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Taking pics of the moon

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by rash_powder, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. rash_powder

    rash_powder Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 10, 2011
    I am not sure where to post this, so I am putting it in the Panasonic forum as I have a GH2.

    On several nights I have wanted to take pics of the moon. Tonight it was about a 5/8 moon with a faint halo in the thin, high clouds. I thought it would be a cool shot; but I can't figure out how to do it.

    My 14-42 kit lens doesn't seem to focus on the moon (haze or clear), and manual focus doesn't help either. I think that this is due to the fact that the moon is so bright it is just a blob of light. So I tried my old nikkor 35-110 (I think that is what it is). If I close the aperture to its minimum - about f22, I can almost see enough detail to get a decent focus. I bob a lot and need to use my tripod, but that is me being dumb and not wanting to.

    So, I can't seem to get this figured out. Aside from the tripod I NEED to use, how do I set the camera up? The screen is very grainy and when I use the EVF it is too. That is kinda distracting, and ISO changes don't seem to help.


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  2. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    First, set your camera to manual exposure and set the exposure until you can get detail in the moon--your camera is most likely overexposing. The exposure will be relatively short as the moon is illuminated by the sun. Then try to focus.
  3. Jimboh

    Jimboh Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 17, 2010
    f/8 and being there, as the old saying goes..
  4. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    Manual exposure is not necessary, just switch to spot metering at the frame center point. Even at 200mm the moon is still quite small. Truth is if you really want good pictures, you're going to need a fancy telescope...but the 45-200 or 100-300 should get you some decent shots.
  5. bilzmale

    bilzmale Mu-43 All-Pro

    There is some good info at this chap's site:- Wrotniak.

    Most people underestimate how bright the moon is and of course it varies with the phases so trial and error is needed.
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  6. melvinbrian

    melvinbrian Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 18, 2011
    Manila, Philippines
    Here's my settings when i took my first shot of the moon last January 2.

    E-PL2 with
    Auto Vivitar 300mm with 2X TC
    ISO 200
    1/10 sec
    Spot metering
    Focus to infinity (AFAIRemember)

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    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43 App
  7. PeterB666

    PeterB666 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 14, 2010
    Tura Beach, Australia
    Well I do my moon shots with a Sigma 150-500 zoom with a 1.5x crop Nikon D90 and want more!!!!

    Will get a Nikon G to MFT adapter before the next red moon.

    I have done moon shots with the Panny 45-200 and only so-so.

    Regardless of the lens, use MF.

    Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk
  8. VasManI

    VasManI Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 21, 2011
    Depending on how bright the moon is, I try to use a tripod, set the camera to manual settings: manual focus, 100 ISO, 1/800 sec., f5.6 if zoomed in (100-300 lens). Attached is a cropped image of the moon from August, and Jupiter with four of its moons from November (same setup - Panasonic G2 with Panasonic 100-300 lens).

    Attached Files:

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  9. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nice shots! I did not realize you could capture Jupiter's moons with such a short focal length.
  10. betamax

    betamax Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    May 7, 2011
    Illawarra, NSW, Australia
    Neither did I. If only I had something longer than the 40-150mm....
  11. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    When I shoot the moon I use the old Sunny 16 rule for estimating exposures. The moon is in direct sunlight. That's f/16 and 1/iso for a shutter speed. At iso 100 that's 1/100 sec. (call it 1/125 because I'm old) Most lenses on m4/3 start losing sharpness by about f/8 due to diffraction so I shift that to f/5.6 at 1/1000 or f/8 at 1/500. Review the image and adjust the shutter speed to taste.

    With a native lens, just focus manually to infinity. With an adapted lens and an adapter that goes past infinity you'll need to use the viewfinder.

  12. MajorMagee

    MajorMagee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2011
    Dayton, OH
    I'll have to try my 75-300mm with a 2x Teleconverter to see how Jupiter turns out.

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    Orion's Sword E-PL1 with 250mm and 2X Teleconverter, f4.5, 6 sec, ISO 3200
  13. Yotsuba

    Yotsuba Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 28, 2010
    Hey Peter, I have the Sigma 150-500mm and D90 too, this is my birding set up. I use this for moon shot too.

    One tip I learnt from youtube is to set WB to 4000k, it works every time.
    I use full manual mode, usually shutter speed at about 1/100 sec and f10. The Sigma OS allows me to shoot the moon handheld without tripod!
    Here's a sample:

    View attachment 187527
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  14. Grant

    Grant Mu-43 Veteran

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    Before I fell in love with photography I was in love with Astronomy. In fact I still am.

    This image was shot on film using an old Pentax, and it was even old when I took this image. The camera was directly connected to a telescope but a coupler called a T-mount and therefor there was no camera lens involved. The telescope was equivalent to a 2000mm lens.

    Most people tend to over expose the moon. The easiest way to expose for the moon is to use the Sunny 16 rule. When you think of it the moon is directly light by the sun. There will may be a slight discrepancy caused by atmospheric extinction and a light grazing effect when the moon is past first or last quarter this may require a stop adjustment.

    The sunny 16 just states set your shutter to the reciprocal of the ISO and shoot at f/16.

    I took this image at 1/250, f/10 at ISO 100 and there is no vertical crop.
  15. meachp

    meachp Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 16, 2011
    Norton-on-Tees, UK
  16. frank2

    frank2 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 29, 2011
    Columbus, Ohio
  17. meachp

    meachp Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 16, 2011
    Norton-on-Tees, UK
    Sigma 50-500 @ 500 - but still quite heavily cropped.
  18. rash_powder

    rash_powder Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 10, 2011
    Thanks for all the tips guys. I will definitely be trying again when the opportunity arises.

    I have dabbled a bit with astronomy as well and have a 6 inch f5 reflectors telescope in my parents garage. I have often thought about hunting down an adapter and giving it a go. I can't remember the numbers anymore, but I think it was something like a fifteen second exposure was all you got before the earth's movement caused blur. I would love one of the new tripods with the computer polar alignment.

    Again, thanks for the pointers and happy shooting!
  19. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    Not cropped taken on a 127mm f/10 Maksutov Cassegrain telescope--1270mm focal length and E-P1.

    Attached Files:

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  20. bobbywise

    bobbywise Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 23, 2011
    Nantes, France
    Taken with Panasonic 100-300mm on a G3 with the following settings:

    300 mm Focal Length
    Aperture Priority F5.6 (Shutter Speed 1/500 s)
    Intelligent ISO (camera selected the ISO of 160 /200 / 320 depending on where the pinpoint was pointing on the moon)
    Spot metering
    AFS Focus Mode
    Pinpoint AF Mode

    Note: before shooting I had planned to focus manually, but quickly selecting Pinpoint AF Mode with AFS, the camera quickly focussed on the moon, so I left it to do the work !

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    My arm was moving slightly, but for handheld I'm pretty impressed what this lens can do. I'm now curious what level of quality I could get with a tripod, timed or remote shooting (to avoid camera shake).
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