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iPhone for lunar imaging?

S Kehoe

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The other day I finally got round to getting the dust of my sw200p , pointed it at the moon, and out of daftness held my iPhone 5s to the viewer and snapped a couple of images. I had no idea what would come out, but as a total newbie at imaging I was quite surprised how it came out ( well I think it's OK ).

My question is this, is there any future in this type of photography ( I have seen a few smartphone mounts online and they look ok ), and was wondering if this is worth pursuing. Now, about a year ago I bought a motor for my eq5 mount , with spc900 webcam, imaging software etc to start my adventure in astro imagery (I am mainly interested in the moon as a target) but I couldn't get the motor thing up and running so spat my dummy out and gave up with it.

So, do I go back to trying the motorised webcam approach (shudder!!) or take the easy but untried iPhone down the viewer route? Or is there another route.

I am mainly interested in images of the moon.

Many thanks in advance for any advice.




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Of to a good start, not sure what model of i phone you have, but i think the 5 has headphones with a little switch that can operate the camera shutter, combined with a eyepiece mount you could get some very good images

What trouble were you having with the motor set up

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Hi and thanks for the reply. The motor I installed actually moved the scope but it wouldn't track correctly no matter how I alligned it. After a few "untrained technical adjustments" in my enthusiasm the pcb broke :( I don't mind having another go at setting it up to be fair, as long as it is the best approach for lunar photography. Or is the iPhone plus mount worth investing time in? I sort of have a gut feeling it's the motor and webcam route but was wondering (as I havnt done any of this for a while) if advances in phones cameras are viable option.

Thanks again

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Hi, nice image :-)

Smartphone cameras are getting surprisingly capable these day, and will only get more so, but I suspect that a webcam/tracked mount approach will ultimately give better images.

I bought an Orion Universal smartphone holder and it works very well on smaller eyepieces - I use it with orthoscopics with good success.




You can get a Photoshop Express app for the iPhone to allow you to tweak the images to get more out of them.

I have a rule that I will only do imaging that can be done with my phone, so I don't end up getting dragged kicking and screaming over to the dark side ;-)

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thanks for the replies ,some really good images there :) I think I am going to get a smartphone holder and an image editor for now, I will also try and setup my ccd webcam and motor as well and compare the two at some stage :) although I am not confident about that. I will jump onto another thread in the lounge for some instructions and advice on that.

cheers! and will let you know how i get on.

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