Cleanest way to 300mm

ac12

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The Oly 100-400 is a pretty big investment, but its actually very good overall. And if you already have the 1.4 T/C it works on that too.

I've always wanted to do some serious astro/ planetary stuff with a decent telescope but I've never had the funds/knowledge to take the plunge. I think it'd be lots of fun to get shots of Mars, or Saturns rings, or close detail of the moon etc. But its quite an investment by all accounts.

The issue some of us have is "light pollution." The reflection of the city lights by the particles in the air.
That can really degrade the ability to "see" astronomical stuff. And it reduces the contrast of whatever you are looking at.

The research is enlightening.
But like many things in the internet world, there is a LOT more info than there was in the past, so you can make better decisions when planning what to get.
And that helps to make the compromise decisions you have to make.
 

John King

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The issue some of us have is "light pollution." The reflection of the city lights by the particles in the air.
That can really degrade the ability to "see" astronomical stuff. And it reduces the contrast of whatever you are looking at.
Yes. There are special light pollution filters that work amazingly well.
The research is enlightening.
But like many things in the internet world, there is a LOT more info than there was in the past, so you can make better decisions when planning what to get.
And that helps to make the compromise decisions you have to make.
I agree.

It is possible to spend a vast amount of money, and be disappointed at the end of it!
 

cjoliprsf

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For my part, I have tried with the P45-200, with an adapted Canon EF 70-300 IS USM, and the same with a 2X converter. I have used different Canon and Pana cameras. And I have never succeeded to get a sharp picture of the moon...
Getting the right exposition is also a challenge...
Those who have success, please share your tricks!
 

ac12

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For my part, I have tried with the P45-200, with an adapted Canon EF 70-300 IS USM, and the same with a 2X converter. I have used different Canon and Pana cameras. And I have never succeeded to get a sharp picture of the moon...
Getting the right exposition is also a challenge...
Those who have success, please share your tricks!

I start with the sunny 16 (or lunny 11) = 1/ISO shutter speed at f/16 (or f/11).
The surface of the moon is in daylight. This is the thing that the average person does not understand.​
Then adjust the exposure to bring the shutter speed up to match focal length of the lens.
ie. 1/500 sec or faster. Faster if I am handholding a non-stabilized lens.​
There is an astronomical guide for the min shutter speed, that I do not remember.​
With a digital camera, you can see the result immediately, and quickly adjust the exposure.

And TAKE NOTES, so the next time you shoot the moon, you don't have to start from zero again.
 
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I’ve been enjoying taking pictures of the moon at night as well as more nature walks lately. And it turns out I’m at 300mm more often than I had expected with my 75-300/4.8-6. Except now I’m starting to see that there is room for improvement at that focal length. So what is the best way to amp up 300mm for me? You have my current Olympus 75-300, the Olympus 40-150/2.8 with a 2x convertor, and the newer Olympus 100-400/5-6.3 lens. I’m eliminating the 150-400 based on the price and also the 300/4 prime due to it’s limited focal length. Any other options out there worth exploring? Maybe the Panasonic 100-400/4-6.3?

I’ve been using the Imaging-resource website to look at their lab test results to compare sharpness but can’t seem to find a way to take into account a teleconverter. Of course my mind quickly travels to the Olympus 100-400 since I can then just zoom into 400mm instead and get better results and then maybe even use a teleconverter to really bring it in. Is this the best route to go? I’d most likely sell the 75-300 to help pay for a new lens but see that they aren’t selling like hotcakes as of late. Let me know your thoughts and feel free to share any moon shots with the above combinations to maybe help me come to a decision.

Thanks!

My recommendation is to try to reach that range without the use of teleconverters. The 40-150 Pro with MC-20 is probably better than the 75-300, but at least with regard to the 40-150+MC-20 (which I have), the 100-400 is better by itself. That's my feeling. And, if you have it on a tripod, the weight doesn't matter. Just use a sturdy tripod and a remote release or self-timer to reduce vibration.

