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Subject: "April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..." Previous topic | Next topic
avm247 Moderator Awarded for high skills in documentary architecture and aviation photography Charter MemberWed 03-Apr-13 12:14 AM
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"April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."


Rancho Cordova, US
          

This months assignment: Shoot the Moon.

But before getting into some parameters, I just want to apologize for my lack of participation and comments. I have been extremely busy at work but should see the load lightening up soon (mid-April I hope).

So the subject is the moon. It changes, it moves. You have to plan ahead. It can lead to tricky lighting situations. It can be too bright and appear blown out. It can be just right and have lots of detail. Sometimes you get something better in the morning vs. the evening or night. You'll probably want some support...like a tripod. And a long lens. What if you don't have a long lens? Use what you have. Be creative: how can you capture an image with the moon?

So why the moon? To get used to planning. Check the calendar and look at the phases of the moon...(break out the Farmers Almanac!) Use a tripod, get familiar with it. Night shooting...make adjustments in the dark or near dark. Bracketing.

Remember, the point of the assignments is to get used to our equipment, including tripods.

So I hope you like the challenge of this assignment. I hope its a fun one.

Caught this today (Wednesday, 12 September, 06:41 AM PDST).



D700/MB-D10, 70-300D ED, Aperture Priority 1/40s @ f/8, Bogen/Manfrotto 3401 B Pro legset w/ Markins M20 ballhead.

Anthony

The Moderator Page and My Gallery
The important things in life are simple; the simple things are hard.

  

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John Bertotti Gold Member Nikonian since 01st Jul 2012Wed 03-Apr-13 01:06 AM
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#1. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 0


Garretson, US
          

nice shot, tuff assignment, the moon has always been a challenge for me.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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montigre Registered since 09th Feb 2013Wed 03-Apr-13 11:34 AM
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#2. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 1


US
          

>nice shot, tuff assignment, the moon has always been a
>challenge for me.

Same here, I attempted a couple of shots of the moon last month when I first got my camera and failed miserably--exposure was okay, but could not eliminate the dreaded shake even with the use of a tripod... Will look into remotely triggering the shutter with this assignment (that is if I can wake up around 3 am when it is rising...haha)

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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JosephK Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Nikonian since 17th Apr 2006Thu 04-Apr-13 01:00 AM
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#5. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 2


Seattle, WA, US
          

>Will look into remotely triggering the shutter with this assignment

The self-timer at 2 seconds works quite well, too.

---------+---------+---------+---------+---------+
Joseph K
Seattle, WA, USA

D700, D200, D70S, 24-70mm f/2.8, VR 70-200mm f/2.8 II,
50mm f/1.4 D, 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR, 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 DX

  

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John Bertotti Gold Member Nikonian since 01st Jul 2012Thu 04-Apr-13 01:49 AM
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#6. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 5


Garretson, US
          

My big problem is wind! and a lot of it! I think i will wait for the morning and try to get it then. I figure the light from sky to moon will be clsoer and I may get away with handheld. Is that a reasonable approach?

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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avm247 Moderator Awarded for high skills in documentary architecture and aviation photography Charter MemberSat 06-Apr-13 12:44 AM
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#7. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 6


Rancho Cordova, US
          

John, I think you can, just remember to up your ISO to where you feel comfortable with the image quality and be cognizant of your shutter speeds. Long lenses make for shaky results if not careful. Use good hand holding technique or brace yourself against something solid if you aren't going to use a tripod.


Anthony

The Moderator Page and My Gallery
The important things in life are simple; the simple things are hard.

  

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John Bertotti Gold Member Nikonian since 01st Jul 2012Thu 11-Apr-13 11:50 AM
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#14. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 7


Garretson, US
          

Thanks Anthony sadly I had t seen the moon since my post! Lol you just have to love winter where I live!

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Rob_ZN Gold Member Nikonian since 23rd Dec 2012Wed 03-Apr-13 12:36 PM
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#3. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 0


Durban, ZA
          

Here's one I shot in Feb. I was testing out the Sigma 150-500. At the same time I was learning what Lightroom cold do, so this one has some editing done to it as well.

I cropped it into a square format, and then boosted the shadow detail, revealing the clouds. It looks a bit weird since it seems the clouds are actually behind the moon, but they were in front. The cloud cover was quite light and the moon bright enough to shine through, so in the end it made, I think, an interesting shot.

I used the Nikon remote and set the remote mode on the D7000 to MUP (mirror up), so the first press of the button would flip the mirror and the second would open the shutter.


(links to bigger version)

Hopefully we'll have some clear skies this month so I can try get some more moon shots.


Rob

  

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tlc5125 Silver Member Nikonian since 13th Jan 2013Wed 03-Apr-13 01:14 PM
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#4. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 3


Baldwinsville, US
          

Hoping it warms up here so I can get outside more to shoot! My attempts before have not been good trying to shoot the moon.
Tracy

My Nikonians Gallery

  

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avm247 Moderator Awarded for high skills in documentary architecture and aviation photography Charter MemberSat 06-Apr-13 12:47 AM
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#9. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 4


Rancho Cordova, US
          

I'm hoping for clearer skies...been cloudy or wet the last few days. (Being busy doesn't help much either.)


Anthony

The Moderator Page and My Gallery
The important things in life are simple; the simple things are hard.

  

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avm247 Moderator Awarded for high skills in documentary architecture and aviation photography Charter MemberSat 06-Apr-13 12:45 AM
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#8. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 3


Rancho Cordova, US
          

Rob, great detail!

Anthony

The Moderator Page and My Gallery
The important things in life are simple; the simple things are hard.

  

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jesse101 Registered since 28th Dec 2011Sat 06-Apr-13 02:25 PM
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#10. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 8


Great Falls, US
          

I never shot the moon but will give it a try when the weather clears....thank you for sharing your experiences!

Jesse

My Gallery:

http://jessemartinez.zenfolio.com

  

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micolhart Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Feb 2012Sat 06-Apr-13 07:55 PM
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#11. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 8


Gilford, US
          


How do you submit your picture??

Mike


SEMPER FI
Uncommon Valor Was A Common Virtue
Marine Corp Monument, Washington,DC

  

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avm247 Moderator Awarded for high skills in documentary architecture and aviation photography Charter MemberSat 06-Apr-13 09:06 PM
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#12. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 11


Rancho Cordova, US
          

Hi, Mike, thanks for the question.

I suggest posting it in a gallery and copy pasting the link into a reply here. For the gallery, I like to go 1000 - 1200 pixels on the long side. This allows you to put your small image here, by clicking the image we are taken to the larger sized image. More info can be found in our Terms of Use. If you have questions about the Nikonians Gallery, see the Gallery Guide.

If you upload directly, please keep in mind the 1200 pixel/300KB limit as stated in the Terms of Use.

Please include any tech data (equipment, exposure, etc.).


Anthony

The Moderator Page and My Gallery
The important things in life are simple; the simple things are hard.

  

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micolhart Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Feb 2012Wed 10-Apr-13 11:55 PM
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#13. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 12


Gilford, US
          

Great.....thanks

Mike



SEMPER FI
Uncommon Valor Was A Common Virtue
Marine Corp Monument, Washington,DC

  

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John Bertotti Gold Member Nikonian since 01st Jul 2012Thu 11-Apr-13 11:53 AM
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#15. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 3


Garretson, US
          

Not picking on to hear but I have to ask was it a full moon? On my display the detail is great by the moon looks a little out of round. I don't think I can adjust for v and h size or pin cushion on my laptop.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Rob_ZN Gold Member Nikonian since 23rd Dec 2012Thu 11-Apr-13 12:22 PM
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#16. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 15


Durban, ZA
          

There's a sliver of a shadow on the left side of the moon, so I don't think it was 100% full.

