Waxing Gibbous - 78% - 4/28/15

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

  1. Hawkman

    Hawkman TalkEmount All-Pro

    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.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2015
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  2. AlwaysOnAuto

    AlwaysOnAuto TalkEmount All-Pro

    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 All-Pro

    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 Subscribing Member

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

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    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 Subscribing Member

    404
    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 All-Pro

    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 Subscribing Member

    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 Subscribing Member

    404
    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 Hall of Famer

    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 All-Pro

    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 Hall of Famer

    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 Hall of Famer

    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 All-Pro

    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 Hall of Famer

    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.