View Full Version : Full Moon Tomorrow Help me setup
11th of December 2008 (Thu), 15:15
We'll have the biggest full moon in the year tomorrow as the moon will be closest to the earth.
A friend of mine will give me a Bigma 50-500 lens and I have a 1.4 Kenko TC.
So I will be at 700mm on a 1.6 crop body for a 1120mm FOV. (I have a 40D)
I have tripod, cable release ready and will use mirror lockup.
I hope that is a BIG moon :)
I plan to take many shots and do stacking using DeepSkystacker or Registax (which one is better?)
The next question is about exposure how do I need to expose ? As much as possible without blowing any channel?
What would be a good exposure time to avoid any shake? The moon moves fast and the bigma is a big lens so any breeze will probably make it vibrate a little. I want to get the sharpest possible result. Pumping the ISO to 1600 shouldn't be a problem since I plan to do stacking right?
Anything you can tell me to setup will be appreciated.
11th of December 2008 (Thu), 17:23
You'll get great pictures with 1120 mm. The moon will take up about half the vertical distance in the frame so you'll get good detail.
Autofocus will work fine, or you can use Live View for manual focus. If you use Live View you can lock the mirror up while you're doing that.
Use low-ish ISO, maybe 200. Go to full manual and open the lens all the way. Shoot with progressively faster shutter speeds starting at about 1/100 and ending at about 1/1200.
Never trust your exposure meter to set shutter speed, all that black sky will fake it out and you'll get very overexposed results, unless you use just the center spot and make sure it's on the moon. But it's better to just take a series at various shutter speeds. The histogram on your screen will be hard to interpret becasue almost all the pixels will be black. The disk should look rather gray, not white, on the screen if your exposure is right.
The shutter speeds will be so fast you won't have to worry about the moon moving during exposure. Don't go to high ISO, you don't need it.
You also won't have to stack, that only becomes necessary when you are at extreme magnifications, greater than a few thousand mm. As a rule of thumb, if you have more than about a quarter of the disk in the field of view, stacking won't do you any good. You'll be way above that.
Take LOTS of pictures with lots of different settings, then show them off in the Astronomy and Celestial section.
11th of December 2008 (Thu), 18:24
What will make a great shot also that most don't think about is shoot with a scope or a big lens as it is just starting to rise on the horizon (http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap070926.html) and have a nice foreground .
11th of December 2008 (Thu), 19:39
The moon is actually a lot brighter than you would imagine, so high ISO is definitely not necessary. In fact, my best moon shots were taken hand held (with 100-400 and 1.4x) at shutter speeds great than 1/100. With that kind of reach, and the weight of everything, the tripod will make it easier (and it's kinda cool cause you can really see the moon moving like that). I would suggest using your live view for focusing, and just take a few shots at slightly different exposures.
11th of December 2008 (Thu), 19:41
If you're familiar with the "Sunny 16 Rule" at all, try the "Moonie 11 Rule"
IOW, Sunny 16 then open up one stop for the moon. Has always worked for me as a good starting point.
11th of December 2008 (Thu), 19:48
ok here ya go,,,, http://www.adidap.com/2006/12/06/moon-exposure-calculator/
its a great tool,,, and is usually right on the money!!!!! enjoy... :)
11th of December 2008 (Thu), 22:21
Thanks for the replies guys!
I plan to stack to then increase the saturation of the shot to get some colors from the moon, if I don't stack increasing the saturation magnifies the noise and it gets ugly.
A couple of questions:
About the ISO: Since noise is not important when stacking I thought about overexposing as much as possible without blowing any channel and then adjusting the exposure back to the level I want from the RAW file, is this wrong in some way?
I get 1/640 at ISO800 from the Moon Calculator, but I will probably do a lot of trial and error.
Do I need to be picky with focus? I thought focusing at infinite would be more than enough for the moon, maybe atmospheric conditions merit some adjustment?
12th of December 2008 (Fri), 21:48
tonight's full moon in the Northern Hemisphere will be the biggest it's been in 15 years.
12th of December 2008 (Fri), 21:55
shot this one tonight with my 1d mkIII + 1.4x and a 70-200 2.8IS...I don't have my 100-400L on me at the moment so I couldn't get all that close but its the best I could have done...
13th of December 2008 (Sat), 19:58
how are you guys getting such good details? I've tried 300mm f4 + 1.4x tc, x2 tc and stacked TCs and cannot get this sort of detail. I do suspect that the 300mm f4 won't focus to infinity properly (I suspect it's always had this problem). My moon images typically look dreadful :(
13th of December 2008 (Sat), 20:07
are you using a tripod...
13th of December 2008 (Sat), 20:09
Of course! with a Canon remote and mirror lockup...this is the best image I've managed yet:
That was with a 1D (4mp). Noise as is, running Neat Image on it cleaned up the noise OK, but killed any fine detail on the moon itself...
edit: that was with 300mm f4, 2x tc, 1.4x tc at ISO 200, f8. note the full exif on the site...
15th of December 2008 (Mon), 06:16
Dave- you get any better with your moon shots? Mine are not what they should be either. James PS- Your macro shots are excellent.
Having a small problem here- I just got a Canon 50D 15 meg pxl 1/2 frame camera- and as the moon was at it's closest for the next 15 years I thought I'd take my 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM lens and get some cool moon shots. I have been at it for 3 nites now- with tripod, mirror lock up, self timer, bracketing and a whole gambit of ISO/aperture/shutter speed combos. And the best I can get is in this post....pathetic! What gives? What am I doing wrong? What have I forgot? Why can't I get a super clear image as I see in my binos? I need some help here.........James (email email@example.com)
15th of December 2008 (Mon), 06:58
I'm new to moon photography, only having done it a few times. I took some shots last night and did much better. I use a 1D mark IIn, but your 50D should be fine. Try:
f11, ISO 200 1/160.
Mount the camera on a sturdy tripod. Set the mirror lockup function. Use a Canon remote. Bracket the shots as well, so try your first shot with the above settings, then maybe try something like:
f11, 1/125, ISO 400
f11, 1/160, ISO 400
f8, 1/160, ISO 400
f8, 1/125, ISO 400.
In PP (post processing), all I've done is slight adjustments to brightness and contrast, and some sharpening. When I resize the image for the web, I also do some additional sharpening, as you typically get softening in the image when resizing.
Post your shots, it really will help others help you.
PS I don't think that the 70-300 by itself will give you a lot of detail. I could be wrong, since I'm new to this style of photography, but I'm shooting with a 300mm f4 and stacked convertors...
17th of December 2008 (Wed), 07:04
ISO 400 or even 800 is too high for full moon shots. Take it down to ISO 100.
18th of December 2008 (Thu), 07:12
I found that shutter speeds were getting quite slow at ISO 400, let alone at lower ISOs. There isn't that much difference in noise between ISO 100 and 400 on the Mark IIn anyways ;)
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