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Novice Challenge

First attempt with smartphone!

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Forecast was for cloud, looking outside there was cloud so I watched some good ole BBC. I was totally unprepared for when I saw the moon in the skylight. But I grabbed my FS60 in Q mode and was outside in 20 seconds. Seeing was ok through some light cloud and there was some lovely detail on the terminator below Mare Crisium with a 4mm TOE in. I started to try and draw the view, gave up as there was just too much fine detail overwhelming me and then remembered my Orion Steadypix had arrived which I had ordered on a tip from @Stu - thanks!

Quite fiddly to get the phone centered and quite fiddly keeping it in place. And then one of the side clips pressed the reset button!!! I'm not convinced my phone (very old moto g plus) is perfect for the Steadypix! One restart later and I had to remove the rubber eyecap from the TOE in order to get the eye relief right and a decent FOV on the phone. A couple of pics later and I thought I had everything right and in good focus, good exposure, pressed the button, the timer counted down 3 ... 2 ... and the battery died!!!

Anyway here's a couple of pics I got just before the phone died. I think that's Langrenus, Vendelinus and Petavius. Unfortunately they do not do justice to the fabulous views visually from the FS60Q, Langrenus had a lovely double peaked shadow of it's central mountain on it's far rim, but I know with practice I can do better but I had great fun trying :)

Thanks for looking,



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Nice pics for a first go @MalcolmM. It’s just a fact of life that the latest phones have much better sensors in them; low noise and more sensitive, so there will be a limit to what you can get depending on just how old your phone is. Worth upgrading if you want to bet better results.

I have found the SteadyPix EZ pretty good once you are used to it. It is often better to attach the holder to the eyepiece when not in the scope, then put the phone in the holder whilst pointing the barrel at something bright, then you can see (with the camera app open) when you get even illumination.

I then hold the phone in place to pressing it against the base place with finger and thumb, and with the other hand push the four holder clips up tight to the phone, and finally screw up the clamping knob to hold them in place.

Hope that helps a little!

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For an old phone, like the iPhone 4, that’s good! Thanks for sharing.

I have a clone of the Orion Steadypix. Works very well the BST StarGuiders that I mostly use. When the eyecup is removed it holds onto the eyepiece very securely. Once I found the sweet spot I also added a tiny screw on the holder to lock left-right movement. See pictures. Now I only need to adjust up-down when I install the holder. 

As @Stu suggests, I install the phone in the holder then eyepiece before I put it on the telescope. It’s fiddly at first bit becomes easier and second nature after some practice. I practiced in the daylight, taking pictures of upside down chimney pots, branches and pigeons. If you have a solar filter then the sun is good as practice. It’s obviously far easier to spot any issues/improvements in daylight. 

Often I’ll install the holder on the phone indoors, in the light, so I can see what I’m doing, then take the phone attached to the holder outside. If you do this then make sure that the phone is in a position where the camera lens can’t dew up. And another tip - make sure that the lens on your phone is nice and clean before you start. If you are like me the lens can get covered in finger prints, dust and other detritus.



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