Rob

  

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tlc5125 Silver Member Nikonian since 13th Jan 2013Thu 11-Apr-13 11:59 PM
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#17. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 0


Baldwinsville, US
          

My Goodness! We are not getting any clear nights up here in the Northeast. Still cold, cloudy & rainy/snowy. Uuuughhhhhhhhhh

Tracy

My Nikonians Gallery

  

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Rob_ZN Gold Member Nikonian since 23rd Dec 2012Fri 12-Apr-13 07:21 AM
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#18. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 17


Durban, ZA
          

New moon here at the moment so no luck with moon shots. Should start seeing something after the weekend, though.

Rob

  

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John Bertotti Gold Member Nikonian since 01st Jul 2012Sat 13-Apr-13 01:58 AM
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#19. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 17


Garretson, US
          

Out of power with ice storms and snow here as well. Four days no power! Back on now but for how long who knows. I cant see past the clouds since this thread started! I can almost guarantee I will be submitting a picture late!

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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avm247 Moderator Awarded for high skills in documentary architecture and aviation photography Charter MemberSat 13-Apr-13 06:12 PM
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#20. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 19


Rancho Cordova, US
          

Sorry about the power and about the cold spell hitting the northeast US, I thought with Spring, this would be easier.

Finally got clear skies, but my schedule is such that I'm too busy to shoot in the early morning and moonrise is a bit late for me.


Anthony

The Moderator Page and My Gallery
The important things in life are simple; the simple things are hard.

  

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John Bertotti Gold Member Nikonian since 01st Jul 2012Sat 13-Apr-13 07:49 PM
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#21. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 20


Garretson, US
          

No apologies needed you sure don't set the weather, do you? Lol

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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AmyMedina Registered since 10th Apr 2013Mon 15-Apr-13 06:12 AM
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#22. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 0


US
          



ISO200 200mm f/8.0 1/160sec tripod

  

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avm247 Moderator Awarded for high skills in documentary architecture and aviation photography Charter MemberMon 15-Apr-13 02:45 PM
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#23. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 22


Rancho Cordova, US
          

Lovely detail, Amy!

Hoping the clouds stay away tonight, I'm hoping to catch a waxing crescent moon this evening, wanted to catch it near Jupiter, but I just didn't have the time. It was still a pretty sight, though.


Anthony

The Moderator Page and My Gallery
The important things in life are simple; the simple things are hard.

  

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Rob_ZN Gold Member Nikonian since 23rd Dec 2012Mon 15-Apr-13 06:07 PM
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#24. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 0


Durban, ZA
          

There is a moon in this one, I swear

Took this one earlier this evening at the beach. Would have included more of the coastline if the moon was not as high in the sky as it was.

Does it fit into the requirements of the assignment?!?


(links to bigger image where you can just see the moon)
IS100, f/5.0 1/320

  

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avm247 Moderator Awarded for high skills in documentary architecture and aviation photography Charter MemberMon 15-Apr-13 10:57 PM
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#25. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 24


Rancho Cordova, US
          

Love it, great shot!


Anthony

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tlc5125 Silver Member Nikonian since 13th Jan 2013Tue 16-Apr-13 01:46 AM
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#26. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 0


Baldwinsville, US
          

Well, I just don't get it. I looked online, got some settings & this is my best shot, which is awful. I used the manual focus & even at 200mm, it's so far away, not even worth shooting.

No idea what I'm doing wrong....clueless



Tracy

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avm247 Moderator Awarded for high skills in documentary architecture and aviation photography Charter MemberTue 16-Apr-13 02:46 AM
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#27. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 26


Rancho Cordova, US
          

Tracy, don't feel let down, its an opportunity to learn something new.

Somethings to think about:
Did you use a tripod?
What was your ISO?
What was your exposure?
Did you crop your image?
Did you do any postprocessing?
Did you shoot JPG or RAW?

In looking at your image I see several things that I have done over and over. I shot and exposed for the moon against a dark sky. Not saying that you can't or shouldn't do that. That creates a really high contrast situation, dark sky against a brightly lit subject. I can see that you overexposed the moon by a stop or too. (Been there done that.)

What I like to do is shoot near dusk or early morning, still a bit of light in the sky. Again, I like to shoot aperture priority, I shot at f/11 tonight, and again at f/32. I also dialed in a bit of -1 EV (need to check EXIF data) to underexpose the bright moon. After shooting several frames, I check exposure and chimp, zooming in, looking for detail of the Moon's surface, typically I will add more -EV to underexpose, or I will switch to Manual and adjust the shutter speed accordingly.

First pic, is a full frame, second is a 5x7 crop of the moon. Both shot with D700, tripod mounted, AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 D ED, Aperture Priority f/11, 1/125s; -1 EV (EV = Exposure Value, I shot at 1 stop under exposed).




Anthony

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Attachment #1, (jpg file)
Attachment #2, (jpg file)

  

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avm247 Moderator Awarded for high skills in documentary architecture and aviation photography Charter MemberTue 16-Apr-13 02:58 AM
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#28. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 27


Rancho Cordova, US
          

Glad I shot when I did, unfortunately, no Moon with Jupiter for me...we had a cold front move in this afternoon/evening and I seem to have caught the pics above between storm clouds. My view just before 8pm was cloudy...

Swapped lenses to my AF 35mm f/2, Aperture Priority f/11, 1/2s, -1 EV, D700 Tripod mounted, Matrix Metering.


Anthony

The Moderator Page and My Gallery
The important things in life are simple; the simple things are hard.


Attachment #1, (jpg file)

  

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RABaker Registered since 01st Oct 2003Tue 16-Apr-13 03:05 AM
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#29. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 26
Tue 16-Apr-13 03:08 AM by RABaker

Sunnyvale, US
          

"No idea what I'm doing wrong....clueless"

Tracy,

You are right - 200mm still results in a fairly small image of the moon. However, I can still see a bit of detail along the boundary between the light and the dark portions of the moon (the terminator).

Unfortunately, your image it is overexposed. You need to think about the moon and its illumination: It is being illuminated by the direct rays of the sun. Therefore, its illuminated surface is very bright and it needs an exposure very similar to objects here on Earth that are in bright sunlight. When shooting something you are unfamiliar with, it is often a good idea to bracket your exposures to be sure you can get at least one that is "correct" or usable. At an ISO of 200 and an aperture of f/11, your shutter speed for this crescent moon should probably have been around 1/100 (plus or minus). With a full moon and the same aperture/ISO the shutter speed would need to be a little faster, maybe around 1/200. Another thing you can do with a digital camera (that isn't available to film shooters) is to review the image on the camera monitor after you shoot it and evaluate the image directly or, even better, learn how to read and understand the histogram. If you had looked at the image on your camera and enlarged just the moon you would have seen that most of the surface was too bright and devoid of any detail. Knowing this, you could have decreased exposure by increasing the shutter speed, or stopping down the aperture, or some combination of these. (In this case, since you were already at f/11 changing the shutter speed first would have been my choice.)

Also, since the bright moon is such a small part of the image and the frame is dominated by the very dark sky, it is difficult for a camera's meter to get the exposure correct. A better approach under these conditions is to set the camera to manual exposure and set the aperture and shutter speed yourself.

Good luck,
Richard

  

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tlc5125 Silver Member Nikonian since 13th Jan 2013Thu 18-Apr-13 04:22 PM
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#38. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 29


Baldwinsville, US
          

Thanks everyone. I did use a tripod, f/11, ISO 200, 1/3sec. No crop, no post processing, I shot raw & jpeg & posted the jpeg.

I did try to pay attention to the underexposing, but I shot at different exposures. In the details of the image, does it tell the exact exposure somewhere?

