Settings for a nice Moon photo

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Artful Dodger, May 19, 2008.

  1. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    Joined:
    May 28, 2004
    Location:
    In a false sense of reality...My Mind!
    #1
    Hello to all,

    I'm sitting here trying to get some good settings for taking a really nice photo of the moon tonight and so far I haven't been able to dial any in that would be considered good by most means. I've done a search and tried using others settings (base line settings that is) and have come up short.
    I'd really like to get a few nice ones tonight because it cool out and the sky is nice and open for a change. My setup is a D50 using a 18-200 mmVR and a tripod with the remote. I have read that taking a photo of the moon is similar to taking a photo in the noon day sun (light reflection off the moon from the sun) so how do some of you combat this or really what settings work for most that have tried this?
    I will/would love to post some moon shots tonight or tomorrow so any and all help greatly welcome :D
     
  2. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #2
    The nice thing about digital is you can guess at the settings, and immediately figure out if you need to adjust.

    Try this to start (using the 18-200 at 200mm): ISO 200, 1/60 second, f/11. That worked for me last July 1. Note that 200mm isn't nearly enough reach - what's below is a 100% crop.

    Note that I don't claim this is a very good photo - but the exposure isn't too bad. I was using a crap tripod; and I had it sitting on a wooden porch (0-fer-2).

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Artful Dodger thread starter macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

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    #3
    Thanks Westside guy,
    I'm going to go try this using my glorified Jarts Tripod since the Tripod I wanted to get was backordered. I know the engineering duct-taped master piece of a tripod messed up most of the photos last-night so I'm adding some weight (light or more duct tape will be needed :rolleyes:) Those were close to my settings so wish me luck or the tripod will become a tomato stake by morning…
     
  4. ipodtoucher macrumors 68000

    ipodtoucher

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    Sep 13, 2007
    Location:
    Cedar Park, TX
    #4
    Yeah its super hard because the moon reflects so much light from the sun that it's hard to find a great focus point.... just trial and error haha that has always been my philosophy
     
  5. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000

    taylorwilsdon

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    Nov 16, 2006
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #5
    Er... try "infinity" for focus ;)
     
  6. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #6
    What? Your lens doesn't have a distance marking for 240,000 miles? :D
     
  7. theenigmat macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2006
    #7
    ipodtoucher is 100% cprrect that the moon is reflecting sunlight (as we all know from astronomy). Thankfully, this means that the "Sunny 16" rule can be used here just as one would on a bright day. The rule states that at an aperture of f/16, your shutter speed should be 1/[your ISO speed]. So, if you are shooting at f/16 and an ISO of 400, your shutter speed would be 1/400. These settings should (and have for me) produced very well exposed images of a full moon. Slight boosts in exposure (+1/3) may be needed for crescent moons, but typically, the "Sunny 16" rule will work wonderfully on the moon.
     
  8. Artful Dodger thread starter macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

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    #8
    Update:
    Sorry for the wait but rain held me back until tonight from playing around with the moon. My one slow move was I didn't realize that the VR was set to off on the lens since I was happy that everything else was going so smooth until I saw the pics on my iMac :eek: Guess that's good because I won't forget that again anytime soon. So the only thing I did was sharpen the photos that came out fairly well considering the VR issue mainly so others that don't have this lens or are thinking about getting one can see how it fairs. I'll be posting another few tomorrow night bearing no rain, a larger more full moon and a clear sky "with VR" turned on this time. So until then thanks for the help from everyone!

    Shutter: 1/400
    Aperture: f5.6
    Exposure Bias: 2.00
    Focal Length: 200 mm
    Flash: on
    ISO: 200
     

    Attached Files:

  9. greg555 macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 24, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #9
    One interesting thing about the moon is that the dust/rocks are somewhat retro-reflective (like a stop sign). So at full moon it looks brighter (since we are pretty much in-line with the sun) than at first or last quarter or crescent phase. And the moons albedo is quite low (12%) so it is darker than an 18% gray card you may have for your camera.

    This page talks about how the brightness changes: http://www.asterism.org/tutorials/tut26-1.htm

    Generally you want the moon to look bright. So if you could spot meter the moon (with no surrounding black reaching the spot meter) you would probably want it brighter than the 18% the spot meter would try to expose for.

    This page has a good chart of exposures for all the moon phases: http://home.hiwaay.net/~krcool/Astro/moon/howtophoto/index.htm

    Greg
     
  10. greg555 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #10
    Here's my best shot (so far)

    [​IMG]

    Pentax K20D with A* 300mm f4, Pentax 2X-S teleconverter and a Sigma 1.4x teleconverter. So that's a focal length of 840 mm and an equivalent FL of 1260 mm (due to the APS-C sized sensor in the camera).

    The EXIF says ISO 200 and 1/4 second at f8 (which really is f22 because of the teleconverters). It's not perfectly sharp but looks pretty good full screen on my 20" iMac. The photo is a bit of a crop since on the original the moon is a little less than half the height of the screen.

    Regards - Greg
     
  11. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    Location:
    Ireland
    #11
    Eos 5D
    500mm lens
    shutter speed 1/250
    Aperture f11
    ISO 400
    Large heavy tripod !!!

