Moon Sharpness Test #1

So I own a few telephoto lenses and I decided to do a quick test (its been cloudy and finally a clear night and the Full moon is all I have to image). I devised this quick test as I wanted to see which lens could produce the most detailed photo (a combination of sharpness, contrast, and detail).

Lunar Sharpness Test with the William Optics RedCat 51

So this ended up being a comparison test between the RedCat51 which is toted to be extremely sharp against other lenses and telescopes I owned. Specifically I wanted to see how it preformed against the EgdeHD 8″ and various Nikkor Telephoto Lenses in the 200-300mm.

I tossed a few other fun lenses in there like the plastic Lomo 120mm lens, a compact 500mm Mirror Lens and a Nifty Fifty – I didn’t expect great things form these lenses but I had them handy.

Optics Used:

  • Nikon 50mm
  • Lomo 120mm Plastic Lens
  • Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8
  • Soligor 200mm f2.8
  • Nikkor 300mm
  • Tokina 500mm Mirror Lens
  • William Optics RedCat 51
  • Celestron EdgeHD8

The test is not designed to be scientific end all be all, rather 10-15 photos with each lens and PIPP used to determined the best quality (highest contrast) image from each run. I then scaled them so they all matched the RedCat51 @ 250mm and balanced the overall exposure to match as closely as I could. The gallery below has the results.

Effect of the 1.7x Adapter (To Scale) – Large Moon but less sharp image

While testing the center sharpness of a lens with Lunar or Planetary imagery is not the most ideal solution for testing edge to edge overall sharpness, it is a quick and dirty method that can show which lenses in one’s arsenal should be considered for a side by side test on a more expansive astronomical target, which is the next step in this lens testing regiment.

EdgeHD8 Edited in Pixinsight and Photoshop

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