01-14-2014 03:48 PM - edited 01-14-2014 03:49 PM
"... My buddy, the Nikon man, has never heard of that ..."
This is because, besides our other faults, Tim and I are astro-photographers. You won't hear that 'term' anywhere else.
Just because your bud uses Nikon, there may be some hope for him yet. Tell him to join us and see the light.
01-14-2014 05:32 PM
I did not make up "Loony 11" - I swear. You can look it up (though it is more obscure than the "Sunny 16" rule). ;-)
BTW... if you look very closely at the upper right edge of your moon you'll notice it has a slight blue fringe. If you look down at the lower left, you'll notice a very slight red fringe.
This is not a camera defect nor even a lens defect. This is atmosphereic dispersion... the atmosphere itself is behaving like a "lens" and starting to bend the light based it's constituent wavelengths (blue bends more easily than red).
If you were to split the image into a "red", "green", and "blue" layer (using something like Photoshop) and then nudge the blue layer down and left, and nudge the red layer up and right (so that it all lines up nicely with the green layer) the image would actually become sharper. You would only nudge just enough to make the fringing disappear... a few pixels at most.
This is one of the things that Registax (free stacking software -- particularly good at dealing with planetary images or lunar images) handles.
You can actually by a device which corrects for this (Atmospheric Dispersion Corrector - or ADC) which has levers which allow you to determine how much correction you want.
01-14-2014 07:10 PM
Actually, Hallmark (where I worked for 40 years) was 100% Nikon until digital came out. Nikon fell so far behind it gave Canon a big foot hold on the whole digital arena. Especially in the professional field. Nikon has largely caught up and in a few places surpassed Canon. Nikon still lags behind in lenses, IMHO, as always. Canon still makes the fastest DSLR and they excell in auto-focus speed.
(Don't tell anybody but I keep a D3 around! )
01-14-2014 09:10 PM - edited 01-14-2014 09:12 PM
Ok, the moon shot, using the looney 11 rules. If I did it correctly? Wind is howling here tonight, hard to find a calm spot outside and my tripod is a cheap light weight one. I can't really tell a difference from last nights pic? This is unedited, except for the cropping.
And the deer where right on time. These two bucks were probably at 300 yards. Straight out from my back porch to my fence is 285, and they are across my cross fence and behind my neighbors back fenceline.
No editing on any of these except for the cropping factor. And yes, I did use my tripod and it wasn't as hard as I imagined.
He's probably at 80 - 90 yards here, but I had trouble getting a focus, I think, because of the two fences and poles? Plus, light was fading fast. Even to the naked eye, I could barely make him out by this time. I could see a deer, but not much else.
I took more after this one, but there were either too blurry or the white balance was horrible. I would imagine I was expected too much from the camera at that point? At least in my hands anyway.
I man at work is bringing me a REALLY BIG lens tomorrow. He has a 60D and used it for sports. I think he said it was a 600mm? He said I could borrow it for a while, so pictures to follow soon.
01-15-2014 09:54 AM
You are probably getting at the limit of what you have. I doubt you are going to get it much better unless you reduce the distance.
Almost anything that is in the 300 yard range is going to be a challenge and small.
Why did you set the ISO so low, ISO 400? Put it back up to 1600. That is two stops and your SS would have gone from 1/10 to 1/40. Not that, that is a good SS for what you are doing but every little advantage help.
Do you have just the center AF point selected? Turn off all the others.
If your friend has a real Canon 600mm lens and willing to let you use it, he is a "real" friend. But the big 600mm has a learning curve all of it's own. You will need a very good sturdy tripod. It is going to respond like a 960mm lens on your camera.
Most new to photography folks think a telephoto lens is made to take pictures of things that are far away. But in actually, they are designed to make the subject bigger. There is a difference. That usually involves getting closer. The snapshot, I posted of the deer and turkey was done with a 150mm lens but I was close. Maybe 40-50 feet. The Cardinal I sent you was taken with a 400mm lens but I was about 30 feet away.
