Mars

Jul 6, 2017
784
45
Davidson, NC
#1
Mars is about as close as it ever gets to the earth now, and therefore is about as bright as ti gets. I appears in the sky close to the moon.

So about 1:30 after the moon had got high in the sky, I went out with the telephoto lens to see whether I could take a picture of the two together. I found that while they look close in the sky, I really couldn’t get them in the same picture. If I zoomed in enough to make Mars visible in the picture, I couldn’t get the moon in the frame. And if I zoomed out enough to get both in the frame, Mars was too small a dot to show up.

So I decided I would zoom in to 400mm and see what Mars looked like. While it is a long lens, it is certainly no telescope. But Mars looked like more than just a point of light.

This is the way it showed up in the picture. I did not enhance the color or enlarge anything. This is a 100% crop out of the center of the frame:

 
Jan 16, 2014
1,239
6
www.kbvp.com
#4
As far as resolution goes, this shot was of the moon and Jupiter. Resolution plays a key roll, but atmospherics kills a good amount of detail. When high in the sky, atmospherics are much less of an issue. Mars was low on the horizon and all the smoke from the fires didn't help. Getting the bands on Jupiter was surprising.

Jupiter inset to original Conjunction photo / Keith Breazeal
by Keith Breazeal, on Flickr
 

AlanF

EOS 5DS R
Aug 16, 2012
3,956
193
#5
I put the 2x on the 100-400 and used the little M5. Good grief. It's like shooting the ISS- 16 pixels wide.
Someone posted a photo of the ISS taken with a Sigma Contemporary C, and I was shocked that they could resolve the solar panel wings. Can anyone remember the post?
 
Jul 6, 2017
784
45
Davidson, NC
#8
In 2002 I took some pictures of Jupiter with an 8" telescope and color slide film in my FT-QL, and I didn't get a lot more detail in the clouds than Keith did with his camera. Jupiter photo I wasn't ashamed of my results. Given that my clock drive was not that accurate and I had just sort of eyeballed the angle toward Polaris and I couldn't really see enough light on the screen to focus, I felt sort of lucky to get anything at all that looked like Jupiter. But I haven't been particularly proud of it, either. I just put the photos on my web site because friends, especially the one who had given me his old telescope, would find it of interest to see what I was up to.

And then a few weeks ago there was a viewing party in the main quad of the nearby college. Telescopes better than my own and aimed and tracked by computerized drives were set up. One was aimed at Jupiter, and behold, when I looked through it, I decided my photos weren't that bad after all.
 
Likes: KeithBreazeal
Jan 16, 2014
1,239
6
www.kbvp.com
#10
Thanks guys :) I looked into better telescopes but decided that it would be going down the "rabbit hole" of expenses. Like still photography- maybe a second body and just a "few" more lenses.
 
Jan 16, 2014
1,239
6
www.kbvp.com
#11
In 2002 I took some pictures of Jupiter with an 8" telescope and color slide film in my FT-QL, and I didn't get a lot more detail in the clouds than Keith did with his camera. Jupiter photo I wasn't ashamed of my results. Given that my clock drive was not that accurate and I had just sort of eyeballed the angle toward Polaris and I couldn't really see enough light on the screen to focus, I felt sort of lucky to get anything at all that looked like Jupiter. But I haven't been particularly proud of it, either. I just put the photos on my web site because friends, especially the one who had given me his old telescope, would find it of interest to see what I was up to.

And then a few weeks ago there was a viewing party in the main quad of the nearby college. Telescopes better than my own and aimed and tracked by computerized drives were set up. One was aimed at Jupiter, and behold, when I looked through it, I decided my photos weren't that bad after all.
The only way to get better images is to shoot several hundred, pick the ones with the least atmospheric distortion, then stack the keepers. Another problem arises when you use this method- planetary rotation. There is software to deal with that, but it gets very time consuming. It also helps to buy property specifically for its dark skies, elevation, humidity, and average weather. Then there is the thought of building your own observatory.
 

AlanF

EOS 5DS R
Aug 16, 2012
3,956
193
#13
Thanks guys :) I looked into better telescopes but decided that it would be going down the "rabbit hole" of expenses. Like still photography- maybe a second body and just a "few" more lenses.
We can aspire to competing with the pros in producing photos of sports, scenes, wildlife, arty stuff etc, but competing with observatories and satellites is at a different level.
 
Likes: KeithBreazeal