Summer moon
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Summer moon video

Summer moon video

I got the chance the last few nights to make use of my spotting scope to get some video footage of the full moon.

I used an adaptor to connect my Canon 55oD to the eyepiece of the spotting scope. I learned a couple of valuable lessons the first night, which meant the video from the second night was considerably better. That said, night two was not without it’s unforced errors 🙂

Lesson one: Locate the moon in the spotting scope before attaching the camera. I must have spent 10 minutes trying to find the moon using the lcd screen on the back of the camera. Since I hadn’t located the moon first, I didn’t even know if I was focussed correctly, which meant I was looking for a blurry needle in the proverbial. On a related note, which I did at least know beforehand, was to use minimum magnification while searching.

Lesson two was to use the heaviest tripod possible. I started off with my normal  Slik 90, but the mated scope and camera vibrated like a guitar string if I so much as breathed on it. Attempting to focus was almost impossible because the the image on the lcd was bouncing around so much. I took a few stills, but had to set the self-time to 10 seconds just to let the vibrations die down.

The scope provides magnification from 25 to 75 times, though the image gets much darker towards the maximum. At 25 times magnification, the moon fit in the view with a very small margin at the top and bottom of the frame.

In order to get a solid fit, it’s necessary to push the adaptor quite far down the scope eyepiece. The tube mount (shown above) allows you to rotate the camera independently of the eyepiece. This is vital since zooming involves twisting the eyepiece, which would in turn rotate the camera.

The first night I shot at around 9 pm, and there was still a lot of heat haze which was very noticable through the scope. It made for some very wobbly footage, but interesting nonetheless. I waited until 11.30 the following night which gave a much less distorted effect, though of course there was still atmospheric distortion visible.

[vimeo clip_id=26421368 byline=”0″ portrait=”0″ width=”580″ title=”0″]

I never realised before how fast the moon moves across the sky. When zoomed in you can actually see it move across the frame, as can be seen in the footage below from the second night.

[vimeo clip_id=26487806 byline=”0″ portrait=”0″ width=”580″ title=”0″]

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