I have been asked quite often on shooting the moon techniques, and that if I have used the tripod. When I said I shot the moon hand-held with no additional support, some were surprised and did not believe me. You see, if you have a non-cloudy sky, the moon is bright enough to shoot without the aid of a tripod. So I am making this super short video + article to explain how I do it, and hopefully can save me trouble in the future whenever this topic comes up, I will redirect those asking similar questions here!
What you need?
A telephoto lens is crucial. I’d say you need at least the Olympus 40-150mm PRO with MC-14 attached. It would be great if you have the 75-300mm lens, or the 300mm PRO lens, and bonus if you have MC-14 or MC-20 teleconverters attached on your 300mm PRO lens. The longer the reach, the better, and Olympus has power image stabilization to help with shooting hand-held using these long lenses on OM-D cameras.
Cropped image of the moon, E-M1 Mark II + 40-150mm PRO (with MC-14).
ISO200, F5.6, 1/80sec
The following list shows how to shoot the moon, in simple steps:
1) Shoot in Aperture Priority, set F number to F4-5.6
2) Set ISO to 200, for best dynamic range and overall image quality
3) Make sure your image stabilization is turned on.
4) Set the White Balance to “Shade” for more intense color of the moon.
5) Use Spot Metering, make sure the moon is within the spotting area (usually center of frame)
6) Slightly underexpose the moon to preserve the highlight, to reveal more crater details. I usually adjust down my exposure compensation to -1.0EV or more.
7) Take the shot!
Yes, it is that easy! If you have not shot the moon before, and you have the necessary equipment, why don’t you give it a try?
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