13 x 1/500 s, 45 mm, f/2, ISO 1600
Binned, centered, and cropped in PIPP.
Stacked and processed with Affinity Photo.

To get a more detailed picture of the Moon, I tried taking a photo with my system camera through the binoculars. While this was indeed possible, it was difficult to align the camera correctly, and even then the resulting image was blurry. I had to use 3×3 binning in PIPP to get a sharp image.  The result is not much larger than an image from a smartphone and binoculars, but it shows a bit more detail.

The constellation of Scorpius on 30. June 2018
60 x 1 s, 45 mm, f/2.8, ISO 6400
Stacked with Sequator and processed in Affinity Photo.

A big issue with this photograph was the net, which is installed on our balcony to keep the birds from soiling it. With binoculars, it  poses no problem, but with a 45 mm lens with a considerably larger view, the net was clearly visible although out of focus. Stacking averaged out the horizontal bands, but the vertical bands remained.

I managed to salvage the image by performing frequency separation so that most of the detail went to the high-frequency layer. Then I reduced the luminance of the low-frequency layer until the bands were no longer visible.

I intended to photograph the constellation, and I did not expect to see any deep sky objects, but closer inspection showed that several globular clusters are actually visible in the image. They appear just as few pixels wide blotches but are a nice addition to the photo.

Jupiter and three of the moons (Ganymede, Europa, and Callisto) captured with a smartphone and binoculars. Io is too close to Jupiter to be visible. Also, the double star Alpha Librae (also known as Zubenelgenubi) is visible on the bottom right.

Waxing gibbous moon on 25.05.2018

Since I was not able to get a better quality shot of the moon with my current camera and objective, I tried using binoculars and a smartphone instead. Finding the right settings and focusing were much easier since the moon appeared larger on the screen, but working with the phone was quite uncomfortable since I had to use the tripod and the display was pointing downwards.

The first image is stacked from a one-minute video with 1888 frames. I used PIPP to crop and the frames and Affinity Photo to stack and post process. The video’s resolution is much less than E-PL7 sensor’s, and the moon does not appear much larger, but more details are visible.

The second image is a stack from four JPEGs (1/1000 sec. f/1.7 4.2 mm ISO 50 B) and was processed like the video. Unfortunately, I did not have enough time capture more frames, and I had to add extra noise reduction in Affinity Photo. The moon is more prominent since the resolution is better, but the image quality is not better due to the small number of frames. I will try a different photo application, with better options for taking a series of photos, in the future.

The third image is a one taken with PEN E-PL7 and 45 mm objective for comparison. The photos taken with smartphone and binoculars show a clear, and I hope that I can get even better quality by switching to RAW and having a decent amount of frames to stack.

waxing_crescent_moon
Waxing crescent moon on 18.4.2018

moon_venus_aldebaran
The Moon between Venus and Aldebaran on 18.4.2018.

The Hyades is a V-shaped open cluster in the constellation of Taurus.

halfmoon_2
First quarter moon on 24.3.2018

Unfortunately, the weather seems to favour half moons. There have not been many clear nights, and when I was finally able to get out to do some photography, the moon was in the same phase as last time. I missed a crescent moon in between because it was on a work day and I had to get to bed early.

I tried to improve the quality of the shot, but this seems to be the best I can get out with 45 mm lens. Even with 2x cropping factor, it does not have a sufficient magnification. Focusing on the tiny but bright moon is difficult.

 

orions_sword
Orion’s Sword is an asterism in the constellation of Orion.