First dSLR Nikon D3100 Help with Moon Shot!

Started Sep 26, 2010 | Discussions
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Ethernaut05 New Member • Posts: 17
First dSLR Nikon D3100 Help with Moon Shot!

Felt inspired by many of your wonderful suggestions and comments about just going out and SHOOTING as much as possible. Saw some pretty cool moon shots on here and I wanted to try. Used my 55-200 on the twilight (night shot) setting..>

I don't know or understand enough how to adjust manual settings..I hand held this and then cropped and adjusted contrasts on Picasa edit.

Looking forward to your comments how to really get that cool shot on the moon..and yes..it really was red..Harvest Moon! Thanks!

chiue Veteran Member • Posts: 8,726
Re: First dSLR Nikon D3100 Help with Moon Shot!

Ethernaut05 wrote:

Felt inspired by many of your wonderful suggestions and comments about just going out and SHOOTING as much as possible. Saw some pretty cool moon shots on here and I wanted to try. Used my 55-200 on the twilight (night shot) setting..>

I don't know or understand enough how to adjust manual settings..I hand held this and then cropped and adjusted contrasts on Picasa edit.

First of all, you need a tripod. Due to the fact that you will be using max zoom, a slight movement will blurred the picture. VR helps but cannot beat a good tripod.

Don't use scene mode. The sky is basically black and there is no twilight to preserved.
To be honest 200mm is not quite up to the task.

The best setting is manual. And use manual focus rather than autofocus. If you use auto focus, make sure to select the focus point to where the moon was.

For aperture start from f8 and increase to f16. For shutter speed start from 1/80 to 1/400 if all depend on the brightness of the moon. Unfortunately there is no set rules for moon shot. It is trail and error.

Here is one of mine during the Chinese Mid Autumn Festival. I was experimenting with my 55-200mm with a 1.7X t-con that make it a focal length of 340mm.

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Guidenet
Guidenet Forum Pro • Posts: 15,748
Re: First dSLR Nikon D3100 Help with Moon Shot!

Just remember, it's noon in the middle of the day on the moon. You'd generally use the same exposure as you'd use here during the middle of a bright sunny day. The Sunny 16 rule might apply.

Now, your red harvest moon might be a little different. You might need more exposure.

As was said, a tripod is nice as is more magnification, but if the shutter speed is high enough, you're ok without one.
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Ethernaut05 OP New Member • Posts: 17
Re: First dSLR Nikon D3100 Help with Moon Shot!

Here is one of mine during the Chinese Mid Autumn Festival. I was experimenting with my 55-200mm with a 1.7X t-con that make it a focal length of 340mm.

WOW!! That is an amazing photo of the moon! I know nothing about those tele-converters.> Does anyone have thoughts on these? And using my 55-200 which one would I purchase..what do they run?$?

I will go back out and try again with some of the settings you have all mentioned..in addition..I will use a tripod! Thanks!

madakhan Junior Member • Posts: 39
Re: First dSLR Nikon D3100 Help with Moon Shot!

Guidenet wrote:

As was said, a tripod is nice as is more magnification, but if the shutter speed is high enough, you're ok without one.

I had also read some advice about using a tripod and manual focusing to shoot the moon but wasn't happy with the results. Then I tried a handheld shot (with VR) and let my D300 autofocus, the results were much better. This is true for 200mm (x1.5 CF) FL but maybe not for longer zooms.

I would also recommend finding out you lens's 'sweet spot' aperture and using the center focus point because most lenses are sharpest in the center. Then you can crop to get an off-center moon if you wish.

Rakumi Veteran Member • Posts: 6,232
Re: First dSLR Nikon D3100 Help with Moon Shot!

I use to think i needed a slow shutter but somebody told me a fast shutter was better. You should be able to hand hold on a bright moon night.
--

Darkness is the monster and your shutter is your sword, aperture your shield and iso your armor. Strike fast with your sword and defend well with your shield and hope your armor holds up.

Milner Senior Member • Posts: 1,102
Re: First dSLR Nikon D3100 Help with Moon Shot!

Great effort!

Keep trying and experiment with exposure, you will get the ones you like in the end. You might also want to experiment with white balance a bit to get the color you like. I like the orangy color you got there.

If you are really into playing around with your images on your comp you could give lightroom a shot, it provides many adjustments.

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