Moon Photography Tips?

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by Blah, Oct 7, 2006.

  1. Blah

    Blah Guest

    I'm trying to take pix of the moon using: A Rebel XT w/ a Sigma 70-300mm DG
    lens any tips? Other than buying a real lens? tx blah
    Blah, Oct 7, 2006
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  2. Blah

    Scott W Guest

    Wait until the moon is not so full, the craters show up much better
    And use a tripod and the mirror lockup function with the self timer.
    Bracket your exposures by a lot.

    Scott W, Oct 7, 2006
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  3. Blah

    Jeff R. Guest

    Not much to offer aside from the bleeding obvious:

    * tripod essential
    * moon as high as possible to avoid atmospherics
    * bracket widely. "Sunny sixteen" is theoretically optimal, but not always
    the best.
    * long exposures (over 1/2 sec) will show movement
    * 300mm is definitely marginal
    * don't trust the infinity setting on your lens. At wide open it may be off.
    * full moon is the least impressive phase. Craters are unimpressive then,
    but the mare can be pretty
    * very young moon (~2-3 days) can be very nice, if you expose for earthshine
    * anywhere between 3-12 or 16-26 days old will show the terminus craters
    nicely (i.e. you want a crescent moon)

    Others will disagree, but I wouldn't bother with teleconverters. I've found
    them to be the "digital zoom" of SLRs.

    Here's a few of mine with a 600mm mirror lens:
    (daylight, with Jupiter)
    (night-time, with Jupiter and *his* moons)
    (2 days old - with earthshine)
    (*Not* dSLR - montage of el-cheapo webcam shots)

    These pages have links to many more.

    The moon is a fun subject. Its unlikely you'll capture anything truly
    original, but it is very satisfying nonetheless.

    Post processing will be essential - but don't oversharpen as I always do.
    Jeff R., Oct 7, 2006
  4. A Photographic Image Quality Test Using the Moon

    (uses 300 mm lens.)

    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), Oct 7, 2006
  5. You'll probably need to use manual exposure as I have found the 2 stop
    compensation on the 350D/Rebel XT not enough. You can see a result
    (cropped) with my 350D and Canon 100-400 lens at:

    Use mirror lockup and a good tripod. My exposure was 1/125 sec at f11
    and 100ISO


    Wayne J. Cosshall, Oct 7, 2006
  6. Blah

    RichA Guest

    Bracket, use a "hat trick" for exposures. Lock up the mirror, open the
    shutter, hold a piece of
    dark cardboard in front of the lens and use it as the shutter for
    exposures of 1/10 sec or slower.

    Here's a shot taken with an Olympus and a 1000mm, no drive.
    RichA, Oct 7, 2006
  7. Blah

    darkfield Guest

    then you obviously have no experience in long exposure photography/imaging.
    darkfield, Oct 7, 2006
  8. Blah

    Mark² Guest

    Perhpas Pete was noting (in contrast to Rich's advice) that there is no need
    for long exposures when shooting the moon. Rich implies otherwise, but he
    is wrong. Quite the opposite. An unobstructed moon is itself nearly as
    bright as a sunny day, and need only be adjusted for slightly more exposure.
    Sunny 16 minus no more than a stop or so it enough.
    Mark², Oct 7, 2006
  9. Blah

    DP Guest

    An unobstructed moon is itself nearly as

    Which reminds me of Ansel Adams' comment about shooting "Moonrise over
    Hernandez, New Mexico."
    He was in a hurry to shoot it since the light was fading. So rather than
    take the time to meter, he simply referred to the rule of thumb for shooting
    on a sunny day (I don't recall what it was, but based on the speed of the
    film, it was a specific aperture/shutterspeed combo).
    His logic: "It's a sunny day on the moon, right?"

    He also said he's glad he acted so quickly because the light on the cemetery
    crossses had faded before he had chance to reload his view camera and take
    another shot.
    DP, Oct 7, 2006
  10. Actually it's not rubbish. It is an old method since the
    dawn of the camera age. I have old astrophoto books that
    actually refer to the method as the "hat trick exposure"
    showing a person with the style common in the first half
    of the 20th century using his hat to cover the front
    of a telescope.

    Regarding exposure, sunny 16 refers to full moon.
    This page,
    shows near first quarter, best exposures around
    1/50 sec at f/8 at ISO 100. With telescopes and more
    magnification, and lower speed (e.g. ISO 50 which many
    digital cameras have). one often gets in the 1/5 to 1.4
    second range near the terminator on the moon.
    Even the above 1/50 at f/8, ISO 100 becomes 1/6 at
    f/16 ISO 50. At extreme magnifications, above about
    1500 mm, even with mirror lock-up, a shutter actuation
    could cause vibration unless the mount and telescope/lens is

    Note, however, exposures longer than about 1/10 second
    begin to show motion blur due to the rotation of the
    earth (1/10th at high magnification), so you need a tracking

    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), Oct 7, 2006
  11. Blah

    Blah Guest

    Thanks for all of you tips I'll try tonight!
    Blah, Oct 7, 2006
  12. Blah

    RichA Guest

    Tsk, tsk. The sad, sad bleating of the clueless. The "hat trick" has
    been used for decades
    by people seeking to isolate high power lenses from any vibratation.
    The "shutter" is completely isolated from the lens and camera, thereby
    inducing zero vibration.
    RichA, Oct 7, 2006
  13. Blah

    Mark² Guest

    Note I said sunny 16 plus a stop or so.
    Mark², Oct 7, 2006
  14. Blah

    Prometheus Guest

    1/10 s is not long; the hat works well for tens of seconds to tens of
    minutes, and up but for a tenth of a second... Besides that is far to
    long for bright sunlight unless you have a very low ISO setting (I don't
    think any non-astronomical digital camera goes that low), or the
    aperture is so small you can not resolve anything).
    Prometheus, Oct 7, 2006
  15. Blah

    Pete D Guest

    So does my MLU. Tell you what, I took a shot of the full moon last night
    with my method, posted here, show us yours Rich.
    Pete D, Oct 7, 2006
  16. Blah

    G.T. Guest

    What is that? A ball of cheddar cheese you threw up in the air?

    G.T., Oct 7, 2006
  17. Blah

    Jan Böhme Guest

    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark) skrev:
    Yes, but you wouldn't contemplate using it for photographing a full
    moon without a telescope, right?
    Yes. And the OP, we can safely assume, wants to shoot the moon now. And
    today the moon is full.

    Jan Böhme
    Jan Böhme, Oct 7, 2006
  18. Blah

    Pete D Guest

    Was almost red earlier, see Joans pictures.

    Pete D, Oct 7, 2006
  19. Blah

    Pete D Guest

    Might also remind you Rich that this is the
    group, not the group
    Pete D, Oct 7, 2006
  20. Hmm.... Fuller moon than you'll see this month:
    4 seconds at f/8 ISO 200. Guess what method I used for exposure?
    Yes, it was the old "hat trick" with a telephoto lens and a DSLR.


    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), Oct 7, 2006
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