If, on a 35mm "full frame" sensor DSLR, I wished to take a truly large and detailed frame-filling shot of a full moon, what sort of focal length lens would I need? I realize that the moon can have different apparent sizes during the year, but on average, what would you recommend in a lens?

Thank you very kindly!

Hi Mark,

'On average' it does vary a bit, but one could say that given the average diameter (equatorial is also a bit larger than polar diameter) of the moon, and the 'average' viewing distance, it computes to a rule-of-thumb of a bit more than 0.5 degrees (next April 25th it will be 0.54503 degrees). That means that a 100mm focal length will produce on average a 0.8727mm diameter disk, a 200mm FL will produce a 1.7453 mm diameter disk, and so on. So it would take a 2750 mm lens to fill the 24mm of the frame on average, 2523mm on April 25th, 2013.

When you divide that by the sensel pitch of your sensor array, it will give you the number of pixels it will produce.

Cheers,

Bart