photography of a brillant moon

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by Tom Callahan, Dec 4, 2004.

  1. Tom Callahan

    Tom Callahan Guest

    Has anyone got the solution to getting a good image of the full or rising
    moon using a Digital Canon Rebel on a tripod? I'm not having any luck
    either on manual or auto focus, automatic, manual, time, apperture
    preferred, whatever.
    Regards from Pensacola
     
    Tom Callahan, Dec 4, 2004
    #1
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  2. I too have similar problems. I'd love to get a good full moon rise over the Atlantic Ocean
    (NJ) but I'm just not there yet.

    Dave



    | Has anyone got the solution to getting a good image of the full or rising
    | moon using a Digital Canon Rebel on a tripod? I'm not having any luck
    | either on manual or auto focus, automatic, manual, time, apperture
    | preferred, whatever.
    | Regards from Pensacola
    |
    |
     
    David H. Lipman, Dec 4, 2004
    #2
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  3. Tom,

    I don't have your type of camera, but I did manage to take a fairly
    good shot of the moon with my Minolta RD-175 digital and a 400mm lens.
    I used a variety of shutter speeds and let the camera set the
    aperture, and found one result that was quite decent (I think at
    1/400th).

    I'm pretty sure I used the camera's spot-metering function, to make
    sure that the camera was reading the brightness of the moon itself.

    With a lens of less magnification, the shutter speed might not be
    quite as fast. But I think the spot metering is the key -- does the
    Rebel have this?

    If I find the picture I will post it. But it appears to have
    vanished. Hmm... did I take a photo of something the moon-beings
    didn't want me to see?

    HD
     
    Hamilton Davidson, Dec 4, 2004
    #3
  4. Tom Callahan

    Mikey S. Guest

    It can be done... this isn't perfect, I HAVE seen better but I am fairly
    pleased with it, it's a decent Image I think...oh and this was taken in
    north-west New Jersey, no ocean view available here.
    http://photo.mike721.com/gallery/moon/moon8785?full=1
    Digital rebel, with Canon 100-400 L lens @ 400, plus a Canon 1.4X
    teleconverter. The lens has IS ( stabilization) but on the tripod I turn it
    off so it wasn't a factor. Focus was manual, using the 'whole lot of
    squinting' method :)
    Exposure time: (1/200) Aperture: f/8.0 ISO equiv.: 200

    I have the 'hacked' firmware installed in my Rebelwhich lets me use Mirror
    lock up, I think I was using 10 seconds..this seems to be VERY important
    since it allows the vibrations to settle down. Google 'wasia' and 'digital
    rebel hacked firmware' and you should find it..or else check it out here
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/canondigicamhacking/

    Have fun!
     
    Mikey S., Dec 4, 2004
    #4
  5. Tom Callahan

    Hunt Guest

    If it is the moon, and not the landscape WITH the moon, then set manual focus
    to infinity and the aperture to f/16 with the shutter speed as the reciprocal
    of the ISO, or an EV equivilent of that combination.

    Hunt
     
    Hunt, Dec 4, 2004
    #5
  6. Tom Callahan

    JPS Guest

    In message <>,
    Sunny f16 will result in under-exposed images, wasting dynamic range.

    f10 or even 8 works good for Canon DSLRs.
    --
     
    JPS, Dec 4, 2004
    #6
  7. Tom Callahan

    JC Dill Guest

    We need details of what you have tried (including what lens you are
    using, and details about your tripod) and what the results were. "Not
    having any luck" doesn't help us figure out where you are going wrong.
    Are you metering on the moon, or on the general landscape? You say
    "rising moon", is this before sunset, during twilight, or in the full
    dark? Are your resulting photos blury, or are they sharp but not
    correctly exposed? Do you have motion blur from the moon moving while
    the picture is being exposed (when using a really long exposure)? Do
    you have motion blur from your tripod not being steady? (Maybe you
    need a remote shutter release, or cover the lens with dark paper,
    release the shutter, remove the paper and count out your exposure,
    cover the lens, THEN close the shutter.) Are you using a lens that
    has image stabilization? Etc.

    jc
     
    JC Dill, Dec 4, 2004
    #7
  8. Mike:

    That is a great shot ! It puts my Quantarray 75~300mm to shame. However, I don't have
    trouble taking shots of a full moon or a partial moon. It is a moon rise that I am having
    trouble with when the moon is low on the horizon and the colour is reddish-orange.

