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PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 3:20 am 
I have tried to get good shots of the moon and a stary sky but haven't been able to get anything resembling good results. could anyone give me a few pointers as to what i need to do to achive good shots?


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 3:48 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 8:08 pm
Posts: 1626
Location: New York, US
Either a very big fast lens or a telescope. If you're doing long exposures (above 30 seconds) you'll need a system that will move your camera against the earths rotation. Unless you're just trying to get shots of the moon, then you could get away with a normal 300 or 400mm lens.

You should check out the technical and scientific photography section in the forum, there's some Astrophotography topics there that go into more detail. I've tried my hand at it and with the current gear I have I cannot get decent results. You can see what kind of gear I have in my signature below.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 4:56 am 
Anything in particular that you are not liking about your existing photos?

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:44 pm 
things are either coming out to bright or blurry or to dark its hard to explain ive tryed with my 50mm and the moon was a spec so I tryed with my 70-300 and just cant find the right settings to get the desired results.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 2:54 pm 
I love a good long exposure. Here a a few tips...

1 Location location location. you need to be in the middle of nowhere, aways away from all the light pollution of a city.

2 Composition. when you compose the shot fame it like you would a landscape. include some foreground.

3 Find the north star. if you can do that successfully in place it somewhere in your picture it can make a really neat effect.

4 Focus. set focus to manual and focus your lens to infinity.

5 ISO. make sure you use iso 100 and make sure long exposure iso noise reduction is on. even with all these precautions be prepared for a lot of noise.

6 Battery. you will want a full battery because being a digital camera long exposures drain the battery fairly quickly. and for an hour of exposure you can expect another hour for your camera to process the image. I've never done an exposure longer than 1.5 hours. my friend tried a 2+ hour exposure and his battery died when the camera was still processing so he lost the image. he was using a canon rebel xsi with a battery grip.

7 Manual. Shoot manual and you really have to guess on your exposures. something like f/9 and an hour... depending on how bright the moon is.

8 The Moon. The moon is really bright compared to the stars so you can't really have it in your shot without being blown out. I've never had any sweet shots with the moon in them.

9 tripod. a good tripod is important for a sharp image. be careful of wind because it can ruin a long exposure by making the whole image fuzzy like this:


you might not be able to tell from the small one but click here to see it full size so you can see what i'm talking about... ... 2/sizes/o/

thats all i can think of right now if i come up with more i'll let you know.

here is an older one i did. its alright nothing special...


this is one i found on flickr its pretty awesome....


it can be found here....

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 4:21 pm 
wow i never thought it would be that labor intensive. thankyou very much for this step by step list it is very much appreciated. now i just need to know a way to take nice moon shots without worrying about stars.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:59 pm 
Examples pics and settings would help us help you. :)

The moon is actually a very bright object (lit by the Sun), so you don't want too high ISO. It also moves, so longer exposures should be avoided.

What I'd do is:
    set to Manual mode
    shoot in RAW
    set iso 100 or 200
    set aperture to f/8 (or whatever is sharpest for your lens)
    put on tripod if possible
    mirror lockup if possible
    take some shots, and adjust shutter speed accordingly

Here's a shot where I followed none of the suggestions above. :D

handheld with IS enabled
shutter: 1/1600
iso 1600
100% crop

It was WAY over exposed, and what you see is post-processed and toned down by over 3 stops.


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 3:11 am 
Is there a way of doing continuous exposure at night without holding the shutter button manually? My understanding was that for anything longer than 30 sec you need to go to bulb mode but the shutter button has to be held continuously.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 5:20 am 
You need a cable release. This allows you to lock the shutter button down so you don't have to hold it.

I'm not 100% sure if this is compatable with your camera but to give you an idea this is what you need... ... B000JC5SOM

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 12:53 pm 
I think I already have it. Just did not notice you could shift it up and lock the button.. Thanks.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 9:10 am 
Depends on what you want the result will be...
heres a sample of a moon shot I did:

Handheld at:
ISO 200
Shutter: 1/1000
aperture: 9
Focal length: 300mm

IF you have a more powerful long range lens, it will be better. I just used an old sigma 70-300mm DG lens on this shot.
Cropped and adjusted the contrast in PP.

another shot:

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