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Last Night's Moon
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 5:13 pm    Post subject: Last Night's Moon Reply with quote

Canon XS (1000D), Century Precision Optics Tele-Athenar II T-mount 500mm f/5.6 @ f/11, 1/125, ISO 100:



Last edited by cooltouch on Thu Nov 25, 2010 3:02 am; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Really impressive with great detail.


PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fantastic, miles better than any of my attempts so far Smile Good work!


PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Michael,

great shot. perfect.

I tried it several times but never got such a super image. may be that our area the air is too bad.

Congrats !


PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, guys. We've had exceptionally clear skies the past few days. Unlimited visibility. I went to an air show this past Sunday and got some great pix there too because the air was so clear.


PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I fully agree with Shrek--

Propably the best pic of the moon so far Smile

The clarity is AMAZING.

tf


PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

great detail in the photo
i like it

regards
Catalin


PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, great shot, with so much detail. Never succeeded like you, I have to try it again Confused


PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, great shot, with so much detail. Never succeeded like you, I have to try it again Confused


PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

excellent Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy


PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

+1 Awesome

patrickh


PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, awesome.


PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But wait -- there's more!

Since that first photo came out so well, I've become interested in photographing the moon on a nightly basis as it moves through its phases. Skies here remain crystal clear, so I intend to take advantage of this and continue with this series as long as weather permits.

The night before last, I didn't get out to take photos until it was already late -- and then my camera's battery died. So, I just called it quits and went to bed. Last night I got set up a little earlier, and had a fresh battery.

In the past I've taken acceptable photos of the moon using this same lens and a teleconverter, and it was my conclusion that the TC caused a small but noticeable amount of degradation. Given my recent success with this lens (because I was using Live View, whereas before I wasn't), I decided I'd try the TC again. Following are some more moon shots and comparisons.

Canon XS, Century Precision Optics Tele Athenar II 500mm f/5.6 @ f/11, 1/125 second, ISO 100:


An effective 1000mm with a Vivitar macro-focusing 2x, f/11 @ 1/30 second.


Here I've cropped each of the above image so they're of equal size. The one on the left is from the image taken with the lens without TC, and is a 100% crop, while the one on the right is from the image taken with the TC, and is a 50% crop.


And finally here are 100% crops of each image. The one without the TC is first, and the one with TC is second.




Comments based on my observations:

The Vivitar TC causes a slight but noticeable loss of contrast, but very little actual loss of sharpness. This is partially made up by the fact that the image is twice as large, thus can be printed at twice the size of the image without the TC.

I did not convert the images to gray scale. The difference in color between the two occurred as I was adjusting the contrast on the 2x image. You'll note a small amount of green color fringing in the 2x photo. This green color fringing is also visible in the straight photo, but is almost undetectable.

I did do some post processing, but it was limited to contrast adjustment only. I've found that, when photos are close to being critically sharp, that further sharpness enhancements mostly just add artifacts and noise.


PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The green fringing is caused by the cheese mines Laughing

Very nice indeed. I tried on my 300D with an Orestegor 500 years ago, was fairly disappointed and forgot about it. Of course, the big new sensors should do much better. Hmm.


PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sure sensor size helps, but for me the big difference was being able to use Live View with its 10x magnification feature. It allows me to make micro adjustments to the focus, where otherwise I wouldn't have been able to even tell the difference without it.


PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cooltouch wrote:
I'm sure sensor size helps, but for me the big difference was being able to use Live View with its 10x magnification feature. It allows me to make micro adjustments to the focus, where otherwise I wouldn't have been able to even tell the difference without it.


Wow.
I didn't think of Liveview for that kind of shots.
I'll try next time !

Here is what I got a few days ago with a Soligor 6.3/400 at Iso 800.
But I'm sure that, even with LiveView, I wouldn't have achieved what you did.




and this is what I shot with the EF 70-200 F4 L IS at 200mm :


cropped :



Shooting the moon is not easy !
Smile


PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 4:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nope, it's not easy. Actually, Olivier, I think that both your shots came out as well as could be expected. The shot with your Soligor -- it looks like you were having to deal with a fair amount of atmospheric haze, which will always degrade a moon shot. And the shot with the 200 was as good as one can expect, considering the focal length. At least your exposures were in the ball park.

I've found over the years that pretty much the shortest focal length for a good moon photo is 300mm. At 300mm, a reasonably sized crop is still possible, as long as not-too-big enlargements will be made. If you try for 1000mm or higher, as I did with my 500mm with 2x, the magnification is such that you can watch the moon scrolling across the Live View screen. But because of the 2x, I was shooting at 1/30 at ISO 100. Any slower and I would have had movement-induced blur.

