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Taking moon picture


I have Canon 6D camera. I am trying to take picture of full moon using EF 70 300 lens. Even at 300mm the picture of moon appreas to be very small. I know I need to use higher focal length but at 300mm the size of moon should be relatively large.


I do not know why this happens. can anyone tell me what is required to be done.



Actually I see very tiny moon on my LCD panel even at 300mm focal length.

300 is too short for the moon. This uncropped shot was taken with a 600 mm lens on an APS-C camera. Your moon will be half as small because of the difference in focal length and 1.6x smaller because of the crop factor:



@kvbarkley wrote:

300 is too short for the moon. This uncropped shot was taken with a 600 mm lens on an APS-C camera. Your moon will be half as small because of the difference in focal length and 1.6x smaller because of the crop factor:



Nice shot.  


I think taking a photo of the Moon is a little more complicated than at first glance.  It is not just getting a good exposure.  Getting the proper White Balance is the real trick.  I am told the Moon is a near perfect reflector of broadband sunlight, whatever that means.


Shot with a 7D2 and a Sigma 150-600 “C” with a slight crop..




NASA astronauts have said that the Moon is the color of street asphalt, but with a thin coating of ash colored dust.  I use the “Looney 11 Rule” and manually set color temperature around 5100, which is my typical setting for a bright sunny day..  


I think your shot is a little bright, while mine is a little dim.

"The right mouse button is your friend."


@Sanjaydesai wrote:

" 300mm the size of moon should be relatively large..................”


Why do you think it should be relatively large?  Don’t go by the photos you see other photographers post. Most of them use a combination of longer lenses and cropping. 


300mm on a Full Frame camera does not bring the moon very close.  Put that lens on a APS-C crop camera like a 7D or 80D, but you will also need to crop the image. 


The best solution is a longer lens. 

Mike Sowsun

You would want 800-1600mm of focal length. I do not advise using a low budget focal length extender.

Stay away from those low budget super telephoto prime lenses, too. I bought one by Vivitar. Wound up buying an eyepiece that converted it into cheesy telescope that kids love.
"The right mouse button is your friend."


The moon is about 1/2° from edge to edge — on average ... it’s orbit isn’t perfectly circular so it’s distance to Earth (about 30 Earth diameters and the moon is roughly 1/4 the diameter of Earth.  A basketball and tennis ball side-by-side make a good estimation of the scale) varies by just a little over 10%.


Normally when I shoot a moon photo, I connect the camera to a telescope and I’m shooting at roughly 1100mm.  I still have a little room... I’ve worked out that even 1500mm would still fit (but it would be tight).


Anywhere in the 1000-1500mm range is pretty good.  At 300mm you’ll get a respectable but small image but it will be small (the image wont “feature” the moon.  It would be better for a landscape with a dusky “blue hour” shot with the moon in the sky).  If you want the image to feature the moon then you would need to crop heavily or use a longer focal length lens.


The moon’s exposure uses something called the “Looney 11” rule... at f/11 the shutter speed is the inverse of the ISO settting (e.g. ISO 100 then use 1/100th sec.  at ISO 200 then use 1/200th sec, etc.)




The image above is not “straight out of the camera”.  I always touch a few controls to adjust contrast, maybe a tiny bit of sharpening, white balance, etc.  


I usually try to shoot near a crescent or 1/2 moon phase so the sun lights the moon from the side and this creates great shadow-contrast on the craters.  The moon has a 3-dimensional look.  Near a full moon you lose th shadows and the moon will look a little more 2D.  


Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da

“The moon is about 1/2° from edge to edge — on average ... “


This is the first thing Tim said, and it is the most important to understanding focal lengths, and photographing the Moon.  He is referring to the Angle Of View, or AOV.  A lens can be described by its’ focal length, but a lens can also be described by its’ AOV.


I hate to use Wikipedia, but this page has great illustrations and layman’s explanations, as well as the techno-babble.  There are angle of view calculators on the web, too.  I just found one called points-in-focus dot com.



My 600mm lens on a full frame body has an AOV of 4.1 degrees, according to the manufacturer.  Tim reports that the AOV of the width of the Moon is about 0.5 degrees.  I assume that he is referring to horizontal AOV.  This means that you can fit roughly 8 Moons side by side into a viewfinder frame with that setup.


My Online AOV calculator reports that my 600mm lens would have an AOV of 3.44mm on a full frame sensor body.  It reports that my Canon APS-C sensor 7D Mark 11 would have an AOV of 2.12 degrees, which means about four Moons would fill the screen side to side, edge to edge.

"The right mouse button is your friend."

Rising Star

The advice given is the best information you will receive. 

Canon 5DSr / Canon 100-400 f2.8L / Canon 2X Extender III / 1/6 Crop Factor = 1280mm Crescent Moon Wallpaper 1920 X 1200.jpg

Best explain "Canon 100-400 f2.8 L" because I've never heard of it.

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