Saturn-Jupiter closest approach and Moon

SumanV

EOS M6 Mark II
Sep 25, 2016
53
18
Hello everyone!

Yesterday was an awesome day to witness and photograph Saturn and Jupiter conjunction with a super-tele lens. I was worried that the clouds may roll in but gods were kind! It was also the first time that I shot with a super tele (Canon 600 mm F4 IS + 1.4xTC) and I can now understand the efforts put by wildlife photographers. I am pleased with my entire experience although in hindsight I should have used a crop sensor camera instead of EOS RP. I have also shot the moon as I had the opportunity to do it.

The Saturn-Jupiter conjunction image is heavily cropped while the moon image is cropped to taste.

Comments and feedback is welcome.

Gear used: Canon EOS RP, Canon 600 mm F4 IS, 1.4xTC (II?)

Regards
Suman
 

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Quirkz

EOS RP
CR Pro
Oct 30, 2014
281
197
Beautiful shot of the moon too. It was too cloudy here unfortunately to see anything
 

SumanV

EOS M6 Mark II
Sep 25, 2016
53
18
Wow. You can see the rings clearly.
Beautiful shot of the moon too. It was too cloudy here unfortunately to see anything
Thanks @Quirkz It was a wonderful experience as the sky was clear. I had used a software (Stellarium) to get an idea of the lens' field of view but the image turned out to be extremely wide. Had I used a crop sensor camera I would have gotten better results although I am perfectly happy with the current set considering that it is my first time.

Regards
Suman
 
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Maximilian

The dark side - I've been there
CR Pro
Nov 7, 2013
3,279
1,688
Germany
Wonderful! :)

At least one place in the world where one could see it.
Here in south-eastern Germany we had fog and clouds for more than one week.
No sun, no moon, not even one star could be seen :(
 

SumanV

EOS M6 Mark II
Sep 25, 2016
53
18
Wonderful! :)

At least one place in the world where one could see it.
Here in south-eastern Germany we had fog and clouds for more than one week.
No sun, no moon, not even one star could be seen :(
Thank you @Maximilian for your kind words. I can understand the frustration with clouds as we have been in that situation before. Just before some astronomical event of significance happens clouds roll in due to a depression in the seas! This time we were lucky as the depression happened couple of days before :)

Was it unusually cold in Germany that day or is it normal?

Regards
Suman
 

stevelee

FT-QL
CR Pro
Jul 6, 2017
1,942
710
Davidson, NC
We had clear days a couple days before the 21st. Then it was rainy on the 20th. The 21st and 22nd were clear here. Then it has been cloudy since. Tonight it should be cold and clear, and I can look to see how far apart they've become. They are also getting closer to the sun in our sky, so setting earlier and earlier. This might be about my last chance to see them close together for the next 20 years.

I and a couple other people have posted pictures in another thread here.
 
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SumanV

EOS M6 Mark II
Sep 25, 2016
53
18
We had clear days a couple days before the 21st. Then it was rainy on the 20th. The 21st and 22nd were clear here. Then it has been cloudy since. Tonight it should be cold and clear, and I can look to see how far apart they've become. They are also getting closer to the sun in our sky, so setting earlier and earlier. This might be about my last chance to see them close together for the next 20 years.

I and a couple other people have posted pictures in another thread here.
Thanks @stevelee I have posted my photos in the thread you mentioned! I didn’t see that thread before I posted here.
Oh, I didn’t realise that they won’t be close together for another 20 years! I consider myself lucky to have experienced this. I also shudder to think what our accessible night skies would be 20 years from now!

Regards
Suman
 
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JPAZ

If only I knew what I was doing.....
CR Pro
Sep 8, 2012
1,049
166
I'm impressed that you were able to get the rings of Saturn with a "big white" and a TC! This might not be ready for the local museum, but wow, great image for you "first" experience with that lens.

I presume you were clamped down on a sturdy tripod. May I ask what ISO, shutter speed and aperture you used?
 

SumanV

EOS M6 Mark II
Sep 25, 2016
53
18
I'm impressed that you were able to get the rings of Saturn with a "big white" and a TC! This might not be ready for the local museum, but wow, great image for you "first" experience with that lens.

