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  1. #11
    Lee L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dslater View Post
    Check out this link:
    http://jeff.medkeff.com/astro/lunar/obs_tech/albedo.htm
    As you can see from this link the 6% number is a bit mis-leading. Reading down you can find that various features have albedo's that vary from 8.6% to 30%. You could simply add 1 stop to the sunny-16 rule, but it might be more interesting to expose using the sunny-16 rule, and then use expanded development to bring up the highlights - the additional contrast might prove visually appealing.
    Thanks. I've read that before, but it is worthwhile reading for anyone that hasn't.

    As you've noted, there's not a lot of natural contrast, especially on a full moon, so boosting contrast makes for a more dramatic photo, although it can be overdone to the point of looking unnatural, especially when the dark features go too dark. Your suggestion for increased development is certainly worth trying. One other common technique is to use a high contrast film such as Tech Pan to enhance contrast for lunar photos. I did that myself about 20 years ago and got nice results.

    With regard to seeing, it also helps to wait until the moon is high overhead so that you're viewing through less atmosphere. For local predictions on seeing, atmospheric transparency, and clear skies that are very useful you can go to cleardarksky.com and look for a location near you. This is based on data from the Canadian weather service, so it's north America only.

    Lee

  2. #12

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    Hi Folks,

    I had planned to spend about approximately $250, although I can be a little flexible. It'd just take more time to set aside the money.

    Regarding telescopes, I've always wanted one. Back in the day, I asked my parents for one and got a really cheap (as in about $10) monocle that really wasn't good for anything. Doing a little research a number of years ago gave me the impression that "cheap" , with "cheap being under a grand, and "decent" don't go hand-in-hand with telescopes. Maybe that's changed a bit.

    Last year my daughter and I went to a viewing at a local university. I think that they had 8 to 12" reflectors. It was windy, though, and vibration was a real problem. Both of use were extremely underwhelmed. So that blurry little dot is Saturn? Um, if you say so. My conclusion was that if these quite expensive scopes gave such pedestrian results, allowing for the windy conditions, that star gazing with small telescopes was simply not worth it. I hope that I was wrong.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter De Smidt View Post
    Hi Folks,

    I had planned to spend about approximately $250, although I can be a little flexible. It'd just take more time to set aside the money.

    Regarding telescopes, I've always wanted one. Back in the day, I asked my parents for one and got a really cheap (as in about $10) monocle that really wasn't good for anything. Doing a little research a number of years ago gave me the impression that "cheap" , with "cheap being under a grand, and "decent" don't go hand-in-hand with telescopes. Maybe that's changed a bit.

    Last year my daughter and I went to a viewing at a local university. I think that they had 8 to 12" reflectors. It was windy, though, and vibration was a real problem. Both of use were extremely underwhelmed. So that blurry little dot is Saturn? Um, if you say so. My conclusion was that if these quite expensive scopes gave such pedestrian results, allowing for the windy conditions, that star gazing with small telescopes was simply not worth it. I hope that I was wrong.
    It really depends on what you're expecting. If you're expecting views like the astro-photos you see in magazines, then you're going to be disappointed. These are very long duration photos. If you were looking at Saturn on a decent night, then you should been able to see Saturn's disk and it's rings easily with an 8 to 12 inch telescope. However, windy nights are not good for
    planets and that most likely was the reason for the bad view.
    You should be able to get a decent 6 to 8" Newtonian telescope for well under $1000.00. Something like a Meade or an Orion.

  4. #14
    Ole
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    The moon is very simple: For each 100mm of focal length, the image of the moon on film is 1mm. So a 100mm lens gives a 1mm image, a 1000mm lens gives a 10mm image. A 35mm film has 24x36mm frames, so a 2400mm lens is needed to fill the frame.

    The "Sunny 16" rule works fine, but we're used to seeing the moon as bright so open up one stop.

    On a low budget, you could get one of the 500mm or 1000mm mirror teles. I've got a 500mm f:8, effective f:10 - with a 2x converter it makes 1000mm f:16 effective f:20. That lets you expose at 1/30 second with ISO 100 film, which should be quite doable without too much blur.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  5. #15
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ole View Post
    The moon is very simple: For each 100mm of focal length, the image of the moon on film is 1mm. So a 100mm lens gives a 1mm image, a 1000mm lens gives a 10mm image. A 35mm film has 24x36mm frames, so a 2400mm lens is needed to fill the frame. . . .
    The orbit of the moon is slightly elliptical, so the moon at closest approach is over 1.1 times larger than at apogee. It's not much of a change, but can require careful framing and timing when using 2000mm telescopes.

  6. #16
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    Peter the mirror lens that Ole described is really quite good for pics of the moon. They are reasonably light and well balanced so you don't have to worry as much about camera shake so long as it's on a decent tripod. They are fairly cheap second hand or you might even be able to borrow or hire one.

    You are quite right, a cheap telescope is exactly that, and can be the cause of much frustration. A good pair of binnoculars is probably of more value.

    I think it is lovely that you are encouraging your daughter's insterest in space and the night sky. It is probably something you will always share.

    Sorry this is long winded, but I just wanted to add, that there is a terrific website where you can put in your latitude and long. and it will tell you when the Space Station and satellites are passing over your area. I'm sure your daughter would love to stand outside and watch for them with you.
    http://www.heavens-above.com/
    Carol

    "Out, damned spot! out, I say!" - Lady MacBeth

  7. #17
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    I think my best moon shot so far was with a 400 f/3.5 and a 2x tele converter on a digital (sorry, sorry!) with a 1.5x crop factor. So the whole rig gave effectively a 1200mm focal length. I aim for a 1/320 sec exposure if at all possible, that kind of speed is essential if you are going for a crisp, tight crop.

    I definitely agree that a telescope would be the easiest/least expensive way to go. As for exposure, theories abound, the best ones have a correction for the phase.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  8. #18
    Ole
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    Decent mirror teles are cheap even new - mine's an "Opteka" 500mm, less than $100...
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  9. #19
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    FWIW, I've got a Mead ETX 90mm scope that works pretty well for this type of shot especially if you use a 2x converter. You can probably find one used for a couple of hundred on Ebay. You would also have to get a scope adaptor but those are pretty cheap as well. You can also use them for some regular photography like birds and things.

    Not very fast as a lens but definitley serviceable without a great outlay of money. Certainly if you really get into it you could spend a WHOLE lot more (as with most stuff....) ;^D
    WJS/wi/usa

  10. #20
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    I hope you were not out last night trying to snap the moon. I woke up this morning and it was -15F. A tad chilly for photography.
    Jerold Harter MD

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