Can I take picture of Moon with Sony alpha Nex-F3?

Started 7 months ago | Questions
DipanjanC
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Can I take picture of Moon with Sony alpha Nex-F3?
7 months ago

Hi,

I'm a newbie. I have a Sony alpha nex-F3 with 18-55 and 55-210mm lens. I tried to take picture of moon with the below configuration:

Shutter speed :: 10"

Aperture :: 3.5

I don't know much about this things. Can anyone please guide me if I can take picture of the moon or not? Everytime it is coming as a round white circle.

Thanks,

DipanjanC

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Juhaz
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Re: Can I take picture of Moon with Sony alpha Nex-F3?
In reply to DipanjanC, 7 months ago

DipanjanC wrote:

Hi,

I'm a newbie. I have a Sony alpha nex-F3 with 18-55 and 55-210mm lens. I tried to take picture of moon with the below configuration:

Shutter speed :: 10"

Aperture :: 3.5

I don't know much about this things. Can anyone please guide me if I can take picture of the moon or not? Everytime it is coming as a round white circle.

The moon is very bright, your exposure is way too long. A couple of thousand times too long. Try to stop down the lens to F/8 where it's at maximum sharpness and expose 1/250s to 1/500s or so for the most detailed moon shot. Or you can use spot metering and let the camera calculate exposure.

If what you're really asking is if you can take a picture of the moon and stars and/or landscape at the same time, the answer is no - with any camera, there's nothing remotely capable of that kind of dynamic range. Any pictures of that kind you see are composites, with the moon and the other elements coming from different exposures and combined in post.

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uhligfd
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Re: Can I take picture of Moon with Sony alpha Nex-F3?
In reply to DipanjanC, 7 months ago

The moon is at roughly at the same distance from the sun as earth. It is rocky as a desert would be here:

So on a sunny day on earth, how would you take a picture of a desert landscape?

You took 10 seconds and f/3.5, why?

Think a bit and try the f/11 rule: use f/11 as aperture and  the reciprocal of your ASA number for exposure speed: ASA 200 => 1/200 sec; ASA 100 => 1/100 speed. Some call it the f/16 rule; you experiment! (here ASA = ISO)

And use the longest lens you can get a hand on; a tripod would help, too. The moon is so small.

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parallaxproblem
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Re: Can I take picture of Moon with Sony alpha Nex-F3?
In reply to DipanjanC, 7 months ago

DipanjanC wrote:

Hi,

I'm a newbie. I have a Sony alpha nex-F3 with 18-55 and 55-210mm lens. I tried to take picture of moon with the below configuration:

Shutter speed :: 10"

Aperture :: 3.5

I don't know much about this things. Can anyone please guide me if I can take picture of the moon or not? Everytime it is coming as a round white circle.

Thanks,

DipanjanC

Hi

If you want a decent picture of the moon then you need a long lens

I took this one with my old NEX-5 using a 500mm Reflex lens with a 1.4x teleconverter fitted (ie. equals approx 700mm) and it still isn't that great:

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BlueBomberTurbo
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Re: Can I take picture of Moon with Sony alpha Nex-F3?
In reply to parallaxproblem, 7 months ago

Change the metering to Spot metering and center on the moon.  Use aperture priority and try shooting at F/4-8, as those are generally the sharpest apertures on most lenses.   Your shutter speed will be more than adequate.

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Tyson5n
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Re: short exposure
In reply to DipanjanC, 7 months ago

as mentioned before, you want to take a short exposure for the moon since its relatively bright and very high contrast. with my 750mm catadioptric lens, i go as short as 1/1000 bursts, and thats hand-held because at that speed, a steady hand doesnt matter.

its not like taking pictures of stars where light is faint.

except planets (like jupiter) are bright like the moon, but much harder to take a picture of because you need to magnify it much much more.

also at 10 seconds, youd see it move and trail quite a bit.

lastly keep ISO at 100 for the moon.

