Monday, February 09, 2009

20090209 Penumbral Lunar Eclipse

There's a real time boardcast from HKAS:

And a while ago when I was outside with my elder daughter, we could see a yellowish and lovely lunar disk. If my kids could fall asleep early, I will try to take my DSLR out to take a few snapshots, and of course, my 10x30 Canon IS will be with me.


One of my kids were still having her eyes wide open, couldn't go yet. The helper was only able to take care of them after they fall asleep, she couldn't make them sleep yet... (22:21 GMT+8, around 10 minutes before the deepest moment)

The Observation Log:

Just back from down stair, my kids were sleeping peacefully. I didn't leave them alone, my helper is staying with them. I just took some shots down stair where we have plenty of lighting.

I took with my Canon 450D with a 200mm f2.8L and Kenko 2x. I also brought my Canon 10x30 IS with me.

The view is interesting to the naked eyes, it's very noticeable since the air is dirty, I would say the transparency is like 2/10 or at most 3/10. With my 10x30 IS, the view is just wonderful. You could say a gradual dimming effect from one corner of the moon. Despite the moon is nearly directly overhead, the IS function is superb, I feel like using it on a tripod. Very nice! The view through the view finder of the camera at 400mm effective focal length is also nice, and if I were lazy, this view is interesting enough, but then who will be that lazy to bring as little as a 10x30? This is what's so good about the 10x30!

This is the first time that I really observed a penumbral lunar eclipse. I didn't even dare to take a look before. Now, I know that I had missed something.

I did a series of exposures at f/5.6 from 1/4000s, 1/2000s, 1/1000s, 1/500s, 1/250s all the way down to 1/30s at ISO 400. Of course, I tried some other exposures as well.

The Images

Under-exposure, 1/4000s at f5.6, ISO 400, this shows the dimming effect rather nicely:-

Over-exposure, 1/125s at f5.6, ISO 400, I love this one most, all the lunar disc is overexposed except the eclipse portion:-

This is an auto-exposure, by using spot metering, auto-ISO (ISO 320 which I found later), and P mode, this one reflects the reality nicely:-

Finally we have a HDR (high dynamic range) shot which is a combination of exposures from 1/4000s to 1/125s:-


One more shot is added here after the eclipse, to compare with the overexposed one above, notice that the illumination is uniform:

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