I feel like I would do fine grain or actually pixels, like 100iso. You have to do some kind of program or manual mode. The camera otherwise goes too bright as it reads the scene for exposure. When you take the picture, it matters, too, to consider complete darkness in the night, or when the sky is lighter. Let's see, software helps later, just if there is landscape involved. It can be strange though, it might work out great. I predict the simple 400 lens will be the best one as you compare. By the way, if there are just some interesting clouds across part of the the moon, take those pictures, too. Best wishes from me
The lens you use would depend on how big you want the moon. Use your 400mm lens to get the largest moon. Since the moon itself is as bright as a daylight scene, you can use a low ISO and an exposure of around 1/ISO @ f/11 (use manual exposure control). Bracket your exposures to get what you want. The mistake made most often is to meter the sky, and because of the large expanse of dark sky, the camera will overexpose the moon so it's only a bright blob with no surface detail showing.
If you want foreground in the image, you, obviously, would need to use a wider lens. However, getting the foreground and the moon both with proper exposure takes special techniques because the brightness difference between the moon and the rest of the scene is too great to capture in one exposure.
If you're primary interest is the moon, use the longest lens available. Tripod mounted will give the best possible image sharpness. I've always prefered manual mode, as its simple to tweak exposure to get the best possible image. Forget metering. All that black sky will result in metering causing gross overexposure. Remember moonlight is just reflected daylight so applying the sunny 16 rule (1/iso @f16) and opening up a couple of stops is a good starting point. I shoot a couple of test exposures, and chimp the results and adjust from there, when i get a shot that looks close when viewing in the camera's view screen, i then bracket a couple of stops either way to have the most possible choices for a good exposure. If you are thinking shooting at dusk to include some landscape, for example, its tougher to get everything exposed right and may require combining 2 shots exposed properly for the landscape, then moon, and combining the two shots with you're editing software.
Also try some shots at less than full moon. Full moon means flat frontal lighting with less shadow detail, whereas shooting a partial moon offers more sidelighting thus a more visible interesting subject.
The following shot for example was shot at 400mm, and cropped to about 1/3 of the origional frame, ISO 400, 1/80@f8
____________________________________________________________________ When no one is looking, Pigs can walk on they're hind legs
Hi, In addition to all these suggestions from senior members-
Moon occupies 1/2 degree of arc in our vision. To have its size of image in any film- just follow this equation.
F/110 = Lunar image size in mm. here F is Focal length. Actual, not the virtual one calculated based upon the crop factor of the camera.
Means, with a 400mm lens, the image will be 400/110 = 3.5(Approx)mm in dia.
Now, A CCD panel of, say D50. It is around 2000 x 3000 pixels in 18mm x 24mm size. So, 18mm of the panel keeps 2000 pixels. so, 3.5mm will have 388 Pixels. means, your lunar image with 400mm lens will have 388 pixels in its dia. So, in your Laptop screen, (Normally 96ppi), it will appear as of 388/96= 4 Inch in Dia.
For prints, A 8"x12" print. Means around 203mm x 304mm.
In the shorter side of its both sides is 203mm. We are printing image of 18mm (Shorter side of the CCD panel) in a paper of 203mm. Means, we are going for an enlargement of 203/18=11.3times. So, the lunar image will be of 3.5mm x 11.3 = 39.55mm in dia.
For lunar exposure. Try 100 or 200ASA. f11 and 1.125sec. Now considering this as the baseline, try few stops bracketing. During a full lunar cycle, the required exposure varies to a great extent. So, start experiencing to prepare your own exposure chart- the best one.
But, Full moon is the most boring object (to me) as it gives you flat image like the one we get while shooting someones face with on camera flash as the only light source. Try shooting the crescent moon or at its Gibous phase to have the details of the undulated landscape of lunar surface.
Thanks and regards- Debasis
Try shooting the largest object of this universe- SKY.