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How to photograph the MOON ?
Hello everyone :o).

I am an extreme beginner to the photography hobby. I've just bought recently a Nikon D40 camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor Lens..

I was wondering if it's possible to photograph the moon and other night scenery (without flash) with this camera and with this lens. If so, HOW? What should be the settings on my camera to photograph the moon? So far, I wasn't able to take a good picture of the moon - all I am getting is one blurred big white dot on the screen, lol. I've been successful taking other non-night-scenery pictures though..

Is it possible to take the moon and night scenery pictures with this camera and this lens WITHOUT a tripod? Or do I absolutely need the tripod?.

Thanks for any help :o)..

Comments (35)

The moon is a full sun lit object. So set the camera to manual..

1/800th, f8, ISO 200 or there abouts.....of course everything else will be really dark. Try to silhouette clouds or trees or buildings to make it interesting.A member of the rabble in good standing...

Comment #1

Every photographer has to learn how to shoot the moon. That's the basic subject. It's a practice of exposure. Although 18-55mm is too short. I use 400mm+2xTC to get better size..

Anyway, Set at P mode aim at the moon and press shutter half way to get the exposure. Reset at M mode and adjust to the same exposure. You absolutely need a tripod unless the sun is still out. Shoot the moon and try one stop down, try two stops down, try ..., Until you see the surface of the moon..

If you understand what I mean, have fun. If not, forget it. You need to take a fundamental photography class first..

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- Pro freelancer taking assignments in sports, concert and any events, especially fun assignments.

- Daughter asked Mom: 'Is dad a full time photographer now? Does he still have his old job?'http://SoCalConcerts.PhotoReflect.com/http://AndreTorng.PhotoReflect.com/..

Comment #2

If you are looking to properly expose the moon, you should use what us old photographers call the "sunny F16 rule"..

To determine exposure in sunshine on a sunny day on earth, you can take the ISO of the film make that the exposure time at F16..

In other words, for ISO 200, you should shoot at F16 at 1/200 (1/250 is close enough)..

Why use the same exposure for the moon that you would use for sunlit earth? Well, it's the same sun at the same distance..

Use that as a good starting point and bracket. Good luck with it..

DIPics.

VenusNY wrote:.

Hello everyone :o).

I am an extreme beginner to the photography hobby. I've just boughtrecently a Nikon D40 camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II AF-S DXZoom-Nikkor Lens..

I was wondering if it's possible to photograph the moon and othernight scenery (without flash) with this camera and with this lens. Ifso, HOW? What should be the settings on my camera to photograph themoon? So far, I wasn't able to take a good picture of the moon - allI am getting is one blurred big white dot on the screen, lol. I'vebeen successful taking other non-night-scenery pictures though..

Is it possible to take the moon and night scenery pictures with thiscamera and this lens WITHOUT a tripod? Or do I absolutely need thetripod?.

Thanks for any help :o)..

Comment #3

VenusNY wrote:.

I was wondering if it's possible to photograph the moon and othernight scenery (without flash) with this camera and with this lens.....

Is it possible to take the moon and night scenery pictures with thiscamera and this lens WITHOUT a tripod? Or do I absolutely need thetripod?.

For shooting the moon, the "sunny 16 rule as suggested elsewhere is the way to go..

If you're seeking to shoot "night scenery" then for any kind of image you're probably going to need an exposure longer than you can hand hold. With a long enough exposure, it's possible to "turn night into daylight" the problem is, if you're seeking to have the moon in the picture as well, it'll be a long blurry trail (as will any bright stars)..

Now shooting start trails can be fun too..

'Nice pen, bet you write good stories with it.'..

Comment #4

Thank you everyone for your replies  I will see what I can do with all your advice. I'll try to experiment with my camera and see what happens. I am really hoping to get those nice moon pictures!.

Anyway, YES, I am indeed the worst beginner kind there can be and have never taken any photography classes (took other art classes though such as painting, drawing, graphic design, etc.). I never intended to be some professional photographer. I simply wanted a better camera and better quality pictures. However, I understand that to produce these better quality pictures, I need to learn how to use DSLR cameras properlyas well as the basics of photography. Which is what I am trying to do. So far, I have gone over the terms in this forum's Glossary section a few times.

I am still in the process of reading it. In the meantime, I am experimenting with the camera..

Most of the pictures I take, including the moon pictures I was trying to take (unsuccessfully so far), are in the "P" mode. I like this mode best. I really find the little buttons for "Landscape", "Portrait", etc ... pretty useless - should this be so? I found that I get better photos using the P mode - should that be so too?.

