Problem; Pen F w/Oly 40-150 f/4-5.6 focusing on the moon

ata3001

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Pen F w/Oly 40-150 f/4-5.6 . Camera was hand held at 150mm, set at ISO 200, 1/500 sec at f/6.3 shot as a RAW file. This is a 400% zoom in Photoshop. With the exception of an increase in exposure, this is straight out of the camera. This image quality is pathetic. I have also done this with the camera mounted on a CF Gitzo tripod & gotten the same results.
I have had no complaints with sharpness in landscape images. In the several years that I've owned this lens, I have never been able to get a decent moon shot.
I believe the problem to be the lens, since all other lenses I've previously owned & currently own give incredibly sharp images. Could other owners of Pen F w/Oly 40-150 f/4-5.6 lens, please post their moon shot images so that I would have them for something to compare to? Thanks
 

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I've found that AF isn't that reliable for shooting the moon. I usually use MF, sometimes with MF assist like magnification. I find that shooting a full moon usually isn't very satisfactory because it's front lit. You simply don't see craters, mountains, or textural details. A full moon looks kinda flat. It's even hard to tell if you're getting a sharp shot or not. I think shooting a 3/4 or 1/2 moon would be a better indication of sharpness. Atmospheric conditions will also play a big part. Atmospheric humidity, thin clouds, and turbulence would affect your shot. I agree that 150 isn't really long enough, and I think the 40-150 R isn't known for having a really sharp long end. I have one and like it a lot, but not for shooting the moon. :)
 
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ata3001

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Autofocus or manual? 150mm is pretty short for moon shots, maybe if you're trying to use autofocus, that's the issue?
I have done both manual focus as well as auto focus. With manual focus, it racks from very blurry to blurry, then back to very blurry. Nothing gets sharp. You're right about 150mm being awful short, but even using focus magnification, the moon never comes into anything near proper focus.
At this point, I'm thinking it might be an issue with this lens, but I'd still like to hear from others & their experiences with getting moon shots.
 
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@ata3001, here's a shot I made a few days ago, using an EM1 III and Olympus 100-400 f5-6.3 IS with the MC-20 teleconverter, for 800 mm. It's not optimal because I was having trouble catching the moon in the gaps between scudding clouds and with a tripod that wasn't cooperating. Manual focus and manual exposure. I was shooting wide open, but next time I'll stop down one, at least. I think I can do better next time.

https://www.flickr.com/gp/92624968@N02/62h3J5
 

cjoliprsf

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I sympathise...
I also have tried to shoot the moon - without much success. I am quite envious when I see some moon shots in this thread (for example https://www.mu-43.com/threads/moon-shots.46350/post-1468670)
I have tried a Canon EF 70-300mm USM on Canon cameras and adapted on Panasonic GX85. With and without 2x teleconverter.
I have also tried the P 45-150 (which I have now sold) and intend to give a try with my newly acquired P 45-200. But I don't think it will be better than with the Canon lens...
 

RichardC

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Pen F w/Oly 40-150 f/4-5.6 . Camera was hand held at 150mm, set at ISO 200, 1/500 sec at f/6.3 shot as a RAW file. This is a 400% zoom in Photoshop. With the exception of an increase in exposure, this is straight out of the camera. This image quality is pathetic. I have also done this with the camera mounted on a CF Gitzo tripod & gotten the same results.
I have had no complaints with sharpness in landscape images. In the several years that I've owned this lens, I have never been able to get a decent moon shot.
I believe the problem to be the lens, since all other lenses I've previously owned & currently own give incredibly sharp images. Could other owners of Pen F w/Oly 40-150 f/4-5.6 lens, please post their moon shot images so that I would have them for something to compare to? Thanks

Your camera is pointing at a very bright object relative to the surroundings. This is an extreme test for flare.

Are you using a filter of any sort? Are front and rear elements spotlessly clean?

Hold your lens up to a ceiling light and look through the the rear of the lens to check inside for haze/moisture etc.

These are the sort of issues that don't manifest themselves when you are shooting outdoors with the sun behind you.

Lastly, if it's colder outside than inside, give your lens enough time to cool down to the ambient temperature - you may be getting some condensation.
 

ata3001

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Your camera is pointing at a very bright object relative to the surroundings. This is an extreme test for flare.

Are you using a filter of any sort? Are front and rear elements spotlessly clean?

Hold your lens up to a ceiling light and look through the the rear of the lens to check inside for haze/moisture etc.

These are the sort of issues that don't manifest themselves when you are shooting outdoors with the sun behind you.

Lastly, if it's colder outside than inside, give your lens enough time to cool down to the ambient temperature - you may be getting some condensation.
You do have many good points, however I am already aware of those pitfalls. The glass is as clean & clear as can be and I do use a clear protective filter, but I also know to remove it since a single bright light source, such as the moon, can cause flaring & ghost images in the picture due to the light, basically reflecting off the various glass surfaces, causing a ghost image to appear.
Also a good point about the outside temp variance, however, that really wasn't an issue. I've had the same results no matter the time of year.
Also a good point about the air dampness however I've tried this in all weather conditions throughout the year with the same results. Wife & I camp a lot which gives me plenty of opportunities to play around with this. I've also been shooting the moon & milky way for many, many years with larger format cameras with great success. This is the only camera/lens combo where I havre had no success.
 

RichardC

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You do have many good points, however I am already aware of those pitfalls. The glass is as clean & clear as can be and I do use a clear protective filter, but I also know to remove it since a single bright light source, such as the moon, can cause flaring & ghost images in the picture due to the light, basically reflecting off the various glass surfaces, causing a ghost image to appear.
Also a good point about the outside temp variance, however, that really wasn't an issue. I've had the same results no matter the time of year.
Also a good point about the air dampness however I've tried this in all weather conditions throughout the year with the same results. Wife & I camp a lot which gives me plenty of opportunities to play around with this. I've also been shooting the moon & milky way for many, many years with larger format cameras with great success. This is the only camera/lens combo where I havre had no success.

