Recommendations on taking a picture of the moon

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Jeff Durham, Jun 22, 2004.

  1. Jeff Durham

    Jeff Durham Guest

    Has anyone taken pictures of the moon with a digital SLR and if so, what do
    you recommend:
    - Telephoto mm size -- what do you need to fill the picture with the moon.
    I know that my 200mm (actually 1.6x that so it is really a 320mm) is not
    enough
    - Shutter speed -- from my astronomy days, it moves pretty fast
    - Aperture
    - ISO

    Thanks,
    Jeff
    Jeff Durham, Jun 22, 2004
    #1
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  2. Jeff Durham

    skymuffins Guest

    "Jeff Durham" <> wrote in message
    news:HFYBc.143260$...
    > Has anyone taken pictures of the moon with a digital SLR and if so, what

    do
    > you recommend:
    > - Telephoto mm size -- what do you need to fill the picture with the moon.
    > I know that my 200mm (actually 1.6x that so it is really a 320mm) is not
    > enough
    > - Shutter speed -- from my astronomy days, it moves pretty fast
    > - Aperture
    > - ISO
    >
    > Thanks,
    > Jeff


    Try this site: http://www.u-net.com/ph/mas/observe/lunar-p/lunar-p.htm

    More info than you could possibly need.

    - Harrison
    skymuffins, Jun 22, 2004
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Jeff Durham

    Jeff Durham Guest

    Thanks for the site recommendation. That is exactly what I was looking for.
    I was hoping that it would not take a big telephoto lens, but it does. From
    the images produced, 800mm does a reasonable job, but 1600mm or bigger is
    much better.

    Jeff


    "skymuffins" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > "Jeff Durham" <> wrote in message
    > news:HFYBc.143260$...
    > > Has anyone taken pictures of the moon with a digital SLR and if so, what

    > do
    > > you recommend:
    > > - Telephoto mm size -- what do you need to fill the picture with the

    moon.
    > > I know that my 200mm (actually 1.6x that so it is really a 320mm) is not
    > > enough
    > > - Shutter speed -- from my astronomy days, it moves pretty fast
    > > - Aperture
    > > - ISO
    > >
    > > Thanks,
    > > Jeff

    >
    > Try this site: http://www.u-net.com/ph/mas/observe/lunar-p/lunar-p.htm
    >
    > More info than you could possibly need.
    >
    > - Harrison
    >
    >
    Jeff Durham, Jun 22, 2004
    #3
  4. Jeff Durham

    Tony Spadaro Guest

    Go with at least 500mms and 1000 would probably be better, but it will
    depend on the size of the sensor in your camera. The full moon in summer is
    rather low in the sky and there is more pollution , haze etc. Try a setting
    of 100 ISO and shutter speed at f5.6 and adjust until you get the right
    exposure for you. If you happen to be in the southern hemisphere where it is
    winter, start with f11 or 16 as the moon is high in what should be a crisp
    hazeless sky.

    --
    http://www.chapelhillnoir.com
    home of The Camera-ist's Manifesto
    The Improved Links Pages are at
    http://www.chapelhillnoir.com/links/mlinks00.html
    A sample chapter from my novel "Haight-Ashbury" is at
    http://www.chapelhillnoir.com/writ/hait/hatitl.html
    "Jeff Durham" <> wrote in message
    news:HFYBc.143260$...
    > Has anyone taken pictures of the moon with a digital SLR and if so, what

    do
    > you recommend:
    > - Telephoto mm size -- what do you need to fill the picture with the moon.
    > I know that my 200mm (actually 1.6x that so it is really a 320mm) is not
    > enough
    > - Shutter speed -- from my astronomy days, it moves pretty fast
    > - Aperture
    > - ISO
    >
    > Thanks,
    > Jeff
    >
    >
    Tony Spadaro, Jun 22, 2004
    #4
  5. Jeff Durham

    Jeff Durham Guest

    Thanks. I will give that a try. I think I am going to need a bigger lens
    though. The one I can use now is a 300mm which is 480mm on my camera. With
    a 6.3 MP camera, do you think there is enough resolution to crop and expand
    this image from a 480mm to fill a 4x6 or 8x10 picture reasonably well?