Anyway, here are some of the "experimental" pictures I took so far. What do you think? Any constructive criticism is very welcome .

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Comment #5

The plant shots, and perhaps the cats are the best technically in my view. Decent exposures and focus - though nearly all of these seems to have high noise, very noticeable in the backgrounds. What were the ISO settings?.

I can perhaps see the need for high ISO for the fish shots which were perhaps in a tank, handheld, but not the fir tree one..

But pretty good, keep photographing, go outdoors and take some landscapes perhaps..

Alex..

Comment #6

I am quite new to photography but I have had some experience with a Canon EOS 500N when I was younger. Have recently upgraded to a Canon 400D..

I too feel there is quite a bit of noise in your shots, some more than others. As was said previously, check the ISO setting. I use as low an ISO as I can get away with to minimise noise..

I also have the desire to get some great shots of the moon. I got my 400D too late be able to get shots of the total lunar eclipse we had here recently. If the only lens you have goes to 55mm, you won't get close enough. The example I present here is a shot I took at 200mm. I'm currently evaluating my choices in lenses to get me to 400mm. I also took it handheld and used autofocus, it was just a snap I took because I couldn't be bothered with my tripod haha..

Http://picasaweb.google.com/.../grazmo/RandomShots/photo#5115979604357905538..

Comment #7

To take a picture of the moon you need-.

Long lens 1000mm(35mm equivelent) about.high iso(800?) to force afaster shutter speed..

Exposure-the moon, odd as it sounds is hign noon sunlit. just like noon on earth. we are 240000 miles to moon, BUT earth or moon is 93000000 miles to sun. that determines exposure. as other replyer stated use sunny 16 rule. that is for a full moon 1/iso at f16.

Shoot a very hign shutter speed to start, take more than 1 shot at each shutter speed(3) then go down to about 1/30sec.use stong tripod..

Use cable shutter release or self timer. if self timer this will take a while, and you will have to keep adjusting moon in viewfinder.Use mirror lockup if your camera has it.Turn IS,VR,SR off, your camera is on a tripod..

DO NOT TRUST LIGHT METER IN CAMERA. it is being fooled by all the black sky. even spot meter, if available will not help, it won't go small enough to get moon only. moon is only 1/2degree wide, smaller than any spot meter.get away from city. turbulance and lights are bad news.if 1000mm or so not available, use biggest available. crop in post-processing.not as good as big lens but will work.shoot many pics, you can always delete later..

Happy moon pics. good luck.also-sunny 16 rule-i/iso is shutter speed. if iso is 100 then shutter speed is 1/100about.fstop is 16.0..

The f stop is f16. this a starting point. any lens is not at max sharpness at f16, so adjust fstop to f8 or f11, and move shutter acccordingly..

Check moonrise times in your area. you want about 3 hours after moonrise to start your pic taking. this gives the moon time to get far enough above the horizon to clear the horizontal atmosphere and turbelance..

You also need crystal clear skys. NO rpt NO haze, clouds, or humidity. humidity is noticable if you have corana around the moon, this could also be haze. in which case shoot on another night.happy moon pics..

Garysecond reply-on the subject of lenses-.

I use the bigma(sigma50-500+1.4converter). a smaller lenses will work, you just have to crop. but, if cropping heavily do not expect a lot of detail, you just won't get it. though remember any lens is multiplied by the crop factor. so your 135 becomes about 200-205mm..

I shoot at iso800 and at f8.0 end up at about200th-400th of a sec. when start taking the shot I start at 1/1000 and go down to about a 1/30. I also should three shots at each shutter speed, thus increasing the odds of getting a good one somewhere in the bunch. I expect to hit the good shots as stated at about 200th-400th..

Do not shoot if high humidity or haze or any kind of atmosspheric turbelence. it just is a waste of memory and time. I shot originally in a park in Detroit michigan on what I thought was a clear night, forget it. I actually got some good pics 200 miles north on the shore of Lake Huron. much better..

0ne thought, if available you can try putting a 2X converter on the lens, that would get to over 400mm. there are also several moon pic takers that use more than I converter. 2 2Xs or a 2X and a 1.4. it sound odd but the results are worth it. they are better than the crop heavy method..

Do not underestimate how bright a 3/4 or just under full is in terms of brightness. it equal to highnoon on a cloudless day in the summer.focus-.