    Dave



    | It can be done... this isn't perfect, I HAVE seen better but I am fairly
    | pleased with it, it's a decent Image I think...oh and this was taken in
    | north-west New Jersey, no ocean view available here.
    | http://photo.mike721.com/gallery/moon/moon8785?full=1
    | Digital rebel, with Canon 100-400 L lens @ 400, plus a Canon 1.4X
    | teleconverter. The lens has IS ( stabilization) but on the tripod I turn it
    | off so it wasn't a factor. Focus was manual, using the 'whole lot of
    | squinting' method :)
    | Exposure time: (1/200) Aperture: f/8.0 ISO equiv.: 200
    |
    | I have the 'hacked' firmware installed in my Rebelwhich lets me use Mirror
    | lock up, I think I was using 10 seconds..this seems to be VERY important
    | since it allows the vibrations to settle down. Google 'wasia' and 'digital
    | rebel hacked firmware' and you should find it..or else check it out here
    | http://groups.yahoo.com/group/canondigicamhacking/
    |
    | Have fun!
    |
    |
    | --
    |
    | Mikey S.
    | http://www.mike721.com
    |
    |
    | | >I too have similar problems. I'd love to get a good full moon rise over
    | >the Atlantic Ocean
    | > (NJ) but I'm just not there yet.
    | >
    | > Dave
    | >
    | >
    | >
    | > | > | Has anyone got the solution to getting a good image of the full or
    | > rising
    | > | moon using a Digital Canon Rebel on a tripod? I'm not having any luck
    | > | either on manual or auto focus, automatic, manual, time, apperture
    | > | preferred, whatever.
    | > | Regards from Pensacola
    | > |
    | > |
    | >
    | >
    |
    |
     
    David H. Lipman, Dec 4, 2004
    #8
  9. Tom Callahan

    JPS Guest

    In message <>, I,
    I'm talking about a moon in a high, clear sky.

    Nearer the horizon or in a compromising atmosphere, it will take much
    more exposure.
    --
     
    JPS, Dec 4, 2004
    #9
  10. Tom Callahan

    Alan Browne Guest

    "Lunar 'leven / Sunny sixteen" are the applicable guidelines.

    Don't use the meter, it's pointing at black space (will overexpose) or the moon
    (will underexpose).

    In manual mode.
    Set the ISO to 100.
    Set the shutter speed equal to the ISO (as close as possible) so 1/90, 1/100 or
    1/125 as your camera permits.

    Set the aperture to f/11 (this is the lunar 'leven part).

    Focus carefully (your lens at the far stop might be out of focus, not at infinity)

    Shoot.

    1) When the moon is low, lunear 'leven. When the moon is high: sunny sixteen
    (f/16).

    2) Reciprocity: f/16 might not be the sharpest part of the lens, so try f/11 but
    at twice the shutter speed (1/200 .. 1/250 instead of 1/100 .. 1/125) for "sunny
    sixteen".

    Why "sunny 16"? 'cause the moon is in the sunlight... so expose as you would
    somebody in open sunlight ... 1/ISO, f/16 (or applicable reciprocals).

    Hope that helps.

    Cheers,
    Alan
     
    Alan Browne, Dec 4, 2004
    #10
  11. Tom Callahan

    Tom Callahan Guest

    I'm using a Quantaray Titan II tripod on a grass surface so the feet will
    have stability. I set the camera on ten second delay for the exposure so
    I'm not touching either camera or tripod at time of exposure.

    I always thought fotos of the moon should be at f11 no matter what ISO
    dialed in and the brains of the camera would figure out the exposure time.
    I've tried to get both moon in the sky and moon with some background to give
    a perspective. It was the harvest moon last month and it was beautiful,
    orange and huge, as it moved up from the horizon. I have a lake at my
    property line and I was facing east across the water as the moon came up. I
    was able to get images with the moon both in the sky and reflected on the
    water but it just looks like a round smiley face....no definition as the
    moon. I tried with autofocus on, off, manual, various ISOs, etc. I tried
    with the Canon 18-55mm lens and also the 75-300mm lens.
    The moon was overexposed in almost all of the images.

    I've read about the problems digital cameras have with night imagery. I feel
    that I could have thrown my old Canon A-1 on the tripod and gotten good
    pictures but I've been resisting using film. I want to be able to use this
    camera to it's fullest.

    As far as downloading software into the camera....that's a quantum leap and
    sound scary at this point in time.

    I appreciate all of the answers. I've copied some into Word Documents to
    use as reference points. I'm glad my ISP told me to look at new newsgroups
    this week. That's how I found this group.

    Regards again from storm ravaged Pensacola, Tom

    P.S. I got some excellent fotos of one of the collection points where the
    city and county trucks have been bringing trees and branches to be mulched.
    In an average year this area puts about 300 thousand cubic yards of
    environmental waste into a landfill. Since Hurricane Ivan they have hauled
    away about 4 million cubic yards of stuff. They tried burning it in pits
    and decided to mulch it. Imagine piles of mulch about 60 feet high covering
    your hometown football stadium. That doesn't even include the industrial
    waste (siding, houses, lumber, shingles, carpets, sheetrock, washers,
    dryers, dishwashers, freezers, refrigerators, etc.......all sorts of stuff
    ruined by salt water invasion).
     
