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Thread: photo: Full Moon

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    Default photo: Full Moon

    The Moon was full last night and I decided it was time to see how my $90 Sigma 600 mirror lens would do ...



    Olympus E-M1 + Sigma 600mm f/8 cat
    ISO 400 @ f/8 @ 1/640 second



    uncropped image


    Thanks for looking! Comments always appreciated.

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    Default Re: photo: Full Moon

    Well, I don't see more than perhaps $90 worth of detail ... but that can be caused by other things, like bad air! I have tried a number of times, even on what I thought were clear nights, to top this one I took with my E-M1 on my 600mm/6.3 (€900) scope...

    (click to enlarge)

    ... but I have never been able to come close.

    Seems that shooting the moon is not as easy at it seems.

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    Default Re: photo: Full Moon

    Agreed ... The Sigma is not all that great a lens but more importantly there was a good bit of water in the atmosphere. Resolution improved quite a lot as the Moon's elevation increased.

    It doesn't hold a candle to the astronomical telescope I once owned, for sure. But then again, the telescope was $1800 worth of specialized hardware and this little bugger cost me $95. I sold the telescope long ago as I didn't have time to use it nor space to store it. :-)

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    Default Re: photo: Full Moon

    Well, one thing is for sure. I can't hand hold it!

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    Default Re: photo: Full Moon

    It is interesting that you can see the lights from all the cities on the moon.
    Lawrence

    All of the images I post are open for critique. Feel free to modify one of my images if it helps the critique.

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    Default Re: photo: Full Moon

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Bradley View Post
    Well, one thing is for sure. I can't hand hold it!
    I certainly didn't hand hold this shot either. The image stabilization was turned off, the body was set up with a 1 shutter second delay (to allow residual vibration to damp out) and a cable remote. The rig was mounted on a nice sturdy tripod.

    Biggest issue was focusing. That long a lens moves with the slightest touch making it difficult to see the best focus point. I made many exposures with slightly different focus settings, and of course as the moon rose things became clearer due to less atmospheric interference.


    With the 600mm lens on this camera, the disc of the full moon becomes approximately half the vertical dimension of the frame. Here’s the full frame, uncropped:



    I also tried some shots with the 50-200mm zoom and 1.4x telextender—it’s a much sharper lens, but the image of the moon is a little less than half the size and resolution suffers in the end.


    Getting to the Moon is never easy ... ;-)


    G
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    Last edited by Godfrey; 09-09-2014 at 11:40 PM.

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    Default Re: photo: Full Moon

    Quote Originally Posted by lkeeney View Post
    It is interesting that you can see the lights from all the cities on the moon.
    :-)

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    Default Re: photo: Full Moon

    Quote Originally Posted by lkeeney View Post
    It is interesting that you can see the lights from all the cities on the moon.
    Bwahahahaha, you funny boy
    If people don't occasionally walk away from you shaking their heads,
    you're doing something wrong." —John Gierach



    Jim
    Visit me at:

    www.hillbilly-photo.com

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    Default Re: photo: Full Moon

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Flinchbaugh View Post
    Bwahahahaha, you funny boy
    I must be doing everything right according to the quotation you have on your post because everyone walks away from me shaking their head.
    Lawrence

    All of the images I post are open for critique. Feel free to modify one of my images if it helps the critique.

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    Default Re: photo: Full Moon

    I did mine controlling the E-M1 with an "old" iPad. That way I was able to stand inside the house with the camera set up in the balcony. As it is made of wood, even the slightest movement would get picked up otherwise. As I remember I could get three or four shots in before having to go out and re-aim a little ahead of the moon. Surprising how fast it moves through the frame. I found it a very practical solution, much better than any cable or even IR remote because I could be much further away and completely isolated from the tripod and camera.

    And yes, focusing was not easy, even with the micro-focuser and magnification. The big guys use remote, motor driven focusers as well so they don't have to touch the scope to focus. My scope has a carbon fiber tube, which is great for carrying around, but crappy for astro stuff because it retains heat and can expand and contract more than aluminum, which affects focus. And we are talking microns of expansion/contraction! Often, your method of taking shots with slightly different focus is the best way to go, but the astro guys can't afford to take that time. They need to get it right. Surprisingly big problem.

    I think I used 4 seconds delay, even after letting it settle down for maybe 10 seconds and waiting for it to come into the frame.
    Also, mine is a stack of four frames. That is easy to do with the moon because it doesn't mater so much how much time there is between frames, and you can really pick out the best frames to stack. But even there, the lens has to be able to resolve the detail. All stacking does is pick the best parts of each shot on a pixel by pixel basis and put them together. A detail that is only visible in say, one out of the four shots, will be in the final stack. It helps a lot to compensate for air distortion. The real astro-jocks stack hundreds of frames, often ripped from video, or dozens of longer exposures using different filters to bring out different details. Also fun to do focus-stacking in macro. Works the same way, basically.
    My old telescope, a double lens 600/7.5 could come fairly close in terms of resolution, but it was prone to CA, which in the end affects contrast and detail. My current triplet has much better contrast no visible CA, but it also cost three times as much and is still just a mid range scope. (It is only for the birds, after all.) It is still a good bit above all the big white monsters in terms of pure resolution on a flat plain. But that is what they are made for, after all. Bokeh?....meh... AF ... what AF?... diaphragm... what's that?

    If you really want to spend some serious money (and TIME!), take up astro-photography! All in all, my little picture postcard moon shot must have taken me 4 or 5 hours to do, shooting and processing, maybe even more. Those guys spend night after night freezing their butts off. That takes dedication and a good layer of insulation on their bones, something I do NOT have.

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