Put lens on manual focus. then put it on infinity(assuming lens does not focus past infinity,some do) or manual focus..

F16.0 comes from the rule of 16. it is the starting point. if you want f8.0, as I use, then you move the shutter speed accordingly to get back to the EV. it is 1/iso for shutter speed under rule of 16. for f8.0 and iso500, for example, you move 2stops or 1/125. at iso500 the shutter speed is 1/500..

By the way, the above set of instructions work, I just got back from oscoda michigan, I live in detroit, used the same instructions, it worked..

Also, with my setup: pentax *istD, bigma50-500 at 500, 2x converter, this gives 35mm equiv of 1500mm. the moon's size is almost exactly 1/2 of the short side of the frame. in other words, you need all the telephoto power you can get...

Comment #8

Thank you ALL once again! :o) Especially you Gary: thanks so much for your time and your detailed response - I really appreciate it :o) Well, I have some very bad news - I live in New York City area where humidity is ALWAYS VERY HIGH :o( and the "turbulence" you're referring to, must be VERY HIGH too since it's a horribly loud and busy city. I guess I'll have to wait until I have the time to get away as far from NYC as I can into a place with low humidity and turbulence. But thank you all once again..

Some one of you asked about my ISO settings on each photo. Here are the data of each picture:.

(1) The closeup of fish eyes:Flash used: NoFocal length: 55.0mm (35mm equivalent: 82mm)Exposure time: 0.033 s (1/30)Aperture: f/5.6ISO equiv.: 1400Whitebalance: AutoMetering Mode: matrixExposure: program (auto).

(2) The fish:Flash used: NoFocal length: 55.0mm (35mm equivalent: 82mm)Exposure time: 0.033 s (1/30)Aperture: f/5.6ISO equiv.: 1600Whitebalance: AutoMetering Mode: matrixExposure: program (auto).

(3) Calico cat:Flash used: NoFocal length: 55.0mm (35mm equivalent: 82mm)Exposure time: 0.033 s (1/30)Aperture: f/5.6ISO equiv.: 1600Whitebalance: AutoMetering Mode: matrixExposure: program (auto).

(4) Tabby cat:Flash used: Yes (auto)Focal length: 55.0mm (35mm equivalent: 82mm)Exposure time: 0.0080 s (1/125)Aperture: f/5.6ISO equiv.: 200Whitebalance: AutoMetering Mode: matrix.

(5) Flower:Flash used: NoFocal length: 55.0mm (35mm equivalent: 82mm)Exposure time: 0.0025 s (1/400)Aperture: f/10.0ISO equiv.: 200Whitebalance: AutoMetering Mode: matrix.

(6) Small fish (it was INCREDIBLY hard to photograph as it would move non-stop):Flash used: Yes (auto)Focal length: 55.0mm (35mm equivalent: 82mm)Exposure time: 0.017 s (1/60)Aperture: f/5.6ISO equiv.: 400Whitebalance: AutoMetering Mode: matrix.

(7) Eye-glasses:Flash used: NoFocal length: 55.0mm (35mm equivalent: 82mm)Exposure time: 0.025 s (1/40)Aperture: f/5.6ISO equiv.: 800Whitebalance: AutoMetering Mode: matrix.

(8) Pine tree branch:Flash used: NoFocal length: 55.0mm (35mm equivalent: 82mm)Exposure time: 0.033 s (1/30)Aperture: f/5.6ISO equiv.: 720Whitebalance: ManualMetering Mode: matrixExposure: program (auto).

(9) Tree leaves:Flash used: NoFocal length: 55.0mm (35mm equivalent: 82mm)Exposure time: 0.033 s (1/30)Aperture: f/5.6ISO equiv.: 720Whitebalance: AutoMetering Mode: matrixExposure: program (auto).

Any comments about the settings for particular photos?..

Comment #9

VenusNY wrote:.

Hello everyone :o).

I am an extreme beginner to the photography hobby. I've just boughtrecently a Nikon D40 camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II AF-S DXZoom-Nikkor Lens.I was wondering if it's possible to photograph the moon and othernight scenery (without flash) with this camera and with this lens. Ifso, HOW? What should be the settings on my camera to photograph themoon? So far, I wasn't able to take a good picture of the moon - allI am getting is one blurred big white dot on the screen, lol. I'vebeen successful taking other non-night-scenery pictures though..

