I’m frequently on the look out for tips and tricks for astrophotography, although my ambitions are a bit basic to start with — smartphone use at the telescope eyepiece for now, maybe graduating to DSLR and webcam stuff later. And some of the easiest of the early photos are for moon shots. So of course I clicked when I saw an article on HowToGeeek.com entitled How to Take Good Photos of the Moon (by Harry Guinness, September 13th, 2017).
He breaks the challenge down pretty succinctly: the brightness and the distance. On the technical side, he recommends a tripod (duh), plus a 200mm lens for full-frame and 130mm on a crop-sensor. The tip, and why I thought the article was useful, came with a rule I’ve never heard of — Looney 11.
Astrophotographers have a rule for taking photos of the moon (it’s more of a guideline really) called Looney 11. The idea is that if you set your aperture to f/11, the correct shutter speed will be the reciprocal of the ISO. In other words, if your aperture is set to f/11 and your ISO is set to 100, your shutter speed will be 1/100; if your ISO is 400, the shutter speed is 1/400.
While he doesn’t think it’s a hard and fast rule, it seems like a good starting point — f/11, ISO 100, shutter speed of 1/100. Apparently if I then open my aperture by a stop, I can adjust the shutter speed by a stop too. He also suggests checking out a website called iAstrophotography which I hadn’t seen before. Not quite the technical detail I was looking for, but a good starting point.
Worth sharing anyway…