Moon shots

Started Sep 25, 2007 | Discussions
Dejan80501
Dejan80501 Contributing Member • Posts: 950
Moon shots

With the upcoming full moon, I plan on attempting to capture a few good images of the moon. In the past, I have blown out the image of the moon (flashing highlight). Any suggestions on camera settings? I have a D200 with 18-70/3.5, 70-300/4.5 VR and 80-200/2.8 lenses. Thanks in advance.
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Dejan Smaic

http://dejansmaic.smugmug.com

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TheD70Kid Regular Member • Posts: 149
Hey Dejan....

First off, don't be afraid to play around. Take a picture and look at you image and tweak your settings from there. For me, I learned by trial and error. Second, try and use a tripod.

DON'T shoot in P mode. This will most likely not produce the results you are looking for. When I shoot the moon I will set my ISO to the lowest settings (ISO 100-200). I will set my shooting mode to M. I tend to shoot at f/11, this is my personal preference and you can shoot at other apertures as you see fit. I myself will play around with my aperture and shoot at different ends of the spectrum.

The next step is to begin to adjust you shutter speeds, which will vary depending on: the phase of the moon, the amount of darkness, desired "color" of the moon, ISO, and lens that you are using (other variables may be taken into account, these are just a few). I will usually start off at a shutter speed of 1/200s.

So that's ISO 100, f/11, and Shutter=1/200s. I will then look at my image. If the image appears too dark, I will decrease my shutter speed, however, you don't want to make your shutter speed too low, as the moon will be constantly moving. If your shutter speed drops to a point that your image isn't looking sharp, increase your ISO to 200. You could also change your aperture value to a to say f/8, but I think 99% of the time you will be ok.

If your image appears too bright, increase your shutter speed. I'm sure you know all this, but I'm trying to stress to play around with your setting till you feel you are getting the image you desire.

I would use the 80-200mm because, of the 3 lenses, I think that this will produce the least amount of CA (Chromatic aberration, "the ugly purple ring"). and watch out for ghosting, most of the time I have not had issues with ghosting. Good luck and have fun!

These are only my techniques, others may have a different way of "shooting the moon." Take advantage of the LCD, look at your image, and adjust your settings till you are happy.

-Danny

Here's a recent "Lucky shot". No, it's not the greatest example, but under my conditions it was very neat to get. Taken while driving back to Chicago from Colorado (I was not personally driving the car). Taken while moving!

ISO 100
f/2.8
1/250"
200mm (70-200mm f/2.8 VR)

OvinceZ
OvinceZ Senior Member • Posts: 2,726
Re: Moon shots

I didn't have much success until I used spot metering.

Tonight I tried Manual and set it up as follows. 160s f10 or f11

I also tried exposure compensation and then on the last image used a polarizing filter. I used the Nikkor 70-300 on a tripod with VR turned off. Used the timer as well. There is some blue fringing just as our friend said.

Good luck with yours. These are cropped full size images. I had to darken several of the images except the ones using the filter. Skylight filter was used for the other images.

Series here: http://ovincez.smugmug.com/gallery/3538194#200216600

Vince in Sydney

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clickmepp Contributing Member • Posts: 864
Re: Moon shots

Thoeritically "Moony 11" is the best place to start wil for Full Moon shoot. It is a part of Sunny 16 Rule. Moon is gright object, so it needs to be treated as if you are shoting in day.....

Settings for Full Moon:

1. Aperture : 11
2. Shutter Speed : 1/ISO (1/200 if ISO was set to 200)
3. Focus : Manual, set to Infinity
4. Exposure : Manual set Aperture and Shutterspped
5. Compensation: Start with 0, then adjust Shutterspeed if you need
6. Settings : Custom, Sharpening +, Colorspace sRGB III
7. White Balance : DayLight
8. Quality : RAW (adjust WB in PP)

Aperture and Shutterspeed is to start with..You can experiment...But always keep ISO minimum.....

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
D50 - 18-70 DX - 70-300 VR - 50/1.8 - 80/1.8 - 90/2.8 Macro - 28-75/2.8
SB-800 - Filters - Tripod - Monopod - CS2 - Mini Trucker

-- hide signature --

2007 - Sigma 10-20 2008 : D300
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

OvinceZ
OvinceZ Senior Member • Posts: 2,726
Re: Moon shots

You make it sound easy! Thanks for the settings. Will try them next time.

Vince

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photoforfun Veteran Member • Posts: 6,084
recent one with 70-200 VR & kenko 2X converter

sharpened "medium" in Nikon editor
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Kindest regards,
Stany
I prefer one really good picture in a day over 10 bad ones in a second...

http://www.fotografie.fr/

kennethw Contributing Member • Posts: 627
Re: recent one with 70-200 VR & kenko 2X converter

I'm still having a tough time with the moon, my best so far....uncropped and overly sharpened....

