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04-11-2014, 01:40 PM   #1
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Eclispse shots

With the coming eclipses can I get some tips for setting up to capture these rare events? I have not ventured into shooting the heavens at night so far but this is a great time to start. I am limited to a 200 telescopic Kr kit lens and an old 270 manual lens.

04-11-2014, 04:09 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by texoma Quote
With the coming eclipses can I get some tips for setting up to capture these rare events? I have not ventured into shooting the heavens at night so far but this is a great time to start. I am limited to a 200 telescopic Kr kit lens and an old 270 manual lens.
So you need to make sure you use a fast shutter speed. The moon is moving (rather quickly), so I would recommend 1/250s or higher. The aperture doesn't really matter but you need to be sure that the lens is sharp at whatever aperture you select. You also need to nail the focus, as DOF isn't going to save you when shooting the moon. Live view should make this easy with a manual lens, though I'd recommend trying something a bit longer than 270. Good luck!

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04-11-2014, 04:15 PM   #3
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I was going to post the same question. My previous attempts have not gone well.

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04-11-2014, 05:02 PM   #4
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Start practicing focus and other moon settings before the lunar eclipse. Find a shutter speed and aperture that give sharp results. During totality, try the same settings including ISO to demonstrate how much darker the moon is, then boost ISO a few stops if needed.

270mm is a little short for the moon, but if you focus well you can crop later.

---------- Post added 04-11-14 at 08:04 PM ----------

P.S. Use M manual mode. Auto modes not recommended. You want the brightest areas of the moon to be light gray, never pure white.

04-11-2014, 05:20 PM   #5
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The below worked for me.
How to Photograph the Moon
" Camera Mode: Set your camera mode to full Manual Mode.
ISO: Set your ISO to 100 if you have a Canon DSLR and to 200 if you have a Nikon DSLR (basically, whatever base ISO you have in your camera). For most other brands, the base ISO is also 100. If you have a point and shoot camera, see if you can find a menu setting to set your ISO to 100. Make sure “Auto ISO” is turned Off.
Aperture: Set your aperture to f/11.
Shutter Speed: Set your shutter speed to 1/125 on cameras with base ISO 100, and to 1/250 on Nikon DSLRs with base ISO 200.
Lens Focus: Set your lens to manual focus (either through a switch on the lens or on the camera) and set your focus to infinity. Be careful while setting the focus to infinity, as some lenses allow focusing beyond infinity. On more advanced DSLRs such as Nikon D300, there is a handy feature called “live-view with contrast detect”, which can accurately acquire focus on distant objects. I have used it many times for my moon photography and it works great! If you do not have such a feature in your camera, then try setting your lens to the center of the infinity sign, then take a picture and see if it came out sharp by zooming in the rear LCD of the camera."
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04-11-2014, 06:12 PM   #6
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How to Photograph a Lunar Eclipse
04-11-2014, 06:24 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by texoma Quote
With the coming eclipses can I get some tips for setting up to capture these rare events? I have not ventured into shooting the heavens at night so far but this is a great time to start. I am limited to a 200 telescopic Kr kit lens and an old 270 manual lens.
The most important thing with total eclipses is to get plenty of dynamic range. In fact, you may want to use HDR. This is because you want to bring out detail both close to the Sun and in the extended corona much further away. No single shot can manage a good coverage.


04-11-2014, 08:34 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by texoma Quote
With the coming eclipses
Did you mean lunar or solar? I and others assumed lunar because there's one coming up Mon night into Tues morning. The big USA solar eclipse is 2017.

04-11-2014, 10:08 PM   #9
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Thanks all for the info. Sorry I didn't specify lunar and being reminded of the upcoming solar eclipse opens new possibilities as I never even considered taking a shot of the sun. I got out my trove of old film lenses and found a 300mm 5.6 manual lens I had forgotten about. Not much better than the 270 but beggars can't be choosers. I will practice this weekend and see if my pitiful setup will work.
04-12-2014, 12:09 PM   #10
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Let's hope for a clear sky
04-12-2014, 12:54 PM   #11
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I think we're going to get it here and I'll follow these tips. I've not successfully pulled of an HDR photo yet, but maybe this is the week.

Thanks to those of you who shared your knowledge on this.
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