raising center column of tripod - ok?

Discussion in 'Beginner Questions' started by sanjay_chaudary, Jun 19, 2017.

  1. "Infinity is the proper focus setting."

    Many long lenses focus beyond the infinity markings - allows compensation for temperature induced expansion and contraction...
  2. Sitting on a small light stool as mentioned will always help prevent what is called astronomer's neck. Especially when objects are close to the zenith and the moon is often clearer of clouds at higher altitude settings than lower down. I still think you need look at the Manfrotto double leg models, not that costly. Solid is my aim and experience for the solar system even if it be aluminum and heavy or used and dirty but solid. You might even want to shoot the constellations some day, right?.. Get a head that locks solid and is easy to move in azimuth as well. I like the pan models and even the cinema model. With long arm to move the camera.
  3. The moon is bright, unless clouds or smog are obscuring it. Just shoot hand held. Start with ISO 800, 1/800-sec and f/8, take a test shot and adjust from there.

    I have an Arca-Swiss Z1/Induro combinations, with a raising center post. When I raise my center post, it increases the vertical angle, because it moves the lens away from the legs. The possible range of the A-S is unchanged.

    When shooting the moon, do focus. Infinity is not infinity these days, like in the old days, when it was marked on the lens and actually meant something.

    Anyway, try hand holding. The moon is easy-peasy.
    [​IMG]Moon With 5D MkIV (Explored) by David Stephens, on Flickr
    William Michael likes this.
  4. If you think about it for a moment you should be able to use the same exposure that you'd use for a sunny day right here on earth.
    There's no atmosphere, or clouds so its always sunny on the lit side.
    The sun is effectively the same distance from the moon & the Earth percentage wise.
    Its way, way brighter than the surrounding night sky, but that's not what you're photographing is it?
    The sunny sixteen rule should work fine!
  5. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    I start about where David does and chimp shamelessly. DSC_5584_112DSC_5584.JPG
  6. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Good logic -

    However, over the years, many 'Moon Photographers' choose to over expose the shot, to provide a 'better' rendering of the Moon's Surface.

    Typically - Rule of Thumb for Moon Shots is the "F/11 Rule" (i.e. F/11 @ 1/ISO seconds @ ISO).

    Effectively over exposing the (brightest part of the) moon's surface by 1 stop, providing an overall result of the (brighter parts of the) surface being a tad closer to white, than what they actually are.

    Remembering of course that NOT all shots of the moon will be a "Full Moon". And of course also remembering that the F/16 Rule is for "Front Sun Lit Subjects" and the F/16 Rule needs to be modified for Side Lit; Top Lit and Back Lit Subjects.

    And also remembering that the "correct exposure" for any shot can be predicated on the "correct exposure" for ONE PORTION of that scene.


    Taking David's shot as an example - and noting that:
    1. the EXIF reveals:ƒ/8.0 @ 1/800 @ ISO 800 Exposure Bias - 0 EV
    2. the moon is mostly in shadow (if you will, the moon David's shot is a "Side Lit Subject")
    3. there is probably 1~1.5 Stops worth of Post Production recovery of Image Detail for 'over' exposure at the extreme right of the histogram in a 5DMkIV.

    Then, it is logical to assume that F/8 @ 1/800s @ ISO800 (being 2 Stops OVER from the F/16 rule) is a very useful exposure for that particular shot moreover, to generally render the Moon's Surface a bit brighter, whiter and crisper, it makes sense to generally over expose the shot, from the "F/16 Rule".

    Note also that the history of the F/11 Rule for Moon Shots stems from Film Days, where the over exposure latitude is typically and generally greater than for Digital Capture.

  7. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Nice shot.

    I think it is relevant to mention to the OP, that your Hand Held shot was made with an Image Stabilized Lens.

  8. I'm going to swim against the tide here.

    There is a widespread view that one should never raise the center column of a tripod--and better yet, that one should buy a tripod without one. I think that is greatly overstated.In my experience, it often creates no problem.

    I use an Oben carbon-fiber tripod with a center column. The center column is well damped. When it isn't windy, I use the center column often, even for night photography photos with exposures measured in minutes. I rarely have a problem with vibration. Windy conditions, of course, are a whole different matter.And when it is windy enough, the tripod will vibrate (less) even with the column not extended, but hanging a weight helps.

    I also use the center column routinely in doing studio-based macro work. I use a geared head to get fine control of angle and a rail to get fine control of distance to the subject. The only way to get reasonably good control over vertical placement is with a column. I do these shots with fairly low continuous lighting, so exposures are typically around 1 second. Moreover, I focus-stack these images, so slight motion can ruin the stack, even if most of the images are clear. Just slight movement on the floor, which is wood, is enough to ruin the stack, and I use both a remote release and mirror lockup to lessen movement. In these circumstances, the column has never been a problem.

    On the other hand, I have never used the tripod or heads that you have. So, my suggestion is that some time when you aren't concerned about getting the perfect shot, take some images with and without the column, blow them up on the screen, and see whether you have a problem.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
  9. I have got decent photos of the moon by leaning against the side of my house. But if I were doing a lot of this kind of shooting, it would be my goal to do it comfortably. Waiting for clouds to disslpate. So a stool is the trick. Or go to a an astronomical club that has a clear sky location with no sodium lighjts. For stability. I like a little overkill, I bought a used Manfrotto double top leg model used. Rugged. This is the type. You can depend on solid and not too heavy to pack in a trunk. And if you get fancy, add a binocular hexagonal mount to get a side accomodation if I make myself clear.
    this is often called a parallelogram type mount....it is made for big binoculas but is adaptable easilty to a medium size camera. Again, sitting is the logical choice for craning to the zenith to catch the moon in its full glory....exposure is a no pain exercise. Mirrorless cameras and multiple shots do the trick. who cares what the f stop is you are stable with a good tripod and need not worry about extension wobble. I guess my point is made....come to my backyard and I will demo with a Funinon 7X50 Marine binocular with camera platform. Come in the water is fine....sit and enjoy. Get night adapted with red flashlight lens...what else? Read up on astro clubs in the neighborhood. The moon gets dull after a few months. Aloha. Another illustration of good viewing ideas not too pricey---http://www.telescope.com/Mounts-Tripods/Altazimuth-Mounts-Tripods/Orion-Paragon-Plus-Binocular-Mount-and-Tripod/c/2/sc/35/p/5379.uts
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2017
  10. So called super moon when its orbit is close. There is a sensual beauty when you have a bino mount that make the sky objects stand perfectly still for a second or too. And the bino mount can be nudged to follow the ecliptic....hotchacha.. Super moon Monday Night.jpg

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