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Author Topic: shooting the moon  (Read 19836 times)
samirkharusi
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« Reply #40 on: September 30, 2005, 04:10:28 AM »
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Step by step instructions for astro-type photos:
1. Choose a time when the Moon is highest (nearest zenith). This is to get the least atmospheric muck in the way. Makes a huge difference with focal lengths > 1000mm.
2. Use a loooong lens plus as heavy a tripod as you can lay your hands on. To fill the frame on full-format 35mm with the Moon disc requires 2000mm focal length, 1250mm for APS, etc.
3. If you are focusing manually, then you have to make several attempts. Focus, grab a few frames, refocus, grab another bunch, etc. Invariably one will be sharper than the rest. If you are using a Canon lens with a focal length > 100mm you'll probably be best off using autofocus with the cenral focus spot only. I found this to work very reliably, even with stacked tele-extenders when Canon says it should not.
4. Exposure. Most tripods are too flimsy for looong focal lengths. Use high ISO and high shutter speed. Your lens needs to be closed down only to get to its optimum aperture since depth of field is irrelevant. After you have success at high ISO you can venture into lowering ISO to a level that your tripod can handle. Mirror pre-release is of course assumed. If shooting digital you can easily figure out exposure from the histogram. If shooting film use the Sunny-16 rule as a start and bracket in half stops to longer exposures. Some mirror lenses/scopes lose a lot of light, requiring opening up a stop or even more. If the Moon is at 50% phase (Half Moon) double the exposure for Sunny-16, Quarter Phase requires quadruple Sunny-16, etc. With bracketing for exposure and "bracketing" for focus do not expect more than one decent shot from a 35mm roll. Here is an autofocused bunch of crops using a Canon 600mm f4 lens wide open with extenders (yes, extenders do work very well, despite the nasty rumours you may have heard):
The crop at 1680mm is at 1:1 (100%), the one at 600mm is at 280%, etc.
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wjy
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« Reply #41 on: November 29, 2005, 05:47:40 PM »
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Bobby 18301,
I have had good luck shooting at dusk rather than at full darkness.  When the sky is black the moon tends to be seriously over exposed.  I shot this one with a 300 2.8 and 2x teleconverter with IS on.  I used the RAW converter to darkn the sky to black and help the craters show up better.  I had IS on and I under exposed a 3rd of a stop to help the moon from being too blown out.  I don't remember the exposure, but it was not a long one as I was only using my truck door as support.  I could go find the data if you would like.

Here is the photo.

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Anon E. Mouse
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« Reply #42 on: November 29, 2005, 06:59:05 PM »
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When the sky is black the moon tends to be seriously over exposed.

That is simply a problem with your exposure. I assume you are using your camera meter. I would not bother. I would take some test images and use the histogram to find the best exposure - the sunny 16 rule is a good start. You should be able to get all the detail from the limb to the terminator with the right exposure.
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wjy
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« Reply #43 on: November 29, 2005, 07:33:37 PM »
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That is simply a problem with your exposure. I assume you are using your camera meter. I would not bother. I would take some test images and use the histogram to find the best exposure - the sunny 16 rule is a good start. You should be able to get all the detail from the limb to the terminator with the right exposure.
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Anon,
Of course you are correct, but at least with my 20d, if I underexposed the sky as to get a perfect exposure on the moon, I would end up with some fairly ugly digital noise in the sky area.  It is helpful if you can catch the shot when the sky and the moon are a little closer to the same exposure.  Thanks for the tips however.
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Anon E. Mouse
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« Reply #44 on: November 29, 2005, 10:20:54 PM »
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wjy, why would you get noise underexposing the black sky? Wouldn't you get more noise by overexposing it?
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #45 on: November 29, 2005, 10:23:52 PM »
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Digital likes to show more noise in underexposed areas.  Of course if you want the sky black that isn't an issue.  Just yank the left side of the levels control over and away you go.

But if you don't do that there tends to be banding.  (At least with my 20D.)
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wjy
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« Reply #46 on: November 30, 2005, 01:20:46 PM »
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Anon,
The evil arctic bird speaks the truth, at least when using a 20d, not sure about underexposure noise in Canon's more professional cameras.
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astronut
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« Reply #47 on: June 08, 2007, 04:24:33 PM »
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Does anyone have any tips to give me for shooting a full moon? I know I need to use my tripod but from there I am not sure what shutter speed and what aperature setting to use with my 300 mm lens. I've read most of the stuff on the web and I am still a bit confused.
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The easiest way i know of to shoot a full moon is to shoot it a day before it becomes full, if you want to include it in a photograph. The day before it is full, the exposure for the moon is the same as for the sky at or shortly after moonrise.
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #48 on: June 08, 2007, 08:11:37 PM »
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The moon looks big to the eye but really is small. I found a good telescope between 1500mm and 2500mm (2 halves stitched) works best. I always have to fight the wind so a higher ISO and quicker shutter works for me.
2500mm F8, 1/400sec, ISO 640
Marc
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Marc McCalmont
Ray
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« Reply #49 on: June 09, 2007, 11:19:14 AM »
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Can't resist. Hand-held at 1/250th, f11, ISO 400, 20D, 100-400 IS zoom at 400mm plus 1.4x extender (560mm x 1.6 factor = 900mm).

This shot was a mistake. It's underexposed by about one stop. I should have used ISO 800 with the same exposure. There would have been less noise in the mid-tones. The sunny 16 rule would have produced an even worse underexposure. Ie., 1/ISO at f16 would have been in this case 1/800th at f11 and ISO 400.

It was necessary to use f11 with this lens for sharpest results. Without the extender f8 would have been fine.

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Ray
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« Reply #50 on: June 09, 2007, 12:06:00 PM »
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Hhmm! I'm beginning to think this underexposed hand-held shot with an el cheapo zoom is stacking up quite well against Samir's shot at f4 with the very expensive 600mm prime and presumably tripod. There's clearly some unwanted noise in my shot. Underexposure at high ISOs is disastrous for noise, but detail seems very similar. It's probably just an illusion   .

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