-- hide signature --

Sony NEX-5n (noob)

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TiagoReil
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Re: Can I take picture of Moon with Sony alpha Nex-F3?
In reply to DipanjanC, 7 months ago

DipanjanC wrote:

Hi,

I'm a newbie. I have a Sony alpha nex-F3 with 18-55 and 55-210mm lens. I tried to take picture of moon with the below configuration:

Shutter speed :: 10"

Aperture :: 3.5

I don't know much about this things. Can anyone please guide me if I can take picture of the moon or not? Everytime it is coming as a round white circle.

Thanks,

DipanjanC

Taking pictures of the moon needs 2 considerations. One already said, a long lens (long focal length) and the exposure you will use.

The first part is easy. The longer the better. Of course you can take a picture with a 200 mm and crop it, for instance, with the sony lens, but the more the better. Also remember that to get a good photo with a long lens, you need to have a fast shutter speed (1/(equivalent focal length) seems to be the norm, others choose faster), so for a 200mm, you would need more or less to have a 1/300 or 1/500 if you are very conservative.

Now, the other part of the equation, the exposure. Do yourself a favor and set the camera in manual mode. Period. No other mode is useful. Also, if for some reason you changed it, set effects on for the viewfinder to simulate the exposure.

Now, how to define a starting point. The moon is actually reflecting the sun. It may be night, but the moon is reflecting the daylight sun, the same as the sun you see at mid day. IF there are no clouds obviously. So basically, it is the same sun that happens at mid day, there is a very helpful metering rule (or guide, or suggestion, or empirical solution) that is the sunny 16 rule. So to take photos of the moon, you can use it as a starting point:

f: 16, ISO:100, shutter speed: 100 (I will use 125 for my calculations, actually, to make it simpler).

Set it to it, and the exposure of the moon will be very close to perfect. Now, compensate for your focal length. You have lets say, the sony 55-210, and are taking the photo at 200mm, that's an equivalent focal length of 300, and to be conservative, you want to set the shutter speed at 1/500. Thats 2 stops of light from the 1/125 that we set it at the beginning (minus 1/3 of a step, I know, did it only to make calculations easy). So, set the shutter speed at 1/500, and now you need to add 2 stops of light from somewhere. Lets say, from the aperture, reduce it 2 stops, from 16 to 8. Or move the ISO to 400. Or a bit of both, it is your choice.

At that point, you will be seen the moon, with a good speed to take the photo. At that point, play with the aperture to get a better exposure. IF the moon is still too bright, close the aperture back. IF it is too dim, open it a bit. You should be close with the sunny 16 rule, but you may need to tune it.

All this is for handheld. If you are using a tripod, you could use just f: 16, ISO:100, shutter speed: 100 and play there. In that case, I would use shutter speed to fine tune the exposure, not the aperture, cause at f16, closing more will add diffraction. In fact, I would use f11 or f8 already to avoid diffraction. For very long lenses, that are really heavy, a tripod could be actually a necessity.

Well, that is how I do it, it is not the only way of doing it, and I didn't invent it, someone already told me to use sunny 16 as a starting step for photos of the moon. And a long focal length is always better. 200mm is still short in my opinion, but helped to make the calculations.

Good luck.

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KwhyChang
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Re: Can I take picture of Moon with Sony alpha Nex-F3?
In reply to DipanjanC, 7 months ago
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captura
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Re: Can I take picture of Moon with Sony alpha Nex-F3?
In reply to DipanjanC, 7 months ago

If you have the E-55-210 zoom lens, you can do this:

Handheld at ISO 3200, set focus to infinity, and about f8 or so. Lean it against a tree or signpost if you can.

Superior Auto mode on my 5R worked just fine, very sharp. I don't know if the F3 has that.

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EinsteinsGhost
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Re: Can I take picture of Moon with Sony alpha Nex-F3?
In reply to DipanjanC, 7 months ago

Try when the moon is closer to the horizon, and not overly bright. You can shoot at base ISO (200 in your case), f/7.1, 1/80s or so, preferably on tripod. 210mm won't get you very close, but if you can get the focus right, you may be able to crop reasonably well.

