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08-27-2018, 08:37 AM   #16
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Another good tip: I use the app , Moon Phases and Lunar Calendar from Kinetic Stars , on my iPad this shows you, not only the phases, but also the distance to the Moon, this is a good thing to know, as 40 - 50000 km closer to Earth gives you a bigger Moon

Moon Phases and Lunar Calendar fra Kinetic Starshttps://itunes.apple.com/dk/app/moon-phases-and-lunar-calendar/id1126370589?mt=8





Last edited by Pelto; 08-28-2018 at 07:50 AM. Reason: Link
08-29-2018, 10:53 AM   #17
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Another great write up! Thank you
08-17-2019, 03:46 AM   #18
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Okay, some dumb questions from a digital photography novice overwhelmed by the amount of settings available on a modern digital camera - in my case a Pentax KP.

Just came in from a very unsuccessful attempt to moon shoot with my 55-300mm PLM lens.

First some idiocy confessions. I started out on autofocus and autoexposure (green autofocus guide lights popping on and off all over the place!!). OK, switched to manual focus. That was tricky, 75 yr old eyes trying to focus on a bright light against a dark background. Plus I think the manual focus ring on the 55-300 PLM lens doesn't stop at infinity, but keeps going (round and round and round and .....).

Anyway switched from auto to AV mode, I think my ISO was about 400!!! But had no clue as to what a good starting point for ISO would be so left it there. (Hope by now that I am at least providing some entertainment to you all!). Also left the aperture at the 6.3, figuring at this distance depth of field was irrelevant.

Actually, checking my KP again, I suspect I had put it into TV mode NOT AV mode (Hey, it was dark out there!!)

Oh, did I mention that I did at least get the camera on a tripod, and did turn Shake Reduction Off? Was also using a cable release? (but had not made use of the 2 second timer delay - yet to really get on top of that)

By now you should all have worked out that I know just enough to be dangerous!!

After a quick check on the LCD screen after first two shots, tried to find on the menu where I could tell the camera to underexpose, but got totally lost there too.

By this time, the shot I wanted had completely disappeared. I had wanted to grab the moon as it just came above the horizon, and was looking all big and yellow. It was way up in the sky, and bright silver by now.

There were also occasions when I clicked the cable release but the camera did nothing - had I totally confused it with incompatible menu settings?

Having now read this thread (and thinking, "why didn't somebody tell me all that before I went outdoors with my camera") I realise I should have set the exposure dial to TAV, set the aperture and shutter manually (to F8 or F11, and about 1/100), as suggested above) but am confused at how to force the ISO setting to be where it should be without the camera trying to override it. I know how to set an ISO range


I somehow fluked better shots with K50 and a Sigma 70-300 lens, at least in terms of exposure, although looking at them again now, I think the focus might not be brilliant (cannot remember if it was using autofocus or manual). Now checking some of those shots (a few months ago on the K50) I find (more giggles) one of the shots was as ISO 1600, shutter was 1/2000th and aperture was F7. According to the EXIF I was in aperture priority mode.

I have now set my camera to 1/100, f9.0, and the auto ISO setting is flashing at 125 (I gave it a range from 100-125), but do I need to set ISO to manual, and if so how (on the KP)?

Comments, suggestions (esp ones related to specific use of the Pentax 55-300 PLM lens, coupled with the KP is possible, would be good) are now invited (once, of course, you have all recovered from your giggling fits, of course).

Oh, and I am thick-skinned, and fully aware that my savvy of digital photography is barely at the beginners level, so don't worry about whether any comments you feel necessary are going to offend. (I have barely gotten control of my own giggle fit!!)

Oh, by the way, great shots, and I want a telescope, and all necessary connection adapters, for Christmas, thank you.
08-17-2019, 05:28 AM   #19
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The 'M' setting on the dial gives you complete control of exposure, K2!



08-17-2019, 05:39 AM   #20
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I am sure some real experts will weigh in here but let me share some thoughts. There is a site named PhotoPills.com that deals with night photos and lots of other topics that can help. They offer an app that will calculate depth of field and hyperfocal distances and explains how to use them. For shooting the moon since the moon is being illuminated from the sun, you should start with the Sunny 16 rule. ISO 100, aperture 16 and shutter speed 100. Use manual focus and if possible preset your focus to infinity. If you want something else nearer to you use the hyper focus tables to determine focus distance. Also I have found a led head lamp to be helpful when trying to shoot at night, especially one that offers a continuous red light. Then practice, practice.

I am offering this info as an expert, but I am not and have yet to catch the moon like these guys do.

Good luck and keep shooting.
Jan
08-18-2019, 08:41 PM - 2 Likes   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
The 'M' setting on the dial gives you complete control of exposure, K2!
Goodness me, clackers, you seem to be everywhere!

And again, you have me shaking my head at my own failure to do something as sensible as read my camera's manual!

I have slowly graduated from leaving the mode dial on auto, to dipping my toe into av, tv and recently TAV. I am sure that, given another year or so (or decade or so) I would have eventually started looking at M mode, but you got me again.

