Waxing Gibbous - 78% - 4/28/15

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by Hawkman, Apr 29, 2015.

  1. Hawkman

    Hawkman TalkEmount Top Veteran

    943
    Sep 10, 2013
    Virginia, USA
    Steve
    The night looked clear again, so I thought I'd do a round of shots with three different focal lengths. For the first... I cheated and brought out the Celestron NexStar 6SE (telescope) connected via a T-adapter for Nikon and Nikon-NEX adapter, but w/o the 2X Barlow.

    17121141969_c3eae01162_k. Waxing 78 percent - Celestron by SRHawk64, on Flickr
    Celestron NexStar 6SE - 1500mm f/10, 1/200, ISO 200. Lightly tweaked in iPhoto from RAW, not cropped - even without the Barlow 2X on, I can't fit the whole lunar disc in the frame.


    Then it was time to try the Minolta MD Tele Rokkor 300mm f/5.6 (FF equivalent 450mm)...

    16685054554_a35dd41ad8_k. Waxing 78 percent - MD 300 by SRHawk64, on Flickr
    Minolta MD Tele Rokkor 300mm f/5.6 @ 11, 1/200, ISO 200. Lightly tweaked in iPhoto from RAW, cropped to 3632x2420.

    And then I added the Vivitar 2X Macro Focusing Teleconverter for an effective 600mm (FF equivalent 900mm)...

    16685043594_73f931851f_k. Waxing 78 percent - MD 300 +2X by SRHawk64, on Flickr
    Minolta MD Tele Rokkor 300mm f/5.6 @ 8 w/ Vivitar 2X Macro Focusing Teleconverter, 1/200, ISO 200. Lightly tweaked in iPhoto from RAW, cropped to 3632x2420.

    It was very difficult to get focus on any of the three. I'm not sure my Fotasy MD-NEX adapter is actually letting me get all the way to infinity after all, hard to tell.

    I do think the Vivitar 2X, other than magnifying the CA, actually does improve the reach and detail obtained. Obviously the big Celestron wins for detail, but it is a bear to focus for best results - I still think I am a tad off on focus, but can't seem to get it any better.
     

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    Last edited: Apr 29, 2015
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  2. AlwaysOnAuto

    AlwaysOnAuto TalkEmount Top Veteran

    725
    Feb 17, 2015
    Good efforts!
    I'll start my own thread so's not to pollute yours with our L.A. Air.
     
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  3. Hawkman

    Hawkman TalkEmount Top Veteran

    943
    Sep 10, 2013
    Virginia, USA
    Steve
    Thanks! And you're welcome to post here if you wish, LA Air and all... our DC-area air is not THAT clean, and it was a little cloudy/hazy today.
     
  4. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    Great shots!
     
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  5. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    For what it's worth, 2 things I've discovered that improved my focusing / detail so noticeably that now I won't even try to shoot a moon shot without them:
    1) Magnified Focus Assist on the NEX-7.
    2) Wireless Remote Control.....even sharper results than the timer as I don't have to touch the camera.
     
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  6. Zanner

    Zanner TalkEmount Veteran

    395
    Aug 19, 2013
    Wisconsin, USA
    Suzanne
    I might be staring at that first shot all day long now. I'm weirdly obsessed with the moon. And it's so much more fulfilling than actually working ;)
     
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  7. Hawkman

    Hawkman TalkEmount Top Veteran

    943
    Sep 10, 2013
    Virginia, USA
    Steve
    I actually do both of those things now as well (well, not the wireless part of the remote - the A3000 can't handle wireless - but I have a wired trigger and it works well so far... as long as I don't tug it and the camera with it.)

    But the extremely long focal lengths make any motion at all an extreme exaggeration, and the one time I do have to touch the camera/lens is when I am manually focusing the lens/telescope, during which time the shaking is intense. A part of me is now longing for IBIS in an APS-C body.
     