Thats about all you will ever get of the moon with a tiddly little 55mm FL lens...You really need to use a big FL lens, like at least 600mm minimum, to get anything worth keeping.I use an 1100mm mirror lens and I dont even think thats long enough sometimes!Heres the sort of thing I get with it:.

Http://sigmasd10.fotopic.net/p32679122.html.

And here is one I took during a lunar eclipse:.

Http://sigmasd10.fotopic.net/p39176685.html.

Is it possible to take the moon and night scenery pictures with thiscamera and this lens WITHOUT a tripod? Or do I absolutely need thetripod?.

When using large FL lenses a tripod is an essential tool..

DSG.

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Http://sigmasd10.fotopic.net/..

Comment #10

Thought.

Anytime your shutter speed gets below 1/60 start thinking about a tripod or ther support. you can use tripod, monopod, the tripod thread on the bottom of camera is 1/4inchx20thread think about getting a eye at a hardware store to screw into it attach rope to eye about 5-6feet of rope stand on rope with one foot pull taut sharpness improved..

Try to stay away from high iso, above 400, pics will tend to be better. also for high iso shots think about buying noise ninja or similar noise reducing program,they work..

For sharpness when you absolutely have to have and you still have shake think about getting focus magic. it is unbeivable the way it works. if you get it , know how to use it..

By the way, I like your fish and cat pics. gary..

Comment #11

Thank you for your advice Gary and DaSigmaGuy :o).

DaSigmaGuy, all I have to say about your moon photographs is "WOW"!!! They're incredibly beautiful. You're making me want to get the lens you have!.

I'm coming to realize now that I'll indeed need a better lens at some point. But, I had to start somewhere and the Nikon D40 with the 18-55mm lens seemed pretty decent as for a total beginner like me. Except for not being able to photograph the moon, I have to say I am pretty satisfied with the camera's and the lens's performance..

And, wow, so much equipment you guys are talking about, heh. I might get all of that after I've FIRST mastered the basics of photography (still not there). Yet, thank you once again, I will definitely keep all of your tips and advice in mind :o) In fact, I think I'll print this thread (plus the few other threads of mine on this forum)..

Take care everyone, and THANK YOU :o)..

Comment #12

Taken during 2006. no, it is not made of cheese..

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Comment #13

Venus,.

Despite the fact that we all seen moon, It's one of best subjects to test camera and lens quality..

There are couple difficulties to deal with moon shot..

1. It's super bright compare to dark sky around. Default of your camera metering system will calculate average and badly overexpose the moon. Only Spot metering will work with moon..

Or like other photogs adviced use full manual mode and shot at ISO 200, f/3.5, 1/500 sec..

2. Since all light that we get from moon is reflected from sun - use CPL filter (Circular Polarizing Filter) moon will look sharp..

55mm is little short for craters on the moon..

Here is central part crop I got when shoting with 210mm lens:.

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Tonight I'll add shot with same lens + 2X extender.

Http://www.stan-pustylnik.smugmug.com..

Comment #14

This is central crop from image made this morning with Minolta 7D DSLR (6 Megapixels), tripod, cable release, 2 sec delay with mirror lock, CPL filter, RAW to jpg conversion with addition of fill light. f/8, 1/6 sec, ISO 100..

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Http://www.stan-pustylnik.smugmug.com..

Comment #15

If you have access to a second teleconverter, say a 1.4 or another 2.0, use that with you lens plus converter. the result of 2 converters and a lens is better that heavy cropping and enlarging...

Comment #16

Thanks Gary for ideas!.

For me actually would be interesting to try similar setup with new Sony A700 12 megapixels DSLR. Or/and get hand on Minolta 500mm reflex lens + 2X teleconverter..

I still love screen wallpaper I was able to produce with current setup..

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Http://www.stan-pustylnik.smugmug.com..

Comment #17

Everyone has very good suggestions, but I didn't see this one which helped me. Shoot in raw, don't trust what you see in the LCD. I took several shots @ f8, 1/500, with my 70-300 @ 300mm. All I saw in the LCD was bright white ball. Took them to my computer and in Camera Raw, dropped the exposure and POOF!, like magic, detail began to appear. As previously stated, and as I discovered, even at the setting that the camera decided under shutter priority, the picture was overexposed.

Spot meter might have helped set the exposure at the proper level..

Keep trying, it took me several months and many tries, to get it figured out..

JO..

Comment #18

I was so surprised to read in 400D/XTi description that it doesn't have spot meter.....