I found too that at f/11, ISO 200, I wasn't getting the 1/100th or 1/125 sec. It wanted to do it WAY slower, as in several seconds. I couldn't figure out how to get that 1/100 or 1/125 at the f/11, ISO 200. Any ideas there?
Tracy

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ron917 Silver Member Nikonian since 14th Dec 2012Fri 19-Apr-13 03:34 AM
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#40. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 38
Fri 19-Apr-13 03:36 AM by ron917

Andover, NJ, US
          

>
>I found too that at f/11, ISO 200, I wasn't getting the
>1/100th or 1/125 sec. It wanted to do it WAY slower, as in
>several seconds. I couldn't figure out how to get that 1/100
>or 1/125 at the f/11, ISO 200. Any ideas there?
>Tracy

Tracy,

This is one of those times where the camera will not get it right. It will come close if you can fill the frame with the moon, but that requires a long lens. This is one of those times when you need to take complete control.

Put your camera in Manual mode. Set the ISO (200), shutter (1/100) and aperture (f/11). Ignore what the meter is telling you, it will want to overexpose because the frame is mostly black sky. Your exposure should be good, or maybe off by 1 stop at most.

Best regards,
-Ron

  

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tlc5125 Silver Member Nikonian since 13th Jan 2013Fri 19-Apr-13 03:10 PM
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#41. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 40


Baldwinsville, US
          



>
>Tracy,
>
>This is one of those times where the camera will not get it
>right. It will come close if you can fill the frame with the
>moon, but that requires a long lens. This is one of those
>times when you need to take complete control.
>
>Put your camera in Manual mode. Set the ISO (200), shutter
>(1/100) and aperture (f/11). Ignore what the meter is telling
>you, it will want to overexpose because the frame is mostly
>black sky. Your exposure should be good, or maybe off by 1
>stop at most.
>
Alright, I will try it again. Thanks!!


Tracy

My Nikonians Gallery

  

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tlc5125 Silver Member Nikonian since 13th Jan 2013Mon 29-Apr-13 11:08 PM
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#75. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 26


Baldwinsville, US
          

I have 3 more submits, a little better. I followed the settings suggested & ignored the meter. Cropped, jpegs, no touching up, better than before but not quite there yet. I do have an inexpensive tripod & I don't think I ever considered turning VR off as some have mentioned. These were all taken in the same night, one after the other, just playing with the settings. I like the last one the best I think & I'm surprised that it's -3.7 step in exposure.

#1 f/11, 1/100 sec, ISO 200, 200mm, -1.7 exposure


#2 f/11, 1/160 sec, ISO 200, 200mm, -2.3 exp step


#3 f/11, 1/100 sec, ISO 200, 200mm, -3.7 exp.


Tracy

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avm247 Moderator Awarded for high skills in documentary architecture and aviation photography Charter MemberSat 04-May-13 05:16 PM
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#86. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 75


Rancho Cordova, US
          

Great shots, Tracy! (Sorry for the late reply.)

Anthony

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BrawlerO Registered since 01st Nov 2012Tue 16-Apr-13 01:00 PM
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#30. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 0


Wokingham, GB
          



This was my first attempt at 'shooting the moon' while on holiday in Antigua recently. Not sure if this is how you are supposed to do it but these were the details I found worked best:

Nikon D7000 at 300mm
Manual Focus (although I was a little drunk by then lol)
f/22
1/3 Sec
ISO 100
plus a big crop

I didn't have a tripod so used the 2 sec timer delay and balanced the camera on the balcony edge, propped up towards the target to avoid minimise shake (strap around my neck just in case!) In hindsight I don't think I turned VR off so that might not have helped either.

A fun experiment nonetheless, thanks for the inspiration.

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Attachment #1, (jpg file)

  

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JosephK Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Nikonian since 17th Apr 2006Wed 17-Apr-13 04:00 AM
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#31. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 30


Seattle, WA, US
          

Similar to the "sunny 16" guideline, there is the "lunar 11" guide:
f/11 with a shutter speed of 1/ISO

I tend to prefer something closer to f/8 at 1/ISO.

---------+---------+---------+---------+---------+
Joseph K
Seattle, WA, USA

D700, D200, D70S, 24-70mm f/2.8, VR 70-200mm f/2.8 II,
50mm f/1.4 D, 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR, 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 DX

  

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John Bertotti Gold Member Nikonian since 01st Jul 2012Wed 17-Apr-13 09:46 AM
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#32. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 31


Garretson, US
          

I have to try that thanks! Of course I will have to wait for the cloudy winter to pass!

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elec164 Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jan 2009Wed 17-Apr-13 09:51 AM
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#33. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 30
Wed 17-Apr-13 10:13 AM by elec164

US
          

Rob, giving the circumstances that's a solid first attempt.

My only critique is the choice of f/22 which puts you well into diffraction. As JosephK suggests, Looney11 is a guideline for lunar exposure; but that is only for a full moon. Being that you're close to a quater moon you would need to increase exposure by a stop or so.

As others here, my skies aren't cooperating. But here is a shot from some time ago.

Taken with a D7000 and Sigma 50-500 OS at 500mm, f/9, 1/100th, ISO100, tripod mounted using the ML-L3 in MUP mode.


Click for larger version.

Pete

Pete

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BrawlerO Registered since 01st Nov 2012Wed 17-Apr-13 02:41 PM
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#34. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 33


Wokingham, GB
          

>
>My only critique is the choice of f/22 which puts you well
>into diffraction.
>Pete

Pete, thanks for the input- care to elaborate on the diffraction thing? I haven't come across that before. I just went for f/22 as I thought it would give me the best chance of being in focus/larger DOF....? By the way your shot is real nice- something to aim for I guess

Also does any one know what the previous poster meant by 1/ISO- I didn't quite get that...

Thanks, Rob

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BrawlerO Registered since 01st Nov 2012Wed 17-Apr-13 02:44 PM
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#35. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 34


Wokingham, GB
          

>>
>>My only critique is the choice of f/22 which puts you
>well
>>into diffraction.
>>Pete
>
>Pete, thanks for the input- care to elaborate on the
>diffraction thing? I haven't come across that before. I just
>went for f/22 as I thought it would give me the best chance of
>being in focus/larger DOF....? By the way your shot is real
>nice- something to aim for I guess
>
>Also does any one know what the previous poster meant by
>1/ISO- I didn't quite get that...
>
>Thanks, Rob
>
Google is my friend...'Diffraction is a loss of sharpness or resolution caused by photographing with small f/stops.'
I did not know that, something new learnt today *tick*

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elec164 Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jan 2009Thu 18-Apr-13 01:39 PM
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#36. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 34


US
          

>Also does any one know what the previous poster meant by
>1/ISO- I didn't quite get that...
>

Rob the1/ISO is a ruleof thumb guideline for shutter speed. It stems from the days before light meters were include in camera. For lunar exposures it's looney11. So at f/11 the suggested shutter speed for ISO200 would be 1/200 of a second.

Pete

Pete

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BrawlerO Registered since 01st Nov 2012Thu 18-Apr-13 02:12 PM
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#37. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 36


Wokingham, GB
          

>>Also does any one know what the previous poster meant by
>
>>1/ISO- I didn't quite get that...
>>
>
>Rob the1/ISO is a ruleof thumb guideline for shutter speed. It
>stems from the days before light meters were include in
>camera. For lunar exposures it's looney11. So at f/11 the
>suggested shutter speed for ISO200 would be 1/200 of a
>second.
>
>Pete

I see, thanks Pete!

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avm247 Moderator Awarded for high skills in documentary architecture and aviation photography Charter MemberSat 04-May-13 05:16 PM
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#87. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 30


Rancho Cordova, US
          

Great detail!

Anthony

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ron917 Silver Member Nikonian since 14th Dec 2012Fri 19-Apr-13 03:24 AM
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#39. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 0
Fri 19-Apr-13 03:26 AM by ron917

Andover, NJ, US
          

OK, here's my attempt, two renderings of the same shot. I need a longer lens.

