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PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 7:30 am 
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I took out my D7000 tonight, and slapped on the Nikkor 200mm F4 AI-S lens. Focus at infinity, mirror lock up on, camera on tri-pod, I was ready to go! I aimed it at the moon, and took a few shots. Here was the result:

Image

I applied a crop, so here's the original image:

Image

I'm not sure why the result was so terrible 9Well, at least IMO it's bad). Perhaps it was because of the slight cloud that night, or because the moon was low in the sky. It's also worth noting that I took the photo through a screened porch.

So, what are your opinions or tips? All comments and advice are appreciated! Thanks!

-Evan

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Gear: 7 Nikon Nikkor AI-S and AF-S lenses, SB-700 flash, Nikon D7000, Nikon FM, variety of accessories

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 8:39 am 
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How did you focus? Anything other than magnified live view is going to be very difficult to get focus spot on.

Not sure what you were shooting through, but if it's anything other than air, move away from it! Even the air can work against you, as there is rather a lot of it to go through. You might see wobbling in magnified live view.

Got any longer lenses you can try? It helps a lot to make use of more of the sensor area!

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 8:51 am 
You should be able to take hand held shots...? And the autofocus should work fine too...
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http://www.pbase.com/shaunr/image/131194517


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:56 am 
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Thanks for your replies guys...

I had the focus to infinity, that's what I always have done for astroshots. I've tried a second batch, the moon was higher in the sky (So less atmosphere for the light to travel through), I took it outside and not in the screened in porch (So the light from the moon didn't have to travel through the screen) and some of the cloud had cleared up (So more light gets through the atmosphere). I think that this batch came out well, I did a mirror lock up followed by pressing the ML-L3 remote as opposed to the shutter button on the camera, ergo less blur. Although, I did get some chromatic aberration happening around the edges of the moon. I'll post these pics soon!

This is the only tele lens that I have, 200mm AI-S F4 lens (About 300mm on the D7000's DX sensor), and it's manual focus only.

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-Evan

Gear: 7 Nikon Nikkor AI-S and AF-S lenses, SB-700 flash, Nikon D7000, Nikon FM, variety of accessories

"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs."
- Ansel Adams


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 10:19 am 
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Again how did you focus to infinity? I wouldn't trust the lens markings if that's what you used. Do set it on each occasion as I found out recently even a temperature change can cause a focus shift.

Might be worth getting a teleconverter to play with if you're going to try for more moon shots. Even if the TC reduces pixel level quality, the subject size would be so much bigger you would probably get more detail out still.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 10:35 am 
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The 200mm has a hard infinity focus, I could try the shots again, but tweak the focus ever-so-slightly when I hit infinite.

At the current moment, a teleconverter isn't on the purchase list, first I have to pay off the D7000 and 16-85, and then I have a long list of some more lenses that I'd like to purchase. One lens that would be useful would be the 70-300mm AF-S, that could work for the moon shots.

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Gear: 7 Nikon Nikkor AI-S and AF-S lenses, SB-700 flash, Nikon D7000, Nikon FM, variety of accessories

"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs."
- Ansel Adams


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 12:06 pm 
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I've also been trying a few moon shots (getting better each time....JUST)

I think you should try to manually focus, infinity is too far. Luckily I have AF.

I've found 125th sec, F5.6 & ISO 400 the best ....so far.

Crop, from 22nd Dec

Image

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 5:24 pm 
Is that really the quality of the Nikon 80-400? Looking like the 70-300 isn't too bad :?
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:10 pm 
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Here's the second attempt, although I think I'll try again tonight as these were all infinity focused:

Image


Image

Image

Full sizes on my Flickr Photostream.

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-Evan

Gear: 7 Nikon Nikkor AI-S and AF-S lenses, SB-700 flash, Nikon D7000, Nikon FM, variety of accessories

"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs."
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 10:00 pm 
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Shaun, sorry I didn't check before posting. :oops: that was one I took with tripod ....... & VR left on :roll: (I need much more practice yet :lol: )


Slightly better one from a couple of weeks ago.

Image

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Image btw,He who dies with the most toys, WINS!
Nikon D800E & D700 bodies + Nikon 200-400mm F4 VR1, 50mm F1.4G, 16-35mm f/4G VR, 105 F2.8 VR macro, 70-300mm lenses. A couple of filters, Giotto tripod & ballhead. Lowepro Slingshot 302 AW
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 6:29 pm 
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Some nice shots coming on there.

We must remember the moon is actually a very bright object in the sky and fast moving therefore a shutter speed of around 1/250th is essential. You tend to get more detail when shooting anything but a full moon as you get more shadow detail etc on craters.

As mentioned in a previous post, for a cropped sensor the moon is about 1mm in size on the sensor for every 100mm of focal length so the more you can use the better.

I recently shot the moon through my telescope giving me a focal length of 1200mm (I also added a barlow and made a mosaic with an effective focal length of 2400mm) at 1200mm the moon pretty much fills my sensor.

Ill be glad when the cloud lifts here and I can get back outside :)

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 7:57 pm 
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Crikey, you must be able to get a fair amount of detail with that set up Lee.

Are settings of 125th sec, F5.6 & ISO 400 about the best?

Looking forward to seeing a few of your shots.

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Image btw,He who dies with the most toys, WINS!
Nikon D800E & D700 bodies + Nikon 200-400mm F4 VR1, 50mm F1.4G, 16-35mm f/4G VR, 105 F2.8 VR macro, 70-300mm lenses. A couple of filters, Giotto tripod & ballhead. Lowepro Slingshot 302 AW
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 1:19 pm 
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Hi oldCarlos,

The settings you list should work, the best thing is trial and error.

One thing I did find useful, but relies on the moon being fairly large in the viewfinder (well large enough to cover the appropriate area) is to try switching the spot metering. This should then allow your camera to work out the best shutter speed for a given aperture (Av mode) or best aperture for a given shutter (S mode). I tend to use aperture priority so I can ensure the sweet spot is being used for my lens.

As for my moon shots Ill post some later if your interested :)

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:37 am 
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Thanks Lee.

Haven't had a clear sky for a while now, until last night. Plenty of stars ........but no moon! :roll:


Yep, would defo love to see a few of your good shots.

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Image btw,He who dies with the most toys, WINS!
Nikon D800E & D700 bodies + Nikon 200-400mm F4 VR1, 50mm F1.4G, 16-35mm f/4G VR, 105 F2.8 VR macro, 70-300mm lenses. A couple of filters, Giotto tripod & ballhead. Lowepro Slingshot 302 AW
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:39 am 
This shot is really awesome! I'll take all of your advices here ;)


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