Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Moon Shots

It's been a while since I've taken pictures of the moon, I've had bad luck in the past with it never looking quite right or as impressive as with other people posting. Tonight's foray was a bit of an improvement, mostly due to the sun's position I think. Having only a quarter moon meant that there was more crater detail to be seen, instead of the full moons I've photographed previously where it seems flat and uninteresting, similar to using on-camera flash for portraits!

(Click image for larger size)

This is about a 50% crop from a shot using a FA 70-200mm at 200mm, exposure is F8.0/1.0s, mounted on tripod using the 2s mirror lock-up function.

I took a few images with a 2x teleconverter I bought from a friend a while back, with very disappointing results. Not only was the moon the same size in the final images (odd when it should be the equivelant of a 600mm lens (200mm x 1.5 sensor conversion x 2 teleconverter)), but it was also blurry (though this was to be expected as you lose image quality with teleconverters).

There was also a challenge in finding the moon with it on! There was so much light fall-off with the teleconverter and the 70-200 that the relatively dim moon was impossible to find. I ended up putting the 70-200 back on without the converter, found the moon, locked down the tripod and ever so carefully took the lens off, converter back on, and lens back on.

Notes for next time:

  • Ditch the teleconverter....
  • Keep the ISO as low as possible (there were some reasonable shots taken at ISO 800 that seemed to have bad CA)
  • Alternatively, bump up the ISO to get faster shutter speed
  • Wear a jacket!