camera and lens wont focus on the Moon

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by zapman29, Aug 1, 2009.

  1. zapman29

    zapman29 TPF Noob!

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    Ok, i speant like 2 hours trying to shoot the moon, with my camera... Its a canon 40D with a canon 2.8 Lens 70-200... I tried to set it some of the specs i have seen on line and it wouldn't focus so it could take the shot.... I tried in AV. manual.. manual and it was still blurry.. Can some one give some idea of what I am doing wrong... it was really frustrating...
     
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Hmm was the lens and camera just hunting the whole while or did it look as if it had locked onto the moon? Also you say you tried manual is that manual metering or manual focusing?

    A point to make is that the camera will often lock onto the moon, but it will expose it badly - this is because the moon is very bright lightsource, but the black sky around it tricks the camera meter into overexposing the moon - so you have to underexpose the shot in order to get the details in the moon to show
     
  3. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    Er, just set it to manual focus, and focus at the hyperfocal distance (infinity). Presto, sharp moon, at the aperture of who cares.

    Note, better to get a T adaptor and stick your camera on a telescope to get such a shot. 300mm just isn't going to cut it for a close-up of the moon.
     
  4. UUilliam

    UUilliam TPF Noob!

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    fixed :)

    300mm doesnt cut it either... I use my 75-300mm to take a shot of the moon (with my canon 450D which is a 1.6x sensor therefore the 300mm was essentially 480mm... you need about 600mm + to get a decent picture.
     
  5. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    70-200s are not the best choice, that is true... but mine did OK, and in autofocus too:

    [​IMG]

    Its not the best... but it worked. I think we all go through that phase where we want to shoot the moon and I found the exclipse especially fun to try.
     
  6. zapman29

    zapman29 TPF Noob!

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    thanks jerry then what was the specs on the shot? I must be doing something wrong... it wont lock on it in auto to take a shot.....

    a freind of mine was shooting it freehand with his nikon d90 and 70-200 no problem... dont know what is up..
     
  7. UUilliam

    UUilliam TPF Noob!

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    wait... are you using Auto focus point?
    if you are change to Manual focus point (still in auto focus, just allows you to choose what you want to focus on...)
    to do this you should see a button with the symbol of a rectangle with dots inside it (fro my canon 450D as an example.)
    [​IMG] (not my image)
    the button for me to change my focus point is the + button (it doubles as the zoom in / out button when reviewing images)
    click that then press SET and you should see a grid like this [​IMG]
    you use your arrow keys to change which point you want it to focus on ( you can see where it is focusing on via the viewfinder as the dot lights up red.)

    just place that dot on your moon and it should work :D


    as you see here: [​IMG] the 40D uses the same button for this, i am pressuming the little dial under it is a scroller? if it is then im guessing you would scroll that to get your desired point
     
  8. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Exact setup, did you use a tripod? exif data might be helpful. At a distance of 238,857 miles, the slightest movement is going to magnified by the distance to target.

    My moon shoots were all taken from a good tripod for stability.
     
  9. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    I've shot 90% of my moon shots w/o a tripod and my amateur eye couldn't tell a difference from the ones I shot with a tripod and a wireless shutter release.

    Not be able to auto focus on the moon isn't related to using a tripod, there's something else going on... shouldn't be an issue focusing at all.

    Not award winning, but handheld:

    Nikon D90 with Sigma 18-250 at 250mm f/8 and 1/500 shutter.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Oh heck, I lied, it wasn't the 70-200... lol
    The shot was taken with my D200 and the 18-200 lens. This was taken with a tripod at 9:00PM on September 21, 2007. Camera was set to manual at 1/30th of a second and f/20. VR was turned off on the lens and the focal point was set to 200mm.
     
  11. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Sunny 16 applies to the moon. Well almost. If the aperture is at f/8 are below you can easily snap it handheld without issue. Well unless you have Parkinson or too much caffeine.

    f/20? Holy diffraction man. :)
     
  12. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    Indeed! Meep. >.<
     

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