You are getting there. Keep it up. Oh, BTW, the "looney rule" is just a rule not a law. So you may need to tweak it. This brings up the next best photographer trick, bracketing. Try several shots of the same subject with slightly different settings.
You camera even has a bracketing feature.
Hang in there. It is a rewarding hobby.
01-15-2014 10:32 AM - edited 01-15-2014 10:33 AM
I was experimenting with the ISO and went up to 1600, even higher, but they got really fuzzy and unuseable. I took a lot of pictures and was going up and down on the settings. I picked out the best pictures for posting. And I did use just the center focus point.
Great tips on the zoom, even my Nikon buddy raised his eyebrows and said he didn't know that.
The looney rule worked well I thought, and again, I was trying various settings and took a lot of pictures.
This moon shot was from my Nikon buddies D800 and 200mm lens.
01-15-2014 11:15 AM - edited 01-15-2014 11:23 AM
I like your shot. It's a bit bright -- but then I noticed you shot it at f/10 and not f/11 (so you're exposing +1/3rd stop and that would account for why it looks a little bright).
Did your friend shoot high ISO and use JPEG? I ask because it doesn't have the tonality that your image has -- your friends image almost looks "painted". This can happen at high ISOs when in-camera noise-reduction is being quite aggressive.
If you photograph the moon when it isn't full, you'll get some great shadow near the "terminator" line which separates the light and dark sides of the moon. ("terminator" is also sometimes called the "limb")
Here's an image I shot of the moon (it's been posted here before) -- just keep in mind this image was taken through a apochromatic telescope (very good optics). The scope is a Meade 80mm f/6 APO (focal length is 480mm), but I am also use a TeleVue 2x PowerMate (basically a very high quality 2x "barlow" or tele-extender). That brings this to 960mm f/12.
The camera used here is my Canon 60Da. The "a" suffix is Canon's "astrophotography" edition of the camera. The camera is much more sensitive to hydrogen alpha wavelengths -- which means that when photographing most deep space nebulae, it can take much shorter exposures and get more detail. This is done by replacing the normal IR filter that DSLRs have and replacing it with one that doesn't begin blocking the reds until it's beyond the Ha wavelength. Consequently, images shot with this camera typically look much "warmer" than images taken by a normal DSLR because the 60Da is MUCH more sensitive to reds. We then white-balance the image as desired.
You can find a larger version of this image here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thevirtualtim/9766599955/
When shooting a "full" moon, I like to try to shoot it 1 day *before* the "full" moon. The moon rises roughly an hour later each day (I'm generously rounding). On the day of the full moon, the moon rises at sunset and once the moon is up enough to be above trees and buildings, the background sky is black. If you go out 1 day earlier, the moon rises about 1 hour *before* the sun actually sets. When the moon has risen high enough to be above trees or buildings, the sky will not yet be black.. it'll be dusky blue. You can get some gorgeous landscape shots with foreground interest, a gorgeous "full" moon (even though it's really a day early) and a dusky blue sky.
If you use a very long lens you can create the illusion of a giant moon. This is because as you go farther away from your landscape (not looking through a lens), the landscape appears "smaller" because you are farther away - but frankly the moon does not appear smaller because you're already so far away that walking back to get the shot makes no difference at all in the apparent size of the moon. The effect is that the foreground landscape seems to shrink relative to the size of the moon which does not shrink. When you then use a long telephoto lens to make everything landscape look big again, the foreground landscape or cityscape looks "normal" but the moon looks huge.
01-15-2014 11:20 AM
Wow, I'll have to re-read ya'lls posts a couple of times to make sure I absorb it all. Great info and tips. I thought I had mine set at f11? Will do some more tonight on the deer and moon. I'll keep practicing on it.
Just got the REALLY BIG lens for the guy with the 60D. It's Sigma 170-500 mm,1:5-6.3