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How do I take clear crisp clear sharp images of the Moon from my EF 75-300mm lens?


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I use a Canon 600D, EF 75-300mm Lens f/4-5.6 III, and an Amazon basics tripod to take simple photographs of the moon.

When I took previous images of the Moon with this equipment the majority of my images have not much detail & motion blur (I do keep my tripod low for sturdiness, it must be the shutter from the camera.) I use the Looney 11 rule. (F/11, ISO 100, 1/100)

Is there a way to take photos of the moon with more crisp detail and at faster shutter speeds to avoid motion blur?

Here is what I would hypothetically like to have as an image for example.

p_30stk_supermoon_140415.jpg

Cheers

William

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Posted (edited)

Use higher ISO (maybe 400 or more) and open up the aperture to get shorter shutter-speeds. Opening the lens wide *might* reduce quality slightly* but try it and see. Are you using a remote release for the shutter? If not, either use one or use the self-timer to avoid pressing the button physically at the time of exposure. If your camera has it, use mirror lock-up or shutter delay so the mirror doesn't cause vibration.

* edit: Most lenses are optimised for sharpness at roughly their mid f-stop

Edited by wulfrun
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  • Stu changed the title to How do I take clear crisp clear sharp images of the Moon from my EF 75-300mm lens?

In addition to the above, I've found that autofocus can be unreliable on the Moon and stars - and that this varies depending on the autofocus mode selected. Therefore, if you are not doing so already, I'd suggest manually focusing via magnified LiveView.

Regards, Mike.

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Have you considered photographing the quarter Moon? Shadows are very short on the full Moon, so little detail shows, whereas on crescent, quarter and gibbous, at the terminator, the shadows are long and the detail is crisp. Motion blur is commonly caused by a setup which is insufficiently rigid coupled with a shutter speed that is too long. As Mike says, open up the aperture and crank the ISO up, which will also allow you to use faster shutter speeds. I shot the Moon last night at ISO 800, f/9 and 1/250.

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1 hour ago, Mandy D said:

As Mike says, open up the aperture and crank the ISO up, which will also allow you to use faster shutter speeds.

Actually, it was wulfrun with those suggestions, but fingers-crossed we all get a chance to practice our lunar imaging on the eclipse next Monday morning. Going to be tricky, though, with the Moon so low in advancing twilight!

Regard, Mike.

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17 minutes ago, mcrowle said:

Actually, it was wulfrun with those suggestions, but fingers-crossed we all get a chance to practice our lunar imaging on the eclipse next Monday morning. Going to be tricky, though, with the Moon so low in advancing twilight!

Regard, Mike.

Sorry, Mike, I don't know how I got the two of you mixed up there! I have my new iOptron Rc6 all nice and ready for the eclipse, but still struggling to get decent results out of it. I have it on a heavy photo tripod with a Nikon D800 hanging off the back end, so it is really unbalanced. The tripod wedge is fixed to the dovetail with a single screw at the back end and it wobbles like a blancmange! I can't seem to get critical focus, yet, but am still hoping to capture that eclipse, so you now know it will be cloudy right through and can blame me! ;) Good luck with capturing it: I look forward to seeing the photos.

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Posted (edited)

Just tried my new 100-400mm APO lens on the Sony A77ii, so effective 600mm. Handheld and at full range so max aperture f6.7 @400mm, shutter at 1/500 and EV set to -2 to darken the field a bit.

image.png.82a5ac1df08f83e514ae74a006ee6160.png

This one half a stop further back

image.png.2d45f0f44854df70239d398d3c11efad.png

No adjustments other than cropping to give a bigger image. Quite pleased considering it was a few mins to slip the lens on, step out and snap a few shots. Downside of the wide open aperture is of course less DoF tho not sure how much difference that might make, One day on a tripod I may mess about with smaller aperture and see what effect it has.  I was more wanting to give the lens a quick go since it only arrived monday afternoon and weather's been pretty lousy since. 

 

Oh, a further thought on motion blur - are you disabling the OIS when its on the tripod? Shouldn't really need it but then ideally you want a remote release too so you aren't touching the camera. 

Edited by DaveL59
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Could try video and get many more frames and stack using autostakkert and then sharpen the output image to taste. Can also video using EOS Utility on a laptop and 5x live view zoom for another option.