Camera: D600
Lens: AF Nikkor 70-210 f/4
ISO: 100
Aperture: f/8
Shutter Speed: 1/100
Mounted on tripod and 2 second exposure delay.

1. Full frame, straight out of camera - only resized and converted from NEF to JPG. (Click for larger image)


2. 100% crop and sharpening. (Click for larger image)


Best regards,
-Ron

  

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MarkM10431 Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Apr 2013Fri 19-Apr-13 03:55 PM
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#42. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 39


jacksonville, US
          

Pretty bad cloud cover here in jax, hopefully next friday will be the opportunity, 9pm moonrise. i'm going to try a few differnet things, some manual some HDR and maybe using a teleconverter on the old 200mm

  

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MarkM10431 Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Apr 2013Sat 20-Apr-13 02:48 AM
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#43. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 0
Sat 20-Apr-13 02:49 AM by MarkM10431

jacksonville, US
          

So i decided not to wait till next Friday, and the sky blessed me with some open spots in the clouds. I used the D80 with my antique 70-300 Sigma and an equally old vivitar 1.4 teleconverter.
I shot -5 ev compensation, abd also shot 3 frame brackets. ran the images through Photomatix and Corel PSP. I should have shot without the TC, the focus is pretty soft
The raw images and the adjusted images are in the gallery

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MarkM10431 Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Apr 2013Sun 28-Apr-13 05:31 AM
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#66. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 43


jacksonville, US
          





I decided to do part two. went for a moonrise, and shot with the 300mm without the converter. it's a lot sharper, IMHO, and since I cannot compete with the big boy zooms, decided to shoot with some foreground. I'd appreciate feedback

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montigre Registered since 09th Feb 2013Sun 21-Apr-13 12:59 AM
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#44. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 0
Sun 21-Apr-13 01:01 AM by montigre

US
          

After nearly a month of cloudy or otherwise inclement weather, I finally got a chance to sneak off a shot of the moon.... Heavily cropped and reverse vignetting added for visual interest as there was not a cloud or vaguest hint of the impending sun set from this direction.

D7000, Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 LD Di, manual mode, 1/160 sec at f/11, ISO 200, Slik U212 with pan head, IR remote shutter release


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John Bertotti Gold Member Nikonian since 01st Jul 2012Sun 21-Apr-13 01:13 AM
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#45. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 44


Garretson, US
          

Very cool!

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aroysdon Silver Member Nikonian since 14th Aug 2010Sun 21-Apr-13 02:26 AM
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#46. ""RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon...""
In response to Reply # 45
Sun 21-Apr-13 03:18 AM by aroysdon

Smithville, US
          

This is my first attempt with my new lens.



D7000 with Tamron 200-500 1/1250s @f6.3 Iso 640 with a Bogen 3021 tripod and a Manfrotto 468 head.

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Attachment #1, (jpg file)

  

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John Bertotti Gold Member Nikonian since 01st Jul 2012Sun 21-Apr-13 06:11 PM
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#48. ""RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon...""
In response to Reply # 46


Garretson, US
          

Looks like the new lens worked out well.

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avm247 Moderator Awarded for high skills in documentary architecture and aviation photography Charter MemberSat 04-May-13 05:17 PM
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#88. ""RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon...""
In response to Reply # 46


Rancho Cordova, US
          

Awesome, thanks for posting!

Anthony

The Moderator Page and My Gallery
The important things in life are simple; the simple things are hard.

  

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montigre Registered since 09th Feb 2013Sun 21-Apr-13 05:37 PM
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#47. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 45


US
          

>Very cool!

Thank you.

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Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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BrawlerO Registered since 01st Nov 2012Mon 22-Apr-13 04:26 PM
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#49. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 47


Wokingham, GB
          

I had another go late in the afternoon as the sky was quite clear.
1/125
f/8
ISO 100
300mm on DX Body


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Attachment #1, (jpg file)

  

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Rotts3 Gold Member Nikonian since 08th Feb 2013Mon 22-Apr-13 11:20 PM
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#50. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 49
Mon 22-Apr-13 11:26 PM by Rotts3

Purcellville, US
          

OK Here is my attempt at the Moon. Just as I had set up my tripod and started snapping away, a plane passed right by. So here it is.
D700, 70-200@175, f/4.5, 1/800sec, ISO/160



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Attachment #1, (jpg file)

  

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MarkM10431 Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Apr 2013Tue 23-Apr-13 02:48 PM
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#51. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 50


jacksonville, US
          

makes me think of that old song, "Fly me to the moon..."

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jesse101 Registered since 28th Dec 2011Wed 24-Apr-13 02:28 PM
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#52. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 51


Great Falls, US
          

I tried accomplishing this months assignment last night..needless to say I left my 55-300mm lens at home and I tried this using my 28-75mm lens...gonna have to check it cropped when I get home but I'm def running late on this assignment lol. Seems like I need to catch it at the right time.

My Gallery:

http://jessemartinez.zenfolio.com

  

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freedomfarm Silver Member Nikonian since 30th Mar 2013Sat 27-Apr-13 01:02 PM
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#53. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 0
Sat 27-Apr-13 01:08 PM by freedomfarm

US
          

The last two nights were wonderful so I wanted to try this assignment. I spent two evenings attempting this every which way I could. I started out with a 55-300 (on a D5100 on a tripod of course) with a Kenko 1.4 Pro 300 on and some of the settings that were posted on this thread. Most if not all of the photos were soft on the focus. Nothing I liked.
Last night I tried again, had read to remove the TC and turn off VR, so I did. I tried again some of the settings from this thread and then attempted to make adjustments from there to improve the sharpness. I had the VR off, used auto focus, manual focus, manual focus with live view zoomed in. Most of the shots looked okay as they were taken, but when I heavily cropped them, they were all soft, not real sharp. The larger image of the moon I enhanced in photoshop to get it to where it is. The best images I ended up with were 1/50, f8, 100 ISO.
What can I do to get better quality that holds when cropped?
This has been a great assignment, as I really got to know my camera's controls in the dark! (and my first time really playing with manual settings)
Thanks, Steve
(I only uploaded the cropped image, apparently I need to figure out how to upload multiple images . . . the smaller image is in my gallery)


Steve H
Rock Creek, Ohio

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

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Rob_ZN Gold Member Nikonian since 23rd Dec 2012Sat 27-Apr-13 01:33 PM
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#54. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 53


Durban, ZA
          

Hi Steve.

I couldn't get to your pics via your links (a bit broken), but I got to your gallery and had a look.

I think the softness you have there is simply motion blur. The shutter speed you were using may just have been a bit to slow and there may have been some movement when the shot was taken.

I do have a second theory, that will sound a bit funny, but it had me going mad at my ball head because I just couldn't seem to tighten it enough to keep the lens from slipping. As it turns out the ball head was fine and it was simply the moon rising, as it does (DOH!!!!). It was incredible how fast the motion seemed to be through a 500mm lens Anyway, that could have caused motion blur too, together with the slow shutter speed.
If you can't get a higher shutter speed and you want to keep the lens at f8, then pump up your ISO. The D5100 should be able to to take a decent shot at ISO800.


This is one I shot at f/8 and 1/200 @500mm. I spot metered on the moon itself to get the exposure. I still adjusted it in post-processing, though, and did a little sharpening (and the square crop, of course)



Hope that helps

Rob

  

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nrothschild Silver Member Neil is an expert in several areas, including camera support Nikonian since 25th Jul 2004Sat 27-Apr-13 04:53 PM
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#55. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 53


US
          

Hi Steve,

To help with the process of elimination here, there was no perceptible motion blur at 1/50s due to the movement of the moon. You may want to read my post in the Astro forum on the subject of The Rate Of Motion Of Celestial Objects.

The short story is that for a D5100 (16mpx DX) at 300mm the moon moves at the rate 4.5 pixels per second. You could have shot that at 1/5s with only one pixel of blur. At 1/50s, you got less than 1/10 pixel of blur due to celestial motion.

