Moonrise hand held at 800mm with ZD 50-200mm + EC-20

Written by Gary on August 23rd, 2008

It’s getting past my bed time now, but I just noticed the moon rising about 10deg above horizon amongst thick clouds and being a keen astrophotographer, I just had to try my new toy on this target.

So here is my first quick shot, hand held rather carelessly at 800mm equivalent focal length reach with lens wide open at f/3.5 (ie. f/7 effective aperture with the 2x TC) and ISO 400 and shutter speed, wait for it… drum roll please….

yes, only 1/100th second – could I hand hold a 800mm shot at 1/100th at almost 1am and still get an OK shot?

here it is straight from camera but resized to 600 pixels wide to fit here:

ZD50-200mm moon shot

Wow, it has enough magnification to see the craters well, although with all that atmospheric interference near the horizon, we are unlikely to get much more detail until the moon rises higher in the sky.

Imagine getting a moon THAT size in the background of your landscapes – mind you your foreground subject would need to be a reasonable distance away to get anywhere near the depth of field to make out both subjects in the one frame, but hey, its impressive.

here is the crop without any PS or sharpening:

ZD50-200mm moon shot crop

Remember, the blurring is more due to atmosphere and clouds rather than lens or camera shake (well it could be a bit of camera shake seeing as I was tired and it is only 1/100th sec!).

I didn’t get a second chance to see if I could do better as heavy clouds obscured it within a minute.

That will have to wait for another day.


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