cable of your headphones. I’ve done it many times. The Bluetooth shutter remotes are under $10. The NeXYZ adapter is expensive and heavier but it works really well on larger ep’s. Good luck and report back with your results. Clear skies 


Edited by Flyingsnow, 01 July 2019 - 05:53 PM.

  • SeaBee1 likes this

#684 Flyingsnow

Flyingsnow

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 263
  • Joined: 27 Sep 2017
  • Loc: Hicksville, Long Island, New York

Posted 01 July 2019 - 05:57 PM

I took the video that produced this image on May 18th at 4:13 am est. I never intended on processing it through PIPP and RegiStax but since I’ve started I’ve been searching for older vids to process. I had a yellow filter on for visual purposes which is why there is a yellow border on the planet. You can see Ganymede and IO is right next to the planet and it’s shadow on the dark band. This was about 650 frames stacked then edited in wavelets and finalized on my phone in Snapseed and PS Express

Attached Thumbnails

  • EE058DE4-293F-4A3B-B53C-DEDE87341117.jpeg

  • SeaBee1 likes this

#685 Joey44

Joey44

    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 87
  • Joined: 30 Jan 2019

Posted 04 July 2019 - 04:42 PM

view-from-porch-7-2-19a.jpg  

I am interested in learning how to do some afocal astrophotogrophy and, after a bit of reading here and elsewhere decided to dive in. My current cellphone is an iphone 6, and after working with it and NightCap Camera (the best “long exposure”) app for iOS, I have become frustrated with the hardware limitations of the phone. It is limited to ½ second exposures, and even after the “live stacking” that NightCap Camera provides it appears that ½ second is not enough time to get adequate light to the sensor.  I realized that for the past several years android phones can do longer exposures, at least for 30 seconds since implementation of the Camera2 API in android that appeared about 2015 in android version 5.
I purchased a 4 year old LG G4 phone on Ebay that had a bad serial number and could not be activated for phone service, but had a working stock camera and Camera2 API support-total cost $30.  I added an app called intervalometer that allows for taking sequential photos and then took the following steps:

• Stock camera app set to max ISO (2700) and 30 second exposures. Fixed f/1.8 aperture.
• Intervalometer setting with one second delay
• 15 30 second exposures and 10 dark frames with lens covered, saved in DNG format (can be processed like RAW).
• All files stacked in Sequator, then mild post processing in Adobe Photoshop elements to improve color and contrast.

As a first effort I am pretty happy with the attached photo. I have the benefit of a Bortle 4 site, but I attribute the fact that I can process some Milky Way nebulosity with my $30 phone mainly to the fact that android phones can do long exposures. The newest iphones are still hardware limited to 1 second.
My next project is to try deep sky objects. There is an android app called FiLMiC that allows taking of movie files with exposures per frame of fractions of a second up to several or more seconds, with manual control of ISO up to the same maximum. Theoretically extraction of frames to individual RAW files with sufficiently long exposures would allow enough photons per photo to provide the same benefit.


Edited by Joey44, 04 July 2019 - 04:46 PM.

  • DNA7744, SeaBee1 and Flyingsnow like this

#686 Flyingsnow

Flyingsnow

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 263
  • Joined: 27 Sep 2017
  • Loc: Hicksville, Long Island, New York

Posted 04 July 2019 - 05:24 PM

attachicon.gif view-from-porch-7-2-19a.jpg

I am interested in learning how to do some afocal astrophotogrophy and, after a bit of reading here and elsewhere decided to dive in. My current cellphone is an iphone 6, and after working with it and NightCap Camera (the best “long exposure”) app for iOS, I have become frustrated with the hardware limitations of the phone. It is limited to ½ second exposures, and even after the “live stacking” that NightCap Camera provides it appears that ½ second is not enough time to get adequate light to the sensor.  I realized that for the past several years android phones can do longer exposures, at least for 30 seconds since implementation of the Camera2 API in android that appeared about 2015 in android version 5.
I purchased a 4 year old LG G4 phone on Ebay that had a bad serial number and could not be activated for phone service, but had a working stock camera and Camera2 API support-total cost $30.  I added an app called intervalometer that allows for taking sequential photos and then took the following steps:

• Stock camera app set to max ISO (2700) and 30 second exposures. Fixed f/1.8 aperture.
• Intervalometer setting with one second delay
• 15 30 second exposures and 10 dark frames with lens covered, saved in DNG format (can be processed like RAW).
• All files stacked in Sequator, then mild post processing in Adobe Photoshop elements to improve color and contrast.