This is NEX-3 + 55-210 + 1.7x TC lens (Sony DH1758) and a substantial crop:

The moon had a reddish color to it that night, a reason I drove to a relatively dark parking lot of a nearby park.

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uhligfd
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Re: Can I take picture of Moon with Sony alpha Nex-F3?
In reply to EinsteinsGhost, 7 months ago

How did you manage to break the f/11 or f/16 rule three fold:

You mentioned ISO 200, f/7.1 and 1/80 sec exposure:

Iso f/11rule requires at ISO 200: speed = 1/200 sec, aperture around f/11. Your speed (1/80) was around 1 1/2 stops longer, your( f/7.1) aperture 1 1/3 stop wider … yet your pic looks ok. But we do not see its exif data, do we?

Something is dreadfully wrong with your advice: a picture taken as you said would be overexposed by around 3 stops.

Can you explain, please.

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kgab
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Re: Can I take picture of Moon with Sony alpha Nex-F3?
In reply to uhligfd, 7 months ago

This thread made me put together a couple of shots with my A7 on a Celestron 6Se.  It has been to cold here to attempt this until tonight. There are shots ranging from 1/250 to 10's with some stars in the background.  Lots of fun and I can feel my toes again, Enjoy!

http://flic.kr/ps/a6LFT

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EinsteinsGhost
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Re: Can I take picture of Moon with Sony alpha Nex-F3?
In reply to uhligfd, 7 months ago

uhligfd wrote:

How did you manage to break the f/11 or f/16 rule three fold:

You mentioned ISO 200, f/7.1 and 1/80 sec exposure:

Iso f/11rule requires at ISO 200: speed = 1/200 sec, aperture around f/11. Your speed (1/80) was around 1 1/2 stops longer, your( f/7.1) aperture 1 1/3 stop wider … yet your pic looks ok. But we do not see its exif data, do we?

Something is dreadfully wrong with your advice: a picture taken as you said would be overexposed by around 3 stops.

Can you explain, please.

The exif is correct (image is hosted on flickr, and exif taken from there). For this particular image, I wasn't thinking any rule, but getting the reddish color of the moon.

The rule might apply once the moon is high and bright.

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uhligfd
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Re: Can I take picture of Moon with Sony alpha Nex-F3?
In reply to EinsteinsGhost, 7 months ago

EinsteinsGhost wrote:

uhligfd wrote:

How did you manage to break the f/11 or f/16 rule three fold:

You mentioned ISO 200, f/7.1 and 1/80 sec exposure:

Iso f/11rule requires at ISO 200: speed = 1/200 sec, aperture around f/11. Your speed (1/80) was around 1 1/2 stops longer, your( f/7.1) aperture 1 1/3 stop wider … yet your pic looks ok. But we do not see its exif data, do we?

Something is dreadfully wrong with your advice: a picture taken as you said would be overexposed by around 3 stops.

Can you explain, please.

The exif is correct (image is hosted on flickr, and exif taken from there). For this particular image, I wasn't thinking any rule, but getting the reddish color of the moon.

The rule might apply once the moon is high and bright.

Yes I can see it now: the f/7.1 was off camera and the machine did not know that there was a 1.7 x TC attached, so the modified exposure was actually at around f/11 (1.5 stops due to TC). Now the moon was filtered by the dingy atmosphere as well, accounting for the remaining 1 - 2 stops of being outside the f/11 rule. Ok then.

I did not realize that the f value was probably miscomputed in the exif data automatically. So: beware of exif data! My bad.