  8. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    Yes, have to manually focus the Canon lens as well, with a very light gentle touch on the focusing collar. Focus Peaking is also a huge help because when I'm really, really getting focus fine-tuned I can see a scattering of a dozen tiny Focus Peaking pinpoints twinkling in some craters across the moon...helps a lot. Otherwise, these 69 year old eyes would have to take up checkers, LOL
     
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  9. unlo

    unlo Sony ******

    Jan 19, 2014
    Ohio
    Matt
    off topic for a sec: have you seen Interstellar? i recommend it!
     
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  10. Zanner

    Zanner TalkEmount Veteran

    395
    Aug 19, 2013
    Wisconsin, USA
    Suzanne
    No but I definitely plan on it! If there isn't a Disney or Dreamworks character in it, I probably haven't seen it. The life of a mom of an 8 yr old ;)
     
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  11. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    The Celestron image is worth every pain staking effort to nail focus. Stunning detail!

    You're getting excellent results with the Vivitar 2x converter. I tried my M42 Vivitar 2x last night with a 300mm S-M-C Takumar. But got unacceptable results. I may be having those infinity focusing issues with my adapter. So tonight I set up the Tamron 500mm mirror. Much better, but a lot of shake is induced when focusing. Camera and lens is still moving at times when shutter fires. Need to install that touchless shutter app and try it out.
     
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  12. Hawkman

    Hawkman TalkEmount Top Veteran

    943
    Sep 10, 2013
    Virginia, USA
    Steve
    Thanks! It's reassuring to hear others say the results are decent. I had tried my TOU/FiveStar 75-200mm f4.5 MC Macro Zoom on the teleconverter a bit ago and it was a mess... very soft and/or didn't seem to focus to infinity. But with my Minolta lenses, it does much better. I suppose the saying that a teleconverter will magnify a lens' defects applies.

    Checked your Flickr feed quickly and the moon shot with the mirror lens is quite good. Lots more detail than my teleconverter shot. Have you tried a wired or wireless remote unit? And although I don't have an A6000, I thought there was a remote shutter app available from Sony for iPhone and Android phones that would work as well.
     
  13. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    Thanks Steve, the Tamron has been a worthwhile purchase. I've seen better Moon results with it from others though, so I must keep refining my steps.
    I haven't tried a remote. I did get one with that Neewer battery grip, but the grip was defective and returned it. I need to shop for an IR remote.
    The Sony smartphone app doesn't work if you shoot RAW, iirc.
     
  14. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    Just re-read your OP that you used a 2x macro focusing converter.
    Mine's just a basic teleconverter. They usually degrade image quality. So, I shot without it last night and also tried out another lens the previous night.
    Previewing for tonight's full moon.

    Here's a shot from the S-M-C Takumar 300 f/4. The lens is capable of a good image on its own at least.
    I deviated from the standard Sunny-16 rule, and resulted in a better image (IMHO). Perhaps it was due to the smaller image from this focal length. Shot at f/8 and 1/250.

    16723746494_451da962b2_o. DSC00954b_ S-M-C Takumar 300mm f4 by wNG555, on Flickr

    This one from Apr. 30th, was with a Sigma XQ 400mm f/5.6. I picked it up for cheap due to some haze on a rear element. I haven't gotten to cleaning it yet. So, haven't shot with it and wondered what it can do with the Moon. It didn't let me down. Trounces my Vivitar 400mm f/5.6 by Komine, which never produced a satisfactory Moon photo. Now I got to clean this thing asap!

    17158426918_c7f006ed2a_o. DSC00906_Sigma XQ 400mm f5.6 by wNG555, on Flickr
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2015
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  15. Hawkman

    Hawkman TalkEmount Top Veteran

    943
    Sep 10, 2013
    Virginia, USA
    Steve
    Great shots Will! Good results from both lenses.

    I saw the moon near full tonight and thought about getting out the camera... but, well, I don't know... wasn't feeling it tonight. And - for a rationalization - I've often found that the full moon doesn't make for quite as detailed a shot - not enough shadows to bring out the detail. But the just past full moon... that'll be my next mission in a few days, weather permitting!
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2015
  16. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    True, I agree with you there, I also prefer the partial moons for the greater non-flattened details.
    Well, the weather isn't cooperating tonight. Thunderstorm is rolling in just now.