Monday, July 15, 2013

Panasonic G5 with Tamron 500 Mirror Lens does the Moon and Saturn yet one more time …

I like shooting planets and the moon. Most people do, I suspect. It’s just so much fun to get a good result. I’ve had a few decent shots of Saturn, but I do find that manually focusing the Tamron by looking through an EVF is a fairly pure form of torture.

Still, I’ve had some nice results with the 100-300 and I thought I’d give the 500mm mirror lens another try. This time without the 1.4x teleconverter. I reason that the extra magnification is offset by the blur introduced by a teleconverter, even the very slight blur induced by this fairly nice one. The details are just too small on the frame to be able to take it …

So I got several adequate frames and at some point I would like to try stacking them with Registax. But for now here is one of the better ones:


This was, of course, shot at f/8 (mirror lenses have a fixed aperture) and 500mm (1000mm EFL) and the shutter speed was set manually to 1/25s. The planet is clearly separated from the rings in one of the best examples I’ve managed so far. It does not, unfortunately, enlarge very well …

A bit messy, that.

So after trying my hand at Saturn with a modicum of success, I moved to the front yard where the half moon was considering the option of setting. It was hanging pretty low in the sky, but I had the tripod i n hand and plunked it down on the grass and got on my knees to pray to the focusing gods and the “seeing” gods to try to get a few good frames.

Well, considering the poor luck I have had with the lens on m4/3 so far, I was a little surprised that I got quite a few very nice looking frames. Here is one of the best, processed for high saturation to bring out the color on the seas … I think it looks pretty terrific.

Now remember that this is 1000mm, which means that if the image is decently clean, then it should look like a telescope shot it, since many smaller telescopes have focal lengths in this range or a bit higher. I think you will agree that this definitely does not suck. In fact, I am thinking that this is the best moon image that I have ever shot. Which makes this a banner day for astrophotography for this hack :-)

Please click on the image to see it as processed (basically 1:1 pixels.) I quite like it … how about you?