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EinsteinsGhost
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Re: Can I take picture of Moon with Sony alpha Nex-F3?
In reply to uhligfd, 7 months ago

EinsteinsGhost wrote:

uhligfd wrote:

How did you manage to break the f/11 or f/16 rule three fold:

You mentioned ISO 200, f/7.1 and 1/80 sec exposure:

Iso f/11rule requires at ISO 200: speed = 1/200 sec, aperture around f/11. Your speed (1/80) was around 1 1/2 stops longer, your( f/7.1) aperture 1 1/3 stop wider … yet your pic looks ok. But we do not see its exif data, do we?

Something is dreadfully wrong with your advice: a picture taken as you said would be overexposed by around 3 stops.

Can you explain, please.

The exif is correct (image is hosted on flickr, and exif taken from there). For this particular image, I wasn't thinking any rule, but getting the reddish color of the moon.

The rule might apply once the moon is high and bright.

Yes I can see it now: the f/7.1 was off camera and the machine did not know that there was a 1.7 x TC attached, so the modified exposure was actually at around f/11 (1.5 stops due to TC). Now the moon was filtered by the dingy atmosphere as well, accounting for the remaining 1 - 2 stops of being outside the f/11 rule. Ok then.

I did not realize that the f value was probably miscomputed in the exif data automatically. So: beware of exif data! My bad.

Teleconversion lens does not change the aperture or light transmission the way teleconverter does. With the TC lens, you will get same exposure.

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MVDH
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Re: Can I take picture of Moon with Sony alpha Nex-F3?
In reply to DipanjanC, 7 months ago
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stjarvis
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Re: Can I take picture of Moon with Sony alpha Nex-F3?
In reply to MVDH, 7 months ago

Here's one I took with my 5R and an old manual 400mm @ f8. I just adjust the shutter speed till things look right, and of course use a tripod.

NEX 5R Tamron FO69 400mm Uncropped

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nevercat
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Re: Can I take picture of Moon with Sony alpha Nex-F3?
In reply to DipanjanC, 7 months ago

A lot of very important things are said allready, I will give my 2cnt here:

1. Exposure:
It is hard to give a good exposure rule for the moon there are different things to take in considering:

-Size of the moon. The full moon will give much more light then a small sickle of the moon.-Place of the moon: the higher the moon is on the sky the shorter the wxposure will be.

2. Focussing:

This is the hardest part of the picture taking. Forget AF, it is not accurate enough to get good quality pictures. Place your camera on a tripod and aim at the moon. Then manual focus, with magnification. Take some pictures, examine the picture on a large screen (PC or HDMI output to large TV) readjust focus, take a picture again. and go on until the picture is as sharp as you can get.

An other way to focus is to aim your camera on a bright star and focus on that, you could use a batimov mask (google it) or just focus on the star, and then move to the moon...

3. Size of the moon:

Full moon is hard to get good pictures with lots of details. Half moon has much more details at the place where dark meets light. So it is much easier to focus on there.

4. Take a lot of pictures and stack them:

You can take a lot of pictures and stack them with a program like Registax (free ware, google it)) You will get much sharper pictures. You can process the end result in Photoshopp or an other program.

The next result I took with a special astro camera (Atik with 1.3 Mega Pixels!) and a 1000mm F5 Newton Telescope. I had to take 3 pictures of the moon to cover the whole surface. Every picture was made out of 100 pictures that where stacked in Registax. After stacking those pictures I made one panorama picture out of them in photoshop and procesed them in a special astro processing program (Astra image). Due to an error in my filterwheel I used an Blue filter for the moon.

Maan Atik - Skywatcher 1000mm F5 (200mm mirror) newton telescope.

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bobmandwendyv
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Re: Can I take picture of Moon with Sony alpha Nex-F3?
In reply to DipanjanC, 7 months ago

Here are my sort-of reasonably successful moon shots.  I think the exif data should show.  The first two are with my ancient Nex3 and the last is with my even more ancient Fuji S1000fd. All are just handheld.

Regards,

Bob

Moon in daylight Nex3 with 55-210

Nex3 with 55-210

In the freezing cold with Fuji S1000fd

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Sonyshine
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Yes!
In reply to DipanjanC, 7 months ago

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