I shot the moon

Started Feb 4, 2018 | Discussions thread
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Michael Berg
Michael Berg Contributing Member • Posts: 865
I shot the moon

Hello all,

So recently we had what I am told is a "super moon", which I believe is when the moon gets closer to the earth than usual. The photo below wasn't taken on that day but a few days before when the night was exceptionally clear and I just happened to be in the mood for some lens fun. First, the final photo:

Pretty cool right? So how was this photo made. Well, let's talk gear first, that's probably the most interesting part of the story anyway.

The camera used was my Fuji X-T2 which I absolutely love. Only problem with that camera is that it isn't cheap. Which means that once you buy the camera, you have to make do with whatever lenses you can get your hands on cheaply. But that's ok, being able to use third party and vintage lenses is one of the most important reasons why I chose the X-T2.

In this case the lens used was a very old Minolta 180mm F/3.5 prime. It's so obscure I haven't been able to find much documentation on it, but it looks like this:

Besides this I had another piece of Minolta glass, namely a 2.0 teleconverter. This allowed me to boost the focal length from 180mm to 360mm, or the equivalent of 540mm on my X-T2. If my math is correct. It looks like this:

The converter has a glass element and appears to be of very high quality. I have not seen any noticable softness or chromatic abberation out of this converter.

To mount all of that on my X-T2 I used an adapter from K&F Concept, which I believe is a Japanese brand. I have a bunch of adapters for various lenses from them, all bought for next to nothing on eBay. I do recommend them for their quality and precision machining, despite the low price. Here's the adapter on the X-T2 by itself:

Obviously there's no stabilization available so I used a tripod to get steady shots. Here's the whole thing in all its glory.

The image itself was constructed from a sequence of 15 shots, taken at about 1/30s at F/11. ISO 200. The moon does move quite fast through the field of view so I had to continuously adjust the tripod to keep the moon around the center of the frame for optimum sharpness and suitability for stacking later on.

To get rid of noise and improve resolution -- and try my hand at astro photography, I used Siril to align and stack the photos. Siril is free software that runs on Ubuntu and has a lot of nice features like automatic alignment and super-res (aka drizzle x2 or x3) to help improve resolution even further.

Final editing was done in Darktable, my favorite raw editor.

Anyway, I hope you like the moon shot. And please excuse the long post, I guess I got carried way there It was a fun experiment and I highly recommend it as an exercise in astro photography -- as well as a new way to use your old vintage lenses.

If you have any questions about the setup or anything else, please feel free to ask.

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Fujifilm X-T2
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