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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 2:40 am 
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Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
Hi everyone, we were treated to a Lunar Eclipse over portions of the Southern hemisphere last night, and despite worrying clouds and high winds in the morning, it cleared-up for the main event!

I used a Televue Genesis SDF refracting telescope which has a 540mm focal length and f5.4 aperture - so a 100mm objective. I then fitted a Canon EOS 5D DSLR with a 2x teleconverter, which has proven an effective and sharp combo in the past. So I was working at a real - and effective - focal length of 1080mm at f10.8.

The scope was on a tracking mount, but I hadn't aligned it accurately, so I found the maximum exposures I could get away with were no longer than half a second. Since the reddish effect during totality is very dim, this meant cranking up the ISO further than I'd liked. I shot RAW plus JPEG.

Anyway, here's three quick shots showing a partial before totality and the moment a few minutes before and after totality. All are taken directly from the JPEG originals with daylight white balance and none have been adjusted or tweaked.

The first shot was taken at 1/250 at 100 ISO.

The second and third shots were taken at 0.5 secs at 1600 ISO.

Image

You'll notice I foolishly removed my camera during totality to do some observing with the telescope and as such the third image isn't orientated to match the first two - bah! Looks like I'll be doing some rotating later on this one...

Note: these are crops, but to show you the size of the moon on the originals, here's a full-size, uncropped frame.

Image

What struck me this time was the visibility of the starfield immediately around the Moon during totality, especially with binoculars. So next time I'll be looking to do a longer exposure on a wider field, as the red moon looked quite eerie hung there as a complete disc with stars around it. A rare sight!

If you're interested in eclipses, the undisputed expert is NASA's Fred Espinak, who's website http://www.mreclipse.com/MrEclipse.html will tell you everything you need to know about photographing these beautiful events.

Gordon


Last edited by Gordon Laing on Wed Aug 29, 2007 4:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 3:22 am 
Nice photos :)

Yeah I really felt myself wanting at least a 300mm lens for this event :(


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 11:42 am 
Great photos. :)

Here's my attempt from the eclipse in the UK in March.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pete_vn52/423327821/

I just used my Olympus E400 on a tripod on full zoom and then cut and pasted them all into one! I didn't realise before how qucikly the moon moved - most of my photos were blurred on shots that I didn't think were very long exposures!


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 8:19 pm 
Yeah same! Most of my shots of it when it was copper red were ruined, because I didn't realise it moved that much haha.

Funny thing is one of my favourite shots of the night wasn't actualy of the moon ;) Hehe
Image

Yeah, this is about a 50% Crop I think. Really wish I had a nice big lens :(
Image
Image
There is also a topic on this on the other forums I post on :)

http://www.genmay.com/showthread.php?t=751034


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2007 12:52 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 3:32 pm
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Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
Great work Pete - I wanted to do something similar showing the natural path, but ended up taking close-ish photos at 5 minute intervals, so I'll try and do a comp at a later date. But yeah, the Moon, like all celestial objects, moves quicker than you think, especially at high magnification - and once you hit totality with a Lunar Eclipse, it can be very faint...

I really must learn how to better polar-align my scope down here - there's no handy pole star like the Northern Hemisphere!

Gordon


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