As a first effort I am pretty happy with the attached photo. I have the benefit of a Bortle 4 site, but I attribute the fact that I can process some Milky Way nebulosity with my $30 phone mainly to the fact that android phones can do long exposures. The newest iphones are still hardware limited to 1 second.
My next project is to try deep sky objects. There is an android app called FiLMiC that allows taking of movie files with exposures per frame of fractions of a second up to several or more seconds, with manual control of ISO up to the same maximum. Theoretically extraction of frames to individual RAW files with sufficiently long exposures would allow enough photons per photo to provide the same benefit.

 

This is a really nice image Joey. I think you’re doing just fine with that $30 phone.  I’ve been frustrated with my iPhone lately too. I might be moving n to an imaging camera 



#687 Flyingsnow

Flyingsnow

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 263
  • Joined: 27 Sep 2017
  • Loc: Hicksville, Long Island, New York

Posted 04 July 2019 - 05:32 PM

These are my latest images from last nights session. All from 4K video taken with an iPhone in Nightcap. The first Jupiter with Io image is 60% of about 750 frames stacked and Saturn is comprised of about the same. The smaller Jupiter with the GRS faintly visible, taken pretty close to it setting and at less magnification is from about 400 frames stacked. All processed in PIPP and stacked/edited in RegiStax and then finished up in Snapseed and or PS Express on my phone. 

Attached Thumbnails

  • 73E01829-87BF-4D49-BBEE-6763DAEFA1FC.jpeg
  • 14D57605-8515-493B-89B7-B1468CD62850.jpeg
  • 872190D8-89DB-4304-8CB2-C603EB7EAD42.jpeg

  • SeaBee1 and Earthbound1 like this

#688 PolyWogg

PolyWogg

    Messenger

  • -----
  • Posts: 440
  • Joined: 26 Jul 2017
  • Loc: Ottawa, Canada

Posted 04 July 2019 - 09:23 PM

attachicon.gif view-from-porch-7-2-19a.jpg

I am interested in learning how to do some afocal astrophotogrophy and, after a bit of reading here and elsewhere decided to dive in. My current cellphone is an iphone 6, and after working with it and NightCap Camera (the best “long exposure”) app for iOS, I have become frustrated with the hardware limitations of the phone. It is limited to ½ second exposures, and even after the “live stacking” that NightCap Camera provides it appears that ½ second is not enough time to get adequate light to the sensor.  I realized that for the past several years android phones can do longer exposures, at least for 30 seconds since implementation of the Camera2 API in android that appeared about 2015 in android version 5.
I purchased a 4 year old LG G4 phone on Ebay that had a bad serial number and could not be activated for phone service, but had a working stock camera and Camera2 API support-total cost $30.  I added an app called intervalometer that allows for taking sequential photos and then took the following steps:

• Stock camera app set to max ISO (2700) and 30 second exposures. Fixed f/1.8 aperture.
• Intervalometer setting with one second delay
• 15 30 second exposures and 10 dark frames with lens covered, saved in DNG format (can be processed like RAW).
• All files stacked in Sequator, then mild post processing in Adobe Photoshop elements to improve color and contrast.

As a first effort I am pretty happy with the attached photo. I have the benefit of a Bortle 4 site, but I attribute the fact that I can process some Milky Way nebulosity with my $30 phone mainly to the fact that android phones can do long exposures. The newest iphones are still hardware limited to 1 second.
My next project is to try deep sky objects. There is an android app called FiLMiC that allows taking of movie files with exposures per frame of fractions of a second up to several or more seconds, with manual control of ISO up to the same maximum. Theoretically extraction of frames to individual RAW files with sufficiently long exposures would allow enough photons per photo to provide the same benefit.

