1. Reminder: Please use our affiliate links for holiday shopping!

tips needed for moon shots

Discussion in 'Nature' started by jyc860923, Feb 26, 2013.

  1. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    贾一川
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/jyc860923/8512001592/" title="P2260093 by jyc860923, on Flickr">"494" height="494" alt="P2260093"></a>

    Here it is, cropped to 100%, this is the sharpest one I could get, but it's still not what I'm looking for, is that the limit of the equipment?

    Camera Manufacturer: OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
    Camera Model: E-PL5
    Lens Model: LUMIX G VARIO 45-200/F4.0-5.6
    Exposure time : 1/200
    F-Number: 9.0
    Exposure program: Manual (1)
    ISO speed ratings: 200
    Date taken: 2013:02:26 20:24:45
    Max aperture: F4.0
    Flash: No flash
    Focal length [mm]: 200
    Focal length (35mm): 401
     
  2. tdekany

    tdekany Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 8, 2011
    Oregon
    Was this on a tripod?
     
  3. rparmar

    rparmar Mu-43 Top Veteran

    639
    Jun 14, 2011
    Limerick, Ireland
    At f/9 you are diffraction limited. I would aim for f/4 at most. Use a sharp prime.

    But mainly, this looks misfocused. Do not assume the moon is at infinity. It isn't.
     
  4. fdifulco

    fdifulco Mu-43 Veteran

    251
    Nov 28, 2011
    New Orleans, Louisiana
    Frank
    use tripod and turn IS off.
    use a remote release or use the shutter delay.
    for bright moon, i bump the shutter speed up past 200, 320.
     
  5. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Patrick
    Moonshot.

    Another forum member asked about this shot recent. This was taken couple years ago with my E-PL1 and a borrowed P100-300 @ 300mm. Settings were:
    f/8.0, 1/200s, ISO 200, Spot Metering. It was taken on tripod with IS off and 2-second timer. It is one of my sharpest moon shot to date.

    Looking at your shot, it look as though there is some motion blur. How is the air quality in your region? I have to ask because pollution is a serious issue in China, and you might not be able to capture a crystal clear image of the moon is there is heavy smog in the air...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    A couple of things to think about when shooting the moon other than what Patrick and others have said, tripod, self timer (longer than 2 seconds unless you have a good tripod), etc

    First, it's not moon light, it's sun light reflected off the moon. It's bright but many get caught up in the "it's night time".

    Second, aperture setting for depth of field. You need to increase the f-stop to get the depth of field right? Well since depth of field increases with distance...

    Third, the moon is moving actually kinda fast. Try a 60 second exposure and you might be surprised at just how fast. (2,200-2,300 mph or there about it can pull something out of the dusty corners of my mine).

    While these 3 may seem obvious to some, others may not have looked at it this way. This said I would say you need a lower f-stop, higher shutter, a tripod, and use the self timer based on the image and shot data.
     
  7. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Vin
    The few moon shots I've done I shot at around f9-f10, base ISO, 2 second timer on tripod. Then I crop and add extra contrast, clarity, and sharpening.
     
  8. uci2ci

    uci2ci Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 22, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Sam
    You got very good advicr here. Yes, f9 is too high. With the moon being so far, you can get everything in focus with the Panny wide open, maybe just stop it down a couple for sharpeness. You can get away with very high shutter speeds when taking moon shots, so handholding it is very doable.

    Post processing is very important, be generous with sharpening, and experiment with masking and luminance to get crips edges and smooth flats. I like the over-done sharpening look myslef, some dont. Just work at it til it looks good to you.
     
  9. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    贾一川
    yes, and I set a 12s delay, but I still saw very small vibration on the LCD, I tried with shutter speed from 1/30 to 1/200 and IS on or off, and this was the best I could get
     
  10. twokatmew

    twokatmew Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 1, 2012
    Lansing, MI, US
    Margaret
    I would not shoot the moon with less than 1/250s. The moon moves much more quickly than the naked eye can detect.

    --
    Sent from my phone. Please pardon my brevity!
     
  11. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    贾一川
    yes, it wasn't easy to focus on the moon, and I tried the infinity only to find that it wasn't. so I zoomed in and focused, it looks like a bit misfocused still but I couldn't get better than that. the only long lens I have is this 45-200, maybe I should not have used the long end because of the softness, but f/9 at 200mm is sharp from my day time experience
     
  12. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    贾一川
    this was 1/200s, ISO200. Actually I should've tried higher ISO and faster speed
     
  13. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    贾一川
    this is good, I had similar settings but different lens, 200mm vs 300mm, pretty obvious.

    the air quality is a pain recently and last night it was mediocre. there I think is a motion blur but I can't be sure, since you've mentioned, it's very easy to observe the moon traveling from the screen every single second, is that what caused it? not quite possible I think for 1/200s!

     
  14. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    贾一川
    thanks, I think I'll try both wide open and higher ISO next time, 1/200s just doesn't seem fast enough!!


     
  15. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    贾一川
    I don't usually do PP, but for this shot, increasing clarity was quite necessary.:thumbup:
     
  16. silver92b

    silver92b Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 7, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    I too spend way too much time trying to get a *perfect* picture of the moon.. I think the OP might be fighting a losing battle with the 45-200mm. I have one of those and it's just not sharp.
    The 100-300, works pretty well, but the even the 40-150 can get you fine results. The moon is very bright so it must be shot at 1/150 or faster I use the largest f-stop I can and play around from there. The tripod and 12 second delay are mandatory. Focusing can be a real problem. Try using the manual focusing and the magnification. Look at the edges of the moon, otherwise all you see is a blob of light...

    I took this shot with the 40-150mm zoom

    moon-150mm.JPG
     
  17. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Patrick
    Now that you mentioned how you manual focused for the shot, it could be a combination of motion blur, slightly missed focus, as well as poor air quality. As others have suggested, try a combination of higher shutter speed with wider aperture, possibly around f/5.6 and higher ISO to see which comes out sharpest!

    I forgot to mention that a fair bit of sharpening, and contrast was added to my shot...
     
  18. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    贾一川
    yeah, aside from sharpening you're already doing great with the "combination". will try a faster speed on a clear night, I tried manual focusing with zoomed view, the vibration was visible too.
     
  19. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    贾一川
    at the 150mm end the 45-150 seems to have performed really nice:thumbup: I could try not to use the softest 200mm end.

     
  20. BigSky1

    BigSky1 Mu-43 Regular

    47
    Dec 5, 2012
    Helena, Montana
    Todd
    Thanks

    Thanks for all of the great points here I have been try to get a good moon shot and have been have the same problems!