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Amateur Photographer, constructive criticism most welcome: http://www.pbase.com/kennethw

OvinceZ
OvinceZ Senior Member • Posts: 2,726
Re: recent one with 70-200 VR & kenko 2X converter

combo seems sharper than the 70-300. Good image.

Vince

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Peter Davis Senior Member • Posts: 1,171
Re: recent one with 70-200 VR & kenko 2X converter

Doesn't look like you're having a tough time at all, that is great!

kennethw wrote:

I'm still having a tough time with the moon, my best so
far....uncropped and overly sharpened....

bob elkind Veteran Member • Posts: 5,815
Moon shots - don't forget...

If you have a remote shutter release, you should use, along with mirror up shooiting mode.

1/10 sec, ISO100, F/11 (F/22 counting the 2x Kenko Pro300 TC), Bigma (Sigma 50-500)

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Rickard Hansson Senior Member • Posts: 2,082
Re: Moon shots

use manual mode and start at (for example) 1/125 at f8 and then look if the shot is to dark or to bright, then just adjust your shutterspeed until you find it appealing.

Using autoexposure is a bad idea when taking mooshots, i know as i i have takens several moonshots myself.

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Rickard Hansson
Sweden

Rickard Hansson Senior Member • Posts: 2,082
an example shot by me using an sigma 50-500

http://www.mostphotos.com/view.php?imgid=12041&offset=5&querytype=gallery&memberid=461

you can click the image to see it in 100%.

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Rickard Hansson
Sweden

bob elkind Veteran Member • Posts: 5,815
using my own advice, shot tonight

Used a remote shutter release ! And I used mirror up !

bob elkind wrote:

If you have a remote shutter release, you should use, along with
mirror up shooiting mode.

1/60 sec, ISO100 , F/9 (F/18 counting the 2x Kenko Pro300 TC), Bigma (Sigma 50-500)

sharpen, curves applied

original: http://eteam.zenfolio.com/img/v2/p517880931.jpg

  • Bob Elkind

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bob elkind Veteran Member • Posts: 5,815
basking in the moonlight

scene out the back yard. Manual, 30sec, ISO400 (for exposure level), f/5.6 shot with Sigma 10-20, at 10mm.

uncropped (but scaled) --

same as above, cropped --

  • Bob Elkind

 bob elkind's gear list:bob elkind's gear list
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pmong Senior Member • Posts: 2,300
Re: Moon shots - don't forget...

One of the best moon images I have seen so far on a few recent Dpreview forms. Gives me a goal for myself. Thanks.

bob elkind wrote:

If you have a remote shutter release, you should use, along with
mirror up shooiting mode.

1/10 sec, ISO100, F/11 (F/22 counting the 2x Kenko Pro300 TC), Bigma
(Sigma 50-500)

Daniel Soh Regular Member • Posts: 223
Mirror reflex lens

Shot with a 1000mm reflex lens.

pmong Senior Member • Posts: 2,300
Re: Mirror reflex lens

Daniel,

I too am experimenting with a reflex lens. Can you tell me something about your lens (make, f-stop, etc.)? I have been using a cheap 500mm Cambron reflex and an older 500mm Nikon Type-C. Any advice on how to get the most out of a reflex lens? My tends to produce soft and low-contrast pictures with dull colors.

Thanks.

Daniel Soh wrote:

Shot with a 1000mm reflex lens.

johndawg Regular Member • Posts: 199
Re: recent one with 70-200 VR & kenko 2X converter

Very nice! I need to get a converter for my 70-200! Nice job!

kennethw wrote:

I'm still having a tough time with the moon, my best so
far....uncropped and overly sharpened....

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John

--------------------------------------------------
http://www.johnadams.tv/photos
http://www.thecorporatetoilet.com/forum

Marker Senior Member • Posts: 1,102
Don't shoot it full....

Other phases provide more interesting detail.

MirceaR Regular Member • Posts: 234
Re: Don't shoot it full....

My humble advice on taking a moon shot.
1. Use a tripod. Even if you got a VR lens

2. If you have a (good) autofocus lens, let the camera autofocus on the 'edge' of the moon and then switch to manual so that the focus won't change.

3. use delayed shutter - if time permits, the longest one; if not, 5 secs. are enough
4. lowest ISO - you want to get detail, not noise
5. use the widest F/ that you know gives the sharpest image for your lens
6. shoot RAW as it gives more headroom for PP

7. use the exposure long enough that doesn't get blown highlights, with the F/ and ISO you use; try multiple exposures until you won't get any clipped highlights

Nikon D40, 5x1/13s ISO200, 100 years old Carl Zeiss refractor F-2695mm F/D 18; 50%; manual focus :

It still needs some work done so you won't see the seams :O)

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