    Tom Callahan, Dec 4, 2004
    #11
  12. Tom Callahan

    Tom Callahan Guest

    Thank you very much. I will probably frame your post and stick it to my
    camera bag with some duct tape!!

    Off topic: Do you know what they call duct tape here in the south? Chrome.

    Anyhow, thanks again, Tom

     
    Tom Callahan, Dec 4, 2004
    #12

  13. 200mph tape... ;-)
     
    Robert R Kircher, Jr., Dec 4, 2004
    #13
  14. Tom Callahan

    Alan Browne Guest

    The "sunny sixteen" rule is a common nugget going back for many decades. From
    there, via reciprocity you can confidently use a range of aperture/speed
    settings in "sunny" photos. Lunar 'leven is just a variation on the theme.

    I'm just saying the above as it is one of the things you don't need to tape to
    your bag ... after you do it successfully, it will stick in your head.
     
    Alan Browne, Dec 4, 2004
    #14
  15. Tom Callahan

    Alan Browne Guest

    Something you _should_ print out and keep in your bag is the following:

    http://www.fredparker.com/ultexp1.htm and in particular:
    http://www.fredparker.com/ultexp1.htm#Light Intensity Chart and
    http://www.fredparker.com/ultexp1.htm#EXPOSURE FACTOR RELATIONSHIP CHART B

    .... esp at EV's of about 1 or less, this guide will help you get difficult low
    light shots when your meter is not sensitive enough.

    Cheers,
    Alan
     
    Alan Browne, Dec 4, 2004
    #15
  16. Tom Callahan

    Mikey S. Guest

    Ahh, OK, I don't think I ever tried that..I'll have to see if I can give it
    a shot when conditions are right, that's something I always wanted to try
    too. My guess would be that getting it perfect it might require 2 different
    exposures, one long one for the landscape and one short one for the moon and
    then some Photoshop work to put them together,( probably with the moon
    bigger than it actually appears to make it look more realistic as our
    eyes/brain see it) but I guess there is only one way to find out.
     
    Mikey S., Dec 4, 2004
    #16
  17. Tom Callahan

    JPS Guest

    In message <cosp56$j83$>,
    It would be a good idea to check exposure after this; I bet most of the
    right side of the histogram will be empty.

    If you're shooting RAW, on a Canon DSLR, you can go to f8 without
    blowing out the highlights, on high moon, in a clear sky
    --
     
    JPS, Dec 4, 2004
    #17
  18. Tom Callahan

    Frank ess Guest

    Moonrise over Ripley, California (Believe It Or Don't)
    http://www.fototime.com/FBCC40983D6D0F6/orig.jpg

    ISO 50
    F 3.6
    1/125
    All camera-chosen (Point and Shoot) except
    Spot-meter
    f/l ~ 111mm equiv
    Exposure Bias -0.30
    Through the window of a 70MPH bus
    Image untouched other than reduce to size and Save For Web at PhotoShop
    30 quality

    Just to give an example of the other end of the moonshot spectrum, so to
    speak.
     
    Frank ess, Dec 4, 2004
    #18
  19. Tom Callahan

    Alan Browne Guest

    Got a link (example)? RAW would tend to record the low end, not give the
    highlights any additional room. And if what you say is so, then as discussed in
    the past there would seem to be a discrepency in ISO 100 (or any ISO) for film
    and ISO 100 for digital.

    Here's one of Bret's shots: http://www.pbase.com/bret/image/36790522 and as you
    can see from the EXIF it is shot at 1/3 stop under "lunar 'leven".

    IAC the OP was looking for a starting point and was, from all evidence, simply
    way out of the ball park. Lunar 'leven/Sun16 will get him going.

    Cheers,
    Alan
     
    Alan Browne, Dec 4, 2004
    #19
  20. Tom Callahan

    JPS Guest

    In message <cotg3m$kfk$>,
    No. The 20D has 1 to 2 stops more headroom in the RAW data than what
    gets clipped at 255 by default.
    No doubt. Any shot I take with either the 10D or 20D with "sunny f/16"
    rules or my Sekonic meter are dark, compared to what the camera exposes
    at automatically.
    We don't know what he did to levels. That is sometimes actually _as_
    significant, or even moreso, than compensation at the time of exposure.
    And I'm saying to experiment, to see how high you can expose it without
    clipping. People are often happy that they get a usable picture, but
    they may get a better one if they use the full dynamic range of the
    system.

    If you are taking JPEG pictures on a Canon DSLR, and getting pictures
    that come only as close as a full stop from clipping, then you are
    throwing away 2 bit of bit depth, and getting only 1/4 the
    signal-to-noise you could be, if you shot RAW and just short of
    clipping.

    --
     
    JPS, Dec 5, 2004
    #20
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