    Jeff


    "Tony Spadaro" <> wrote in message
    news:GLZBc.65537$...
    > Go with at least 500mms and 1000 would probably be better, but it will
    > depend on the size of the sensor in your camera. The full moon in summer

    is
    > rather low in the sky and there is more pollution , haze etc. Try a

    setting
    > of 100 ISO and shutter speed at f5.6 and adjust until you get the right
    > exposure for you. If you happen to be in the southern hemisphere where it

    is
    > winter, start with f11 or 16 as the moon is high in what should be a crisp
    > hazeless sky.
    >
    > --
    > http://www.chapelhillnoir.com
    > home of The Camera-ist's Manifesto
    > The Improved Links Pages are at
    > http://www.chapelhillnoir.com/links/mlinks00.html
    > A sample chapter from my novel "Haight-Ashbury" is at
    > http://www.chapelhillnoir.com/writ/hait/hatitl.html
    > "Jeff Durham" <> wrote in message
    > news:HFYBc.143260$...
    > > Has anyone taken pictures of the moon with a digital SLR and if so, what

    > do
    > > you recommend:
    > > - Telephoto mm size -- what do you need to fill the picture with the

    moon.
    > > I know that my 200mm (actually 1.6x that so it is really a 320mm) is not
    > > enough
    > > - Shutter speed -- from my astronomy days, it moves pretty fast
    > > - Aperture
    > > - ISO
    > >
    > > Thanks,
    > > Jeff
    > >
    > >

    >
    >
    Jeff Durham, Jun 22, 2004
    #5
  6. Jeff Durham

    Phil Wheeler Guest

    Worth a try. Use a tripod :)

    Jeff Durham wrote:
    > Thanks. I will give that a try. I think I am going to need a bigger lens
    > though. The one I can use now is a 300mm which is 480mm on my camera. With
    > a 6.3 MP camera, do you think there is enough resolution to crop and expand
    > this image from a 480mm to fill a 4x6 or 8x10 picture reasonably well?
    >
    > Jeff
    >
    >
    > "Tony Spadaro" <> wrote in message
    > news:GLZBc.65537$...
    >
    >>Go with at least 500mms and 1000 would probably be better, but it will
    >>depend on the size of the sensor in your camera. The full moon in summer

    >
    > is
    >
    >>rather low in the sky and there is more pollution , haze etc. Try a

    >
    > setting
    >
    >>of 100 ISO and shutter speed at f5.6 and adjust until you get the right
    >>exposure for you. If you happen to be in the southern hemisphere where it

    >
    > is
    >
    >>winter, start with f11 or 16 as the moon is high in what should be a crisp
    >>hazeless sky.
    >>
    >>--
    >>http://www.chapelhillnoir.com
    >>home of The Camera-ist's Manifesto
    >>The Improved Links Pages are at
    >>http://www.chapelhillnoir.com/links/mlinks00.html
    >>A sample chapter from my novel "Haight-Ashbury" is at
    >>http://www.chapelhillnoir.com/writ/hait/hatitl.html
    >>"Jeff Durham" <> wrote in message
    >>news:HFYBc.143260$...
    >>
    >>>Has anyone taken pictures of the moon with a digital SLR and if so, what

    >>
    >>do
    >>
    >>>you recommend:
    >>>- Telephoto mm size -- what do you need to fill the picture with the

    >
    > moon.
    >
    >>>I know that my 200mm (actually 1.6x that so it is really a 320mm) is not
    >>>enough
    >>>- Shutter speed -- from my astronomy days, it moves pretty fast
    >>>- Aperture
    >>>- ISO
    >>>
    >>>Thanks,
    >>>Jeff
    >>>
    >>>

    >>
    >>

    >
    >
    Phil Wheeler, Jun 22, 2004
    #6
  7. Jeff Durham

    IMKen Guest

    Taking photos of the moon is simple. It is getting there that is difficult.