Thank you. I might even get around to thinking twice before saying anything in a post!!

---------- Post added 08-18-19 at 09:18 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Mundj Quote
I am sure some real experts will weigh in here but let me share some thoughts. There is a site named PhotoPills.com that deals with night photos and lots of other topics that can help. They offer an app that will calculate depth of field and hyperfocal distances and explains how to use them. For shooting the moon since the moon is being illuminated from the sun, you should start with the Sunny 16 rule. ISO 100, aperture 16 and shutter speed 100. Use manual focus and if possible preset your focus to infinity. If you want something else nearer to you use the hyper focus tables to determine focus distance. Also I have found a led head lamp to be helpful when trying to shoot at night, especially one that offers a continuous red light. Then practice, practice.

I am offering this info as an expert, but I am not and have yet to catch the moon like these guys do.

Good luck and keep shooting.
Jan
Thanks Mundj, I will follow up those leads.

My main need here, now, (after being made aware of the M setting on the KP's Mode dial!!) is to get a 55-300mm PLM lens owner to give me some tips on focusing on the moon, give the 55-300mm's focusing ring does not have an infinity stop. Not sure how much I can rely on my 75 yr old eyes to do that - perhaps I need to start trying out Live View mode?
08-18-2019, 09:46 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by K2 to K50 Quote
Thank you. I might even get around to thinking twice before saying anything in a post!!
Good life advice in general, I would've thought.
08-19-2019, 05:42 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by K2 to K50 Quote
Goodness me, clackers, you seem to be everywhere!

And again, you have me shaking my head at my own failure to do something as sensible as read my camera's manual!

I have slowly graduated from leaving the mode dial on auto, to dipping my toe into av, tv and recently TAV. I am sure that, given another year or so (or decade or so) I would have eventually started looking at M mode, but you got me again.

Thank you. I might even get around to thinking twice before saying anything in a post!!

---------- Post added 08-18-19 at 09:18 PM ----------



Thanks Mundj, I will follow up those leads.

My main need here, now, (after being made aware of the M setting on the KP's Mode dial!!) is to get a 55-300mm PLM lens owner to give me some tips on focusing on the moon, give the 55-300mm's focusing ring does not have an infinity stop. Not sure how much I can rely on my 75 yr old eyes to do that - perhaps I need to start trying out Live View mode?
I own the earlier version of the 50-300 mm lens but try to manually focus the lens on an distant object prior to trying to find the moon. I look for one of my neighbors porch lights, an illuminated tree or power pole several hundred feet away. Be careful of your shutter speed because at 300mm the moon is moving pretty fast.

08-19-2019, 08:47 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mundj Quote
Be careful of your shutter speed because at 300mm the moon is moving pretty fast.
QuoteOriginally posted by K2 to K50 Quote
Just came in from a very unsuccessful attempt to moon shoot with my 55-300mm PLM lens.
So long as you are keeping your shutter speed above about 1/4s movement of the moon across the night sky won't matter as it has an angular speed across the night sky slightly slower than that of the stars. Since the moon is really bright, unless in the umbra during an eclipse, you should never have to shoot the moon that slow. It has a fairly high linear speed as it is pretty close to the celestial ecliptic but that is relative to other stars in the night sky that are closer to the celestial poles. However keep in mind that it is still moving slower than the stars in the sky so if the stars don't show trails then the moon won't either.

The general rule for shooting the moon is the Loony 11 rule which means:
Set your shutter speed to 1/ISO and your f stop to 11 and you will have settings in the general ballpark for a correct exposure of the moon. This will result in a black sky unless you are shooting during the day. Because the moon is so bright in and the sky is so dark any auto exposure mode tends to fail miserably as you are typically at or beyond the limits of the dynamic range your camera can do. Thus lots of moon shots will be composite images were you expose for the moon, and then expose for what ever else you were shooting.

Since you were shooting off of a tripod shooting at ISO 100 using the Loony 11 rule at 300mm should have the potential to produce nice images. However you may find that your tripod or tripod head is not up to the task as it might not be ridged enough unless you are using the 2 second mirror up delay. Bigger heavier lenses will only make this worse as I found out a while back using a giant old Russian 1000mm f/10 reflector with a 2x converter. DIY wood tripods are a cheap good solution if one is handy at building things, if one is not good at building things that would likely be a recipe of disaster. I built one last month for under $50 and it is rock solid and probably has a safe load capacity of around 500lbs and if I wanted more I would probably have to upgrade to a concrete pier.

QuoteOriginally posted by K2 to K50 Quote
My main need here, now, (after being made aware of the M setting on the KP's Mode dial!!) is to get a 55-300mm PLM lens owner to give me some tips on focusing on the moon, give the 55-300mm's focusing ring does not have an infinity stop. Not sure how much I can rely on my 75 yr old eyes to do that - perhaps I need to start trying out Live View mode?
Focusing on the moon is key, I have taken to using a Bahtinov mask for focusing when I use my 300mm lens. Basically point the lens at the brightest star (make sure int isn't a planet) you can see, get the correct diffraction pattern, then point at the moon. When focusing get the focus close to correct, autofocus on the moon will probably work, and center as best you can the star in the viewfinder. Put the camera into magnified live view with focus peaking turned off. Stick the Bahitnov mask on the front of the lens. Adjust the focus until it is perfect.

