In four minutes, I show you how to take a detailed photo of the moon. I use a Canon T2i but the principles will also apply to other Digital SLR cameras, providing you have manual controls.
In the video, I forgot to mention shutter speed. Here are some suggestions depending on what ISO and aperture you're using:
ISO100, ƒ11: 1/100.
ISO100, ƒ8: 1/200.
ISO100, ƒ5.6: 1/400.
ISO200, ƒ16: 1/100.
ISO200, ƒ11: 1/200.
ISO200, ƒ8: 1/400.
ISO200, ƒ5.6: 1/800.
ISO400, ƒ16: 1/200.
ISO400, ƒ11: 1/400.
ISO400, ƒ8: 1/800.
ISO400, ƒ5.6: 1/1600.
Here is the text:
So it's the middle of the night and I feel like taking a picture, but what can I take a photo of?
Ah, now there's a shining example of a photo that everyone wants to take... a picture of the moon.
But probably not with this point-and-shoot. Let's use a proper camera. Here's my T2i, and I've fitted my 'kit' telephoto lens and set it on a tripod.
Let's go and see what this can do. We'll choose auto (that's the green one) and take it outside and see what it's capable of.
OK, we'll turn it on, line it up with the moon, zoom in, and get some definition in the focus area, focus, and... Oh.
That didn't look very good, let's see what we got. Well, that was awful. It's true. As I make this in 2012, auto simply isn't going to work.
Because most of the screen is black, it's going to boost the brightness of the moon until you can't see its features because it's blown out.
Right, enough joking, now let's do it properly. The first thing is to set up a picture style with maximum sharpness. Menu button, two-spot camera page, right at the bottom.
User defined 1, press the DISP button to set the detail, sharpness, all the way up to 7.
Now we'll turn the dial to Manual. Select picture style, and choose user defined 1. Make sure your lens is set to have focus on Manual, and the Image Stabilisation off.
Turn the aperture to whatever f-stop you think is the sweet-spot for your lens, it's probably going to be somewhere between a stop away from wide open and F-11.
It also helps to use a remote control so that you don't have to touch the camera. This is an RC-6 infra-red remote control. I'll set the camera to receive infra-red signals, you don't need to do this if you use a wired one. You could also use the timer if you don't possess the remote.
Line the camera up so that the moon is in the centre of the screen, and use the maginfy button (a plus sign in a blue magnifying glass) to get the 5x digital zoom for manual focusing.
I'll be honest, doing a manual focus is hard, because it's very sensitive. Do your best, and take your shot. After all this setting up, it's well worth refocusing multiple times, and taking five or ten attempts or more. When you get back to the computer, sort the images by size. The one that has the largest JPEG will be the one that's in best focus because it contains the most detail. We can ignore that first one we took, that was a joke; the best one is the next largest right here.
To be honest, this isn't the best moon shot I've taken because it's a little hazy tonight, but as far as I can tell, these tips will get you the best shot your camera is capable of.