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what setting would I use to shoot the full moon tonight against the ocean on the pier?

Lisa Dellano , Jun 23, 2005; 11:26 p.m.

Hi, I have a Nikon D70 digital camera with the short lens and the long 300 lens I am having trouble finding the right settings I want to shoot the full moon tonight on the pier with the moon reflecting off the ocean any suggestions? I have tried with no luck so far and I am going out tonight before the full moon is gone this month. I also copied the camera setting sheet that was suggested on the forum and will try that also but it is for regular cameras does that matter? Thank you, Leza


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Jay Ott , Jun 23, 2005; 11:43 p.m.

ISO at 200. Shutter speed 1/250th @ f/11 or 1/500th @ f/8 as a starting point.

Ilkka Nissila , Jun 23, 2005; 11:58 p.m.

Sunny 16, Lunar 11 (like Apollo 11, easy to remember). :-)

Ilkka Nissila , Jun 24, 2005; 12:01 a.m.

The ISO speed is standardized for film, which means that manufacturers use a standardized procedure for measuring the speed of the film; however, there is no "ISO speed" standard for digital, but you should get good results using those exposures you would use for slide film of equivalent ISO.

Jean-Baptiste Queru , Jun 24, 2005; 01:27 a.m.

The moon is a sunlit dark gray object. Therefore if you shoot Sunny/16 (approx 1/100s or 1/125s @ f/16 & ISO 100, i.e. 1/400 or 1/500s @ f/11 @ ISO 200) you'll have it dark gray. You can open up 1 to 2 stops to make it look light gray, which is what your brain actually expects. 1/200 or 1/250s @ f/8 @ ISO 200 should do the trick.

Use your preview/histogram to be sure that this is the correct exposure.

Ilkka: there is an ISO standard for the speed of digital cameras (ISO 12232). The other standards are ISO 6 (B&W), ISO 2240 (color slides), ISO 5800 (color negs), ISO 7187 (instant), and quite a few more for papers, x-ray, micrography, etc... (notice that there isn't a unique standard for film).

Shun Cheung , Jun 24, 2005; 01:32 a.m.

You are using a DSLR and while your subject is not exactly still, it is not moving very fast relative to us. Just use the all manual M mode and take some trial shots and then adjust your exposure. As long as you don't blow out any highlights, you should be fine shooting RAW.

Lex Jenkins , Jun 24, 2005; 01:44 a.m.

Here's a very recent thread on exactly the same topic:


And for future reference, keep a copy of the tables from Fred Parker's Ultimate Exposure Computer in your camera bag:


Sayed Mahmood Alawi , Jun 24, 2005; 02:57 a.m.


Use spot metering (lowest spot value) at Iso 200. It will be fast f11 1/1000 or so as the moon is very bright. Tray under exposing by a few stops as well.

300mm is not very long for the moon, the black sky will dominate the meter reading and histogram which can be fool you. the moon will apear overexposed with not much detail.

My advise underexpose, tray higher f values and keep shooting its digital after all.

Brian Y , Jun 24, 2005; 03:09 a.m.

You may also consider shooting two exposures with different focal lengths and combining (if this fits your style). Unless you get the moon right as it's rising with the long lens, the moon isn't going to fill much of the frame if you're including the water (even at 300mm, you'll get a ~3mm moon image on a 24mm sensor = 1/8 of the frame). If you're using a wide angle, the moon will be but a speck. Additionally, you may need more exposure to show the pier and/or reflections; as noted above, the moon is very bright. To get a properly exposed night foreground while not blowing out the moon is virtually impossible.

Lisa Dellano , Jun 24, 2005; 04:18 a.m.

Hi, Lex I did see yours but didn't get a chance to read it before the moon was coming up, I did print out the paperwork from fred parker. I am just learning about all of the settings and the book that came with it really doesn't explain & tell you how to get to and use certain things very well like the bracketing and when the + & - signs show up how do you move it to the center? is their a book that explains everything step by step and where to find it and what buttons you have to push etc? none of my pictures turned out tonight try again tomorrow any help is much appreciated! Thanks Leza

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