A lot of shooting the moon is luck in getting the perfect calm upper atmosphere, so here my advise is blast away in burst mode. The law of big numbers and delete are your friend here since you are going for those lucky shots assuming that you did everything else technically correct. Look at the bad images figure out what went wrong, learn from them, and delete them.
08-20-2019, 06:09 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mundj Quote
I own the earlier version of the 50-300 mm lens but try to manually focus the lens on an distant object prior to trying to find the moon. I look for one of my neighbors porch lights, an illuminated tree or power pole several hundred feet away. Be careful of your shutter speed because at 300mm the moon is moving pretty fast.
Thanks Mundj: so used to simply turning the focusing ring all the way round to infinity on my old legacy film era lens for very long distances, but, as I said, the PLM version of the 55-300 doesn't have an infinity stop, and the moon is so bright in the viewfinder, hard to see if you are getting detail. Barely 10 months into digital photography, and haven't tried shooting with Live View yet.


QuoteOriginally posted by MossyRocks Quote
So long as you are keeping your shutter speed above about 1/4s movement of the moon across the night sky won't matter as it has an angular speed across the night sky slightly slower than that of the stars. Since the moon is really bright, unless in the umbra during an eclipse, you should never have to shoot the moon that slow. It has a fairly high linear speed as it is pretty close to the celestial ecliptic but that is relative to other stars in the night sky that are closer to the celestial poles. However keep in mind that it is still moving slower than the stars in the sky so if the stars don't show trails then the moon won't either.

...........
A lot of shooting the moon is luck in getting the perfect calm upper atmosphere, so here my advise is blast away in burst mode. The law of big numbers and delete are your friend here since you are going for those lucky shots assuming that you did everything else technically correct. Look at the bad images figure out what went wrong, learn from them, and delete them.
Thanks for your detailed reply, MossyRocks. Allowed myself to get sidetracked for almost an hour following the links you suggested - fascinating reading. But with such a recent involvement in digital photography, and still so much to learn just in general earth-bound photography, reckon I might have to restrict myself to getting on top of my new KP and all its features first. That said, I will still have a few more cracks at the moon, maybe trying Live View for focusing.

Hey, that sounds like a wild combination you had there with that Russian 1000mm and a 2x!
08-21-2019, 05:53 AM - 1 Like   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by K2 to K50 Quote
Hey, that sounds like a wild combination you had there with that Russian 1000mm and a 2x!
It is. My newly built tripod is rock solid, I just need to get better a focusing that Russian monster and get a bahtinov mask for it. I got a not completely crap shot Jupiter with it about 3 weeks ago, and by not complete crap I mean there a clearly bands and you can tell there is the big red spot. However the focus isn't right so one doesn't have the ability to bring out any additional detail. Also even at 2000mm Jupiter is only around 200 pixels or so across so don't expect to be able to print a poster from these shots. The problem is that astrotracer doesn't give much for tracking at 2000mm and at f/20 you really aren't getting much light so you can really only shoot bright things at night like the moon or Jupiter.
09-12-2019, 05:10 AM   #27
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I've had good luck using magnified liveview and focus peaking. I concentrate on the crates and edges of the image to achieve focus.

As for exposure... I use the Looney 8 or 11 rule as a starting point, and I chimp some.

I use 2 second self timer, and I try to keep the speed around 1.5 to 2x Focal length.
09-12-2019, 07:37 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
As for exposure... I use the Looney 8 or 11 rule as a starting point, and I chimp some.
Nothing wrong with chimping it to get things setup especially since any camera auto exposure guess is going to be way off. I frequently chimp astro shots when setting up or when figuring out how to position the camera, I've been shooting a lot of things I can't see in the viewfinder. Looney 8 or 11 is really to get you into the ballpark and it will get you there but for best results you do need to tweak it some.
09-12-2019, 11:55 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
I've had good luck using magnified liveview and focus peaking. I concentrate on the crates and edges of the image to achieve focus.

As for exposure... I use the Looney 8 or 11 rule as a starting point, and I chimp some.

I use 2 second self timer, and I try to keep the speed around 1.5 to 2x Focal length.
Uncle Vanya,

A question, if you are using a tripod is there
a need to stick with a shutter speed of 1.5 or more times the lens focal length?

Thanks,
Jan M
09-12-2019, 01:32 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mundj Quote
if you are using a tripod is there a need to stick with a shutter speed of 1.5 or more times the lens focal length?

I think it depends on the tripod, size/weight of the lens, and if a remote release was used. with my old 300mm lens on my little tripod I could watch the end of the lens sway from mirror slap even with a 2 second mirror up delay when using a remote. That lens and camera combination where already at the upper end of the limit for that tripod and it wasn't well balanced.
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