Sun 28-Apr-13 05:30 AM | edited Sun 28-Apr-13 05:32 AM by icslowmo
Nice shot. May I suggest try iso 500 and 1/1000th next time to see if you can pull out a little more detail... Or think outside the box and try your 105mm VR @ f/4-5.6 with iso 100 in 1.3x crop mode to get you to 210mm... worth trying I would think...
Would love to see some shots of the moon in crop mode with the 70-200 f/2.8 VRII on the D7100 or even the 200-400 f/4.... AKA 800mm f/4 15mp madness.....
Here is the best one I've got with my D800E w/ 70-200 f/2.8 VRII @ f/4 1/400th iso 100 Handheld:
It's been awhile sense I took any pics of the moon, as after this shot, found my 70-200 to be much sharper cropped very tight compared to my 70-300 VR @ 300mm cropped.....
Thanks for the comments and suggestions. The image I posted is far and away the best shot I have ever taken of the moon (but of course, that's not saying much...). I was pleased, in the spur of the moment and after a couple of glasses of wine, to remember to switch to spot metering and under-expose a bit!
I intentionally stretched the lens to 300mm just to see what it would do on the D7100 under those conditions -- I'm not surprised you find the 70-200 sharper at 200mm even with a more severe crop than the 70-300 at 300. I hadn't thought about the 105 macro for this, but I might try the same thing with my Sigma 150 f/2.8 macro, either alone or with the matched Sigma 1.4x teleconverter (giving me effectively 210mm @ f/4). I was surprised at how much latitude I had the keep the shutter speed up (as you point out, even more than I took advantage of) -- the full moon is brighter than you think! Also, at 1/1000 or faster, VR is pretty useless and some say it may even be counterproductive. (I didn't think of that either at the time -- my shot with the 70-300 was with VR on.) Another approach would be to haul out the tripod and shoot at base ISO, although at some shutter speed moon movement will put and end to ultimate sharpness.
All of this is firing up my latent case of NAS. I think the new 70-200 f/4 might be somewhere in my future as a glass upgrade from the 70-300. I've never seriously considered either version of the 70-200 f/2.8 because it is just too damn big and heavy -- one of the things that keeps me firmly planted in the DX world is the combined cost, size and weight of quality FX-compatible lenses. The 70-200 f/4, however, offers most of the benefits of its f/2.8 brothers at a size/weight approximately equivalent to the 70-300.
Maybe I'll try some of this stuff in a night or two or, failing that, next month when the full moon comes around again.
Dave, That's a nice photo. It's always best to use the longest lens and the lowest ISO you can get away with when shooting the moon, especially when using a DX camera. A full moon will always have the least detail because of the lack of shadows. You'll need to increase the sharpening.
Here's a photo I took a week ago before the full moon.
I use the D800, AFS 70-200mm f2.8 VR II plus the TC_20E III. ISO 400, 1/320, f8.
You might try lowering your ISO and opening up the aperture to get a less noise reduced image - the moon does not require much stopping down of the lens and 1/2000 is really way faster than you need shutter speed wise. Stick it on a tripod and keep your shutter speed around 1/250th, you ought to get an image that takes more advantage of the elimination of the AA filter on your sensor.
Just a perspective,
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof " - Carl Sagan
Thanks for the comments -- I'm not making any claims for sharpness here, since it was just a grab shot to see if I could get something on the spur of the moment. You and others have given me good ideas if I want to try this again. However, the best idea is probably a different lens... the 70-300 is OK out to about 200 and after that it gets a bit soft no matter what you aim it at or how you shoot it.