In that article I include an image of the moon shot at 1000mm and 1/20s.

This is a subject of frequent confusion as many people typically overestimate the effect of the moon moving.

Your image EXIF suggests you shot that last night at 9:25pm from Ohio. I suspect the moon had just risen within the hour? Or perhaps your camera clock is very wrong?

Ideally the moon should be shot at an altitude of at least 30 degrees, and preferably more. This is not an ideal time of year to shoot that phase of the near full moon - it does not rise as high as it does other times of the year, and it rises quite slowly. That means it takes some patience and perhaps a late night . The best time to shoot any moon is when it is due South and highest in the sky.

Your exposure is almost exactly what I would use (relatively speaking) if I had that camera and lens. Although, not knowing your lens, I would also have tried at 1/25s f/11. I do not know where the "sweet spot" of your lens lies. It takes a very solid tripod to do that, though, and good technique.

If you are going to shoot slow speeds, you ideally want to use Mirror Up mode, where you can raise the mirror, wait at least 5 seconds, and then take the shot.

Your D5100 does not have Mup mode but I believe it does have an exposure delay mode (Custom Menu D4) that separates the mirror lift from the shutter firing by 1 second.

I HIGHLY recommend you use Exposure Delay Mode on these lunar images, when shot from a tripod, regardless of shutter speed. Especially at shutter speeds slower than 1/100s.

As an aside, we will have a brief commercial announcement from the Tripod Forum . (I am the primary mod there).

Good, stable tripods that deal well with 300-500mm are generally very expensive, or they are very heavy. A lot of beginning photographers are shocked to learn that a good tripod and head costs more than their camera cost. I feel your pain- the cost can seem prohibitive.

Cameras that cost less than a D7100 or D300 and the like do not generally have full Mirror Up delay mode (Mup). If you have Mup you can wait 5 seconds after the mirror rise to fire the shutter. That gives time for even a somewhat overstressed tripod to settle down from the hammering it gets (at a micro-level) from the mirror rise.

However, if you have something like a D5100 with Exposure Delay Mode but not Mup then your tripod MUST settle in less than one second because you cannot control the length of the delay.

Because of that peculiarity, I have always believed that less expensive cameras need more, not less, support because of the limited mirror delay tools you have. If you are shooting a D3100 or some camera that has no delay it may be almost impossible to get exposures at critical shutter speeds at long focal lengths, even with a good solid tripod.

The solution, in most cases, is to optimize the tripod. Hang some weight from the tripod hook (maybe 5 LB or so with a modest tripod and 8LB or so with a more solid tripod.

Extend the legs as little as possible. Ideally not at all. Combined with shooting the moon high, that is not comfortable but that's what some of us do in that case.

If your head does not lock down tight you should replace it ASAP. This exercise of shooting the moon will illustrate why you need a good solid head - and tripod - and there is not a lot you can do with a sloppy head.

This will end our public service announcement from your friendly neighborhood Tripod Forum

I'm not very good at dissecting images and separating out camera shake from focus problems from bad air. So I will not speculate. I would just suggest repeating, doing the above. And sooner than later because the moon rises almost an hour later every day, and that will soon make for a very late night if you want to shoot it high in the sky!

_________________________________
Neil


my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Rob_ZN Gold Member Nikonian since 23rd Dec 2012Sat 27-Apr-13 05:31 PM
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#56. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 55


Durban, ZA
          

That was some interesting reading. One learns something new every day. I honestly thought that the movement I saw in my own viewfinder could have an influence on the sharpness at lower shutter speeds. Thought it might be why my shots are not as sharp as I thought they would be(even at 1/200s). I did use mirror up on mine as well, but the delay may have been too short, so maybe there was still camera movement there too.

Going to try with a longer delay between the mirror up and the shutter release and see whether it's better this evening (moon is busy rising behind a building at the moment).


Thanks for all the info and I have bookmarked your article for future reading.


Rob

  

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nrothschild Silver Member Neil is an expert in several areas, including camera support Nikonian since 25th Jul 2004Sat 27-Apr-13 06:06 PM
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#58. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 56


US
          

Glad you found it interesting, Rob.

I've seen posts suggesting a soft moon shot at 1/200s was shot "too slow for the movement of the moon". The result is that the moon gets shot at a very high shutter speed, fixing other problems (usually a weak tripod) , and that perpetuates the misconception! And, of course, at a too high ISO, causing other problems.

Looking at an ephemeris, tonight the moon rises at about 10:22pm at the eastern end of each time zone, and transits South (highest in the sky) at about 3:25am when it is best shot. At 1am it will be about 20 degrees above the horizon and that would be about the minimum altitude you want. It will only reach the 30 degrees altitude I suggested when it transits the south meridian at 3:41am.

If you are on the western end of your time zone then the moon rises and transits about an hour later.

I can just hear all the excitement now .

But do not despair! The new moon is on the evening of May 9th (Eastern USA). Starting on May 11 or so, and for the next few days, you can shoot the new moon, very conveniently just after sunset, which is most favorable this time of year, and get some Earth Shine.

Very new and old moons are my favorite. So much so I wrote a post about that too!

_________________________________
Neil


my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Rob_ZN Gold Member Nikonian since 23rd Dec 2012Sat 27-Apr-13 06:13 PM
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#60. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 58
Sat 27-Apr-13 06:16 PM by Rob_ZN

Durban, ZA
          

I'm in South Africa so moon rise was about an hour ago (8:10PM here at the moment) and it's well above 20 degrees above the horizon right now(although looking at the angle of my camera it seems less actually)

Could have shot it at the horizon reflecting off the ocean if it has not been behind a building. That could've resulted in some nice shots.

If the difference in it's position is anything to go by, it will rise right in front of my window, over an open piece of ocean tomorrow night at around 9:00 PM.


Rob

  

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freedomfarm Silver Member Nikonian since 30th Mar 2013Sat 27-Apr-13 05:39 PM
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#57. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 55


US
          

Thanks for the input. It is much appreciated. In the back of my mind I suspected my inexpensive tripod and mount. As when I went to focus manually, it was obvious that very slight things would shake it. I did shoot it during it's rise, just at the horizon and finished before it was an hour up. I really love the color and effect that the human eye sees at the time of rise. I will try again with a weighted, unextended tripod and use mirror up mode (I think I have that, it was mentioned in my free class when I purchased it). After seeing the tripod "shake" when manually focusing, I wondered too if the mirror would have an effect on the outcome. The air was good, cool and crisp and I live in the middle of no where, so very little local pollution.
Thanks much for the input!

Steve H
Rock Creek, Ohio

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nrothschild Silver Member Neil is an expert in several areas, including camera support Nikonian since 25th Jul 2004Sat 27-Apr-13 06:12 PM
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#59. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 57


US
          

You are welcome!

You do, of course, have the option of lifting shutter speed, and also ISO to compensate. Although ISO 100 (the camera base ISO) is ideal, you have some latitude to fix other problems.

You could shoot 1/100s ISO 200 or 1/200s ISO 400. I would try all 3 and see what you can get away with and where the happy medium lies.

To complete the "bracketing" you can also try f/11 although that costs another stop of ISO, relative to the shutter speed.

_________________________________
Neil


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nrothschild Silver Member Neil is an expert in several areas, including camera support Nikonian since 25th Jul 2004Sat 27-Apr-13 07:06 PM
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#61. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 57
Sat 27-Apr-13 07:31 PM by nrothschild

US
          

One more important point, Steve... I took the liberty of doing a couple of edits to your moon image. I did the following in Capture NX2:

1. In the Quick Fix (similar to curves in Photoshop) I tightened the white point and black point, and then recentered the mid-point.

The full or nearly full moon is very lacking in contrast. It usually helps to boost the contrast and I think best done by setting the white and black points. You can also play with further custom curving.