    "Jeff Durham" <> wrote in message
    news:HFYBc.143260$...
    > Has anyone taken pictures of the moon with a digital SLR and if so, what

    do
    > you recommend:
    > - Telephoto mm size -- what do you need to fill the picture with the moon.
    > I know that my 200mm (actually 1.6x that so it is really a 320mm) is not
    > enough
    > - Shutter speed -- from my astronomy days, it moves pretty fast
    > - Aperture
    > - ISO
    >
    > Thanks,
    > Jeff
    >
    >
    IMKen, Jun 22, 2004
    #7
  8. "Jeff Durham" <> writes:

    > Has anyone taken pictures of the moon with a digital SLR and if so, what do
    > you recommend:
    > - Telephoto mm size -- what do you need to fill the picture with the moon.
    > I know that my 200mm (actually 1.6x that so it is really a 320mm) is not
    > enough
    > - Shutter speed -- from my astronomy days, it moves pretty fast
    > - Aperture
    > - ISO


    Well, with digital, you can determine perfect exposure experimentally,
    since you get instant results. But for a starting point, expose as
    for any subject in direct sunlight.
    --
    David Dyer-Bennet, <mailto:>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/>
    RKBA: <http://noguns-nomoney.com/> <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/>
    Pics: <http://dd-b.lighthunters.net/> <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/>
    Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/>
    David Dyer-Bennet, Jun 22, 2004
    #8
  9. Jeff Durham

    Bert Hyman Guest

    mail (Jeff Durham) wrote in
    news:HFYBc.143260$:

    > Has anyone taken pictures of the moon with a digital SLR and if so,
    > what do you recommend:
    > - Telephoto mm size -- what do you need to fill the picture with
    > the moon. I know that my 200mm (actually 1.6x that so it is really
    > a 320mm) is not enough


    Both the moon and sun present an image that's about 0.5 degree wide.

    A rule of thumb that I ran across somewhere is that for 35mm cameras,
    the photographic image size is about F/100, where "F" is the focal
    length of your lens.

    Using my old Celestron C-8 as a 2000mm lens, the moon produced a
    nearly full frame image on 35mm film.

    I suppose the math would be the same for digital cameras, but you'd
    have to know the size of the detector in order to know what "full
    frame" meant.

    --
    Bert Hyman | St. Paul, MN |
    Bert Hyman, Jun 22, 2004
    #9
  10. Jeff Durham

    skymuffins Guest

    "Jeff Durham" <> wrote in message
    news:hKZBc.5401$...
    > Thanks for the site recommendation. That is exactly what I was looking

    for.
    > I was hoping that it would not take a big telephoto lens, but it does.

    From
    > the images produced, 800mm does a reasonable job, but 1600mm or bigger is
    > much better.
    >
    > Jeff


    You can get 800mm pretty cheap in the telescope world (compared to the SLR
    lens world). I have 2 a 2050mm f/10 and a 1250mm f/15. They suck for
    terrestrial work, but they're great for astronomy!

    - Harrison
    skymuffins, Jun 22, 2004
    #10
  11. "Bert Hyman" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    SNIP
    > Both the moon and sun present an image that's about 0.5 degree
    > wide.
    >
    > A rule of thumb that I ran across somewhere is that for 35mm
    > cameras, the photographic image size is about F/100, where "F"
    > is the focal length of your lens.


    Yes, 0.5 degrees would be Tan(0.25 degrees)*2 = 114,59, so f/114.59 (on
    average) would be the correct divisor. Whether 35mm or other film/sensor
    size is not really relevant, as long as it is the *actual* focal length (not
    relative).

    > Using my old Celestron C-8 as a 2000mm lens, the moon
    > produced a nearly full frame image on 35mm film.


    Yes, I assume 17.45mm on average.

    > I suppose the math would be the same for digital cameras,
    > but you'd have to know the size of the detector in order to
    > know what "full frame" meant.


    Correct (see http://www.dpreview.com/news/0210/02100402sensorsizes.asp for
    guidance).

