Angling for a great shot

Phone meets eye­piece: straight and steady is the key

Sky at Night Magazine - - FIELD OF VIEW -

One of the trick­i­est as­pects of afo­cal smart­phone astrophoto­graphy with a te­le­scope is get­ting the phone’s cam­era lined up to the eye­piece. If you don’t, the edge of the eye­piece field of view can en­croach into the shot and spoil the im­age or, at the least, the view will show ‘vi­gnetting’, where the pic­ture ex­hibits dark gra­di­ents. The trick to over­com­ing this is to, firstly, use an eye­piece with a rel­a­tively large exit pupil, as these tend to be more for­giv­ing. If you have sev­eral eye­pieces, ex­per­i­ment to see which gives the best re­sults. Se­condly, while en­sur­ing that your smart­phone cam­era lens is cen­tred above the eye­piece aper­ture it­self, also check that the de­vice is held par­al­lel to the top of the eye­piece and isn’t at an an­gle.

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