Sunday, May 6, 2012

Super Moon

Messing around with the super moon tonight, I wondered if I could take a picture of the moon with my Nikon D5100 and the two lenses that I own.  My better lens is only a 18-70 mm zoom.  The longer lens is much smaller in its wide open state.  It is a 55-200 zoom, with only f4.5 in its wide open state.  But when you zoom out to 200 then it is f5.6.  That's not very good at all.

So tonight when I put the camera on its tripod at first I tried the smaller focal length lens, but the moon was just a spot on the screen.  It was instantly apparent that I needed the long lens if I was going to do anything at all.

So I switched the lens and went to automatic mode thinking that the moon was now large enough to focus on and set the light...........   WRONG!   I had to go to manual focus as the auto focus just worked and worked without finding a solution.

Even then the photo's were terrible.   Some were just awful but this was about the best I could do.

Using Picasa I was able to crop the photo and that increased its size.  I messed with the exposure but couldn't improve much on the clarity of the shot or the halo effect around the moon.

So it was only when I went to full manual exposure on the camera and dialed up to F11 that I began to get better pictures.  I started to bracket the shutter speed and then look at the pictures on the computer.  Again I have used the Picasa editor to improve the exposure and change the light balance adding more contrast with highlight and shadow.  Finally I had to add a couple of increases in sharpness because my lens is not up to the task at hand.

So what do you think?  I think I still need one of those super expensive 300 mm zoom lenses with about f2.8 lens opening..  But Loyce wants a new refrigerator in the new house so perhaps what  I want isn't too realistic for now anyway.......

Retired Rod


  1. I did a moon shot several years ago, boy I wish my buddy still had the 52 mercury we were riding in at the time. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

  2. I think the new refrigerator is bound to win.

  3. I think we know who is going to win that contest!

  4. You may have time Rod as the next supermoon is scheduled about 14 months from now. Buy Loyce the new refrigerator then get in line for the camera lens! Your last pic of the moon is pretty good.

  5. I used my camera phone, didn't turn out the greatest, but it will do. I think the Harvest Moon is so much prettier anyway

  6. Really liked your picture, much better than the DOT i got!!!

  7. Ya did good on the Moon shot Grasshopper:))


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