Hi Joey, Your mileage may vary, but I think your conclusions need a bit more nuancing for others reading the forum looking for help.

 

First, not all Android phones will do longer exposures. Even with the right Camera2 API, not all of them are doing "true" long exposures -- a bunch are doing what NightCap does on the iPhone...it takes a bunch of short exposures and stacks them, partly because the battery drain of a long exposure is too much for them to enable full Camera2 functionality. Many of the latest apps and Android phones claim longer exposures but don't explain how they get them. Huawei's are known to be true longer exposures. Not sure which of the two main Android ones do, but remember that one doesn't (Pixel? Samsung? Not sure which one and latest latest latest in the last six months might have fixed it for both).

Second, very few companies have put as much money into the camera as Apple, and they are indeed hardware limited to 1s. Even more importantly for them, they are limited to 1/3s (1/4s?) exposures with Night Cap and then stacked. The challenge is that if they go to 1s, the hardware resets after that picture, and so they can get the first image at 1s, and then it resets to 1/4s as I recall. If Night Cap holds to 1/4s or 1/3 (I forget the number), it can do 20 or 30 images all the same, or 100, or 200, whatever it needs, and the hardware settings stay the same. Bear that in mind with the Androids. Apple's investment outstrips most of them, and they haven't found ways to do it reliably enough for Apple standards. Not for lack of demand. Night Cap is working with Apple to let them do a series of 1s shots, but not there yet. I'm not sure I have all the details exactly right in there, but close enough...in short, even Night Cap isn't doing 10 x 1s exposures when it does a 10s stack.

Third, people have been doing amazing things with the iPhone settings since iPhone 4 and 5. Put bluntly, if you're not getting anything good, it probably isn't the phone itself...it may be workflow or settings, but it could equally simply be that the interface for Night Cap or the stock app don't work well for you. But if you want to see what someone can do with an iPhone 6, check out Andrew Symes (@FailedProtostar on Twitter), with Celestron NexStar 8SE on stock alt-az mount from light-polluted skies. Or peruse the rest of the forum for stuff from Loren Ball. While he has a quality scope, he's doing shots of asteroids with his 89mm scope and an iPhone SE.

 

Finally, the biggest difference in what you wrote about is not the Apple to Android difference, it's six-year-old Apple tech vs. new Android tech. The sensors are WAY better in the new phones. I had a Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Great phone, good specs for the time, Camera1 sure, but even with the best app working the hardware, it couldn't tell when the scope was looking at a globular cluster. Just not bright enough for it register on the sensor -- it wouldn't take the photo. My iPhone 6+ had no trouble, as did the iPhone 4 I tried. Not enough for me to work with it regularly, I wasn't steady enough with the camera, but I did get some decent shots for my first outing.

I've since upgraded my phone to an iPhone XS Max, 512GB storage. It has power out the wazoo, and it will still take time to figure out good settings and a positive workflow for Night Cap with my rig. The moon is easy of course, but almost everyone who is having luck on planets (including Andrew above or tons of other people on this forum), they are using videos to capture and then converting and stacking to get their image. Very few are doing single-frame shots of the planets and getting anything useful, even when stacked. Even Loren doing the asteroids is doing 18 shots of 10s each with Night Cap. His images are razor sharp.

 

Of course, the sensors on even basic astro webcams will beat anything in the smartphone world, as will any DSLR or even some more recent point-and-shoots if people are looking for "more tech" to work with. But then you need a laptop, power, etc.

 

Doesn't mean we won't get some great shots with our smartphones...I'd love to see what you could capture with an updated Apple machine. Your shots with your $30 tech are awesome.

 

P.


  • LorenBall and Earthbound1 like this

#689 Obi-Wan Kenewbie

Obi-Wan Kenewbie

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 116
  • Joined: 07 Oct 2014
  • Loc: Coruscant

Posted 05 July 2019 - 05:39 AM

single 32sec, iso3200, xiaomi Mi8, straight jpg

 

yphjk.jpg


Edited by Obi-Wan Kenewbie, 05 July 2019 - 05:40 AM.

