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Shoot the moon...

I thought I'd have a go and this is the result, for those interested it was taken handheld at 300mm, f8, 1/800 second, ISO400, with a Canon 20D and 70-300mm IS lens.


I'd taken one on the G10 this evening. Not enough zoom, though!

Frank Bullitt

Alan, if you could crop that so the bottom left 1/4 of the moon was a single picture that would look epic as the detail is very, very clear.

Its so beautiful in a strange, scarred and barren way.

I'm afraid that that picture is as cropped as much as possible, the 20D is not a very high resolution camera and 300mm is the longest lens I have so if that shot is cropped any more it'll pixilate. I might try again on a clearer night and with a tripod but I'll be surprised if any better is possible with this camera and lens.
Chris M Wanted a V-10

I've had a few attempts at shooting the moon and it's not as easy as you think it's going to be.  I bought a cheap 500mm mirror lens about a year ago but the results appear no better than with a 70-300mm lens at its longest reach. I'd like to try again, but first we need some dry, cloud-free evenings :-(

I tried for some last year, but ended up with a load of shots with 'ghosts' in every one!

Annoyed isn't the word, and I'm still not sure what caused it. IIRC, the exposures were in excess of 3 seconds, so it may have been due to the filter I suppose. Ho hum.

Isn't 3 seconds waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too slow? The moon / Earth will move quite a bit in that time so if you don't pan you'll get a blury mess. I think you need to shoot much more quickly, that one of mine was 1/800 sec.

woof woof wrote:
Isn't 3 seconds waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too slow? The moon / Earth will move quite a bit in that time so if you don't pan you'll get a blury mess. I think you need to shoot much more quickly, that one of mine was 1/800 sec.

I imagine I 'R' rather less than 'C' Alan ....... thing is, if it was as you suggest, then I'd expect a kind of "smear" across the frame - instead, what I got was two distinct images of the moon. I'll dig the laptop out tomorrow, and see if I can find them for you to have a look-see.

I find you have to use a very quick exposure to keep the detail down here, like 1/125 or so.

Didn,t you have any colour film ?

  very nice picture

Well, I got the "3" bit right!! Exif info from the last shot of this series.

Model - NIKON D80
ExposureTime - 1/3 seconds
FNumber - 4.80

ISOSpeedRatings - 400
ExifVersion - 0221
DateTimeOriginal - 2008:07:20 22:42:22
DateTimeDigitized - 2008:07:20 22:42:22
ComponentsConfiguration - YCbCr
CompressedBitsPerPixel - 4 (bits/pixel)
ExposureBiasValue - 0.00
MaxApertureValue - F 4.59
MeteringMode - Multi-segment
LightSource - Auto
Flash - Not fired, compulsory flash mode
FocalLength - 155.00 mm

So, it was a fairly cool night, but with no obvious moisture in the air. Camera was tripod-mounted, and as I said before, I have a (Skylight 1B in this case) filter on the lens - as protection you know!

Any ideas anyone?

I suppose one guess could be that it's a reflection between the filter and the lens. You could take the filter off and try again.

But I still think that 3 seconds is way too slow as you can surely only end up with a bright disc with little if any detail and blurring due to the earth / moon movement. With a faster shutter speed you should be able to reduce blur, make the moon less of a bright disc and bring out some detail in it. With a faster shutter speed you'll probably lose some cloud detail so you'll have to balance things to get either good moon detail, good cloud detail or a balance somewhere between the two.

With a relatively small target (the moon) in a dark sky metering accurately may not be possible but with digital it's not really a problem as you can take a picture, check it straight away and if it's not right you can alter something and have another go.

If you're at 155mm I think that you need a shutter speed of 1/200 at a minimum, even if you're using a tripod as the earth and the moon are both moving.

I don't know what lens you're using but lenses are usually at their best stopped down a little from their widest aperture so if at 155mm your max aperture is f5.6 select f8...and so on.

You could try something like the settings that I ended up with and then adjust accordingly. You should certainly be able to bring out some detail in the moon even at 155mm.

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