Since the weather is still holding, I'll be heading outside in a little while to take some more picks. I also own a Century 650mm f/6.8 that doesn't get used much, and I'm gonna try taking some pics with it, both with and without teleconverter. It'll be interesting to compare results with the Century 500mm.


PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cooltouch wrote:
Nope, it's not easy. Actually, Olivier, I think that both your shots came out as well as could be expected. The shot with your Soligor -- it looks like you were having to deal with a fair amount of atmospheric haze, which will always degrade a moon shot. And the shot with the 200 was as good as one can expect, considering the focal length. At least your exposures were in the ball park.

I've found over the years that pretty much the shortest focal length for a good moon photo is 300mm. At 300mm, a reasonably sized crop is still possible, as long as not-too-big enlargements will be made. If you try for 1000mm or higher, as I did with my 500mm with 2x, the magnification is such that you can watch the moon scrolling across the Live View screen. But because of the 2x, I was shooting at 1/30 at ISO 100. Any slower and I would have had movement-induced blur.

Since the weather is still holding, I'll be heading outside in a little while to take some more picks. I also own a Century 650mm f/6.8 that doesn't get used much, and I'm gonna try taking some pics with it, both with and without teleconverter. It'll be interesting to compare results with the Century 500mm.


Thank you Michael for your comments and explanations.

Next time, I'll try with my "over 300mm" guns, and with TCs
I'm wondering what could be the result of a kenko x1.4 + russian M42 TC x2 + MF optics such as 200mm, 300mm or 400mm.

Oh, Michael, I was just wondering what means the expression "At least your exposures were in the ball park".

Thanks, and awaiting your comparison between your 650mm and the 500.


PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I reckon that stacking TCs on the lens is likely to lose as much quality as you gain in magnification. It doesn't look to me as if Michael's TC version earlier in the thread actually reveals more detail than the version without the teleconverter.

Everything is worth trying, though.


PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2009 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Olivier wrote:

Oh, Michael, I was just wondering what means the expression "At least your exposures were in the ball park".

Thanks, and awaiting your comparison between your 650mm and the 500.


"In the ball park" is a rather common American colloquialism, meaning 'within range' or 'approximately correct'.

Unfortunately, I didn't get to take any photos with the 650mm last night. It got late, and I had to get up early today for an out-of-town trip. Got back late, and I'm tired, so no 650 shots tonight either. Hopefully tomorrow if the weather holds.


PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2009 6:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PaulC wrote:
I reckon that stacking TCs on the lens is likely to lose as much quality as you gain in magnification. It doesn't look to me as if Michael's TC version earlier in the thread actually reveals more detail than the version without the teleconverter.

Everything is worth trying, though.


Paul, your observations are correct. In fact, I think the shot without the TC actually reveals very slightly more detail and better contrast. However, the advantage to the shot with the TC is that I can make a bigger enlargement, if I choose, before pixellation occurs.

As for stacking teleconverters, sometimes it can be fun. Once, I stacked a Vivitar 2x macro, a Tamron SP 2x, and a Tamron SP 1.4x on the rear of a Tamron SP 300mm f/2.8 LD. Just to see what would happen. The resulting lens was a 1680mm f/11 -- wide open. I took a few sample photos with this monster contraption, and was actually surprised that they came out as well as they did. Of course, I was mounting three very good TCs to an outstanding lens, which sure didn't hurt matters.


PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2009 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cooltouch wrote:
the advantage to the shot with the TC is that I can make a bigger enlargement, if I choose, before pixellation occurs.


That's a thought. But you could upsize a TIFF an awful lot in photoshop. I suppose at the extremes the larger original probably would hold together better. It would be interesting to compare.


PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2009 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PaulC wrote:
cooltouch wrote:
the advantage to the shot with the TC is that I can make a bigger enlargement, if I choose, before pixellation occurs.


That's a thought. But you could upsize a TIFF an awful lot in photoshop. I suppose at the extremes the larger original probably would hold together better. It would be interesting to compare.


That's also a thought. I've wondered about upsizing before, and how well it would work. Easy enough comparison for me to do, actually. At the extreme, all I would have to do is upsize the one taken without TC by 100% and see if it holds detail over the one with TC.


PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice moon shots, I tried this with a 400mm Optimax. I now have a telescope, i will give it a try some time in the future.


PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, be sure to post some shots when you do!

I was planning to take some more moon shots this week, but I forgot about the time factor -- the moon rises progressively later and later each night. Tonight, I'd probably have to wait until 4am or so before it gets high enough for me to get a shot of it (intervening trees and rooftops prevent shots close to the horizon). Hey, I'm lazy. I don't feel like dragging my stuff out to my car, and then go on a road trip just to find a good vantage point during the wee morning hours. That's one of the drawbacks of living in Houston. It's flat, flat, flat!