  • JHollJr, SeaBee1, Flyingsnow and 2 others like this

#690 Joey44

Joey44

    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 87
  • Joined: 30 Jan 2019

Posted 05 July 2019 - 10:29 AM

Hi Joey, Your mileage may vary, but I think your conclusions need a bit more nuancing for others reading the forum looking for help.

 

First, not all Android phones will do longer exposures. Even with the right Camera2 API, not all of them are doing "true" long exposures -- a bunch are doing what NightCap does on the iPhone...it takes a bunch of short exposures and stacks them, partly because the battery drain of a long exposure is too much for them to enable full Camera2 functionality. Many of the latest apps and Android phones claim longer exposures but don't explain how they get them. Huawei's are known to be true longer exposures. Not sure which of the two main Android ones do, but remember that one doesn't (Pixel? Samsung? Not sure which one and latest latest latest in the last six months might have fixed it for both).

Second, very few companies have put as much money into the camera as Apple, and they are indeed hardware limited to 1s. Even more importantly for them, they are limited to 1/3s (1/4s?) exposures with Night Cap and then stacked. The challenge is that if they go to 1s, the hardware resets after that picture, and so they can get the first image at 1s, and then it resets to 1/4s as I recall. If Night Cap holds to 1/4s or 1/3 (I forget the number), it can do 20 or 30 images all the same, or 100, or 200, whatever it needs, and the hardware settings stay the same. Bear that in mind with the Androids. Apple's investment outstrips most of them, and they haven't found ways to do it reliably enough for Apple standards. Not for lack of demand. Night Cap is working with Apple to let them do a series of 1s shots, but not there yet. I'm not sure I have all the details exactly right in there, but close enough...in short, even Night Cap isn't doing 10 x 1s exposures when it does a 10s stack.

Third, people have been doing amazing things with the iPhone settings since iPhone 4 and 5. Put bluntly, if you're not getting anything good, it probably isn't the phone itself...it may be workflow or settings, but it could equally simply be that the interface for Night Cap or the stock app don't work well for you. But if you want to see what someone can do with an iPhone 6, check out Andrew Symes (@FailedProtostar on Twitter), with Celestron NexStar 8SE on stock alt-az mount from light-polluted skies. Or peruse the rest of the forum for stuff from Loren Ball. While he has a quality scope, he's doing shots of asteroids with his 89mm scope and an iPhone SE.

 

Finally, the biggest difference in what you wrote about is not the Apple to Android difference, it's six-year-old Apple tech vs. new Android tech. The sensors are WAY better in the new phones. I had a Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Great phone, good specs for the time, Camera1 sure, but even with the best app working the hardware, it couldn't tell when the scope was looking at a globular cluster. Just not bright enough for it register on the sensor -- it wouldn't take the photo. My iPhone 6+ had no trouble, as did the iPhone 4 I tried. Not enough for me to work with it regularly, I wasn't steady enough with the camera, but I did get some decent shots for my first outing.

I've since upgraded my phone to an iPhone XS Max, 512GB storage. It has power out the wazoo, and it will still take time to figure out good settings and a positive workflow for Night Cap with my rig. The moon is easy of course, but almost everyone who is having luck on planets (including Andrew above or tons of other people on this forum), they are using videos to capture and then converting and stacking to get their image. Very few are doing single-frame shots of the planets and getting anything useful, even when stacked. Even Loren doing the asteroids is doing 18 shots of 10s each with Night Cap. His images are razor sharp.

 

Of course, the sensors on even basic astro webcams will beat anything in the smartphone world, as will any DSLR or even some more recent point-and-shoots if people are looking for "more tech" to work with. But then you need a laptop, power, etc.

 

Doesn't mean we won't get some great shots with our smartphones...I'd love to see what you could capture with an updated Apple machine. Your shots with your $30 tech are awesome.

 

P.