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902579509_WaxingGibbousMoon14_05_2022.png.0b007cba660001d0f9c95fcf4ef98068.png

Here is a successful image I took last night with the advice taken from this topic, credits given.

ISO 400, f5.6, 1/800

44 images in total taken then 70% of that stacked in Autostakkert!3 then processed in Registax V6 and Photoshop.

Cheers and clear skies.

William

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Though your latest Moon is much clearer from your smaller stack then your starting Moon image and you've tried new techniques which you'll use again with bigger stacks or video.

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6 minutes ago, happy-kat said:

Though your latest Moon is much clearer from your smaller stack then your starting Moon image and you've tried new techniques which you'll use again with bigger stacks or video.

If I am recording a video to stack the image, what about the lossy compression or whatever that makes it less detailed in the data? I am not afraid to experiment.

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A lot will depend on your seeing conditions also. I shot the following with single image acquisition during a cooler night, it would benefit from a stack but I like that this is one photo:

1744469275_Moon-29-08-21-16bitCanon600D-doimg_124944.thumb.png.97b46990efc5622bdfce3632c9eb2425.png

Regarding data type I always save as image format (tif/fits) as they are uncompressed if they are raw format. Video from my experience with video editing almost always compresses the data unless you are saving in an uncompressed lossless format, you'll know which it is generally by looking at the file sizes, a few seconds of video uncompressed will soon become gigabytes in size very quickly. Uncompressed images are the same hence the large single file sizes. The other benefit of image acquisition is that if the session fails for whatever reason you've always got the images captured saved, a video can sometimes corrupt mid capture. Either option is valid but I prefer images.

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  • 4 weeks later...

UPDATE 11/06/2022:

So far I got these captures which are deemed successful, the waxing gibbous takes were taken at ISO 100, 1/100, F11 on video mode with digital zoom. The waxing crescent was taken with different ISO, Shutter speed and F-stop out of experimenting, Lens used is Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 II, Camera used is Canon 600D.

 

1662043075_WaxingCrescentMoon02_06_2022.png.8abd527f781b24b8e09fcd9f92c47dcd.png

 

1381080722_WaxingGibbousMoon10_06_2022.png.e5c00726a31522d8d996736237cc55e2.png

Taken by video mode, ISO 100, 1/100, F11, Frames extracted using PIPP and then stacked using Autostakkert!3 then post processed using Registax V6 and Adobe Photoshop 2022

 

1494435318_WaxingGibbousMooninColor10_06_2022.png.62424dccc9ea9d65045d185af8af985f.png

Coloured version of previous image, using Vibrance, Saturation and Color Mixer from Camera Raw Filter.

 

1978288575_WaxingGibbousMoonPhotostack10_06_2022.png.dc4efe95d8400c2d7bde344441927028.png

This image was taken through shutter release images instead at ISO 800, 1/800, F/5.6 and then doing the same procedure like the previous images taken. (Experimental)

Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions.

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I'm a deep sky photographer rather than a lunar/planetary type but I took this for fun to test my newly arrived (but second hand) Canon 400L lens.  Single image, hand held but leaning against the side of the house. Lens stabilization, autofocus, click! It's better than I thought it would be.  I'm not sure what this tells us other than that the 400L is very good and, above all, that good seeing makes all the difference.  I didn't quantify it that night but it must have been good. So the upshot is, choose your night and your site. Don't shoot over anything warm, like houses, large areas of man made environment, etc. If you can, get to a higher altitude. We're at 3000 feet. Also, pick a season when the moon is high. And remember that good seeing can be had on nights of fairly poor transparency. A bit of haze may not be a bad thing.

632722743_moon400L.jpg.30af01f9e61ef828ba8e266b59fe6593.jpg

Olly

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Some nice improvements there. One thing to note is that the 75-300 has a reputation of being rather soft, compared to the 70-300. The lens makes a big difference (apart from seeing etc). I would avoid video modes on the moon with DSLRs as the uncompressed 1:1 pixel modes have fairly low resolutions, whereas the full sensor video uses lossy compression

20210416205248_IMG_8714.thumb.JPG.814523509c3ede2c7075db283f67b9e3.JPG

This was shot hand-held with a Sigma 150-600 zoom

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