How should amateur photographer meter far contrast subjects to make decision on proper exposure? I remember it was key reason why I didn't buy 20d 3 years ago and bought Minolta 7D instead..

Http://www.stan-pustylnik.smugmug.com..

Comment #19

I read about the sunny 16 rule....

What if I want to shoot the moon at iso100 and f8? What would my ideal shutter speed be?DWIn the High Desert of Central Oregon..

Comment #20

F8 iso 100 shutter speed?.

Start with what the shutter speed should be under sunny16, then backoff the number of stops needed to get to your numbers..

Iso 100 f8 = 1/100sec but not f8 at f16f8/f11/f16.

You are stops off since going f16 to f8 is 2stops more light, you want to move the shutter speed to 2 stops less light to have the same amount.stops of shutter speed is 1/100 to 1/200 to 1/400..

But there is also a rule that for moon shots there is a sunnyf11 rule which means 1/200..

In any event I strongly advise you bracket moon shots heavily..

To take a picture of the moon you need-.

Long lens 1000mm(35mm equivelent) about.high iso(800?) to force afaster shutter speed..

Exposure-the moon, odd as it sounds is hign noon sunlit. just like noon on earth. we are 240000 miles to moon, BUT earth or moon is 93000000 miles to sun. that determines exposure. as other replyer stated use sunny 16 rule. that is for a full moon 1/iso at f16.

Shoot a very hign shutter speed to start, take more than 1 shot at each shutter speed(3) then go down to about 1/30sec.use stong tripod..

Use cable shutter release or self timer. if self timer this will take a while, and you will have to keep adjusting moon in viewfinder.Use mirror lockup if your camera has it.Turn IS,VR,SR off, your camera is on a tripod..

DO NOT TRUST LIGHT METER IN CAMERA. it is being fooled by all the black sky. even spot meter, if available will not help, it won't go small enough to get moon only. moon is only 1/2degree wide, smaller than any spot meter.get away from city. turbulance and lights are bad news.if 1000mm or so not available, use biggest available. crop in post-processing.not as good as big lens but will work.shoot many pics, you can always delete later..

Happy moon pics. good luck.also-sunny 16 rule-i/iso is shutter speed. if iso is 100 then shutter speed is 1/100about.fstop is 16.0..

The f stop is f16. this a starting point. any lens is not at max sharpness at f16, so adjust fstop to f8 or f11, and move shutter acccordingly..

Check moonrise times in your area. you want about 3 hours after moonrise to start your pic taking. this gives the moon time to get far enough above the horizon to clear the horizontal atmosphere and turbelance..

You also need crystal clear skys. NO rpt NO haze, clouds, or humidity. humidity is noticable if you have corana around the moon, this could also be haze. in which case shoot on another night.happy moon pics..

Garysecond reply-on the subject of lenses-.

I use the bigma(sigma50-500+1.4converter). a smaller lenses will work, you just have to crop. but, if cropping heavily do not expect a lot of detail, you just won't get it. though remember any lens is multiplied by the crop factor. so your 135 becomes about 200-205mm..

I shoot at iso800 and at f8.0 end up at about200th-400th of a sec. when start taking the shot I start at 1/1000 and go down to about a 1/30. I also should three shots at each shutter speed, thus increasing the odds of getting a good one somewhere in the bunch. I expect to hit the good shots as stated at about 200th-400th..

Do not shoot if high humidity or haze or any kind of atmosspheric turbelence. it just is a waste of memory and time. I shot originally in a park in Detroit michigan on what I thought was a clear night, forget it. I actually got some good pics 200 miles north on the shore of Lake Huron. much better..

0ne thought, if available you can try putting a 2X converter on the lens, that would get to over 400mm. there are also several moon pic takers that use more than I converter. 2 2Xs or a 2X and a 1.4. it sound odd but the results are worth it. they are better than the crop heavy method..

Do not underestimate how bright a 3/4 or just under full is in terms of brightness. it equal to highnoon on a cloudless day in the summer.focus-.

Put lens on manual focus. then put it on infinity(assuming lens does not focus past infinity,some do) or manual focus..

F16.0 comes from the rule of 16. it is the starting point. if you want f8.0, as I use, then you move the shutter speed accordingly to get back to the EV. it is 1/iso for shutter speed under rule of 16. for f8.0 and iso500, for example, you move 2stops or 1/125. at iso500 the shutter speed is 1/500..

By the way, the above set of instructions work, I just got back from oscoda michigan, I live in detroit, used the same instructions, it worked..

