Moon Photography


psyeve

New Member
Jan 10, 2011
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#1
Hi,

I would like to ask about taking photos of the moon.

Recently, i've been trying hard to take photos of the full moon using D5000 with 18mm-200mm f/3.5 lens.

Haha... sad to say but the moon appears to be like a bright circle of light and is unable to see more details of the moon. I tried using a ND4 filter as well but it seems not much change.
Anyone can guide and share some insights on how to take?

Appreciated!
 

Timolol

New Member
Sep 24, 2009
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#2
use a faster shutter speed.
 

Octarine

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Jan 3, 2008
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Pasir Ris
#3
Have a look into the subforum Night Photography.
Post a picture with exif intact, tell us how you took the pic (hopefully using tripod etc).
 

Akatsuki

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Mar 2, 2008
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#4
try to stop down to more than f/7 if possible... ISO as low as u can 100-200, spot meter, tripod mount if you don't have VR. Now is a good time to shoot! So bright, can up your shutter rate and increase a chance of a good take.

I just came back from a moon shoot and saw your thread, still sweating, haha... let me share a take of mine tonight... not exactly sharp though... and some details lost...



Handheld, 500mm, 1/640, ISO200, f/6.3
 

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CamInit

New Member
Nov 3, 2009
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#5
Try manual mode and focusing, tripod and liveview magnification.
 

chiangkxv

Senior Member
Jul 5, 2008
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#6
I suspect you are using evaluative metering. So...

Spot metering is your solution.

if you use evaluative, it will meter the scene, thus moon will be blown. spot metering enable you to take metering at the moon only.
 

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psyeve

New Member
Jan 10, 2011
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#7
Octarine: I'll post the pics after another attempt tmr... today really failure sia... all the pictures i took are just a circle of bright light...

Alan: Nice shot... Did you use any filters? yea.. i have VR and im using tripod.. I'll test again tmr.. practice makes perfect =)

Thanks all for the guidance!
 

Akatsuki

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Mar 2, 2008
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#8
Alan: Nice shot... Did you use any filters? yea.. i have VR and im using tripod.. I'll test again tmr.. practice makes perfect =)

Thanks all for the guidance!
Thanks :) No, didn't use any filter, infact the lens was naked... i don't recommend putting ND filter as it might degrade the quality... shutter speed and aperture control will allow you to "darken" the moon considerably already. Shoot enough and you will know the best setting for the moment :) Pls share your take soon!

p.s: remember to off VR on tripod :)
 

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raydio

Senior Member
Jun 25, 2009
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Toronto, Canada
#9
You may find some (or all) of these tips helpful:

- Use a good steady tripod

- Be sure to turn off VR when using a tripod. It will allow for a sharper photo.

- Try using a wireless shutter release if you have one.

- If you don't have a wireless shutter release, then use the 10 second delay feature for your shutter.

- Live view 10x also helps with focusing to achieve a sharp photo... using this approach, manual focusing is best.

- Use 100 ISO

- Use manual mode and play with the settings (aperture and shutter speed) until you've found a good combination

- Use an aperture of f/7.1 or f/8

- Use a tele-extender to get more reach.

- Take off any filters that may be on the front of your lens.

- Pick a clear night that has very little to no breeze.

- Don't always feel that the "right" time to take a moon shot is when it is full. Often great moon shots can be accomplished during a quarter or half moon. This is because the moon will not be so bright in certain areas and a more even exposure can be made with fewer bright spots.

- Experimentation is the key.


Good luck :)
 

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chiangkxv

Senior Member
Jul 5, 2008
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#10
Octarine: I'll post the pics after another attempt tmr... today really failure sia... all the pictures i took are just a circle of bright light...

Alan: Nice shot... Did you use any filters? yea.. i have VR and im using tripod.. I'll test again tmr.. practice makes perfect =)

Thanks all for the guidance!
Which mode are you using? Av, Tv or Manual? and which metering mode you are on?
 

NedKelly

New Member
Aug 20, 2008
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Australia (currently)
#11
Main thing is to use spot focus.
You will usually find at iso 200-400, with a clear sky and full moon, at abt f8, you are hitting around 1/160-1/320 shutter speeds.

To get consistent first use Aperture priority, and spot metering. meter how bright is the moon.
and take a shot if need to. review settings.
switch to manual mode.

now you can control how bright you want the moon to be.

the reason to use f8-f11 is
1) control light amount
2) sweet spot for lens sharpness in general.

taking off filter also helps to improve quality.

You dont usually need a tripod if you are shooting at 200mm with your lens, with VR on and can hit 1/160 shutter speeds.
however once you go higher mag, ie past 200mm on a cropped sensor, then you may need to.

for nikon shooters:
bear in mind too if you use an extender on a telephoto lens eg 18-200mm, you get good extension. however because you loose a stop of light, and your lens is now very extended, you will now be shooting at around 1/100 for a say 200x1.5x2 = 600mm equivalent.
VR might still help but you will want to add in shutter delay and tripod.
However because nikon's shutter delay is only a 0.5sec delay between mirror slap and shutter release, it may not have allowed the long protruding lens and extender to have stop vibrating.

The lower your shutter speed goes, the longer your lens protrude, the more amplified the shakes where even VR and tripod is not going to help at all.
You may need to rig something up to steady the lens physically.

or if you are shooting such long magnifications, best use a lens with tripod collar eg the 70-200mm kind where your tripod attachment point is midway between lens tip and body/sensor.

hoepfully this makes sense :D
 

MRSAMO

New Member
Nov 17, 2008
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#12
Here's my attempt at 85mm and handheld, it has been cropped to magnify the moon a little more:




Radio and Nedkelly pretty much summed up the steps for taking shots of the moon. I just make sure I could see a little detail like the darker grays and texture before capturing the shot.
 

MRSAMO

New Member
Nov 17, 2008
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Australia->Japan
#14
Wow we almost got the same angle too! at 200mm it really does make a difference for these kind of shots.
 

NedKelly

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Aug 20, 2008
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#15
heheheh agreed.
there are other ways to play around too :p

With Nikon's newer bodies, you can do a double exposure...
I have tried shooting the 1st exposure hand held using my Tamron 18-270mm@270mm + 2x tele,

then shooting the 2nd exposure on tripod @ 18mm for a structure. makes it really crazy :D
Initial attempt


Later when I was visiting Boston.
 

MRSAMO

New Member
Nov 17, 2008
598
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Australia->Japan
#16
Yeah but it doesn't look realistic at all! It reminds me of the old 1980s DOS screensavers where moons used to be huge.
 

kwttan

New Member
Jan 8, 2010
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Concrete jungle
#20
Sometimes back, I tempted to shoot the moon using my 70-200 handheld. At ISO1600, the moon appeared to be orangish-red, whereas ISO3200 it appeared dull.


ISO1600, 200mm, F/11, 1/250


ISO3200, 200mm, F/11, 1/250
 

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