D3100 - Moon Shots is it possible??

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by blueeyedsuzie, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. blueeyedsuzie
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    blueeyedsuzie New Member

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    Hello!

    I'm new to the forum, however not new to photography. I recently just bought myself the Nikon D3100. Last night we had a full moon, so I went out to try to take shots with my Nikon with the lens AF-S Nikkor 55-200mm 1:4-5.6G ED VR.

    The shoots I was getting were very blurry (on a tripod, and hand held at one point). I honestly don't remember which setting I was in, but I did change the ISO setting... At one point I thought I had a good shot but it was still blurry but not as bad as a big bright white dot.

    I tried it in auto, guide, and manual still didn't get a clear shot of the moon, and I know the moon was focus when I looked through the fiewfinder. The moon last night was beautiful, just wish I had the shots to prove it.

    I am new to the DSLR world, which btw I really love my camera, it's a big step up from Fuji FinePix S2000hd. And I find I may never go back to that camera.

    I like to do a lot of macro work, and last night I really wanted to take the shot of the moon and at one point I just got discusted with the fact I couldn't get it the way I wanted it. I know it's not the camera's fault.

    If anyone can help I really would be grateful. If someone needs my shots to see what I did wrong, I can post them but it'll have to wait until Friday.
  2. Mach0
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    Mach0 TPF Supporters

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    Remote shutter release.
  3. blueeyedsuzie
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    blueeyedsuzie New Member

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    I understand that, I'm actually in the process of getting that but what I want to know is what am I doing wrong?
  4. cgipson1
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    cgipson1 New Member

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  5. cgipson1
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    cgipson1 New Member

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    How would we possibly know that without seeing the photos, and the settings you used to take it?.

    If you are metering in matrix mode (the most common mistake, if you don't know how to correct for it!)... then the meters is going to see all that black space.. and over expose the heck out of the shot, to try and make all that black 18% gray! Use spot meter... meter on the moon and shoot, using tripod and self timer. Use at least f8, and whatever shutter speed you need for the meters exposure.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2012
  6. Mach0
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    Mach0 TPF Supporters

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    x2. Self timer is a good alternative if you dont have a remote. When you say blurry, is it out of focus, camera shake, or over exposed. Post a pic if you can. Since you are manually focusing are you using the focus detection on your camera to let you know you've nailed focus? It can look in focus in the view finder but it can still be off. If you nailed focus, I would set the timer for 10 seconds to give the camera time to settle from the shake of your touch.
  7. Canuk
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    Canuk New Member

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    Moon shots are one of the few times I shoot off the LCD display and always use a tripod.
    Remember the moon is very bright and actually moving very fast.
    I will zoom in to 10X on the LCD display while focusing, that way I can see that I have nailed the focus. Using the 10 sec selftimer will allow all of the camera vibrations to settle down before the shutter is actuated. (I use a wireless remote now, but had success using the 10sec timer). By using the LCD display you are locking up the mirror and avoiding mirror slap which will also cause the camera to shake and the picture to be blurry.
  8. ZapoTeX
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    ZapoTeX New Member

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    Is that true for all Nikon models? On my D90, when I use LiveView, right after I clicked, the mirror goes back into place, then it gets out of the way again, then the shutter goes off.

    Bye!
  9. ZapoTeX
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    ZapoTeX New Member

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    In topic: for the Moon, I suggest these guidelines:

    1) Select aperture priority and set F to 11
    2) Select spot metering
    3) Set delayed exposure ON, time = 10 seconds if you're on a tripod, 1 if you're hand holding.
    4) Start with ISO 200
    5) Zoom to 200mm
    6) Aim at the moon
    7) (SKIP THIS STEP IF YOU'RE ON A TRIPOD) Switch the VR on, then look at the shutter speed the camera proposes: if it is 100 or slower, try going to F/8 OR f/5.6. If that's still less than 100, raise the ISO.
    8) Shoot!

    With the above procedure, I shot this picture. No tripod, I was handholding (I used a 300mm lens, then you might get a little less close). The picture below is HEAVILY cropped (the moon did not take the entire photo at all, that would required a 1000mm lens)

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2012
  10. davesnothere11
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    davesnothere11 New Member

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    Search the forum for " Lunar (moon) photography guide". I can't link to it from my phone right now but it's got great information.
  11. ahcigar1
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    ahcigar1 New Member

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    Also if your camera allows it I suggest using mirror lockup. Even your mirror flipping up and down can cause shake in your image which will result in it being blurry.
  12. ph0enix
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    ph0enix TPF Supporters

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    Look for Exposure Delay Mode in your D90's manual.
  13. xj0hnx
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    xj0hnx New Member

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    If you turn on Exposure Delay remember to turn it off, or conscientiously remember it's on, the delay is pretty long, and you can miss quick shots if you forget about it.
  14. ZapoTeX
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    ZapoTeX New Member

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    Exposure delay is what I use in place of mirror lock-up. I was just saying that using Live View does not guarantee the same effect.

    Bye & thanks!
  15. aspdeepak
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    aspdeepak New Member

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    Hi check out this

    [​IMG]
    Moon (Crescent) | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    I have used Nikon D3100 with 55-300mm VRII lens.

    Details:

    F-stop: f/14
    Exposure: 1/2 sec
    ISO: ISO-100
    Focal length: 300 mm
    Metering mode: Spot
    Tripod: yes

    Attached Files:

  16. cgipson1
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    cgipson1 New Member

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    Why F14 and a half second?
  17. lamar
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    lamar New Member

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    For a full moon, use a tripod and lens set for 200mm (vr off) set iso to 400, place on manual and set at 1/250 and f/16. Bracket up or down a stop or so if needed. If more info needed go here: Moon Photography - A How To Guide

    Probably better to use a shutter release or timer also.
  18. djacobox372
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    djacobox372 New Member

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    A couple notes:

    -Most lenses are sharpest from F8-F11, F16+ can lose sharpness due to diffraction.
    -Shoot at 200 ISO for maximum sharpness (less noise reduction)
    -Don't trust your lenses infinity stop, instead use autofocus or, better yet, bracket your focus
    -Atmospheric conditions are EVERYTHING when shooting the moon, moisture in the air will make it impossible to get a clear shot.
  19. RedVixen81
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    RedVixen81 New Member

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    Hello.. I just bought a Nikon D3100 weeks ago and i was curious about the moon shot as well... well here is a link to mine.
    [​IMG]
    DSC_0239 by RedVixen81, on Flickr
    Nikon D3100
    1/2500 sec
    f/5.3
    160 mm
    160.0 mm
    1600
    0 EV
    No Flash
  20. KmH
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    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish

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    Don't use the f/11 - f/16 apertures recommended, because of the diffraction effects mentioned above by djacobox 372.

    F/8 is a good sharp lens aperture to use.

    Since the Moon is 250,000 miles away (1,320,000,000 feet), you don't need a small lens aperture to create a deep depth of field. DoFMaster.com shows that a 200 mm lens set a hypothetical aperture of f/1.2 would have near DoF limit 5808 feet (a bit over 1 mile) in front of the camera to infinity (∞) behind the point of focus (the Moon).

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