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Old Jun 8, 2008, 10:49 PM   #1
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We had a beautiful moon tonight. So I took my Canon S5 out and tried. Pitiful! I set the aperture down, shutter super-slow, used a tripod and timer. No flash. Zoomed in, zoomed out. Terrible! What can I do? Do I need a telephoto zoom lens? Would my new Canon w/a lens help? I am getting a little disappointed with this camera, I'm afraid.:?
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Old Jun 9, 2008, 12:03 AM   #2
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applemac1 wrote:
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We had a beautiful moon tonight. So I took my Canon S5 out and tried. Pitiful! I set the aperture down, shutter super-slow, used a tripod and timer. No flash. Zoomed in, zoomed out. Terrible! What can I do? Do I need a telephoto zoom lens? Would my new Canon w/a lens help? I am getting a little disappointed with this camera, I'm afraid.:?

A super slow shutter will give you nothing but a white disk.

The moon should be an EASY subject with your camera, as you can manually set everything. You use the equivalent of the "sunny 16" rule to shoot the moon, except for me it should be called the "sunny 11" rule.

Set your camera for manual exposure, If you use ISO 100, the exposue that should get you close is 1/125 second at f11. Now, I don't know the minimum aperture of the S5, but it's probably either f8 or f11, so you can use any combination of shutter speeds and apertures that mimic 1/125 at f11, which could be 1/250 sec at f8 or 1/500 at f5.6. If you use the last combination and the moon is too dark change the aperure to f5 and try it again. If it's too light, try f7.1,

The problem isn't with your camera. You need to know how to shoot what you want to shoot in order to get it right.

Another option to learn more is Google...

http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/moon/index.html

http://www.cameraporn.net/2007/08/28...n-photography/

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Old Jun 9, 2008, 12:18 AM   #3
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In addition to what Greg said, here's a discussion on the topic from one of the Flickr forums:

http://www.flickr.com/groups/lunatics_/discuss/74930/

applemac1, you charactorized your results as "terrible." Terrible how? Bad exposure? Poor sharpness? This is the kind of stuff people need to know to help focus (:G) their advice.

Let us know if your next round of pix improves!

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Old Jun 9, 2008, 1:04 AM   #4
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I am obviously a worse photographer than I even suspected! :shock: I have so much to learn! The sky was such a pretty color, the trees were good...but the moon was only a quarter moon and looked like one big STAR! I will try the 'sunny 16' rule. I will have to make it my pitiful 'sunny 8' rule, I suppose. Please be patient with me. I will post my next try tomorrow night.Thanks guys.
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Old Jun 9, 2008, 7:51 AM   #5
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Applemac1 keep this in the back of your head, The light coming from the Moon is reflected light coming from the Sun. It is brighter to the camera than you think. Slow speeds and large aperatures only lead to over exposure.
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Old Jun 9, 2008, 3:28 PM   #6
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Greg Chappell wrote:
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... You use the equivalent of the "sunny 16" rule to shoot the moon, except for me it should be called the "sunny 11" rule.
...
The surface of the moon is a subject in bright sunlight. The sunny f/16 rule (shoot at f/16 with the shutter speed set to 1/ISO) is meant for subjects with the brightness of a grey card. The surface of the moon reflects less than that (I have heard it likened to asphalt in terms of photography) so you need to open up a bit from that. Greg's advice to open up one stop is about right for the moon.
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Old Jun 9, 2008, 4:08 PM   #7
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What is a 'grey card'?
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Old Jun 9, 2008, 8:10 PM   #8
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A grey card is used to determine exposure in a way much like an incident light meter. Most (all?) meters are calibrated to give the correct exposure of that card. Conventional wisdom says a grey card is 18% grey, but I have heard folks arguing that it is 12%.

For judging exposure in difficult situations, using the camera's histogram along with the flashing blown/blocked indicators beats everyting else I can think of. One of the major advantages of digital.
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Old Jun 11, 2008, 9:14 AM   #9
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When I first got my S2, the moon was also the first thing I tried to photograph. And then I came to steve's to figure out what I did wrong :-)

With the S5 (and all superzooms) its really easy actually. You can zoom the whole 12x, and then just use the LCD to adjust the manual controls till you can make out some details on the surface. Its a lot easier than standing there with an SLR taking shots, and then reviewing it.

With the IS you should be able to get handheld shots if you open up the aperature.

(off topic: i was very impressed with my new 450D, which actually acurately exposed for the moon's surface using spot metering when using a 300mm lens.)
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