Winter Moon

Discussion in 'General Gallery' started by Olcoot, Mar 31, 2009.

  1. Olcoot

    Olcoot TPF Noob!

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    I was really taken by the beautiful full moon in the clear night sky back on February 8, 2009. The temperatures here were above freezing for the first time in several weeks so I decided to get out the Sigma 300-800mm and try my hand at taking a few shots of the moon. Here is my favorite shot of the series, Taken with the D200 and the Sigma 300-800mm @ 750mm with the Kenko 2x teleconverter for a focal length of 1500mm @f16 1/6 sec exposure. I am quite impressed with this lens and the new Wimberley Gimbal and Gitzo tripod are rock solid performers. I actually had to back off the zoom to 750mm to get the entire moon into the frame.
     

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  2. Marc Kurth

    Marc Kurth TPF Noob!

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    Tony,

    I'd love love to see this larger. I've never had the pleasure of owning quality glass longer than 300 and my Wimberley was always a thick towel on the roof of my pickup :lol:

    I've done a fair amount of moon shooting, so I have some questions for you. Why f16 when it pushed you down to 1/6 of second? That's a rough spot for the D200 in my experience because of mirror resonance. I would also expect some diffraction with that combo. Again, NOT speaking from experience with that lens, just instinct. I'm not one to argue with success.

    Marc
     
  3. Antarctican

    Antarctican TPF Noob!

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    What a spectacular amount of detail of the moon's surface you got in that pic! You must be pleased indeed.

    Thanks so much for sharing this one with us...it's stunning
     
  4. Olcoot

    Olcoot TPF Noob!

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    Marc,

    You are absolutely correct about the mirror slap being a problem and even more pronounced at the long focal lengths. I shot all of these having the mirror raise and then waiting a second or two before firing the shutter using a wireless shutter release. One other problem is keeping the moon in the frame, I had to re-adjust it in the frame after each shot. It is hard to believe just how fast it is moving across the sky. Thanks for commenting on my shot.
     
  5. Olcoot

    Olcoot TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Antarctican, I am very happy with the final results of this shot. Thanks for commenting
     
  6. A&A_Lane

    A&A_Lane TPF Noob!

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    What a fantastic picture! I'm not sure I've seen one this good of the moon. Job well done.:thumbup:
     
  7. astrostu

    astrostu I shoot for the stars

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    I would suggest two things. My first comment is on post-processing. It looks like you upped the contrast quite a bit. While some people like this, I personally prefer to leave something like the full moon with as much contrast as it has - not much. Granted, I'll almost always increase it, but I know from experience the moon does not actually look like that. It also looks like you may have sharpened it a tad, but I can't quite tell so I won't give my rant on the "water color moon" effect.

    My second comment is that going to f/16 is unnecessary, can result in motion blur, and is a poor spot in your lens. I can't actually find your lens on this site, which has dozens upon dozens of other lens sharpness tests, but nearly all of them are sharpest about 1 full stop down, which for the Sigma 300-800 mm lens would be at around f/8 or f/9.6. Qualitative reviews I quickly looked at seem to indicate f/8-11. Not f/16.

    To put it another way, after doing astrophotography for several years, writing several guides to it including my lunar photography guide on this site, and posting on these forums for 2 years, I have NEVER found someone able to justify shooting the moon at f/16. It just doesn't make sense ... unless you can offer me a justification that I've missed.

    I realize that I'm being overtly blunt and not welcoming to someone who just joined the site, but it's 1 AM and I've been trying to get a non-linear least-squares ellipse fit to give self-similar results for the last 5+ hrs. So ... good shot, I know you may be loathe to fix something that doesn't seem broken, but getting/giving feedback is the purpose of this site. :)
     
  8. timethief

    timethief TPF Noob!

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    Excellence.

    One of the best shots of the moon I have see to date. And I have really seen plenty.
     
  9. Olcoot

    Olcoot TPF Noob!

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    Thanks To everyone for your comments as they are always appreciated.

    Astrostu,

    Feedback is always welcome as I am always trying to learn from my peers. Being primarily a nature and landscape photographer and never before having shot astrophotography I had no other reason for shooting at f/16 except that is where I made the shot. I agree that this lens is probably even sharper at f/8. I was only making a attempt to get an acceptable shot and to test my equipment no more no less no and other justification was or is needed. As you can see there is no motion blur and I have posted a copy of the EXIF information for everyone to see as well it is still embedded in the posted photo for you or anyone else that would like to check the f-stop was indeed as posted f/16. You are also correct that the contrast was pumped up and I as well as most others that have viewed this photo like it this way. :mrgreen:
     

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  10. boogschd

    boogschd TPF Noob!

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    /jawdrop ...


    say with a 300mm .. do you get shots ALMOST like this?

    or will the moon still be just another bright light source in the shot? :D

    (i wouldnt know since i still only have an 18-55mm)
     
  11. astrostu

    astrostu I shoot for the stars

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    Contrast is 'sup to the photographer. I prefer less. I don't want to threadjack so I'll just post a small version. Even this one is a bit too contrasty for my tastes, but I wanted to bring out some of the features better.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Marc Kurth

    Marc Kurth TPF Noob!

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    A 300mm with A 1.4X at almost 100% crop will get you about there. I would post one, but I also do not want to hijack the thread.

    Here is a link to one of mine from a lowly combination of a D70, Sigma 300mm zoom w/1.4x, 1/250, f9, ISO 400, no MLU, no tripod. (ISO 400 to get the shutter speed because of no tripod)

    http://morrobayphotos.com/Temp/6613.jpg

    High quality glass and good technique will get you a LOT better image than this!

    Marc
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2009

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