    Bart
    Bart van der Wolf, Jun 23, 2004
    #11
  12. << Has anyone taken pictures of the moon with a digital SLR and if so, what do
    you recommend:
    - Telephoto mm size -- what do you need to fill the picture with the moon.
    I know that my 200mm (actually 1.6x that so it is really a 320mm) is not
    enough >>

    Jeff-

    During the last eclipse, I had my new Canon Digital Rebel hooked up to an old
    telescope (1000 mm f/11) using T-Mount Adapters. It wasn't full frame, but
    certainly adequate for my purposes.

    The Canon has a field-of-view multiplier of 1.6, so my telescope would be the
    equivalent of a 1600 mm lens. I would guess the equivalent of about 3000 mm
    would come close to filling the frame. But don't let your lens stop you. Go
    ahead and use what you have. Give it a try now. The experience will be
    worthwhile when you do get a longer lens.

    By the way, I don't think a telescope makes a very good lens - just a
    relatively cheap way to get a long focal length. Use of a good photographic
    lens may produce a sharper image when enlarged, than a longer telescope that
    requires less magnification. Also, it is hard to manually focus some
    telescopes (like mine!), and autofocus does not work for small f/stops. I
    think you need f/8 or larger for AF to work.

    The moon is a big gray rock in direct sunlight. Because of the contrast
    between the moon and the background night sky, you may not be able to use the
    camera's auto exposure system. If you use the rule-of-thumb exposure of f/16
    at one over the ISO speed, the resulting image will be somewhat darker than the
    moon appears to your eye. I suggest you start with f/5.6, 1/200 second at ISO
    100.

    (Yes, you can just see the moon move when looking through the telescope, but a
    fraction-of-a-second exposure should be adequate to stop its motion.)

    Fred
    Fred McKenzie, Jun 23, 2004
    #12
  13. Jeff Durham

    Tony Spadaro Guest

    You can't lose anything but time, so give it a go. If you get ungatz,
    just try again once you have a longer lens or a TC.
    Another thing is that the moon is more interesting at about half than
    full - (although you may have need for the full image in which case - never
    mind). But at half moon there is more contrast on the surface and you get
    deep shadows emphasizing the features. To shoot a half moon start a couple
    stops more open than you would with a full and adjust till you've got what
    you like.

    --
    http://www.chapelhillnoir.com
    home of The Camera-ist's Manifesto
    The Improved Links Pages are at
    http://www.chapelhillnoir.com/links/mlinks00.html
    A sample chapter from my novel "Haight-Ashbury" is at
    http://www.chapelhillnoir.com/writ/hait/hatitl.html
    "Jeff Durham" <> wrote in message
    news:my_Bc.5410$...
    > Thanks. I will give that a try. I think I am going to need a bigger lens
    > though. The one I can use now is a 300mm which is 480mm on my camera.

    With
    > a 6.3 MP camera, do you think there is enough resolution to crop and

    expand
    > this image from a 480mm to fill a 4x6 or 8x10 picture reasonably well?
    >
    > Jeff
    >
    >
    > "Tony Spadaro" <> wrote in message
    > news:GLZBc.65537$...
    > > Go with at least 500mms and 1000 would probably be better, but it will
    > > depend on the size of the sensor in your camera. The full moon in summer

    > is
    > > rather low in the sky and there is more pollution , haze etc. Try a

    > setting
    > > of 100 ISO and shutter speed at f5.6 and adjust until you get the right
    > > exposure for you. If you happen to be in the southern hemisphere where

    it
    > is
    > > winter, start with f11 or 16 as the moon is high in what should be a

    crisp
    > > hazeless sky.
    > >
    > > --
    > > http://www.chapelhillnoir.com
    > > home of The Camera-ist's Manifesto
    > > The Improved Links Pages are at
    > > http://www.chapelhillnoir.com/links/mlinks00.html
    > > A sample chapter from my novel "Haight-Ashbury" is at
    > > http://www.chapelhillnoir.com/writ/hait/hatitl.html
    > > "Jeff Durham" <> wrote in message
    > > news:HFYBc.143260$...
    > > > Has anyone taken pictures of the moon with a digital SLR and if so,

    what
    > > do
    > > > you recommend:
    > > > - Telephoto mm size -- what do you need to fill the picture with the