    Sorry meant to say:
    Image size increased using Photoshop CS3 / Genuine fractals 5
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Chappers macrumors 68020

    Chappers

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2003
    Location:
    At home
    #12
    Samsung GX-1S
    Focal length - 300
    FNumber - 8
    Exposure time 1/125
    No tripod - steady hand
    I have only cropped it because I prefer it that way - no other adjustments
     

    Attached Files:

  13. creative78 macrumors regular

    creative78

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2007
    #13
    D300/18-200mm Handheld
    Focal Length:200mm
    Shutter Speed: 1/200
    Aperture: f5.6
    ISO 200
    Cropped and sharpened slightly.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. costabunny macrumors 68020

    costabunny

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    May 15, 2008
    Location:
    Weymouth, UK
    #14
    w00t

    I had a pop at this last night. The image is cropped, and B&W'd only.

    [​IMG]

    Shot on D300 1/125 @ f13 (I am going to try some other settings) - on a 200mm f2.8 lens with 2x telconv. (took through the UV filter, again I may mess with a polariser to see what it looks like).

    This is my first ever successful moon shot. - thanks guys for the tips :)
     
  15. thr33face macrumors 6502

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    May 28, 2006
    #15
    hmm... the lenses here are all marked with meters.
    what's that 'mile' you're talking about? ;)
     
  16. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

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    Ireland
    #16
    At a rough estimation, you should set the lens at 414,000,000 meters .. :D
     
  17. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    #17
    VR should be off on a tripod. By all means try it - sounds like yours moves a bit - but it may make things worse.
     
  18. TimJim macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    #18
    Heres my best shot of the moon:
    Aperture: f/5.6
    Shutter: 1/350
    Exposure Bias: 0ev
    ISO: 100
    Focal Length: 70-300 @ 300mm

    Fairly cheap tripod
    Cropped and sharpened

    [​IMG]
    Full Image
     
  19. harcosparky macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    #19
    As I was once told, on the moon it's always a SUNNY DAY !

    I just got a new Canon 40D and cannot wait to put it on the telescope! :D

    Set it as you would for any bright day, do some bracketing and such.

    LEFT IMAGE:
    EOS 10D mounted to a Meade ETX90 Telescope
    Shutter 1/180
    ISO 400

    RIGHT IMAGE:
    EOS 10D mounted to a Meade ETX90 Telescope
    Shutter 1/1000
    ISO 1600

    BOTTOM IMAGE:

    EOS: 40D
    LENS: 75-300IS Canon
    Aperture: f16
    Exposure: 1/60
    ISO: 100

    Both were shot back in 2003.

    It will be interesting to do some with the 40D and compare.
     

    Attached Files:

  20. Artful Dodger thread starter macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

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    Location:
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    #20
    Yes it does, as in one of my other replies in another thread I told Westside guy that my current tripod is a better looking set of jarts and since then I had to (of all things) duct tape a leg. So it is nothing more than a silver plant holder at this point :eek: The tripod I want just came in (finally) at the local shop and I'm going to get it this weekend. Now if it would just stop raining in Buffalo that would also be wonderful ;)
    Also I can't believe I forgot to crop my photo above so I'll be looking for another one to post that was nicer and also, cropped…

    I have to figure out how to connect my camera up to my Girlfriends Meade DS-90 because that thing makes the moon look great! Wonder how other planets would look as well? Maybe another thread or combine those photos here as well for that if others have been able to achieve pics through a telescope(s).
     
  21. TimJim macrumors 6502a

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    May 15, 2007
    #21
    Theres supposed to be a nice moon tonight just to let you guys know.
     
  22. harcosparky macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    #22
    I am not familiar with the DS-90, the ETX90 has a port on the back and came with a T-Mount. I had to get a T-Mount -> EOS adapter for that.

    If the DS90 doesn't have a port and all you have is the eyepiece, using a DSLR on the eyepiece isn't a good idea. It will work but so much of the image is wasted.

    You need to get the eyepiece with the widest diameter, 26mm or 40mm.

    Ideally when shooting through the eyepiece, you want the camera lens diameter to match the diameter of the eyepiece otherwise severe vignetting will occur.

    I have taken pics with the 10D through an eyepiece and then used a Nikon 995 ( 3.2 megapixel - i think ). In any case the 995 produced the better image because it was matched to the eyepiece, so the image was full framed.


    Here are three shots taken last night.

    Camera: Canon 40D
    Lens: El Cheapo Quantaray 500mm f/8.0 MIRRORED LENS
    Shutter Speeds - 1/250 1/500 1/640

    Tonight I will try to use the ETX90

    Images were cropped only - no other editing was done.


    If you are serious about hooking up your camera to a telescope check out SCOPETRONIX ---> http://www.scopetronics.com/wizard/intro.htm

    That is a wizard where you tell it what camera you have, select the type of telescope viewing you have and it tells you all you need to get. They sell the gear!!!


    Looks like they have something new called MAXVIEW that might give Full Frame through eyepiece with DSLR - they show Canon EOS10D and 20D, but that's the same as the 30D, 40D and so on.
     

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  23. hasbro macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    #23
    much later

    It's a full moon the night after Halloween. Light and intermittent cloud cover, which actually makes for fantastic shots. I have been using a variety of techniques. Typically 10 secs on f10 turns out spectacular with an Eos 50d. I have been using the ubiquitous 28-35mm to shoot through and including branches. It creates an oh so spooky Tim Burton feel. I also experimented with f6.3 to create a blown-out sepia-daylight look. The leaf color comes out strong and the moon looks like sunlight. Fun stuff.
     
  24. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

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  25. mtbdudex macrumors 68000

    mtbdudex

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    Aug 28, 2007
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    #25
    Thx for tips here, this is my first "moon still", Took this morning (Thur 11/5) 3:30am:
    Tripod, f11 aperture, 1/125 sec, ISO200, 250mm.
    [​IMG]
     

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