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.
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.
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.