I presume you were clamped down on a sturdy tripod. May I ask what ISO, shutter speed and aperture you used?

Thanks @JPAZ for your kind words. It is not a great image compared to what others have obtained but it is my best version considering this as my first attempt. It is also my first image of the planets!

I used a tripod (Benro A3570F, N2 ball head) for the shots. I took a gamble on the tripod and I didn't order a Gitzo on rent as I thought my tripod would be okay (it is okay now as I checked the specs!).

I was fighting not just the weight but also difficulty in spotting due to the narrow FoV. I was originally planning on using a 800 mm and 2X TC! That would have been some experience.

For the Saturn-Jupiter conjunction I used ISO 3200, f5.6 and a 1/30 s shutter speed. These settings were chosen based on trial and error with a view to expose Saturn and Jupiter (Jupiter is brighter than Saturn, so one may have to do exposure bracketing).

For the moon I used: ISO 1600, f/5.6 and 1/500 s shutter speed.

Regards
Suman
 

JPAZ

If only I knew what I was doing.....
CR Pro
Sep 8, 2012
1,049
166
I used a tripod (Benro A3570F, N2 ball head) for the shots. I took a gamble on the tripod and I didn't order a Gitzo on rent as I thought my tripod would be okay (it is okay now as I checked the specs!).

Thanks for the information. For this kind of work, a ball head works with just the right tension to allow easy adjustments but the ability to lock on to an image. If you are able, however, look at Gimble heads. When adjusted to be balanced, I find that easier for very long lenses.

Again, congratulations.
 
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SumanV

EOS M6 Mark II
Sep 25, 2016
53
18
Thanks for the information. For this kind of work, a ball head works with just the right tension to allow easy adjustments but the ability to lock on to an image. If you are able, however, look at Gimble heads. When adjusted to be balanced, I find that easier for very long lenses.

Again, congratulations.
Thanks @JPAZ for the tip regarding ball head. I thought that my ball head would break but luckily it didn’t.
I had another issue with my ball head though and that is because it had only one switch to control the movement/loosen it.
May I know what is the advantage with a gimble head? Would a geared head be beneficial?

Regards
Suman
 

JPAZ

If only I knew what I was doing.....
CR Pro
Sep 8, 2012
1,049
166
May I know what is the advantage with a gimble head? Would a geared head be beneficial?

Regards
Suman

Basically, a Gimbel, when properly adjusted, has the camera and lens balanced. One can move it with the slightest touch and not need to work against the drag of a ball head or not need to tighten / loosen a ball head. It allows for smooth movement of the camera and lens. I often prefer it for wildlife or other shots where movement is frequent. That and a rmote to keep you from shaking the camera by pushing the shutter can often really help (along with fast shutter speeds) for capturing sharp images. I think a geared head would just be too complicated for me and could remove the smoothness of motion when working at this magnification. Another thing to look into is the "hyperfocal distance" to eliminate much of the focus issues.

Anyway, that is just my opinion and how I'd approach the shot. I am sure others have alternative approaches, equally as valid and YMMV.
 

SumanV

EOS M6 Mark II
Sep 25, 2016
53
18
Basically, a Gimbel, when properly adjusted, has the camera and lens balanced. One can move it with the slightest touch and not need to work against the drag of a ball head or not need to tighten / loosen a ball head. It allows for smooth movement of the camera and lens. I often prefer it for wildlife or other shots where movement is frequent. That and a rmote to keep you from shaking the camera by pushing the shutter can often really help (along with fast shutter speeds) for capturing sharp images. I think a geared head would just be too complicated for me and could remove the smoothness of motion when working at this magnification. Another thing to look into is the "hyperfocal distance" to eliminate much of the focus issues.

Anyway, that is just my opinion and how I'd approach the shot. I am sure others have alternative approaches, equally as valid and YMMV.
Many thanks for the reply and advice regarding gimbel head @JPAZ I will surely try this out. I am considering buying a telescope but I like the super tele as it is versatile! I would like to explore bird photography one day too.

Many thanks and regards,
Suman
 
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