Polywogg,

Your comments are appreciated. I am sure that you are correct about the sensors in the newer phones being so much better; the photo from Obi-Wan Kenewbie just posted is a great example of what a relatively new android phone can do-I am amazed at the detail and lack of noise with just one 30 second exposure. Unfortunately for me my budget I am not in the market for a new phone so am trying to get my feet wet and practice with older tech. Maybe in a couple of years I can buy a non-functioning iphone XS on Ebay whose camera still works. 



#691 LorenBall

LorenBall

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 128
  • Joined: 04 Jan 2017

Posted 05 July 2019 - 05:02 PM

Dwarf Planet 1 Ceres, magnitude 7.6 in Scorpius, on June 20, 2019.

Imaged with my 80mm f/4 Tuthill refractor riding piggyback on my 7" f/15 Maksutov Cassegrain telescope.

24mm Brandon eyepiece, iPhone SE, ISO 8,000, 4 degree field of view. The limiting magnitude is about 12.

6 images, 60 second exposure each, stacked with Nebulosity 4, processed with GIMP and Apple Photos.





 

Attached Thumbnails

  • 1 Ceres.jpeg

Edited by LorenBall, 05 July 2019 - 05:13 PM.

  • Flyingsnow, Earthbound1 and Jay6879 like this

#692 PolyWogg

PolyWogg

    Messenger

  • -----
  • Posts: 440
  • Joined: 26 Jul 2017
  • Loc: Ottawa, Canada

Posted 05 July 2019 - 09:29 PM

Anyone using a smartphone mount cheaper than the NexYZ? The NexYZ really looks like it would cover my lightning port and I want to be able to do remote triggers with my headphones.  I was also hoping to find one that was a little lighter. 

 

This Gosky one seems to have decent reviews and an okay design-

https://www.amazon.c...1-1-spons&psc=1

 

If it matters I don't really care if it is hard to swap the phone out as I will only be using mine. 

I have used three different models of attachments, not the Gosky one specifically, but others have liked it. My reaction is more in general.

 

A. You hit the nail on the head regarding swapping the phone in and out...many of them are a challenge, and while the NexYZ is better, it is still not "easy" in most senses.

 

B. The NexYZ's heavy, much heavier than a couple of other models. Not a minor issue depending on what you're pairing it with.

C. Yes, it would cover the lightning port.

D. Bluetooth headphones or shutter releases are cheap, and easy to find. Works better in most cases than a cable.

 

So pluses and minuses there, and all relatively minor to the big question...how easy is it to work with it once together? I found the two other models complete pains in the patootie to adjust to get the camera lens over the eyepiece and centred. Shift here, shift there, tighten a screw, oh, wait, not quite right, loosen screw, tighten again, etc. I thought they were crap, honestly. Others have had luck, I found them WAY too finicky.

 

Instead I went with the more expensive NexYZ for three reasons:

 

a. I'm made of money. Oh, wait, no I'm not. But I do appreciate quality and ease over DIY functionality. I can put the camera in the adapter, then put the EP in the adapter, and line them up. I can adjust left, right, and vertically with a slight turn of the knobs. If it isn't quite right, I can do a simple adjustment, and bam, it's adjusted. No loosening of screws, no chance for it to move. It's like "live" adjustments on the fly.

 

b. It takes larger EPs and while I am not swapping my phone out, I do occasionally want to change EPs. On some of the adapters, I didn't like the way they fit or the limitations. I can fit a 17.3mm Delos in an NexYZ. Probably won't, plossls work better for me, but I can use ANY of my lenses if I want. And the adapter will hold them without my feeling like something will slip out.

 

c. I coordinate monthly star parties for our astronomy group, and longer-term, I do want the option of letting people bring their phone and insert it in the holder and take a pic. Likely only moon stuff, but I'm willing to let them play with a NexYZ that I've adjusted for height and EP, they just have to move it in 2D to centre. I could do it now, but I'm not familiar enough with the process to make it seamless for them. Others have at other parties, and they literally can have them snapping shots in less than 60s. Something that is almost impossible with other adapters.

