Shoot the Moon

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by artsifrtsy, May 4, 2012.

  1. artsifrtsy

    artsifrtsy Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 2, 2011
    I'm not much of a landscape shooter - I tend to shoot close, but tomorrow night is the super moon. I've always wanted to take one of those cool shots of the moon with so much detail. I tried last year and didn't have very good results. Anybody want to share some tips?

    Here's what's in my kit:
    E-M5, E-P2

    Panny 100-300, PL25, PL45
    Oly 9-18, 12-50, 14-42, 17
    OM 50 1.8, 50 Macro, 24, 28
    OM Vivitar 90-230mm 1:4.5

    OM Bellows

    What is the best thing to shoot with? :confused: 
  2. tdekany

    tdekany Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 8, 2011
    Subscribed - great post, I'd like to see suggestions, although with only a 45-200mm?
  3. billy_pilgrim

    billy_pilgrim Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 6, 2011
    You need a lot of magnification. The moon is smaller than you think, only about half a degree in size. You'll want to use your longest lens. With the 100-300 zoomed all the way in, the moon will take up about 1/4 of the height of the frame. Also, the moon is pretty bright. and your metering is likely to get it wrong. Shoot manual and experiment. Check the histogram.

    Naturally a tripod is a must.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. kinlau

    kinlau Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 29, 2012
    I shot the perigee moon last year on my t3i, and a 500mm. I needed the 3x tele-crop to fill the frame. On m43, you'll need about 600-800mm of real focal length to start. Even with a 300mm the moon will be only a quarter frame.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. toobacat

    toobacat Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 21, 2012
    This was taken with the 45-200mm and cropped. f5.6, 1/500th, iso 200.

    <a href="" title="moon3_24_2010 by toobacat, on Flickr"> 6996072468_e4a820782b_b. "758" height="561" alt="moon3_24_2010"></a>
    • Like Like x 3
  6. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Sadly, IMHO, a full moon doesn't really show that much detail. A quarter to half moon shows much more detail because of the shadows revealing the craters.

    With a full moon, I'd imagine with a tripod and using daylight shutterspeed at f6.3 or above should prove to be a good shot at 300mm. I typically use manual mode and manual focus. Also, make sure metering is set to spot. If not, manual focus may be difficult because the sensor may believe that a slower shutter speed is required, blowing out the moon's details while manually focusing using the zoomed in focus box.
  7. MizOre

    MizOre Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2011
    Try f/6.3 and 1/500th second shutter speed, ISO 100 which I used in the first shot below (hand-held, lens stabilization on).

    You will get better detail if you put a long lens on a tripod, but if you just want shots with reasonable detail and don't have a tripod, try handholding while braced, using image stablization (I'm agnostic about IBIS or in the lens). Let the image settle in the viewfinder before snapping. The one below is cropped.


    I was shooting near dusk under somewhat hazy conditions and also got this with the camera on automatic, ISO 125, f/5.5, 1/250 sec, 180 mm focal length, white balance as shot.


    White balance can be tricky -- if you're just photographing the moon, adjusted the white balance to make the moon look more neutral gray. If you're including the moon in a landscape, adjust for natural hues in that if necessary.

    There's a NASA satellite photo of the moon out there that I use as a reference for how good I've gotten it. My best moon shot was with a Nikon D300 and a 400mm manual focus lens (f/5.6) set at f/11 and shutter speed of 1/400, on very good tripod. The rule is either sunny f/16 (into the defraction weeds with m43rds) or f/11 and the reciprocal of the ISO. The moon is moving a bit too fast for multi-second exposures.

    If you use automatic exposures, use the spot meter option and set a very small focus square.
  8. fdifulco

    fdifulco Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 28, 2011
    New Orleans, Louisiana
    here is some hints from the olympus site.

    Olympus E-System: Shoot the Moon

    set your camera to manual mode - focus and exposure

    I like to shot raw since it gives me more latitude to make adjustments in the exposure.

    use your 100-300 or the 90-230 or try both.
    tripod is big help and IS off when on tripod.
    either use a cable release or use the anti shock mode with the 2 sec delay. i use cable release and anti-shock with no delay.
    i turn off the two noise settings.

    the challenge will be location, so that the sky is clear and not a lot of street light. that makes a huge difference on clarity and detail.

    these on on Ep3 with the 50-200 non swd with a 1.4 extender. i used the tripod mount on the 50-200 to hold the camera.


    • Like Like x 2
  9. Spuff

    Spuff Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 5, 2010
    Berkshire, UK.
    This is my best moon, shot with the 100-300. Another forum member posted a moon using the 100-300 and it was very similar to mine. So I think this is about the best you can do with the 100-300.
    Although reviews say the 300 end is soft with this lens, in this case using all 300mm gives the best result.
    As Djarum said a moon with some shadow gives much more interesting detail than the full moon.
    One thing about shooting the moon, on a tripod, is you'll find the darned thing moves. Nice to have a good tripod head if you're spending a while doing this.

    I wish sharpening tools had some sort of detect edge of circle feature that got rid of the rim effect.

