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  1. #1
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    Taking night photos of stars and moon.

    I would like some advise on taking pictures of the moon and stars. Last night I went out and took some pictures and they did not turn out that great. I set my camera to the " bulb " setting and my ISO at 200. I left the shutter open for between four and 10 seconds. The star shots turned out better than the moon. I kept getting a red spot on the moon shots and it appeared the stars moved.....( do they move that fast ). I would like to try again. Here are my options for Lens's.
    Nikon 28 mm 2.8, Nikon 85 mm 1.8, kit lens 18-55 mm, kit 55-200 mm and a 300 mm Tamron. Which of these would be my best bet for lens? Also shutter speed and ISO assuming it is clear night.
    Thank you for any advise.



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    Make sure you are on a tripod, manually focus to infinity (your lense may go slightly past infinity.

    Make sure you are using a remote shutter release, as the motion of your finger holding the button will cause the camera to shake.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bhphotography View Post
    Make sure you are on a tripod, manually focus to infinity (your lense may go slightly past infinity.

    Make sure you are using a remote shutter release, as the motion of your finger holding the button will cause the camera to shake.
    Those are the only things I think I did do correctly

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    I think it will he very hard to get the correct exposure to capture both the moon and the stars in the same frame. I've never done it before, but I think you will have to take two separate photos, one with exposure for the stars and one for the moon, then combine them together on photoshop.

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    Quote Originally Posted by molested_cow View Post
    I think it will he very hard to get the correct exposure to capture both the moon and the stars in the same frame. I've never done it before, but I think you will have to take two separate photos, one with exposure for the stars and one for the moon, then combine them together on photoshop.
    It would be either or, not both at the same time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tulla4122 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by molested_cow View Post
    I think it will he very hard to get the correct exposure to capture both the moon and the stars in the same frame. I've never done it before, but I think you will have to take two separate photos, one with exposure for the stars and one for the moon, then combine them together on photoshop.
    It would be either or, not both at the same time.
    ...or the same night.

    Quote Originally Posted by bhphotography View Post
    Make sure you are on a tripod, manually focus to infinity (your lense may go slightly past infinity.
    I have been using Live View with manual focus. The auto focus works okay sometimes, but usually hunts longer than if I just dial it in on my own...if it even finds it. But Live View was a little used feature until I started shooting at night. I don't think I could go without it now.

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    As said, use tripod.
    Turn OFF image stabilization for long exposures of stars. On fast moon exposures, it may help. Try both ways.
    For a moon picture over 1/4 full, start your ISO at 100, aperture f/8, shutter around 1/100.
    Longest focal length possible for the moon, short focal length for stars.
    Live View zoomed in and manual focus is the hot ticket for a sharp image.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tulla4122 View Post
    ..it appeared the stars moved.....( do they move that fast ). ...
    Yes, or more correctly you moved that fast. The Earth spins fast enough to blur star images taken with moderate telephotos in 1/4-1/30th of a second, depending on the print size intended. With wider lenses, you can get away with somewhat longer exposures, but really good star images require an equatorial mount with an accurate tracking motor.

    Part of your problem is that the stars are faint, requiring a long exposure and wide aperture, and the moon is extremely bright. Remember, the moon is essentially the same distance from the Sun as the Earth and its surface is only 1-2 stops darker grey than beach sand. That makes the proper exposure for a full moon only about a stop or so greater than a picture on Earth in full sun at noon. After all, the moon is often visible during the day meaning that its brighter than a blue sky. Its not really possible to get a good exposure of both the moon and stars in a single shot.
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