If you are new to astrophotography, you will probably find yourself asking “What size lens do I need for moon photography?”
After all, there is a lot of lunar activity going on at any given time, and the moon’s phase can greatly affect the quality of photos you take.
The ideal lens size for moon photography, is lens of focal length between 300mm and 800mm. An aperture of f/5.6 or f/8 will be perfect. Fujifilm X-T4 or any high-end DSLR like the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM will get the job done, since the moon is bright and doesn’t require an expensive telephoto lens.
Moon photography (an Overview)
One thing that many amateur photographers tend to forget is that the moon itself has a large effect on the quality of photos you take. Since you won’t be on the ground during all of this, you can’t exactly put a number on what size lens you need.
But there are some general rules you should follow to get the best results:
Set your camera to automatic mode
First, you should always take photographs with your camera set to automatic, which is the best mode for moon shots. Even if you don’t have a digital SLR yet (and you should, because they tend to be much less expensive than SLRs), this mode is still the most recommended for moon imaging.
You should also use manual mode if the moon is far away from you or there is a lot of moonlight. The aperture you use will also have a large impact on your images.
When it comes to the lens that you use, you have several options. Smaller lenses tend to be more zoomed in, which makes them ideal for moon shots. You can also buy longer lenses, but these tend to give the images a fatter look.
The main problem with purchasing a larger lens for moon photos is that there will be a lot of distortion.
This distortion becomes very noticeable if you are trying to take close up or landscape images where objects are close to the camera.
Also, don’t automatically assume that bigger is better for moon photos. For most people, the largest lens is not necessarily better. If you are just starting out with moon photography, you will likely want to take several shorter photographs rather than trying to fill up a larger photo.
Think about how often you plan to photograph the moon and then decide which style works best for your photography. Many amateur photographers find that digital photography is a wonderful way to capture their favorite moon moments.
The key thing to remember when buying a camera for moon photography is that it doesn’t matter how big the lens is if you can’t get the shot you want.
There’s really no such thing as a perfect lens for moon photography. It all depends on the lighting, the subject, and the location. What size and lens will produce the image you are going for will depend upon many other factors.
It’s important that you understand the process for selecting the right camera for moon photography. Don’t be afraid to experiment.
Just because you don’t get that perfect shot on the first try, doesn’t mean you have to give up. Keep trying until you find the right camera for you.
Once you have the right equipment, you will soon be on your way to capturing those precious moon shots that will have you looking forward to your next session.
Best lens for moon photography
The Best Lens for Moon Photography, for me, is a telephoto lens. I like to take photos of sunsets because I get a lot of detail and tones without streaking.
If you’re interested in taking pictures of the night sky and trying to capture a landscape shot, I highly recommend that you use a telephoto lens. Here’s why:
A Moon Shot With a Telephoto Lenses
The best lenses for this type of photography is f/stop lenses. When you look through a viewfinder and aim the camera at the moon, you’re not able to see the full moon because it is hidden by the atmosphere.
ISO 200 is the minimum aperture that you’ll want to use so that you’ll have enough light to freeze the action in your image. The lower the ISO, the better the image quality will be when taking a photo of a full moon.
I usually use an aperture-priority mode on my camera. This allows me to slow down the shutter speed so that I can take the photo of a full moon with enough detail to stay focused and to have enough light to freeze the moon.
Most cameras have the auto focus option that helps with this, but they don’t always focus the image perfectly unless you manual focus them.
Aperture ensures that everything will be in focus no matter what. Use the aperture-priority mode and just point the camera at the moon and then manual focus it using the focus wheel until the image is focused exactly.
Shutter Speed and Focal Length
The final thing to consider when selecting a lens for this type of photography is the shutter speed and focal length. The shorter the shutter speed, the faster the movement of the subject and the less blur you’ll get. On the other hand, the longer the shutter speed, the longer the image will last.
The focal length refers to how far the moon is from your camera when in aperture priority mode. Obviously, the longer the focal length, the more room you’ll get and therefore, the better quality of the photos.
There are other lenses you can use besides the one above. For instance, you can purchase a telephoto lens or a macro lens if you want to capture more ground area with your subject.
However, if you are looking to capture the moon and the sky, then the wide angle is your best bet. It enables you to get a more expansive field of vision for your photo.
The key to taking great shots is getting a lens with great optical properties. Don’t forget to experiment and see what your favorite lens can do. Just remember to always keep the focal length as long as possible because moon phases do occur in different times of the year and different times of the day, even in the same region.
The aperture you select and other options such as a telephoto lens won’t matter if you don’t have the right lens for the job.
How to choose the right lens for moon photography
Moon photography is one of my favorite hobbies. The reason is because I love looking out into the distance on a dark, moonless night and capturing the beauty of the moon in my camera. This photography is best done with a long telephoto lens.
I always try to find a wide-angle lens that is cheap and is not too heavy so that it cramps my hands. Also, if I am using a ring flash I always prefer the smaller and lighter ring flash over a slow strobe.
Get to know the basics
How to choose the right lens for moon photography is just about knowing the basics of what is needed and what is desired from the shot. For instance, I like to take moon shots on a full moon.
So I always try to take a shot at dusk with the moon at it’s highest. This way I am sure the moon is bright enough so that my photo will be taken with sufficient lighting.
I find that if the moon is not too bright then I do not need to use a wider lens and can get away with a telephoto lens.
I like shooting landscape photos with a wide angle lens. It gives me a sense of being more in the picture and having a bigger canvas to play with.
Of course, when I am moon photography I prefer to take shots of mountains, but I like all types of landscape, even urban areas. I like to have a good wide angle so that I can see the whole horizon and am not limited by the size of the subject.
You should try to learn as much as you can about moon photography so that you know which settings and lenses to choose.
A good book that I would recommend is Light Pollution on the Moon. It is written by Albin Johnson, who has lots of moon photographs to display. He has done a lot of research and is really at home in the subject. I learned a lot from his book and am very confident that the information in it will help you too.
Moon photos are exciting, especially for landscape photographers. I really enjoyed taking the above photos. When I am preparing for a new photo shoot, I will go to a location that is known for moonlight. I will not be able to take photos without moonlight.
I think that it makes life more interesting. It gives you a different perspective.
If you are a beginner who wants to take landscape or any type of photo with a camera, moon light is a great way to get started.
Once you have mastered the ability to take with a digital camera, then you can move up to using DSLR.
Moon photography is an absolutely fun and exciting hobby. I hope that I helped you out in some way with my Moon Shots Tips for Landscape Photography.