 

FYI, one issue that is rarely addressed with the adapters is whether you use your phone in it with or without a case. Almost all of them are less impressive with their ability handle the phone with a case -- the pressure pads that hold the phone are often of limited height, or angled, and they don't often react well to larger cases. My wife has a slim case, works fine; my phone has a larger rubber covering, and the NexYZ doesn't like it as much. I find it easier to remove my phone from the case, something I don't like doing but it gives me better images. I had same problem with other two models.

The NexYZ is the Cadillac of adapters, and I am not positive it is worth it for design. But it sure lets me make adjustments WAY more easily.


  • Earthbound1 likes this

#693 Joey44

Joey44

    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 87
  • Joined: 30 Jan 2019

Posted 06 July 2019 - 06:53 AM

I tried the NexYZ but found that I could not maintain a 90 degree angle to the eyepiece. My phone is not a large or heavy one (4 year old LG G4). This seems to be a problem with these generic phone adapters generally. I have tried several brands of adapters and the common problem is that the grip to the eyepiece does not extend far enough down the eyepiece barrel to give a secure attachment. Typically there will be a rubber eye shield that will need to be removed, exposing a thin rim of metal that needs to gripped not only there but also further down the eyepiece barrel to give adequate holding power.

 

Celestron, Orion, and some others have some newer models that are in the $50-$100 range, in contrast to the the cheaper plastic devices that have populated Amazon for several years. I tried the Orion SteadyPix EZ, which looked promising because it seemed to have eyepiece support arms that extended further down the shaft of the eyepiece. Unfortunately it would not fit my phone because the back was curved and the phone would not stabilize in the holder.

 

I am using just generic 1.25 inch eyepieces from Celestron and High Point Scientific. From reviews that I have read some have had good luck with most of these devices. It seems like trial and error is the best way to go and just be sure that anything you try is sold with a return policy in case you can't make it work.



#694 LorenBall

LorenBall

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 128
  • Joined: 04 Jan 2017

Posted 10 July 2019 - 06:18 AM

Neptune, magnitude 7.9 in Aquarius, is named for the Roman god of the sea.
 

With the demotion of Pluto to a Dwarf Planet, Neptune is now the farthest known planet from the Sun in our Solar System.
 

On the evening of September 23, 1846, astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle discovered Neptune within 1° of where mathematician Urbain Le Verrier predicted it would be.
Neptune's average distance from the Sun is 2.8 billion miles. That is more than 30 times the Earth's distance from the Sun. The period of Neptune's orbit around the Sun is nearly 165 years.
 

Neptune is a gas giant planet with no solid surface. It is slightly smaller than Uranus, at 30,800 miles in diameter, or 3.9 times the diameter of the Earth.
 

( Courtesy SkaySafari 6 Pro and Wikipedia )

The field of view is about 4 degrees, and the limiting magnitude is 11+.
 

80mm f/4 Tuthill refractor, carried on my 7" f/15 Maksutov Cassegrain telescope, 24mm Brandon eyepiece,  SE camera, 9 exposures, 40 seconds each, stacked with Nebulosity 4, processed with GIMP and Apple Photos.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Neptune 24mm  s9 40sec F.jpeg

  • JHollJr, Tropobob, Flyingsnow and 2 others like this

#695 PolyWogg

PolyWogg

    Messenger

  • -----
  • Posts: 440
  • Joined: 26 Jul 2017
  • Loc: Ottawa, Canada

Posted 10 July 2019 - 06:25 AM

Neptune is a gas giant planet with no solid surface. It is slightly smaller than Uranus, at 30,800 miles in diameter, or 3.9 times the diameter of the Earth.

 

80mm f/4 Tuthill refractor, carried on my 7" f/15 Maksutov Cassegrain telescope, 24mm Brandon eyepiece,  SE camera, 9 exposures, 40 seconds each, stacked with Nebulosity 4, processed with GIMP and Apple Photos.

Wait a minute, that's not an asteroid ;)

So I'm curious Loren -- normally for most stuff you're doing 10s bursts...why the switch to a 40s?

 

P.