2. I added more sharpening. I've shot about 9000 images of the moon (ok, I was obsessed over this for some time ). And I've shot every daily phase of the moon at least once and some a dozen times or more.

I have never had a moon drop out of my camera that was as sharp as I wanted it. And in particular, the closer to full, the less the contrast and the softer it will always look, no matter how well it is shot.

A near full moon will take a lot of sharpening. If you add a lot, then the rim will be badly haloed because the rim is usually sharp. I used a 20 pixel wide brush to selectively remove that added sharpening all around the rim, except where there was an obvious terminator (the night/day division on the moon).

Whenever you see a nice, contrasty and sharp moon, I promise you it was heavily processed. They do not drop out of the camera like that!

I think this shows that your effort might have been better than you thought? And you can do a better better edit with your original.


_________________________________
Neil


my Nikonians gallery.

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freedomfarm Silver Member Nikonian since 30th Mar 2013Sun 28-Apr-13 12:26 AM
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#65. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 61


US
          

Nice! and thanks for the additional info. And now I have learned that I have only scratched the surface of Photoshop! I just got the book by Scott Kelby and Matt Kloskowski for that.
Thanks much for all of the advice!

Steve H
Rock Creek, Ohio

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Rob_ZN Gold Member Nikonian since 23rd Dec 2012Sat 27-Apr-13 07:33 PM
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#62. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 0


Durban, ZA
          

Here's one I took about 20-30 minutes ago. Moon was a lot higher in the sky that yesterday. Also, I managed to find a wired remote and used the MUP function. I delayed the shutter release for up to 10 seconds before I released the shutter. Much better detail, though it may be down to post processing too.

I'm a lot happier with this shot than the one I did yesterday.



Also, with Neil's comments on post processing, I thought I'd show the difference of what came out of the camera and what I ended up with. I've put all the settings I changed in the description of the image in my gallery for interest.





Rob

  

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nrothschild Silver Member Neil is an expert in several areas, including camera support Nikonian since 25th Jul 2004Sat 27-Apr-13 08:15 PM
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#63. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 62


US
          

Rob, that is a great example! Thanks for sharing.

I see that you handled your exposure exactly like I do mine, about a full stop or so over the spot metered value, with the right side of the histogram about mid-way into the last quadrant (highest luminosity about 200-220).

My idea is that the moon is inherently noisy. Partly because we by necessity can do very little downsizing. But also because the lunar Maria (the dark areas) are broad monotone zones at a luminosity that invites noise.

The richest exposure will result in the least noise. More light means more "sampling" in each sensor well. As long as we do not blow the highlights! Your exposure is perfect in my book.

That does mean that the shutter speed will necessarily drop, relative to a standard metered exposure.

When doing the contrast stretch you did, instead of pulling both ends in sharply, you are able to pretty much leave the highlights where they are, and darken the darks. That eliminates noise too.

I think you got a very nice tonal ramp on the edited image. I like this image. Great example!

I assume you were thinking along the same lines

A good way to estimate the required Mup delay, and to see if the 1 second Exposure Delay Mode is sufficient, is the tap test.

Looking through the viewfinder, but without touching anything with your face, eye or left hand, give the front of the lens, and/or the camera body a moderate tap. Count the number of seconds it takes to settle. Double that as a safety measure and to allow for the fact that our view in the viewfinder is not "pixel level" and we need every pixel sharp.

Optional recommendation: If the result is under 5 seconds, do 5 seconds anyway . Never hurts to be anal about support technique! Better to err on the side of an overly long delay than to underestimate.

_________________________________
Neil


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Rob_ZN Gold Member Nikonian since 23rd Dec 2012Sun 28-Apr-13 01:43 PM
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#68. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 63


Durban, ZA
          

Thanks for the feedback. Much appreciated.

My thinking with regards to the exposure was that the Moon is not grey, well mostly anyway, so it would benefit from some overexposure ( based on the metered value). However, I didn't want to go too far because I wanted to keep detail in the highlights instead of blowing them out. The exposure I choose turned out to be just right and the processing I did brought the image from the bland and flat looking RAW capture to something that looks a lot more like what I saw - more contrast and more detail.

Thanks again for all the tips. I feel they've helped me a great deal.

I'll also give my tripod the shake test. It is designed to carry the weigth of my camera body and the particular lens I used (Sigma 150-500), but there is some shake when tapped. Just need to time how long it takes to settle. I also suspect that some of the softness is the lens itself, but I would still like to get the best result possible when using it so any way to get it more stable will help.


Rob

  

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nrothschild Silver Member Neil is an expert in several areas, including camera support Nikonian since 25th Jul 2004Sun 28-Apr-13 06:43 PM
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#69. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 68
Sun 28-Apr-13 11:15 PM by nrothschild

US
          

Actually, I think most people end up with a moon that is, on average, about mid-tone. The problem with a fullish moon is that there is little contrast and that is what make it somewhat difficult.

You did the right thing, at least by my way of thinking, even if you arrived at the decision very differently . But we may be saying the same thing - just differently.

>> I'll also give my tripod the shake test. It is designed to carry the weigth of my camera body and the particular lens I used (Sigma 150-500

Payload ratings should not be taken seriously, at least for typical DSLR use at long focal lengths. First, there is no standard on the measurement, nor do any makers (not even Gitzo) explain what it means or how to apply it.

My Gitzo GT3541LS is a great tripod. It is rated for 39lb. I would not put a 39 LB camera on that tripod, especially something with 39 LBs of focal length. I would not even put 20 LB on it. I put about 12-15 LB on it, with my 500/4, Wimberly and etc. That is marginal, at 1/3 the payload rating, and this is a Gitzo.

A good rule of thumb is to cut the maker's payload rating in half.

I don't pay much attention to payload rating except maybe as a final sanity check using the half rule.

I use the upper leg diameter, per Gitzo's recommendations explained very clearly in their 2009 pdf catalog (the latest available). You can go to www.gitzo.com and click the Service tab for the download. It is a very good read, in particular the section on "The Series Concept" that explains this.

Their recommendations:

Series 2 - (28mm): 200mm focal length - max
Series 3 - (32mm): 300mm
Series 4 - (37mm): 400mm
Series 5 - (42mm): 500mm and up

I own a Series 2, 3 and 4. I've tested those tripods carefully, as well as some other makes that I could get my hands on. My real world use and tests suggest Gitzo is right on target. It is not a marketing ploy to up-sell legs.

The relationship between leg diameter and focal length is a basic summation of the physics of a typical well built tripod. The fatter the legs the less torsional twist you get, and the better it should handle mirror slap and shutter shudder. More importantly, an under-powered tripod is simply impossible to deal with in the slightest puff of wind.

For a tripod other than a Gitzo you have to compare build quality, or compare prices to get some rough sense of relative build quality, and ask yourself if a handicap should be applied to those numbers.

Now, your lens would suggest a Series 5. Most people won't go there. Typically a Series 3 would be used. If you are using a Manfrotto 055, consider that Series 2 class.

A lot of people argue the table above, and suggest it is "overkill". In fact, they are typically using long lenses to shoot wildlife, where the shutter speeds needed to stop the action of a bird or other critter makes the tripod performance somewhat less critical. Or so some think.

And in practice many people use VR to overcome an under-powered tripod. That I know from talking to wildlife photographers about this subject. They don't think about it that way- they just think about it in the sense that VR is indispensable. Not having VR on my 500, I can't think that way .

Doing slow shutter speed work like we are doing here is probably one of the most demanding applications we typically see, aside from pure dusk or night shooting.