Also, with my setup: pentax *istD, bigma50-500 at 500, 2x converter, this gives 35mm equiv of 1500mm. the moon's size is almost exactly 1/2 of the short side of the frame. in other words, you need all the telephoto power you can get..

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Comment #21

Here was my first moon picture attempt, shoot with D200 and Sigma 50-500, mounted on tripod, with MLU and cable release, manual mode. Focusing was done manually - what I would recomend as well..

ISO 100, f16, 1/10s @ 700mm (approx. 460mm lens setting):.

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Regards,JHhttp://www.jh-photography.net..

Comment #22

Archer69 wrote:.

ISO 100, f16, 1/10s @ 700mm (approx. 460mm lens setting):.

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Actually, I have to correct my previous post. The picture was taken with the Sigma 50-500 with 1.4xTC, with lens at 1050mm (700mm actual). Sorry for the mistake.Regards,JHhttp://www.jh-photography.net..

Comment #23

Pic is not coming through. keep getting a window asking for a password..

Your setting. why f16.0? you do not need dof, the moon is 240000miles away, shoot at the lens sharpest fstop, about f8.0. also why 1/10sec? at such a slow shutter speed you are getting moon movement. get the shutter speed up above 1/100 minimum. iso not highn enough raise iso..

To take a picture of the moon you need-.

Long lens 1000mm(35mm equivelent) about.high iso(800?) to force afaster shutter speed..

Exposure-the moon, odd as it sounds is hign noon sunlit. just like noon on earth. we are 240000 miles to moon, BUT earth or moon is 93000000 miles to sun. that determines exposure. as other replyer stated use sunny 16 rule. that is for a full moon 1/iso at f16.

Shoot a very hign shutter speed to start, take more than 1 shot at each shutter speed(3) then go down to about 1/30sec.use stong tripod..

Use cable shutter release or self timer. if self timer this will take a while, and you will have to keep adjusting moon in viewfinder.Use mirror lockup if your camera has it.Turn IS,VR,SR off, your camera is on a tripod..

DO NOT TRUST LIGHT METER IN CAMERA. it is being fooled by all the black sky. even spot meter, if available will not help, it won't go small enough to get moon only. moon is only 1/2degree wide, smaller than any spot meter.get away from city. turbulance and lights are bad news.if 1000mm or so not available, use biggest available. crop in post-processing.not as good as big lens but will work.shoot many pics, you can always delete later..

Happy moon pics. good luck.also-sunny 16 rule-i/iso is shutter speed. if iso is 100 then shutter speed is 1/100about.fstop is 16.0..

The f stop is f16. this a starting point. any lens is not at max sharpness at f16, so adjust fstop to f8 or f11, and move shutter acccordingly..

Check moonrise times in your area. you want about 3 hours after moonrise to start your pic taking. this gives the moon time to get far enough above the horizon to clear the horizontal atmosphere and turbelance..

You also need crystal clear skys. NO rpt NO haze, clouds, or humidity. humidity is noticable if you have corana around the moon, this could also be haze. in which case shoot on another night.happy moon pics..

Garysecond reply-on the subject of lenses-.

I use the bigma(sigma50-500+1.4converter). a smaller lenses will work, you just have to crop. but, if cropping heavily do not expect a lot of detail, you just won't get it. though remember any lens is multiplied by the crop factor. so your 135 becomes about 200-205mm..

I shoot at iso800 and at f8.0 end up at about200th-400th of a sec. when start taking the shot I start at 1/1000 and go down to about a 1/30. I also should three shots at each shutter speed, thus increasing the odds of getting a good one somewhere in the bunch. I expect to hit the good shots as stated at about 200th-400th..

Do not shoot if high humidity or haze or any kind of atmosspheric turbelence. it just is a waste of memory and time. I shot originally in a park in Detroit michigan on what I thought was a clear night, forget it. I actually got some good pics 200 miles north on the shore of Lake Huron. much better..

0ne thought, if available you can try putting a 2X converter on the lens, that would get to over 400mm. there are also several moon pic takers that use more than I converter. 2 2Xs or a 2X and a 1.4. it sound odd but the results are worth it. they are better than the crop heavy method..

Do not underestimate how bright a 3/4 or just under full is in terms of brightness. it equal to highnoon on a cloudless day in the summer.focus-.

Put lens on manual focus. then put it on infinity(assuming lens does not focus past infinity,some do) or manual focus..