    • Like Like x 4
  10. f6cvalkyrie

    f6cvalkyrie Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 12, 2010
    Brussels, Belgium
    I confirm, full moon does not do justice to the craters and surface details of the moon. You're better off with 1/2 moon !

    Here's a shot from last week, taken in late afternoon, with some daylight left. Also, the sky was not completely clear :redface:

    GH2 with Zoomar 600/5.6 at f11 - not cropped vertically


    Supermoon tomorrow will probably be invisible here in Belgium, they are predicting lots of rain :mad: :mad: 

    C U,
  11. MajorMagee

    MajorMagee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2011
    Dayton, OH
    March 2011
    E-PL1 with 75-250mm at 250mm with 2x multiplier, f8, 1/20 sec, ISO 200
    • Like Like x 1
  12. MizOre

    MizOre Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2011
    May 4th's Moon

    This was the best of a number of shots handheld with IS on, shot at twilight. f/6.3, shutter speed 1/500, ISO locked on 100 for the GF1 seems to produce the best shots. Longer lenses are better; tripods are better -- but if all you have is a 45-200mm and no tripod, you can get something. White balance pulled out of one of the light craters, otherwise this would have been considerably redder (still lowish on the horizon and still some light in the sky). Will try for another one tomorrow.


    The other trick is to shoot later -- the higher the moon is, the less atmosphere the light travels through. I don't know if my second shot was sharper because of that or because I turned IS off --


    ISO locked on 100 and f/6.3 at 1/500 for both.
  13. penfan2010

    penfan2010 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 12, 2010
    NJ, USA
    Dry run for Super Moon Tomorrow

    Olympus Four Thirds 70-300mm on E-P1, ISO 200, 1/200 sec @F5.6. PP on Aperture with Silver Efex Pro and Sharpener Pro--- a bit overdone, I think, on the sharpening.

    • Like Like x 1
  14. MizOre

    MizOre Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2011

    Try 1/500, ISO 100 (unless ISO 200 is the native ISO for that camera), and f/6.3. And not so much sharpening. :smile:

    The moon is brighter than we realize. You can probably bump the exposure back a bit even at that when you post process the shot.​
    • Like Like x 1
  15. artsifrtsy

    artsifrtsy Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 2, 2011
    This is my one of my best practice shots - 5.6 1/500 second 200 ISO. It really is bright. At 1/250 I had a flow around it.

  16. ryansinibaldi

    ryansinibaldi Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 9, 2012
    Here's my shot from a little while ago. I tried again tonight but had no luck bringing out any details.

    Untitled by ryansinibaldi, on Flickr

    This was taken with a Vivitar 80-200mm F4.5 and 2x teleconverter.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Robert Watcher

    Robert Watcher Mu-43 Top Veteran

    My Supermoon 2012 shot - (sorry it was taken with 4/3 and not micro 4/3 which I also own but not with long enough lens)


    I just got back from a Bryan Adams concert (really good by the way) - and saw the big full "Supermoon" in a clear sky at around 12:30AM midnight May 6'th. I knew that while I was at the concert, I missed the nice opportunity of the moon being low to the horizon where I could include some interesting content and show its size - and so wasn't going to bother taking a shot - - - after all it is just another full moon shot when aiming up in the sky.

    But I did end up grabbing my E-3 and 75-300mm lens and popped out into the backyard to take a shot. Couldn't pass it up. Sure enough - it was like all the other times. Exposure was dead accurate at the SUNNY 16 rule and I set my camera at f6.3 @ 1/1000'th at 200ISO (BTW - Sunny16 for midday sun using 200ISO is f16@1/200'th). From experience I also set my White Balance to a custom 4200K. With the lens fully extended to an equivalent of 600mm, the moon was still small in the frame - but got me this 100% crop of 750px by 750px. Might look the same as the others - - - but at least I label the image "Supermoon 2012".

    One of the disadvantages of shooting a full moon over one where the sun is hitting it from an angle (and so is only partially lit) - - - is that the craters and surfaces of the moon aren't defined by shadows, and so don't pop out. It is afterall FLAT LIGHTING - much like we'd use on a model to hide imperfections on the face. But we always want to shoot a full moon - right?

    • Like Like x 1
  18. songs2001

    songs2001 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    Olympus PL1 with Nikon 70-300 AFS G, Aperture not open, not closed, shutter speed 1/640, ISO 200, handheld. Shot in raw, did some stuff in Lightroom.


    The most difficult part was getting the focus right handheld, the moon becomes a white blob when you zoom in.
  19. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    SOOC cropped...

    <a href="" title="P1060950 by illvilliaNY, on Flickr"> View attachment 203787 "1024" height="768" alt="P1060950"></a>

    Not much luck capturing the details after the crop. Maybe the 40-150mm is just too short for this sort of work. :/
  20. Spuff

    Spuff Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 5, 2010
    Berkshire, UK.
    It all depends on what level of detail you're happy with - but yes, I would say the 40-150 is too short.
    The ultimate shots, using an m43, are of course done via a telescope.
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