Saturday, January 30, 2010


It is a clear but cold (-4C!) night tonight and a full moon is shining. I thought I would try to take a picture of it using my £29 Aldi spotting scope and £25 eBay bargain digital camera. It made a nice change from trying to figure out how to interface my radio to my new computer.

The digiscoping adapter I got from Scopes'n'Skies certainly helped with holding the camera in position and the infra red remote control I managed to get for the camera meant that I could fire the shutter when everything was steady. It's not bad for a first attempt but I'm sure it ought to be possible to get the image a bit sharper.

My camera tripod is really poor and hard to adjust so you have to point past the object and then hope it settles back with it in the centre. This normally takes a few attempts. But the main thing is that focus is quite critical and it's hard to tell when you have got it exactly right using the little screen on the back of the camera.

There was a bit of colour fringing on the original image - purple at the top and green at the bottom. Well I suppose you can't expect perfection with £29 optics. I eliminated it using the simple expedient of getting IrfanView to convert the image to greyscale.

It would probably be more interesting to photograph a partial moon when you could see detail emphasized by shadows along the terminator. So, weather permitting, I hope to try to take some more Moon photos later.


Paul Stam PAØK said...

Hello Julian, we have a cloudy sky. I would try to make some pictures of the moon myself. This one is really nice. I have no experience with it, so start trying what I can do. BTW the JT65A is not Yahoo, sorry... but it must be Google Groups. the JT65-HF group. 73 Paul

G4NKX said...

Hello Julian - the moon-shot is very good - I managed to get one with just the camera but lost some detail - Sunday evening I spent trying to track & align the camera with the telescope but gave up - I have been impressed with some of the photo's I've seen lately It has inspired me, I have to confess to being a complete novice but I am really enjoying it.
Best Rgds Peter g4nkx.

Adam said...

Hello Julian,

I have only just seen your lunar photograph from last night. All I can say is FANTASTIC!!

You can see crater details around the edge and what I think is excellent contrast/sharpness of the features.

This Aldi scope has given you a lot of pleasure and for the price, as you say, you can't go wrong really. I am going to cancel my Scopes'n'skies order and get in the queue early on Thursday morning!!

As always, thank you for your help, inspiration and advice.

PS Probably looks better in greyscale anyway as my shot had that "dirty orange" hue to it that doesn't show half as badly on the photo I got Boots to develop.

Bye for now, Adam (M6RDP)