F16.0 comes from the rule of 16. it is the starting point. if you want f8.0, as I use, then you move the shutter speed accordingly to get back to the EV. it is 1/iso for shutter speed under rule of 16. for f8.0 and iso500, for example, you move 2stops or 1/125. at iso500 the shutter speed is 1/500..

By the way, the above set of instructions work, I just got back from oscoda michigan, I live in detroit, used the same instructions, it worked..

Also, with my setup: pentax *istD, bigma50-500 at 500, 2x converter, this gives 35mm equiv of 1500mm. the moon's size is almost exactly 1/2 of the short side of the frame. in other words, you need all the telephoto power you can get..

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Comment #24

I like you pics, I'm a VERY beginner too. I bought a Canon Rebel XT and I'm loving it... there's too much to learn. I hope I can better with time. I hope to share some of the pics with you guys soon...

Comment #25

GaryDeM wrote:.

Pic is not coming through. keep getting a window asking for a password..

Sorry, hope it works now....

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Your setting. why f16.0?.

Actually it was f11, but with 1.4x TC it results in f16..

Also why 1/10sec?at such a slow shutter speed you are getting moonmovement. get the shutter speed up above 1/100 minimum..

Wrong, it works, and was necessary to shoot with ISO100 (always lowest ISO possible). But shutter should not be higher..

Long lens 1000mm(35mm equivelent) about..

I would say about 600-750mm will give you a good size already..

High iso(800?) to force afaster shutter speed..

Don't agree. Mine was shot with ISO100 at 1/10. Would not go higher with shutter, but not over ISO200 to not induce noise (see your samples)..

Use stong tripod.use cable shutter release or self timer. if self timer this will takea while, and you will have to keep adjusting moon in viewfinder.Use mirror lockup if your camera has it.Turn IS,VR,SR off, your camera is on a tripod.DO NOT TRUST LIGHT METER IN CAMERA. it is being fooled by all theblack sky. even spot meter, if available will not help, it won't gosmall enough to get moon only. moon is only 1/2degree wide, smallerthan any spot meter.get away from city. turbulance and lights are bad news.if 1000mm or so not available, use biggest available.



Basically agree with all of the above, good advice (with exceptions noted above)..

Happy shooting .

Regards,JHhttp://www.jh-photography.net..

Comment #26

Great shot! I agree with low ISO statment..

ISO 800 replaces actual moon detail by sensor noise (film grain-like artifact)..

Http://www.stan-pustylnik.smugmug.com..

Comment #27

Http://www.fredparker.com/ultexp1.htm.

That and learn to read the histogram.A member of the rabble in good standing...

Comment #28

LM1 ,Thanks for the link very interesting info!.

I never use histogram, maybe because meter of 7D didn't lie much sofar. By the way, I use spot meter mode 90% of times and underexpose or overexpose in range between -2 to +2 depending on contrasts..

Http://www.stan-pustylnik.smugmug.com..

Comment #29

Why f11. you may or may not be getting diffracrion distorsion at f11, but it is not the sharpest fstop back around f8 would yeild sharper pic..

1/10 woks. so does an hour but why shoot that way? the moon is 2160miles across. it moves it's own diameter in 2minutes or 120 seconds. 2160/120=18miles.

18miles a second. your 1/10sec means your subject moved 1.8 MILES during your exposure. I would think that any faster shutter speed that would help cut 1.8miles down helps, hence my suggestion to get the shutter above 1/100..

600-750mm enough. from my how to on the moon-"also, with my setup: pentax *istD, bigma50-500 at 500, 2x converter, this gives 35mm equiv of 1500mm. the moon's size is almost exactly 1/2 of the short side of the frame. in other words, you need all the telephoto power you can get.".

If the moon at 1500mm if almost exactly 1/2 the short side of frame; why using LESS mm do you want to crop and enlarge so much? wouldn't it be better to take the subject larger in the first place? thus reducing the need to heavy crop and enlarge..

Not over iso 200. why not? is your dslr that noisey? I use the pentax *istD andi shoot regularly to 1600iso if needed. when done you can hit the pic with noise ninja or similar. shot below is iso1600, what noise?.

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You moon shot was slightly over 1/2 moon; mine below is closer to 3/4. the more you get to shooting he moon at full the less detail you have..

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Comment #30

GaryDeM wrote:.

Why f11. you may or may not be getting diffracrion distorsion at f11,but it is not the sharpest fstop back around f8 would yeild sharperpic..