    > moon.
    > > > I know that my 200mm (actually 1.6x that so it is really a 320mm) is

    not
    > > > enough
    > > > - Shutter speed -- from my astronomy days, it moves pretty fast
    > > > - Aperture
    > > > - ISO
    > > >
    > > > Thanks,
    > > > Jeff
    > > >
    > > >

    > >
    > >

    >
    >
    Tony Spadaro, Jun 23, 2004
    #13
  14. Jeff Durham

    Jeff Durham Guest

    Thanks for the info. You have me interested in using my telescope for
    photography. I had thought about that in the past. I just did not have the
    right camera to try it out. I have a Meade 10" F/4 dobsonian scope.

    Jeff


    "Fred McKenzie" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > << Has anyone taken pictures of the moon with a digital SLR and if so,

    what do
    > you recommend:
    > - Telephoto mm size -- what do you need to fill the picture with the moon.
    > I know that my 200mm (actually 1.6x that so it is really a 320mm) is not
    > enough >>
    >
    > Jeff-
    >
    > During the last eclipse, I had my new Canon Digital Rebel hooked up to an

    old
    > telescope (1000 mm f/11) using T-Mount Adapters. It wasn't full frame,

    but
    > certainly adequate for my purposes.
    >
    > The Canon has a field-of-view multiplier of 1.6, so my telescope would be

    the
    > equivalent of a 1600 mm lens. I would guess the equivalent of about 3000

    mm
    > would come close to filling the frame. But don't let your lens stop you.

    Go
    > ahead and use what you have. Give it a try now. The experience will be
    > worthwhile when you do get a longer lens.
    >
    > By the way, I don't think a telescope makes a very good lens - just a
    > relatively cheap way to get a long focal length. Use of a good

    photographic
    > lens may produce a sharper image when enlarged, than a longer telescope

    that
    > requires less magnification. Also, it is hard to manually focus some
    > telescopes (like mine!), and autofocus does not work for small f/stops. I
    > think you need f/8 or larger for AF to work.
    >
    > The moon is a big gray rock in direct sunlight. Because of the contrast
    > between the moon and the background night sky, you may not be able to use

    the
    > camera's auto exposure system. If you use the rule-of-thumb exposure of

    f/16
    > at one over the ISO speed, the resulting image will be somewhat darker

    than the
    > moon appears to your eye. I suggest you start with f/5.6, 1/200 second at

    ISO
    > 100.
    >
    > (Yes, you can just see the moon move when looking through the telescope,

    but a
    > fraction-of-a-second exposure should be adequate to stop its motion.)
    >
    > Fred
    >
    Jeff Durham, Jun 23, 2004
    #14
  15. Jeff Durham

    Guest

    (Fred McKenzie) wrote:

    > By the way, I don't think a telescope makes a very good lens - just a
    > relatively cheap way to get a long focal length. Use of a good photographic
    > lens may produce a sharper image when enlarged, than a longer telescope that
    > requires less magnification.


    It depends on the telescope (price is a good indication), but in
    geneal, you are correct.

    > Also, it is hard to manually focus some
    > telescopes (like mine!), and autofocus does not work for small f/stops. I
    > think you need f/8 or larger for AF to work.


    Focus is a bitch. Professional and high-end amateur astronomers use
    motorized systems (with readouts) that do micro-steps as they monitor
    image output. After even one night of trying to focus a camera on the
    night sky is enough to know why ...

    It would be interesting to know if the Canon EOS mount can be used in
    a manner like this. Does the body know where the lens "is"? (I'd
    guess not though.)