  • LorenBall likes this

#696 LorenBall

LorenBall

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 128
  • Joined: 04 Jan 2017

Posted 10 July 2019 - 09:51 PM

Hey, I switched to 40 second exposures because this was taken with my 80mm f/4 Tuthill refractor instead of my long focal length Maks.
It has a much shorter focal length, so a much larger field of view.  That makes tracking way easier and more forgiving.


  • PolyWogg likes this

#697 MedicineMan4040

MedicineMan4040

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 23
  • Joined: 30 Oct 2012

Posted 11 July 2019 - 12:50 AM

Just making sure everyone knows about this company-

https://www.phonesko...om/phone-scope/

They make form fitted adapters for phones to digiscopes.

Maybe already have/or def. could make proper size for eyepieces on telescopes.



#698 PolyWogg

PolyWogg

    Messenger

  • -----
  • Posts: 440
  • Joined: 26 Jul 2017
  • Loc: Ottawa, Canada

Posted 11 July 2019 - 06:13 AM

Just making sure everyone knows about this company-

https://www.phonesko...om/phone-scope/

They make form fitted adapters for phones to digiscopes.

Maybe already have/or def. could make proper size for eyepieces on telescopes.

I must say, my initial reaction on the site was not positive. Lots of words, almost no photos where it says how it works. I thought the store would have better examples -- you know, like you were BUYING something and might want to see it -- but I went ahead and chose my phone, size of optics, etc. But none of the pics showed it connected to anything or even the two pieces together. Plus $100 for the final product, and it says you have to use their phone app (which is BS, it would make no difference which app you used, but whatever).

I went back to the main page, went to the gallery, it has pictures and videos available. None of the pics show the phone attached to anything, just photos taken with the app, and most of them hard to tell they're taken with anything but a DSLR. And none of the videos would load when you clicked on them *, it seemed like just pics of the video files. Very suspicious, starting to seem almost scammy. Went to Youtube, searched for Phone SKope, and found https://www.youtube....h?v=HeHBT4jcwzE.

 

From this video, it actually looks like an interesting design...Their design is two parts:

a. A form-fitted case so your phone doesn't slip around and always lines up EXACTLY over your camera.

b. A circular adapter that attaches over the EP.

 

What was missing in the descriptions for how it attached to the EP but can be seen easily in the video is that the circular adapter is adjustable for size as it spins and closes like a drive chuck on a drill or lathe. Three little prongs come out when you spin it making the hole smaller and smaller, just like how a drill holds a drill bit. Circle back the other way and it loosens. Most adapters go over the whole EP and grab it at the sides, this one basically grabs it around the top of the EP (around the eye relief cups). So the sizes give you one for either 2" or 1.25" EPs by going slightly bigger and slightly smaller in range, but when you tighten it, would wrap around the top of the EP. I couldn't tell how well it would hold, but it looked pretty solid sitting on his spotting scope. Note though that if you had a big EP like a Delos or the larger Panoptics, I don't know how well they'll fit - it looks good for a Plossl, but it is sized to the 1.25" base, not a wide FoV EP glass.

The "bonus" part that is attractive is that you then marry the adapter to the case with a simple slide in and turn to lock (there's a groove). Meaning no "alignment" over the EP like in most adapters, it is going to be perfect EVERY SINGLE TIME from the looks of it.

I would love to try one for my XS Max, but at $100 US, it's an expensive "try". Plus it doesn't have any adjustment options for height above the EP, and not entirely clear how well it grabs around EP cups (do you remove them? Is it better?).

(* Note: I went BACK to the site after, went to the video pages, still not playable. Turns out it's a stupid interface issue -- whereas most web players will start if you click on the video or the play symbol on the video, these will start ONLY if you click on the small play button in the slide bar at the bottom of the video. Who designed this website?????).

 

Thanks for sharing!

 

Paul


Edited by PolyWogg, 11 July 2019 - 06:24 AM.


