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exposing for the moon


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#1 Matt Fels

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 01:25 PM

Hey,

I'm completely new to this forum, so forgive any naivety.

I'm shooting my classmate's freshman film, he's purchased all Fuji stocks, Eterna 250D, Eterna 250T, Reala 500D. He just asked me how we would go about shooting the moon. I don't have a spot meter, and we can't get one. I'm sure there's no way an incident reading will help, so my question is: Is there a rule of thumb when trying to properly expose for the moon? Do you just open all the way up? It's a short shot and he doesn't mind bracketing it so maybe it won't be a problem at all. I'm thinking of shooting it at 2, 2.8., 4, and maybe 5.6.

Does anyone have any suggestions about which stock I maybe should use of the ones I mentioned, any comments are useful.

Thanks

- Matt
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#2 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 02:33 PM

The moon ITSELF is way brighter than 2.8 to 5.6. I recall spot reading a full moon, no clouds, about 1/4 of the way above the horizon, for 500 ASA, at f 16...once upon a time.

Consider that the moon is A LIGHT SOURCE, and shooting directly at any light source and exposing for it correctly will usually be a much higher f-stop.
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#3 Nick Mulder

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 03:03 PM

Its daytime on the moon ... and the surface is a kinda grey, not sure though how close to %18 reflectance but I'm guessing its higher

So: at least f16 if your exposure is the reciprocal of your film speed (ASA).

Assuming you are shooting 24fps with near on a 180deg shutter = 1/48 exposure
so shooting with a 50D stock like 7201 would be ideal - but work with what you have...

48x2x2 = 192 - close-ish to 250 ... so try a smidge over f32

Dont have f45 on your lens ? >> shoot faster for less time to account for it, reduce shutter angle or ND the cat

I shot the moon a week or so ago with some time-lapse a 150mm lens on 16mm. Still very small in frame, but you can see the craters'n wotnot - I went for f8 (just a guess at the time) and over exposed it by pretty much the factors outlined above :rolleyes:

Edited by Nick Mulder, 05 April 2007 - 03:04 PM.

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#4 Christopher Wedding

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 03:11 PM

48x2x2 = 192 - close-ish to 250 ... so try a smidge over f32




What is this equation and what do the numbers represent? I'm assuming the 48 refers to 1/48th shutter. How about the rest? And how does that roughly equal f32?

Thanks for the tip.

Chris
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#5 Zamir Merali

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 03:26 PM

Hi
If you have a digital slr you could try just taking some test pictures with that until you get the right f-stop settings.
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#6 Nick Mulder

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 03:58 PM

What is this equation and what do the numbers represent? I'm assuming the 48 refers to 1/48th shutter. How about the rest? And how does that roughly equal f32?

I've just made a logical extension of the sunny16 rule ...

If its sunny outside then set your aperture at f16 and your exposure at the reciprocal of the speed of your film in ASA

So exposing for 1/100 of a second on 100ASA film with an aperture of f16 in sunny conditions should yield some semblance of a negative - its very basic ...

You aren't beholden to these values though, and cine film in most occasions locks the physical exposure as a given (I'm talking timewise ie. the shutter speed) - So you only have aperture to play with in the traditional sense, but you should have lighting and ND filters on hand if your production is anything more than a gosh/jee wizz/first time/camera just arrived from eBay test ...

"48x2x2 = 192 - close-ish to 250 ... so try a smidge over f32"

The mafamactactics are as follows:

48ASA was the original speed film that would give close to aceness results - I am attempting to find out how far off 250ASA film is off from this - everything works in halves and doubles (1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 1, 2, 4, 8 etc...) and I mean everything, notice how you only butter one side of your bread ? ie. Half of it ? no coincidence... so I double it as many times as it takes until it goes over 250 - I had to double it twice (4x) which is two stops and bit left over - f16 was correct for 50ASA (and/or 48) - 250ASA is faster so I need to close the aperture by two and a bit stops f16 - f22 - f32 'and a bit'

yeehaw! Granny Clampett!

There is a proper way of figuring out the 'and a bit' but I tend not to bother with what I am shooting, however, if I were being paid I would figure it out exactly - as a rule always err on the side of everexposure (tending towards blown out spots) for neg and you'll be better off than under (which is tending towards leaving the camera in the flight case)

Close enough for rock and roll.
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#7 Michael Nash

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 04:11 PM

This is one of those questions that pops up about every two years (along with shooting the sun). I'm always surprised that everyone seems to overlook the obvious: once you're in a ballpark stop range, shoot bracketed exposures. It's an insert! It's not like you're ever going to have a "proper" exposure of the moon and any other subjects in frame anyway...
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#8 Nick Mulder

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 04:30 PM

On a budget bracketing 1 stop either way takes up three times as much film - yeh, I know 3x as much film but at least getting an exposure is better than shooting 1x as much film and getting nothing...