    Anyways, the next best thing is to cover your aperture with a piece of
    paper with two or three holes cut in it. Out of focus stars (which
    are the only reliable target re: focus) show up as multiple images.
    Tweak focus until they merge into one. Remove the mask and start
    imaging. See www.google.com: hartmann mask

    A viewfinder magnifier is a help here. I splurged on the Canon Angle
    Finder C, which does the magnification trick (2.5x), but also serves
    as a neck-saving right-angle viewfinder. Sadly, the optical quality
    of this implement leaves alot to be desired ...

    > The moon is a big gray rock in direct sunlight. Because of the contrast
    > between the moon and the background night sky, you may not be able to use the
    > camera's auto exposure system.


    This is hardly an issue with a digital camera: start with the
    camera's AE recommendation and just keep tweaking the exposure until
    you like the pictures.
    , Jun 23, 2004
    #15
  16. << It would be interesting to know if the Canon EOS mount can be used in
    a manner like this. Does the body know where the lens "is"? (I'd
    guess not though.) >>

    eawckyegcy-

    I'm not sure I understand your question. I had a T-Mount adapter for my old
    telescope (Celestron C-90) from use with the old Olympus OM-2. The Canon
    Digital Rebel only needed the matching EOS-to-T-Mount adapter, which the camera
    store had in stock.

    For pictures of the moon and/or the stars, auto exposure is not likely to work.
    I used full manual control for the moon shots. For daytime terestrial shots,
    I use the setting where you select the f/stop and the camera's autoexposure
    system selects the shutter speed.

    The camera certainly does not know where the lens f/stop is set. It only knows
    how much light is hitting the sensor.

    Fred
    Fred McKenzie, Jun 24, 2004
    #16
  17. "Jeff Durham" <> wrote in message news:<hKZBc.5401$>...
    > Thanks for the site recommendation. That is exactly what I was looking for.
    > I was hoping that it would not take a big telephoto lens, but it does. From
    > the images produced, 800mm does a reasonable job, but 1600mm or bigger is
    > much better.


    Focal length is important but overall optical resolution and subtle
    color accuracy of the system is the really important thing. See...

    http://www.pbase.com/imageprocessing/foveon_color_moon
    Georgette Preddy, Jun 24, 2004
    #17
  18. "Jeff Durham" <> wrote in message news:<hKZBc.5401$>...
    > Thanks for the site recommendation. That is exactly what I was looking for.
    > I was hoping that it would not take a big telephoto lens, but it does. From
    > the images produced, 800mm does a reasonable job, but 1600mm or bigger is
    > much better.


    Focal length is important but overall optical resolution and subtle
    color accuracy of the system is the really important thing. See...

    http://www.pbase.com/imageprocessing/foveon_color_moon
    Georgette Preddy, Jun 24, 2004
    #18
  19. Georgette Preddy wrote:

    > "Jeff Durham" <> wrote in message news:<hKZBc.5401$>...
    >
    >>Thanks for the site recommendation. That is exactly what I was looking for.
    >>I was hoping that it would not take a big telephoto lens, but it does. From
    >>the images produced, 800mm does a reasonable job, but 1600mm or bigger is
    >>much better.

    >
    >
    > Focal length is important but overall optical resolution and subtle
    > color accuracy of the system is the really important thing. See...

    this warning:

    The person posting under the name of George or Georgette Preddy (and
    other pseudonyms) has an ungrounded but zealous faith that current
    implementation of the Foveon chip is superior to all other chip
    technologies. He will cite portions of reviews to ostensibly support his
    claims, and will repeat, ad naseum, complete lines of out-of-context
    material.

    His claims may well be ignored, or at the very least verified since most
    of them are extreme distortions and some are out and out fabrications."


    Moreover, "Mr." "Preddy" has claimed to be a photographer (pro!), but
    cannot bring himself to post a single picture with EXIF info that he
    shot himself, in spite of repeated requests and challenges to do so.

    Apparently he loathes anything related to Canon and loves everything
    about Sigma cameras and lenses. His "claims" may be ignored, and he is
    doing Sigma, and anyone related to the Foveon chip, no good at all by
    arousing ire, increasing the N/S ratio, and generally spamming this
    newsgroup.

    --
    John McWilliams
    John McWilliams, Jun 24, 2004
    #19
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