IPhone Moon Imaging without a telescope

IPhone Moon Imaging Without a Telescope

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Have you ever tried to take a picture of the moon with your iphone and been a bit disappointed with the results? In this post I'll go over the technique for how to take pictures of the moon, like the one above, using your iPhone without the use of an astronomy telescope. I hope you'll be pleased with the results.

The Problem

The problem with using your iphone to take a picture of the moon is that the moon is small and bright and the sky is large and dark. The iphone sets its exposure for the night sky so it turns the sensitivity (ISO) up and the exposure time up. This results in a picture much like this one.

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Recognise it?

The Solution

To get a nice image of the moon you need to trick the iPhone into setting its exposure and ISO for the moon. To do this you will need a light source like a torch or even your indoor room lights and an app that allows you to lock the exposure. I found an app called NightCap to be the best for this.


NightCap displays the exposure and ISO setting on the display and it changes in real time as you change the lighting conditions. Underneath the displayed settings is a button labelled "Exp". By pressing this button you can lock the ISO and exposure time. All you have to do is adjust the amount of torchlight shining onto the phone's camera and press the "Exp" button to lock the setting when you have them about right.

I found an ISO of 50 to 100 and an exposure time faster than 1/500 will achieve good results. Then just go ahead and take your picture.

For Added Fun

If you want to take a close up of the moon you can purchase pretty cheap zoom lenses for the iPhone. This is the one I used.

It is a 12x zoom which equates to about a 300mm focal length. The resulting images are bigger but the quality isn't fantastic but for under £25 it's not bad. You can see from the image below that the craters on the moon are just about visible. If you want to purchase one you can click on the picture above to be taken to Amazon.

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Now try.. How to Image Jupiter Cheaply With An Iphone

or… DSLR Astrophotography without a telescope

Find more on: Astrophotography

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