I prefer to shoot a moon that is 3/4 or less. The side lighting brings out the topography and dimensionality. A full moon shot is uninteresting because it looks flat.
 
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For my part, I have tried with the P45-200, with an adapted Canon EF 70-300 IS USM, and the same with a 2X converter. I have used different Canon and Pana cameras. And I have never succeeded to get a sharp picture of the moon...
Getting the right exposition is also a challenge...
Those who have success, please share your tricks!
I had a 45-200 and wasn't satisfied with it. Plus, it had bad zoom creep, so when I pointed it up at the moon, the zoom kept sliding toward 45 mm, which meant I had to hold it in place. Not conducive to a sharp photo. I was thinking I'd have to tape the barrel at max zoom. :)
 

ac12

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Maybe I have to get that 1.25" telescope adapter for my camera, and put it on my wife's telescope, and see just what it can do.

The problem is light pollution in the city.
I have to drive at least an hour out to get to some place away from city lights, which today isn't a safe thing to do.
 

Bushboy

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I once took a cracking moon shot. I remember I had so many telecom errors on a 400mm I needed to use the mirror lockup function.
Maybe electronic shutter would be advisable with our gear?
 
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I use a 500/8 mirror lens, when I want to "reach out."
There are a few good ones, and a LOT of junk.
The Olympus OM Zuiko 500mm ƒ/8 Reflex is among the best. I've had three of them. Each time I get rid of one, I have regrets and go find another!
whale tail.jpg
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Attach a focal reducer, and you have a 350mm ƒ/5.6.
Ketch A038513.jpg
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Another lens to consider is the OM Zuiko 300mm ƒ/4.5. I have one, but I don't use it much, because it is so much longer and heavier than the delightful Reflex. But it should do well for astro.
 

John King

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Maybe I have to get that 1.25" telescope adapter for my camera, and put it on my wife's telescope, and see just what it can do.

The problem is light pollution in the city.
I have to drive at least an hour out to get to some place away from city lights, which today isn't a safe thing to do.
Maybe get a light pollution filter?

I saw some wonderful shots years ago using one. From a backyard in Los Angeles!! Deep sky objects, too.

With moon shots, light pollution should not be a problem.
 

RAH

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The moon is moving, right? Does stacking or HHHR really work for subjects like that?

Stacking works because you line the images up in post, either automatically or manually by setting the layer blend mode to difference.

Astro photographers stack images to reduce ISO noise.

Not sure about HHHR. Could depend on the shutter speed.
This YouTube video has been posted several times on this forum. It explains the surprising use of HHHR on the moving moon from a tripod. The thread on shooting the moon has some examples of using the technique:
 
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Well, I can only speak to the M1.3, as that's my first Olympus. But it certainly pairs well with the 100-400. And very surprisingly to me, you can do HHHR shots at 400mm and get good results. Not only that, but the Olympus AF works well on the moon. See photo attached, taken with no tripod, not even braced. Color me impressed.

I'm sure one could do better with a tracking mount and telescope(or high-end spotting scope). But that's a lot more stuff and weight. And not really an option for much terrestrial photography.
 

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RAH

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I find it difficult to focus manually. When focusing on the moon with the magnifier active, the tiniest shift of the focus ring has a significant effect on the focussing.
I'm no expert on shooting the moon, but I do wonder why you are using manual focus. I would think that the moon would fill enough of the viewfinder to give excellent AF results, even with a 300mm lens. I mean, actually what you will get is infinity and that should be pretty easy for any AF system, right?
 

Bob in Pittsburgh

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I'm no expert on shooting the moon, but I do wonder why you are using manual focus. I would think that the moon would fill enough of the viewfinder to give excellent AF results, even with a 300mm lens. I mean, actually what you will get is infinity and that should be pretty easy for any AF system, right?


You would think it would be easy, yet I have seen the autofocus on my cameras hunt like crazy to figure out the focus for the moon. I am sure I was not doing everything perfectly when that happened.
 

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