My official first moon photograph.
Things I learned:
- 300mm is a decent focal length, but 400mm and above would probably be more ideal. I had to do a lot of cropping and I didn’t get as much detail as I would have liked.
- Use a cropped sensor camera if you have one. You’ll get more reach out of your lens.
- Take many, many, many, many photos at many different exposure levels. The camera will want to overexpose the crap out of the moon. I start there, and then I do one stop lower. One stop lower. Repeat 5 times or so. Don’t trust your little screen, sometimes the ones that look dark will give you the best detail.
- Repeat this procedure with many different apertures. You want to make sure you get a shot with the sharpest part of your lens. I think f/8 to f/16 is usually the butter zone for moon shots. However, for some reason, my sharpest photo came out at f/5.6.
- The image will look tiny. You can crop it later in software.
- Focus manually with live view. Maximum magnification! If you know how to focus on infinity, give that a try too.
- The moon moves quicker than you think! Try to keep your shutter speed under 30 seconds. (A full moon is pretty bright so that shouldn’t be an issue)
- ISO 100 or 200. You will need the clearest image possible due to heavy cropping.
- Use a tripod and shutter release cable. Even the tiniest shake will blur your photo. Moon is very unforgiving.