In the past, taking a photo of the Moon required quite some effort. Take the pictures, develop the film and hope for sharp images. And then came the disappointment if the Moon appeared blurred. This became considerably easier with digital and mobile phone cameras.
In the meantime, smartphone cameras have reached an outstanding level of quality. Which is a good tool for Moon photos, provided that we can tightly mount the phone to the telescope.
Let’s have a look to see how everyone can take a photo of the Moon through a telescope.
The Moon – shot with an Easypic adapter, an Omegon 8″ Dobson with Redline eyepiece and an iPhone.
The difference to other adapters
The Easypic universal smartphone adapter follows a different route to his competitors. Most adapters have a clip that closes around a 1.25 inch eyepiece. The mobile phone is then separately held by a clamp and needs to be correctly positioned above the eyepiece. In itself this is a quite good system but needs quite a lot of experience on the part of the photographer. And in the end, everything must sit tightly in place.
Now the night is not always the right place for patience. And it is pitch black!
Is there no easier way? Yes, sure there is! With self-centring.
Here is how to prepare the adapter
With the Moon in the sky, you direct your telescope to Earth’s satellite. It is already nicely visible through the eyepiece. Now your smartphone and the Easypic adapter are going to play their role.
On the back of the adapter, loosen the small screw for the holding clamps. Pull the holding clamps fully to the outside. Then place your mobile phone with its camera lens directly over the central hole. Slide the holding clamps back against your phone and tighten the screw again. Check that the clamps fit tightly so that your mobile will not come loose.
Here is how to connect the adapter to the eyepiece
Now to the easy part! Hold the adapter with the smartphone to the eyepiece, making sure it has direct contact. Then turn the big screw on the side. This allows the movement of three bolts, which accurately clamp around the eyepiece at the same time. This way the adapter centres and fastens automatically around your eyepiece. The camera lens of the smartphone is perfectly aligned with the middle of the eyepiece.
For you this self-centring means: more focus on your object and less worry with technical details.
The photoshoot: The Moon in your smartphone
If your camera app has been switched on, you should now see the Moon in your display. Correct the focus once again and everything is ready for taking the photo.
These steps are necessary:
• Switch off the flash
• Activate the timer
• Adapt the exposure time, if necessary and possible
Now press the trigger as usual and take a photo. This image of the Moon was taken with an Easypic universal smartphone adapter and an Omegon 8 inch Dobson telescope.
Using neutral density filters to reduce brightness
In most cases adjusting the correct exposure time is enough for successful Moon images. However, planets like Venus or Jupiter very often appear too bright in an image. They are over-exposed. The planet discs appear burned out. The solution: neutral density filters and variable polarising filters. This is our trick to be able to show the details of the planets.
A smartphone in combination with an Easypic universal smartphone adapter allows you to take quick photos of the Moon and planets. You don’t have to be an expert: even connecting to the eyepiece is child’s play. All you need to do is position the adapter correctly. The smartphone takes photos of the Moon with outstanding sharpness. A fact that all of us could only dream about a few years ago.