Then I am devoid of answers - which is nothing unusual for me :)

...other than rent a different telephoto lens.

I used to own that model of lens. It's a versatile 'all round' pocketable telephoto, but it's not in the same league as the 40-150 pro for example - which you would of course expect considering the 10x price difference.
 

SilverShutter

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The 40-150 "budget" loses sharpness between 100 to 150mm. It's no surprise that an object so far away appears so soft. At 150mm that lens is only somewhat sharp on close range and stopped down to 6.3 or 7.1.
 
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PEN-F Oly 40-150mm Pro with MC-14 Lightroom crop 757x772

I have a Oly 40-150/4-5.6R but haven't tried a moon shot with it. This probably doesn't help does it.

Moon_001-3.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
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ex machina

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I have done both manual focus as well as auto focus. With manual focus, it racks from very blurry to blurry, then back to very blurry. Nothing gets sharp. You're right about 150mm being awful short, but even using focus magnification, the moon never comes into anything near proper focus.
At this point, I'm thinking it might be an issue with this lens, but I'd still like to hear from others & their experiences with getting moon shots.
Couple things:
  • Can you focus sharply on far away objects that are not orbiting the planet?
  • I seem to remember fussing with my adapted 600mm trying to nail focus where just barely tapping the lens sometimes knocked it out of focus, maybe you need to rack much more slowly?
 

gilletthome77

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This is a shot taken with the EM1ii with Panasonic Leica 100-400 at the weekend. The 40-150 is too short for photographing the moon - I think you would have to crop heavily in post processing resulting in degraded image quality. This was manual focussing with focus peaking enabled
 

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ata3001

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Couple things:
  • Can you focus sharply on far away objects that are not orbiting the planet?
  • I seem to remember fussing with my adapted 600mm trying to nail focus where just barely tapping the lens sometimes knocked it out of focus, maybe you need to rack much more slowly?
When it stops raining, I will need to do some testing.
 

ac12

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Crank up the shutter speed. 1/500 is probably the min that I would use, even with IBIS.

Air and light pollution. Stuff in the air and city light reflecting off those stuff will degrade astronomical viewing.

I normally shoot the moon in manual model, so I control the exposure.
I use the Sunny 16 rule, but others use the Luney 11 rule. shutter speed = 1/ISO @ f/11. Then adjust to raise the shutter speed to or above 1/1000.
Then I adjust based on the image shot.

If you want surface detail, as was mentioned, the 150 is not long enough. You will have to crop deeply into the image.

For comparison, the 1st attached pic is a DEEP crop, shot with a 12-100 on an EM1-mk2.
And just for comparison, the 2nd shot is the full frame, so you can see how deep the crop was.
ISO = 1000, ss = 1/1000, f/4
I was shooting through clouds (most of the shadows on the moon) which reduced the exposure.
I was actually after the glow in the clouds, in the 3rd image. So you can see how cloudy the sky was.

I will try to see if I can shoot the moon with a 40-150R on my EM10-mk2, on a clear night. That will be a closer comparison to your gear.
And maybe the 75-300, just to see what it can do.
 

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Growltiger

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There is something wrong with the post-processing you have done. The image you posted has nasty artefacts all over it. What software did you use? Were there some denoise or sharpening settings that have caused this? If you post the raw file it would be possible to see what could be obtained from it.

(Did you have the protective filter on when you took the photo - if so try again without.)
 

ata3001

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This is a shot taken with the EM1ii with Panasonic Leica 100-400 at the weekend. The 40-150 is too short for photographing the moon - I think you would have to crop heavily in post processing resulting in degraded image quality. This was manual focussing with focus peaking enabled
Very impressive. Thanks.
There is something wrong with the post-processing you have done. The image you posted has nasty artefacts all over it. What software did you use? Were there some denoise or sharpening settings that have caused this? If you post the raw file it would be possible to see what could be obtained from it.

(Did you have the protective filter on when you took the photo - if so try again without.)
The protective filter was removed for this shot, in fact, for all my moon shots, it's removed. The only post processing done here, was an increase in exposure, otherwise this is straight out of the camera. I purposely posted it this way to show what I get straight out of the camera with this lens.
I have been doing moon shots for years with Nikon FF & crop sensor cameras & Nikons better glass & got great results. but the results at 150mm from this lens, are pathetic. I was just wondering if everyone, using this same lens, is getting these same results.
 

Growltiger

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The only post processing done here, was an increase in exposure, otherwise this is straight out of the camera. I purposely posted it this way to show what I get straight out of the camera with this lens.
You said you took a RAW photo so you must have produced the JPG somehow. How did you do that? Are are you saying this JPG was made by the camera? If it was not made by the camera then you used some software to process the raw file, and that processing is what I am questioning. The software had settings which may have caused the problem. The image has what looks like bad artefacts all over it.
You could make the raw file available and then we could see.
 
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Well, you may need some post-processing too? I took a picture of the moon some days back with the Panasonic 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6, which should be similarly not-exactly-that-sharp at 140mm and not in a class above the Olympus 40-150mm at 150mm.

First image from RAW -> default settings in darktable 3.4 plus lens correction plus exposure bump, cropped a lot (likely less sharp than SOOC jpg).
Second image through some postprocessing, DxO lens correction then back to darktable for contrast, sharpness, curve tweaks, cropped a lot.

Sharpness aside, the amount of noise in your image is a bit weird to me given that it's ISO 200?
 

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