I try to talk Sigma 500 shooters into a Series 3 (or full equivalent in leg diameter and build quality, or thicker legs). And I am not sure that a Series 4 would not hurt, especially the new CF models. I really believe in that. I did shoot my 300/4 on my Series 2 for a while and thought it was a mistake, in retrospect. And that was mainly for birding. It was shortly followed by a beefier Gitzo

I'll hazard a guess that your tripod is giving you a minimum 3 second settle time on that tap test. Possibly much more - I am not clear exactly what you have there. A good tripod should handle that lens in about 1 second. If you need a watch to count it, it's too long

I'm not suggesting you spend a pile on a new tripod for a few moon shots. But you may find it very helpful for other things you shoot at up to 500mm. And in any event, I just want to stress that the payload rating does not tell you that your tripod is sized correctly for that lens. You need to use great care and handling, like I had to do on my Series 2 when using my 300/4 with TC's up to 600mm. But you are coming to understand that

_________________________________
Neil


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nrothschild Silver Member Neil is an expert in several areas, including camera support Nikonian since 25th Jul 2004Sat 27-Apr-13 08:22 PM
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#64. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 62


US
          

P.S. those in the southern hemisphere, such as yourself, see everything "opposite" of us in the Northern Hemisphere. Especially in terms of favorable seasons of various lunar phases.

While the current lunar phase is UNfavorable for us in the USA, it is very favorable for you. The new moon is our most favorable phase now, for you it is the old moon.

When I talk about favorable phases I sometimes forget to add "here in the Northern Hemisphere; in the Southern Hemisphere everything is reversed". World-wide forums make this stuff very complex .

_________________________________
Neil


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tlc5125 Silver Member Nikonian since 13th Jan 2013Sun 05-May-13 12:23 PM
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#90. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 62


Baldwinsville, US
          

Wow! Big difference! Beautiful!

Tracy

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nrothschild Silver Member Neil is an expert in several areas, including camera support Nikonian since 25th Jul 2004Sun 28-Apr-13 12:53 PM
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#67. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

I got up early (around 3:30am) and decided to shoot some images to add to the thread.

I used my D300 and 300 f/4 AFS. I thought that lens would be more relevant to the typical lenses used in this assignment. I probably haven't shot the moon with this lens in about 9 years, favoring my 300/2.8 and then later my 500/4 for my lunar work.

The first image was shot without a TC, at native 300mm. Exposure is ISO 200 f/8 1/200s. The D300 has a base ISO of 200.

This is on the large size for a 300mm moon because this is a 100% crop - all the original pixels without any downsizing. My processing included a contrast stretch and sharpening (combo of high pass filter and USM), plus a second selective sharpening step on just the area left of the "terminator" (the day/night shadow area.

The area around the terminator tends to be far higher contrast than the areas away from the terminator (here the left side). I often post process the two areas differently, to add some sharpening to the fully lit area away from the terminator, and sometimes contrast adjustments.

Nikon D300 300mm f/4 AFS @300mm
ISO 200 f/8 1/200s


The second image adds a TC17E-II, resulting in a 500mm image. The processing was very similar- I tried to get the same "look".

Exposure is ISO 200 f/11 1/200s (there is a story here)

This image is downsized to about 65% of original size, making it about the same size as the 300mm image. As you can see, the image quality is very close. Not sure if that speaks for the degradation of the TC, or the excellent optics of the lens itself .

Nikon D300 300mm f/4 AFS + TC17E-II @500mm
ISO 200 f/11 1/200s


I bracketed my exposures, starting with my usual exposure of about 1 stop over a "mid-tone moon". I then exposed about the mid-tone, and then one stop below that, just for fun.

Reviewing the images I noticed that the underexposed 500mm images at 1/200s (took 2) were significantly sharper than the images at 1/100s and 1/50s. That surprised me because of my thoughts previously posted about minimum required shutter speed- 1/50 or 1/100 should have been plenty.

I shot these on a Gitzo Series 3 ball head and full Wimberly. From a stability point of view, a ball head would have been slightly better but I did not want to do a head swap. I also shot from a full standing position because I didn't want to lie down in the dewy grass and I don't think this lens taxes the tripod very hard when using Mirror Up, as I did.

I'm intrigued with my results. Enough that I will follow up when the moon is more favorable, somewhere around the 1st quarter in May, weather permitting. There are a couple of possibilities:

1. The short cuts I took with the tripod were a bad idea (I think doubtful but I have open mind on this)

2. Maybe a tenth of a pixel of blur matters? I am quite sure of my movement calculations and have proved them out many times by measuring long exposure star trails. The only issue is how much a fraction of a pixel of blur matters. Worth pursuing, and I can (and will) eliminate this question by shooting the lens on a motorized astronomical mount that tracks the stars.

3. Shutter shudder. This is the idea that even with mirror up the opening and closing of the shutter itself causes vibration. I know this is a problem with my very long focal length astro scopes working 1500mm or more. I never thought this was perceptible at 500mm. This is more difficult to eliminate.

There is a procedure called the "hat trick" where you do a bulb exposure, allowing time for shutter shudder to dissipate, with a piece of cardboard in front of the lens, then briefly expose the lens to light. It is very difficult or impossible to do at shutter speeds less than 1/4s or so, and with short exposures (less than 1 or 2 seconds) the cure is often worse than the disease because flipping the cardboard quickly will generate air currents that shake the lens.

I should stress that the softness I saw at shutter speeds lower than 1/200s was rather subtle. Maybe I'll post the unedited out of camera images to illustrate that. The images were not "bad", it was just that the 1/200s images were quite good and better.

I'll add that my faster shutter speed (and underexposed) images at 300mm were also sharper than the slowest speed shot at 1/200s. But the differences were very subtle. I ended up using one of the 300mm images that were exposed at just slightly over what I would expect the camera to spot meter, assuming it could do that right at 300mm, which I question.

In any event, since I liked those underexposed 1/200s images better, I used one for my post and post processed it accordingly.

_________________________________
Neil


my Nikonians gallery.

Attachment #1, (jpg file)
Attachment #2, (jpg file)

  

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gvk Silver Member Nikonian since 16th Feb 2006Sun 28-Apr-13 08:26 PM
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#70. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 67


Mystic, US
          

Very nice Neil, especially using a D300 with lower pixel density than more recent DX DSLRs.

I posted a few moon photos in the Nikon 1 forum about a year ago, taken with the V1 and a 300 mm f/2.8 with TC20EIII on an FT1 adapter.

http://www.nikonians.org/forums/dcboard.php?az=set_threaded_mode&forum=419&topic_id=1119&prev_page=show_topic&gid=1119#1119

My experience is similar to yours regarding shutter speed. I have sometimes gotten good results at 1/50 sec, or even slower, but more often wind induced motion, and possibly atmospheric turbulence, produce blur that is reduced by using higher shutter speeds, even with a good tripod.

Gerry

  

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nrothschild Silver Member Neil is an expert in several areas, including camera support Nikonian since 25th Jul 2004Sun 28-Apr-13 09:50 PM
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#71. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 70


US
          

Interestingly, it was an absolute dead calm. Highly unusual this time of year, and with the recent weather patterns. And given the consistency between multiple images, I am as sure as I can be that it was not wind induced motion.

Those are some great lunar images you shot with the V1! On the gibbous moon, the inside crater wall detail on Copernicus and Sinus Iridum are very impressive! I didn't think a 300/2.8 could resolve that. Just goes to show where DSLR sensor density could go, and I guess where marketing will inevitably take it.

I imagine you probably like not having that hammer mirror clunk interrupting your image at the worst possible time, too!

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Neil


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nrothschild Silver Member Neil is an expert in several areas, including camera support Nikonian since 25th Jul 2004Sun 28-Apr-13 09:57 PM
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#72. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 70


US
          

>> and possibly atmospheric turbulence, produce blur that is reduced by using higher shutter speeds, even with a good tripod.

I've never considered that! Some food for thought.

