Moon Photography with 35mm camera

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Tanya.

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Hello all,

I am interested in capturing the full moon April 9 with my Fuji STX - 2 35mm camera. As you may know, it is virtually impossible to find a larger lens other than the one that came with it. I would love to get a great black and white photo of the moon....

Would I be wasting my time using this small of a lense?

If it's possible to take a great picture, what shutter speed and aperture would you use?

What film would you recommend?

Thanks for responding....

Best,

Tanya
 

Fotoguy20d

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I don't know anything about that camera. My opinion is that you need around a 500-600mm lens at a minimum. If you can spot meter with that sort of tele, that might get you close on exposure (maybe underexpose a stop or two from there). Off the top of my head, if you want good detail, you probably need around 1/400s, f8-f11 with ISO400.

Dan
 
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I don't know what focal length you've got, but anything less than 240mm won't give you an impressive image. If you don't have such a long lens, then frame the moon in some nice sillouetted trees or something.

Just follow the 'sunny 16' rule (the moon is reflecting full sunlight!) and maybe bracket +1/-1 just to be safe. That means at f/16, shutter speed is 1/film speed. However, you don't need f/16 depth of field, so shoot at f/5.6 (where your lens is probably sharper anyway) three stops under film speed. This you can hand-hold. So if you use 100 speed film, set your shutter to 1/1000th.

Hope that helps!
 

Sirius Glass

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Just follow the 'sunny 16' rule (the moon is reflecting full sunlight!) and maybe bracket +1/-1 just to be safe. That means at f/16, shutter speed is 1/film speed.

The albedo of the Moon is 0.5 so you will need to open the lens on stop to f/11 for a full Moon, f/8 for a half Moon, and f/5.6 to f/4 or more for a quarter Moon to a new Moon.

Steve
 

Fotoguy20d

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The albedo of the Moon is 0.5

Actually, from several sources, the albedo of the moon is .12

From that paragon of fact, Wikipedia (ie, I don't vouch for the accuracy):

During its brightest phase, at "full moon", the Moon has an apparent magnitude of about −12.6. By comparison, the Sun has an apparent magnitude of −26.8. When the Moon is in a quarter phase, its brightness is not half of a full moon, but only about a tenth. This is because the lunar surface is not a perfect Lambertian reflector. When the Moon is full the opposition effect makes it appear brighter, but away from full there are shadows projected onto the surface which diminish the amount of reflected light.

The Moon appears larger when close to the horizon. This is a purely psychological effect (see Moon illusion). It is actually about 1.5% smaller when the Moon is near the horizon than when it is high in the sky (because it is farther away by up to one Earth radius).

The moon appears as a relatively bright object in the sky, in spite of its low albedo. The Moon is about the poorest reflector in the solar system and reflects only about 7% of the light incident upon it (about the same proportion as is reflected by a lump of coal).[61] Color constancy in the visual system recalibrates the relations between the colours of an object and its surroundings, and since the surrounding sky is comparatively dark the sunlit Moon is perceived as a bright object.
 

Anscojohn

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Hello all,

I am interested in capturing the full moon April 9 with my Fuji STX - 2 35mm camera. As you may know, it is virtually impossible to find a larger lens other than the one that came with it. I would love to get a great black and white photo of the moon....

Would I be wasting my time using this small of a lense?

If it's possible to take a great picture, what shutter speed and aperture would you use?

What film would you recommend?

Thanks for responding....

********88
A full moon is nothing but a rock in sunlight. Use the f/16 rule; Open up a stop because of the atmosphere. Bracket. .
 

Ole

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The basic rule it that diameter of moon on film is equal to focal length divided by 100.

So a 50mm lens gives a moon image on film of 50/100 = 0.5mm. Out of the 24x36mm film area.
 

winjeel

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I've got a "how to photograph the moon" page here. What's recommended on that page is a little different to the advice others have given, but does work. Of course, it's better to have a 500mm, 600mm lens, and if possible, a 1000mm lens. The only amendment I'd like to try, to what's on that page, is to try a higher shutter speed, but still on a tripod, and then do some "stacking" in PhotoShop (where you over-lay some layers of the same photo to effectively increase the resolution / detail). Let us know how you get on.
 

Sirius Glass

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The high shutter speeds are needed for two reasons:

  1. To take out the lens motion [1/focal length seconds]
  2. Because the Moon moves at 15 degrees per hour and the motions shows up at slow shutter speeds.
Steve
 

Lee L

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The high shutter speeds are needed for two reasons:

  1. To take out the lens motion [1/focal length seconds]
  2. Because the Moon moves at 15 degrees per hour and the motions shows up at slow shutter speeds.
Steve
1/focal length is advised for hand held work. It's not necessary on a tripod. The critical thing is having a good sturdy tripod with the camera and lens (or telescope) well balanced and damped to minimize vibration. Having the mirror locked up on an SLR could easily be more critical than a high shutter speed for a sharp image. Use a cable release. Throw a bean bag over the center of mass to absorb vibration.