But for some projects - student whatever it might pay to at least ask what that initial middle stop 'ball park figure' might be.

You'll notice in the original thread post "I'm thinking of shooting it at 2, 2.8., 4, and maybe 5.6." there's your bracketing...

Unfortunately it would all be blown out if my own experience and logic is correct...

4x as much film with nothing to show for it but a bright meniscus floating in a void ...
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#9 K Borowski

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 12:14 PM

It could probably be determined mathematically based on the moon's relative distance to the sun and the brightness of the sun. It'd probably be at least 6 stops dimmer.
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#10 Nick Mulder

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 01:35 PM

Its relatively the same distance away from the sun as the earth.

...so you just need to know its reflectance, ie. how close is it to a %18 grey card ? and work from there ...

From experience I think it reflects a little more - I know this, because my exposures were a tad over ...


why dont we just go there and hold up a damn light meter! oh yeh, we did that already - with fancy-pants 65mm hasselblads

maybe cinematography.com could send a audit crew ?
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#11 Michael Nash

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 01:59 PM

http://www.cinematog...ng_The_Moon.htm
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#12 Nick Mulder

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 02:17 PM

Sometimes I feel invisible here ...

OK, so I'm invisible in all wavelengths ...

How do I expose myself in a mirror with another mirror behind it and another one behind me ? does the light bunch up to infinity if I get the angle right ? if I place %18 grey card in place of the aperture inside my lens will that give a correct exposure ? will red-shift be an issue with long exposures ? what brand tripod is best for this kind of shoot ?
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#13 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 03:21 PM

Hey,

I'm completely new to this forum, so forgive any naivety.

I'm shooting my classmate's freshman film, he's purchased all Fuji stocks, Eterna 250D, Eterna 250T, Reala 500D. He just asked me how we would go about shooting the moon. I don't have a spot meter, and we can't get one. I'm sure there's no way an incident reading will help, so my question is: Is there a rule of thumb when trying to properly expose for the moon? Do you just open all the way up? It's a short shot and he doesn't mind bracketing it so maybe it won't be a problem at all. I'm thinking of shooting it at 2, 2.8., 4, and maybe 5.6.

Does anyone have any suggestions about which stock I maybe should use of the ones I mentioned, any comments are useful.

Thanks

- Matt



I just did this and saw it on the DSX at Mi in NYC on Monday, I shot Fuji 250D with a ND 2.0 (5 stops) and at a T8.0 looked great. Camera was my Aaton LTR54 with a Zeiss 12-120.

-Rob-
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#14 Travis Cline

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 03:44 PM

Use the sunny sixteen rule like others have suggested here, but take into consideration what you want the moon to look like. I did this not long ago and decided I wanted a gray moon as opposed to a white moon. If you want a gray moon follow the sunny sixteen rule exactly and you'll get a fairly gray scale type moon. If you wanted it closer to white, over expose a couple of stops. Also, you didn't ask this, but I thought I'd add it, if you want a CU of the moon your lens cannot be too long. I shot the moon with a 1000mm lens and it was still not full frame.

Travis
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#15 Kevin Riley

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 05:11 PM

Hey,

I'm completely new to this forum, so forgive any naivety.

I'm shooting my classmate's freshman film, he's purchased all Fuji stocks, Eterna 250D, Eterna 250T, Reala 500D. He just asked me how we would go about shooting the moon. I don't have a spot meter, and we can't get one. I'm sure there's no way an incident reading will help, so my question is: Is there a rule of thumb when trying to properly expose for the moon? Do you just open all the way up? It's a short shot and he doesn't mind bracketing it so maybe it won't be a problem at all. I'm thinking of shooting it at 2, 2.8., 4, and maybe 5.6.

Does anyone have any suggestions about which stock I maybe should use of the ones I mentioned, any comments are useful.

Thanks

- Matt


Lots of good advice on exposure here so I'll only add - lock of that tripod head nice and solid and protect the lens from cross wind. Frame slightly ahead of where you want the moon to be in frame (it moves faster than you think) and either use a remote on/off or give yourself plenty of waste footage after you have last touched the camera.
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