Share... Hand-held Planets!

alex g

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I'm still astonished by the fact that it's possible to capture recognisable images of the larger planets with a hand-held camera. Granted, the images are pretty small and vague, but nonetheless I find them fascinating.

So let's see what we can come up with! The only stipulations for this thread are:
  • The image must be shot hand-held with a u43 camera (leaning against something solid is allowed!).
  • The subject must be a member of the solar system (but not the Sun, Moon or Earth)
Please include shooting info for the benefit of others.

To kick off, here's Jupiter shot from my rooftop in Manhattan. Four of its moons are visible: Europa, Io, Ganymede and Callisto (Io is just visible crossing the lower left edge of Jupiter). Jupiter's Great Red Spot was facing away from Earth at the time, so it isn't visible. I'd love to see how much better images are when taken from somewhere with less atmospheric and light pollution.

Because the moons of Jupiter are much less bright than the planet itself, I shot pretty hot to capture the moons and then applied about -5EV of local exposure compensation in Lightroom to reveal the atmospheric bands of Jupiter. I also find that increasing 'clarity' in Lightroom is pretty good for bringing out faint points of light, like distant moons. I generally dislike the effect, but in this situation it seems to work well.

I enlarged the final image to 200%, so as to make it more... visible. :)

E-M1 mk II + 300/4 + TC (420mm). 1/60 sec @ f/8.0, ISO400. Preset manual focus.
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alex g

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A slightly better shot of Jupiter than the previous one — I think I nailed focus a bit better this time. Handheld with the 300/4 + MC-14 (420mm) on the E-M1.2, as before. 1/250th @ f/7.1, ISO400. And -7ºC... what was I thinking? :ninja:

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Jock Elliott

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A slightly better shot of Jupiter than the previous one — I think I nailed focus a bit better this time. Handheld with the 300/4 + MC-14 (420mm) on the E-M1.2, as before. 1/250th @ f/7.1, ISO400. And -7ºC... what was I thinking? :ninja:

View attachment 510857
Very nice! Next time, how about kicking in the 2X digital zoom to see if that helps any . . .

As to the "-7 degrees C," file that under "how I suffer for my art!" (I've been known to photograph winter sunrises at below zero F)

I look forward to seeing your further experiments.

Cheers, Jock
 

Barking

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Venus last night
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Barking

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Just had play with another capture from the same set...have lifted the structure in Snapseed...think it gives it a sci-fi look?
 

Egregius V

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Any idea what the blob is in the lower right quarter?
Probably an old Soviet probe from the '70s, made nearly indestructible to withstand the awesomely hellish environment of Venus. Scientific instrument, nothing to worry about. Unless by some freak accident it goes mad and returns to Earth to ravage our cities... :hide:

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0702050/
 

Machi

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I don't want to spoil a fun but that's extremely blurred image of Venus.
Venus now looks like this:

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Your second image looks focused (there is a glimpse of the real shape of Venus) but it's overexposed.
Venus is a very bright target and for lens at f/6.3 and ISO200 it needs exposure times well under 1/100 sec.
According to exif, your image is overexposed by factor of one thousand!
Also 180mm is too short for showing anything beyond basic shape of crescent Venus as it has now diameter of just 4-5 pixels with such lens.
 

Barking

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I don't want to spoil a fun but that's extremely blurred image of Venus.
Venus now looks like this:

View attachment 849808

Your second image looks focused (there is a glimpse of the real shape of Venus) but it's overexposed.
Venus is a very bright target and for lens at f/6.3 and ISO200 it needs exposure times well under 1/100 sec.
According to exif, your image is overexposed by factor of one thousand!
Also 180mm is too short for showing anything beyond basic shape of crescent Venus as it has now diameter of just 4-5 pixels with such lens.
Thanks for the comments...
I quite agree it's very blurred, but as a first effort I'm quite pleased I even got that. Exposure at the level you suggest requires a tripod, doesn't it? You don't show your exif detail, do you have it as a comparison? The longest lens I have is 45-200, so it's a little limiting for planetary photography
 

Machi

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Thanks for the comments...
You are welcome!

Exposure at the level you suggest requires a tripod, doesn't it?
You don't need tripod. Alex did his first shot at even longer exposure time (1/60s).
For Venus you can use something like f/5.6 1/500-1/1000s ISO200, easily handholdable even with long lens.

You don't show your exif detail, /do you have it as a comparison? The longest lens I have is 45-200, so it's a little limiting for planetary photography
I generally don't use classic photography as my tool for planetary imaging, I'm using method called "lucky imaging" which uses video and stacking. Last time (in early September) I've used for Venus video with exposures f/18, 1/200s, ISO200 (I'll show some results soon as there is now relatively large Mars on the sky).

But I found this old handholded image when I was shooting airplane and Venus surprisingly came to the frame. It's not perfectly focused as it was quick shot with old manual zoom Super Cosina 100-500 f/5.6-8 at 500 mm but it shows crescent Venus which is almost overexposed even when exposure was f/8, 1/800s, ISO320.

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As to the lens, 200mm on M43 camera should be enough to show crescent Venus, craters on the Moon, large Sunspots (with appropriate filter) and moons of Jupiter. For more details one needs bigger lens, ideally dedicated astro telescope.
 

comment23

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Cool thread. Like @alex g in the OP, it just blows me away that these kind of images are even possible handheld with consumer equipment.

Here’s a couple I took whilst scouting the NEOWISE comet earlier in the year. All massive crops, rubbish exposure skills, but still amazed but what I got.

Jupiter - exposed for the moons
4E2BDD9B-F93C-4135-ABF3-7E183E858B91.jpeg
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Jupiter - exposed for the planet
83074703-1FB5-43DA-AB4E-F6159646F31B.jpeg
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Saturn
0628BD10-E0A5-48E5-9453-6EEE2E21FE05.jpeg
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Barking

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You are welcome!


You don't need tripod. Alex did his first shot at even longer exposure time (1/60s).
For Venus you can use something like f/5.6 1/500-1/1000s ISO200, easily handholdable even with long lens.


I generally don't use classic photography as my tool for planetary imaging, I'm using method called "lucky imaging" which uses video and stacking. Last time (in early September) I've used for Venus video with exposures f/18, 1/200s, ISO200 (I'll show some results soon as there is now relatively large Mars on the sky).

But I found this old handholded image when I was shooting airplane and Venus surprisingly came to the frame. It's not perfectly focused as it was quick shot with old manual zoom Super Cosina 100-500 f/5.6-8 at 500 mm but it shows crescent Venus which is almost overexposed even when exposure was f/8, 1/800s, ISO320.

View attachment 849868

As to the lens, 200mm on M43 camera should be enough to show crescent Venus, craters on the Moon, large Sunspots (with appropriate filter) and moons of Jupiter. For more details one needs bigger lens, ideally dedicated astro telescope.
Thanks, for that...I need to go out and practice more!!
 

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