15 degrees/hour is 0.004 degrees over a 1 second exposure. That's taken into account in the chart of recommendations for shutter speeds relative to focal length on: http://home.hiwaay.net/~krcool/Astro/moon/howtophoto/

If you take the recommended example of 1/15th second on a still tripod with a 2500mm lens, that equals 0.00806mm of motion on the film, meaning you'd need about 124 line pairs/mm to resolve that motion. In terms of what astronomers call seeing, i.e. how much angular resolution the combination of your optics and atmosphere allow, that's under 1 arcsecond of resolution. You probably don't have a lens that good, and average atmospheric turbulence will kill it 95% of the time even if you do.

The reason for the shutter speed limits on the siderial drive rate is because the moon is moving eastward around the earth at about 13 degrees/day and against the background stars as well, so a siderial (star) rate drive will drift westward relative to the moon.

In other words the information this web page is very good.

Lee
 
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The basic rule it that diameter of moon on film is equal to focal length divided by 100.

So a 50mm lens gives a moon image on film of 50/100 = 0.5mm. Out of the 24x36mm film area.

I did a calculation a couple of years ago, using information from the Web on the size of the Moon, and it's mean distance from Earth. I then applied standard optical formulas, and came up with almost exactly the same recommendation that you made. I don't have the data in front of me, as it is at home, I THINK tucked into the pages of Michael Langford's "Basic Photography." AFAIR, I calculated that for every millimeter of image size, you would need 105mm of focal length, so I came to pretty much the same conclusions as you did. I hasten to add that I haven't verified this with a practical test.

As for exposure, I have found that the "sunny 16" rule applies, except that it is called the "moony 11" rule; that is, 1/film speed @ f/11, to start, and bracket.
 

panastasia

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As for exposure, I have found that the "sunny 16" rule applies, except that it is called the "moony 11" rule; that is, 1/film speed @ f/11, to start, and bracket.

Terrence has it correct, I believe. AA used 1/60 at f/8 using ASA 64 film for his Moonrize, Hernandez. He place the moon luminance on Zone VII and came up with the above exposure. The moon was close to the horizon, so, closing one stop should be a good first exposure. I'll find out tonight. The lens focal length shouldn't matter much.
 

Q.G.

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The lens focal length shouldn't matter much.
Except for the already mentioned thingy that it determines the size of the moon on the negative, and with it how much (if any at all) detail you will be able to record.
No need to nail the exposure if the thing is going to appear as no more but a featureless, bright pinpoint anyway. :wink:

And the also already mentioned thingy that the longer the focal length, the faster the moon will move across the frame.
But true: the shutterspeed will probably short enough to make this a lesser concern.

The rule of thumb does not take cloud cover into account. A slight haze, almost invisible, will already have an effect on exposure. So either meter carefully, or bracket.

The nice thing about taking pictures of the moon is that you do not have to do it often. Once you have the phases covered, there is no reason to ever return to it for new shots.
 

Joe Mace

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"The nice thing about taking pictures of the moon is that you do not have to do it often. Once you have the phases covered, there is no reason to ever return to it for new shots."

Except, perhaps, to capture a lunar eclipse.
 

mr. mohaupt

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mr-mohaupt-albums-some-photos-picture1729-moon-my-telescope.jpg


Taken on a pretty close to full moon with my 20D 1/200th at ISO 200 through a 4.5 inch (about 1000mm) reflector telescope which is about F/8.8 (i think).



It has been my experience to open it up about one stop to get the exposure right.

Thanks!
~m
 

SuzanneR

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Taken on a pretty close to full moon with my 20D 1/200th at ISO 200 through a 4.5 inch (about 1000mm) reflector telescope which is about F/8.8 (i think).



It has been my experience to open it up about one stop to get the exposure right.

Thanks!
~m[/QUOTE]

Exposing for digital and exposing for film are quite different animals, and as this is a forum for analog users of photography, we prefer to keep our focus on the use of film.

I see you are new to APUG, so welcome, but please stay on topic. There are plenty of venues on the web to discuss digital imaging, but APUG is not one of them.

Thank you.
 

Q.G.

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Exposing for digital and exposing for film are quite different animals
No, it's one and the same thing.
Yes, there are differences, just like there are between negative and positive film.
But it all starts with knowing how much light there is to begin with. The rest is about contrast, and other secondary concerns.

So the post is about how bright the moon surface is, and as such very much on topic.
 

SuzanneR

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No, it's one and the same thing.
Yes, there are differences, just like there are between negative and positive film.
But it all starts with knowing how much light there is to begin with. The rest is about contrast, and other secondary concerns.

So the post is about how bright the moon surface is, and as such very much on topic.

Your point is taken, O.G., and the post struck me as on topic enough to the exposure discussion that chose not delete it. That said, he's a new user here, and I think it's best for the focus of the site to stay on film. The use digital image capture as examples tends to get us off track.
 

mr. mohaupt

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Sorry about that. I am with Q.G. I figured she just wanted examples of what is the proper exposure settings.



Thanks!
~m
 
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