#699 Joey44

Joey44

    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 87
  • Joined: 30 Jan 2019

Posted 11 July 2019 - 10:30 AM

I must say, my initial reaction on the site was not positive. Lots of words, almost no photos where it says how it works. I thought the store would have better examples -- you know, like you were BUYING something and might want to see it -- but I went ahead and chose my phone, size of optics, etc. But none of the pics showed it connected to anything or even the two pieces together. Plus $100 for the final product, and it says you have to use their phone app (which is BS, it would make no difference which app you used, but whatever).

I went back to the main page, went to the gallery, it has pictures and videos available. None of the pics show the phone attached to anything, just photos taken with the app, and most of them hard to tell they're taken with anything but a DSLR. And none of the videos would load when you clicked on them *, it seemed like just pics of the video files. Very suspicious, starting to seem almost scammy. Went to Youtube, searched for Phone SKope, and found https://www.youtube....h?v=HeHBT4jcwzE.

 

From this video, it actually looks like an interesting design...Their design is two parts:

a. A form-fitted case so your phone doesn't slip around and always lines up EXACTLY over your camera.

b. A circular adapter that attaches over the EP.

 

What was missing in the descriptions for how it attached to the EP but can be seen easily in the video is that the circular adapter is adjustable for size as it spins and closes like a drive chuck on a drill or lathe. Three little prongs come out when you spin it making the hole smaller and smaller, just like how a drill holds a drill bit. Circle back the other way and it loosens. Most adapters go over the whole EP and grab it at the sides, this one basically grabs it around the top of the EP (around the eye relief cups). So the sizes give you one for either 2" or 1.25" EPs by going slightly bigger and slightly smaller in range, but when you tighten it, would wrap around the top of the EP. I couldn't tell how well it would hold, but it looked pretty solid sitting on his spotting scope. Note though that if you had a big EP like a Delos or the larger Panoptics, I don't know how well they'll fit - it looks good for a Plossl, but it is sized to the 1.25" base, not a wide FoV EP glass.

The "bonus" part that is attractive is that you then marry the adapter to the case with a simple slide in and turn to lock (there's a groove). Meaning no "alignment" over the EP like in most adapters, it is going to be perfect EVERY SINGLE TIME from the looks of it.

I would love to try one for my XS Max, but at $100 US, it's an expensive "try". Plus it doesn't have any adjustment options for height above the EP, and not entirely clear how well it grabs around EP cups (do you remove them? Is it better?).

(* Note: I went BACK to the site after, went to the video pages, still not playable. Turns out it's a stupid interface issue -- whereas most web players will start if you click on the video or the play symbol on the video, these will start ONLY if you click on the small play button in the slide bar at the bottom of the video. Who designed this website?????).

 

Thanks for sharing!

 

Paul

I looked at the referenced phone skope but haven't taken the plunge. For those who might be interested, there is a review at http://www.weasner.c...Skope/index.htm.

 

I did email the company and they have a return policy that applies if you are unsatisfied for any reason; only cost would be the return postage. Any experience with this device would be appreciated.



#700 LorenBall

LorenBall

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 128
  • Joined: 04 Jan 2017

Posted 11 July 2019 - 10:30 AM

Messier 25, an open star cluster, was discovered by Philippe Loys de Cheseaux in 1746.
 

Visible to the naked eye under dark skies as a blurry spot of magnitude 4.6. This is a fine open cluster for binoculars and small telescopes. It contains three dozen bright stars irregularly scattered over a 32' area, and may actually contain up to 600 members.
 

Sources agree that this cluster's distance is about 2,000 light-years, making its physical diameter about 20 light years.
 

(Courtesy SkySafari 6 Pro, and Wikipedia)
 

This about what I would expect to see with 10X50 binoculars from a very dark site.
 

80mm f/4 Tuthill refractor, 16mm Brandon eyepiece, iPhone SE camera, NightCap Camera, ISO 8,000, 9 individual 40 second images stacked with Nebulosity 4. Processed with Apple Photos, and GIMP.
 

The field of view is about 2.2 degrees.

The limiting magnitude is about 12.

Imaged July 8, 2019.

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • M25 s9 16mm F 40sec.jpeg

  • JHollJr, Flyingsnow and Jay6879 like this


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: astrophotography, imaging, equipment



Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics