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Old Feb 14, 2008, 1:02 PM   #1
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Hi there, I need some advice on photographing the Moon.

At the moment I am using a 210mm lens, 2 x converter and a tripod to capture my images of the Moon on my D50, and as you can guess their not that clear and the image of the Moon itself is rather small.

With this in mind I thought of buying a Nikon 70-300mm F4-5.6 G lens and using that on my D50, but then also saw a a cheapish 20 x astromonical telescope that comes complete with a Nikon F mount, and now I am in two minds about which to get.

One part of me says the 300mm lens with a conventer should be trusted, as it is a genuine Nikon, but I am a little concerned that the jump from 210mm to 300mm might not be enough. The other part of me says the telescope is a steal at the price of £130, but I know nothing about telescopes, and I am more than a little worried that the optics might be crap, as it is not a branded make.

I have seen 500mm lenses on ebay for under £100, but wen I checked them out they seemed to only 4 elements, which hardly seems worth buying, as the pictures would be so dark.

Can anyone at all offer me any advice on which path to take, or even shown the difference in image I would get between a 300mm lens wth a 2 x converter and a astro telescope please.

Kind regards

KFA
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Old Feb 14, 2008, 8:32 PM   #2
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A 'cheapish' astronomical telescope is not going to give you the image quality you are after, and inexpensive teleconverters tend to be soft enough that cropping and resizing from a shot without them will most likely give you a better image. I would go for the 70-300, and crop (with maybe some deconvolution or extra sharpening) - works pretty well for me.

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Old Feb 15, 2008, 3:40 AM   #3
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The first thing I would bring to this is that even 600mm will not give great photos of the moon as you still will have the majority of your frame empty. Another problem is that you are going to be at 600mm and f11 before you even start to stop down for a bit of sharpness with that lens which does not help either.

This is how much of the frame is filled with a 1000mm lens on a 1.6 crop body so with the D50 and its 1.5 crop you would need even more reach so you are roughly going to have half the size. If you work out how many pixels that actually is you are talking pretty small. http://www.pbase.com/liquidstone/image/76111816

So if you are making this lens purchase for mainly this reason I would check if the money spent is worth it.
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Old Feb 15, 2008, 7:00 AM   #4
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Taking on board what you have said about needing a 1000mm lens (which is wayyyyyyy above my budget), would I be able to get the same results with a 500mm lens and a 2x converter.

I saw this lens http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/500mm-Mirror-L...QQcmdZViewItem, but I am slightly concerned as the lens is at F8, so logicaly using a 2x converter tat would make is F16, pretty dark. I know the Moon is very bright but I think F16 is way too dark to get a decent image.

So if this idea is not good, am I wasting my time tryong to get a decent picture of the Moon?

Kind regards

KFA
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Old Feb 15, 2008, 7:10 AM   #5
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I've only ever seen a few samples but all I would say is you get what you pay for.

There is a reason mirror lenses are cheap the main one being fixed aperture and no AF, however they might do an OK job shooting something not moving but just can't tell. Shooting the moon generally take some expensive kit as it is rather a long way away. Yes you can get shots where you fill 1/4 of the frame but these are not great. Sorry I can't help more, I would however be tempted to see if you can try out the telescope as you never know it might surprise you.... something I've not tried so don't know. If you can as for a trial to ensure the quality is good that might help.
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