by Cory Rice ·Posted 05/16/2023
Lensbaby has announced the OMNI Universal Expansion Pack with Shapes: eight new tools for generating controlled distortions in photos and videos. Using a blend of colored mirrors and clear shapes, the kit can be used to produce flare and reflections, manipulate contrast, and shape bokeh in repeatable ways.
by Todd Vorenkamp ·Posted 05/10/2022
In Part 1 of this three-part series, we discussed the advantages of using binoculars for astronomical viewing of the night sky and we talked about the different types of targets you can enjoy on clear, dark nights. At the conclusion of each section, I mentioned “binocular magnification considerations.” Here, we will get into that subject, as well as other characteristics of binoculars that make them better, or worse, for studying the stars. Then, in
by Todd Vorenkamp ·Posted 07/26/2023
Binoculars make great gifts. Regardless of who you are shopping for, or what their hobbies are, a nice pair of binoculars can be appreciated and enjoyed by just about anyone. If you think about it, almost all of us find ourselves out in the world wishing we could have a closer view of something almost every day. Now that I have convinced you to gift a beautiful pair of binoculars, you’ll click through to the binocular section of the B&H website
by Todd Vorenkamp ·Posted 10/24/2019
When photographing a planetary transit of the sun, be it Mercury or Venus, all of the same safety precautions of solar photography are required, without exception. This is because you are not photographing a planet in the night sky, you are photographing the sun as a planet passes between Earth and the sun. Images of the transit of Mercury and Venus from NASA/JPL Photographing the sun poses a very real danger to not only your camera gear, but to your eyes and eyesight. Let’s discuss safety precautions for photographing the sun with or without
by Todd Vorenkamp ·Posted 10/29/2019
When the inner planets, Mercury and Venus, pass between Earth and the Sun, it is known as a “planetary transit.” While not as visually spectacular as a solar eclipse, the transit of our inner solar system’s neighbors is a remarkable sight to viewers on Earth. Unfortunately, these events are not visible to the naked eye, so let’s discuss what gear is recommended for photographing and viewing the transits. Astronomical images NASA/JPL Before you invest in solar viewing optics, please know that these transit events are rare.
by Todd Vorenkamp ·Posted 10/28/2019
On November 11, 2019, the planet Mercury, when viewed from our home on Planet Earth, will pass between Earth and the sun—a planetary transit across the face of the sun. Above: A composite photograph of the 2016 transit of Mercury  © NASA/JPL. Safety First The sun is visible to the naked eye (obviously), but Mercury is so small and distant, you cannot view the event without a telescope, binoculars, or a telephoto camera lens. IMPORTANT: These devices need to be specially built for solar viewing or properly filtered. For information on how to
by Christopher Witt ·Posted 10/28/2019
On the morning of Monday, November 11, 2019, the planet Mercury will transit the Sun for the first time since 2016. The transit of a planet across the face of the Sun is a relatively rare occurrence since, as seen from Earth, only transits of Mercury and Venus are possible—those being the only two planets within the inner solar system and closer to the sun than our own. There are only about 13 transits of Mercury each century, and while it’s only been three years since the last transit, the next one isn’t for another 20! Why is there such an
by Staff Writer ·Posted 01/22/2019
Bringing the accuracy of pinpoint distance measurement with a range of up to 2,800 yards, the new Leica Rangemaster CRF 2800.COM is the first compact Leica laser rangefinder capable of a Bluetooth connection to your mobile device equipped with the new Leica Hunting App. The wireless connection also works with your Kestrel Elite weather meter. The Rangemaster CRF 2800.COM gives a 7 x 24 optical view of your target with 15mm eye relief
by Christopher Witt ·Posted 08/03/2018
Now that the March of the Planets is winding down, I’d bet you’re wondering what astronomical wonders await us in the back half of the year. Well, wonder no more! The Perseid Meteor Shower is coming, and it’s the biggest shower of the year, hitting its peak on the night of August 12-13, 2018.  Before we get too far, let’s take a step back and talk about what a meteor shower is. Showers occur when the earth passes
by Christopher Witt ·Posted 04/13/2018
The astronomical phenomena of a planet moving into opposition isn’t unique—but what is unique is when three planets are in opposition in quick succession. This spring, the three bright outer planets—Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars—will be at opposition during a span of just 79 days. Images courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute/Cornell Jupiter’s opposition occurred first, on May 8, in the constellation Libra. Next was Saturn’s opposition, which occurred on June 27, just above the Teapot stars of Sagittarius. Finally, the opposition of
5,100 Views ·Posted 05/05/2017
In this video, photographer David Flores explains how to capture photos through a spotting scope with a smartphone—a process known as digiscoping. Using the 20-60x80mm Vanguard Endeavor XF and the Carson HookUpz smartphone adapter, Flores explains the features and benefits of the Endeavor and how, when
by Christopher Witt ·Posted 12/06/2019
Humans’ fascination with the stars is as old as our ability to think and ask questions. For millennia we, as a species, were limited to observing the heavens with just our eyes. Of course, back then we were able to see more because light pollution didn’t exist, but making detailed observations was impossible. The invention of the microscope led to the development of the telescope, which allowed people to finally start exploring the larger universe. As technological advances were made and telescopes got bigger and better, their reach and the
by Christopher Witt ·Posted 12/09/2019
Despite their popularity, the way binoculars work, what makes one better (or different) than another, and what all the numbers mean, are still rather mysterious to many prospective buyers. Read on and find out all you need to know about the ubiquitous binocular before making your choice so you can be sure you’re choosing the right one for whatever you’re planning on viewing. The Basics Simply stated, binoculars use a series of lenses, elements, and prisms to produce a magnified view of distant people, places, or things. Using two parallel