May 30th, 2020, 10:00 p.m. local time

With excellent viewing conditions on this cool night, I took a number of pictures of the Moon with my telescope and iPhone.  I was very pleased with this batch, so much so that I did hardly any touch-ups on the posted image.  This is effectively the raw NightCap TIF with only extremely minor color and sharpness correction.  Even the framing came out nicely with no need to re-crop from the native iPhone NightCap source.

I think a few factors contributed to the quality of this image.  I took special care to try to get the camera mount aligned as best as I could with the eyepiece.  And possibly more importantly, I did not use a Moon filter this time.  Moon filters are intended for viewing, not astro-imaging, and I keep forgetting that, among all the many little tidbits of useful cues I’ve accumulated over the years.  Let your camera/phone do the light exposure reduction, and you’re bound to get a better final picture.

Image settings for reference:

  • 254mm Dobsonian
  • f/1.8
  • 1/1011 sec exposure
  • ISO 24
  • 14.5mm eyepiece (1.25″)
  • No eyepiece filter
  • iPhone XS with NightCap app on eyepiece mount