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Neil


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gvk Silver Member Nikonian since 16th Feb 2006Tue 30-Apr-13 03:18 PM
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#79. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 72


Mystic, US
          

>>> and possibly atmospheric turbulence,
>produce blur that is reduced by using higher shutter speeds,
>even with a good tripod.
>
>I've never considered that! Some food for thought.

Temporal and spatial variations in the refractive index of air (dependent on temperature, density, and humidity) integrated over the long optical path through the atmosphere result in wavefront distortion and image degradation. This is generally referred to as astronomical seeing. In particular, the time scale of such turbulent variations can be on the order of 10 ms, so shutter speeds faster than 1/100 sec can help. Multiple image techniques such as speckle and lucky imaging are often used to improve resolution, and much of the field of adaptive optics was developed to deal with this problem for large telescopes.

Further discussion is probably more appropriate in the Astronomical forum.

Gerry

  

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nrothschild Silver Member Neil is an expert in several areas, including camera support Nikonian since 25th Jul 2004Tue 30-Apr-13 03:34 PM
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#80. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 79


US
          

Thanks Gerry. I am very familiar with seeing, being a long time visual astronomer.

What I never focused on was that the window between 1/30s or so and 1/200 might make that dramatic a difference. I've just never spent much time thinking about the timing side.

I also don't recall being terribly bothered by seeing at 300 or 500mm unless it was very bad, like a gusty cold winter evening. I've had more problems in the 700-1000mm range.

Also, as I mentioned, it was dead still, and I mean dead still. The kind of early morning where it feels 10 degrees warmer than it really is. It was the first early pre-dawn morning this year I've been comfortable without a jacket. It was spooky, especially since I have not seen this since before winter set in last year.

I did not bring a visual scope out with me to check seeing, but I recall thinking the seeing must have been 5/5 and I saw almost zero twinkling of stars. It was that still.

Really a mystery, but it tells me that I should study and test the benefits of shooting 1/200s or so regardless of how I feel about support because *something* didn't like my slower speed shots.

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Neil


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Rob_ZN Gold Member Nikonian since 23rd Dec 2012Mon 29-Apr-13 08:41 PM
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#73. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 0
Mon 29-Apr-13 08:42 PM by Rob_ZN

Durban, ZA
          

With some cloud cover in the sky this evening, I didn't think I would get another shot at this assignment. With a bit of luck and patience I got these two last shots.

This one is the moon behind the clouds. Wanted to show the clouds more than the moon, so exposed for that. The 3s exposure gave them the smooth, sortof fluffy texture.



The second one is a 10s exposure. Again wanted to show the light coming down from the clouds and also get the building in the foreground to show nicely. Not really a moon shot, but I think one can tell it's the moon glowing through the clouds. The long exposure again made the clouds come out soft.




Rob

  

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tlc5125 Silver Member Nikonian since 13th Jan 2013Mon 29-Apr-13 10:48 PM
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#74. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 73


Baldwinsville, US
          

Oooohhh, love the one with the clouds!
Tracy

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montigre Registered since 09th Feb 2013Mon 29-Apr-13 11:58 PM
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#76. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 73


US
          

WOW! I also love the one with the fluffy clouds. Almost feels as though I can walk out onto them...

~Gail

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nrothschild Silver Member Neil is an expert in several areas, including camera support Nikonian since 25th Jul 2004Tue 30-Apr-13 12:06 AM
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#77. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 73


US
          

Rob, that is a nice image and very tough to get exposed correctly. I understand why you said it took some patience!

_________________________________
Neil


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Rob_ZN Gold Member Nikonian since 23rd Dec 2012Tue 30-Apr-13 05:29 PM
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#82. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 73


Durban, ZA
          

Thanks everyone for the comments.

I must say I'm enjoying these assignment so far and feel that the feedback and tips posted to each thread are really helping me progress.

I'm looking forward to the next one.


Rob

  

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montigre Registered since 09th Feb 2013Tue 30-Apr-13 12:38 AM
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#78. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

For a newbie photog and fledgling Nikonian, I found this was a really difficult assignment. Thanks to everyone who made submissions and comments. I have learned so much through working past the tricky issues and trying out tips and pointers from all of you.

Thank you, all; this is really a great group!!

~Gail

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osheyi Registered since 29th Dec 2010Tue 30-Apr-13 05:09 PM
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#81. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 0
Tue 30-Apr-13 05:11 PM by osheyi

DUBUQUE, US
          

Tried out 2 exposures

Shot with Nikon D7000, Nikkor 70-300 lens @ 300mm, F8,ISO 200, 1/125



Shot with Nikon D7000, Nikkor 70-300 lens @ 300mm, F8,ISO 200, 1/200

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Rob_ZN Gold Member Nikonian since 23rd Dec 2012Tue 30-Apr-13 05:31 PM
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#83. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 81


Durban, ZA
          

Nice capture on both of them. I do prefer the second one, though. There seems to be more detail because of the darker areas. I bet that with a bit of post processing, you could really bring out the detail.


Rob

  

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osheyi Registered since 29th Dec 2010Tue 30-Apr-13 05:47 PM
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#84. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 83


DUBUQUE, US
          

>Nice capture on both of them. I do prefer the second one,
>though. There seems to be more detail because of the darker
>areas. I bet that with a bit of post processing, you could
>really bring out the detail.
>
>
>Rob

Thanks Rob. I just posted it as shot I bet with a little bit of post processing it could look better.

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avm247 Moderator Awarded for high skills in documentary architecture and aviation photography Charter MemberSat 04-May-13 05:15 PM
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#85. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 0


Rancho Cordova, US
          

My apologies to all, I've been overtaken by life and work (mostly work).

I would also like to invite everyone to check out the Astrophotography Forum. We could do another related assignment there, too.

Assignments are never over, so feel free to revist and post.

The attached image was taken in the morning, just before 6:30am PDST, adjusted contrast and exposure to get more detail in the moon.

D700, 70-300D ED, Aperture Priority 1/16, 1/200s, -2/3 EV, tripod mounted


Anthony

The Moderator Page and My Gallery
The important things in life are simple; the simple things are hard.


Attachment #1, (jpg file)

  

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nrothschild Silver Member Neil is an expert in several areas, including camera support Nikonian since 25th Jul 2004Sun 05-May-13 10:26 AM
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#89. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 85


US
          

>> We could do another related assignment there, too.

See my May New Moon Challenge in the Astrophotogrpahy Forum

For those that can't get enough of the moon, I thought this would be an interesting follow up. Most people tend to shoot either the full moon or fairly gibbous phases, ignoring the new and old moons. This challenge should encourage you to do something a little different

_________________________________
Neil


my Nikonians gallery.

  

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avm247 Moderator Awarded for high skills in documentary architecture and aviation photography Charter MemberFri 24-May-13 04:55 AM
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#91. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 0
Fri 24-May-13 04:56 AM by avm247

Rancho Cordova, US
          

Tonights near full moon...



Click for a larger image (this was significantly cropped).

D700, AF 70-300mm D ED, 1/125 @ f/11, ISO 200, added -0.7 EV and adjusted contrast.

I think this is probably my best (near) full moon image yet. I really need a better lens. (Ah, NAS...thinking 300 f/4 + 1.4 TC)

Anthony

The Moderator Page and My Gallery
The important things in life are simple; the simple things are hard.

  

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tlc5125 Silver Member Nikonian since 13th Jan 2013Fri 24-May-13 12:29 PM
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#92. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 91


Baldwinsville, US
          

Really pretty!!!


Tracy

My Nikonians Gallery

  

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avm247 Moderator Awarded for high skills in documentary architecture and aviation photography Charter MemberFri 24-May-13 03:58 PM
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#93. "RE: April Assignment: Shoot the Moon..."
In response to Reply # 92


Rancho Cordova, US
          

Thanks, Tracy!

Anthony

The Moderator Page and My Gallery
The important things in life are simple; the simple things are hard.

  

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