As a rule of tumb, lenses are usually the sharpest between 1-2 stops below the max. aperture (for the 50-500, that would be f8-f11). But again, that a rule of tumb and every lens is different, so you have to test it to find the sweet spot of the lens you use..

1/10 woks. so does an hour but why shoot that way? the moon is2160miles across. it moves it's own diameter in 2minutes or 120seconds. 2160/120=18miles18miles a second. your 1/10sec means your subject moved 1.8 MILESduring your exposure. I would think that any faster shutter speedthat would help cut 1.8miles down helps, hence my suggestion to getthe shutter above 1/100..

Why don't you calculate the actual angular movment, that will give you a much better idea what shutter speed is too slow..

600-750mm enough. from my how to on the moon-"also, with my setup:pentax *istD, bigma50-500 at 500, 2x converter, this gives 35mm equivof 1500mm. the moon's size is almost exactly 1/2 of the short side ofthe frame. in other words, you need all the telephoto power you canget."if the moon at 1500mm if almost exactly 1/2 the short side of frame;why using LESS mm do you want to crop and enlarge so much? wouldn'tit be better to take the subject larger in the first place? thusreducing the need to heavy crop and enlarge..

What good does the longest lens reach do if you degrade the IQ (lens resolution) to get there? There are plenty of good and sharp pictures taken with 300mm primes (450mm in 35mm terms). Sure adding a 1.4x TC will help. But one doesn't need 1500mm. And as for the 50-500 with 2x TC, it can give you usable pictures, but it certainly degrades the IQ quite a bit..

Not over iso 200. why not? is your dslr that noisey? I use the pentax*istD andi shoot regularly to 1600iso if needed. when done you canhit the pic with noise ninja or similar. shot below is iso1600, whatnoise?you moon shot was slightly over 1/2 moon; mine below is closer to3/4. the more you get to shooting he moon at full the less detail youhave..

Hmmm, have you ever thought about the fact that the use of the 2x TC combined with the high ISO plus use of noise removal software causes the loss of detail. Just something to think about .

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Regards,JHhttp://www.jh-photography.net..

Comment #31

Loss of any detail occurs as you get closer to full moon. the entire surface gets sunlit with little shadow to show details..

I noted that you did not comment about the noise or lack of in the butterfly shot, oh well..

It obviously doesn't bother you that your subject moved 1.8 miles during your 1/10 shot. but if shot at 1/100 that would be a .18mile big improvement...

Comment #32

I'm quite happy with the result as it was my first attempt of moon pictures.Regards,JHhttp://www.jh-photography.net..

Comment #33

GaryDeM wrote:.

Loss of any detail occurs as you get closer to full moon. the entiresurface gets sunlit with little shadow to show details..

Hmmm, the state of the moon in your picture and mine are pretty much the same, but the results are completely differen. Don't you agree..

I noted that you did not comment about the noise or lack of in thebutterfly shot, oh well..

Well, you asked for it. First, it's hard to say for sure based on the small JPEG, but I agree there is not much noise visible, but there is also no detail anywere in the picture. My assumption: it's the result of the noise removal software (either in camer, during processing, or both). And by the way, the butterfly is quite underexposed..

It obviously doesn't bother you that your subject moved 1.8 milesduring your 1/10 shot. but if shot at 1/100 that would be a .18milebig improvement..

What is the deal with the 1.8 miles during a 1/10 exposure time? As I said, calculate the actuall movement (in degrees) the moon makes in the sky during that time. That's what is important..

But anyway, I don't want to pick a fight. If you are happy with the way you shoot and the results you get, then that's quite OK with me. As long as you enjoy taking pictures. That's what counts, isn't it..

Happy shooting .

Regards,JHhttp://www.jh-photography.net..

Comment #34

Gary,.

"loss of any detail occurs as you get closer to full moon" - is not exactly right statment. Take a look into professional telescope during clear cold night and you will see astonishing detail (thousands of craters). My dad is pro astronomer and I've seen full moon detail close in my childhood - one of most incredible views in my life. Full moon surface in pro telescope is incredibly bright, like a diamond with thousands craters..

Problem is in small lens resolution compare to powerful telescope. Our weak lenses are able to pick detail ony from massive craters that are partially shaded by sun positioning. This is reason why I shot during old or new moon..

Moon on your image is covered by film grain-like artifact called digital noise produced by high ISO. It adds feeling of sharpness, but is not actual detail..

Http://www.stan-pustylnik.smugmug.com..

Comment #35

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