Wolf Supermoon

The first day of the New Year features a full wolf supermoon, 1 when the Moon is closest to the earth so brighter and bigger. The Moon was lovely so I figured I’d try for a shot. the Independent tells you why it’s a Wolf moon.

The Moon disc itself is as bright as the beach on a summer’s day when you are taking a picture of it, because it’s in full sunlight, no clouds and about the same distance from the sun as the Earth. Should be a doddle – I got the Canon EF 100-400 lens that I cleaned up, put it on a monopod and aimed at the Moon. f/8 1/400 ISO200 go.

Turns out not to be as easy as that. I needed a tripod, switched off IS and even then not every shot was equally sharp, must find the remote cable for the Canon, maybe it’s mirror slap. Took the best, that’s the top picture. I then tried my Micro Four Thirds camera with a 100-300 lens – the MFT sensor is probably smaller than the APS-C sensor on my EOD450D so the 300 end is probably comparable with the 400 on the Canon

Panasonic DMC-G80 and 100-300 lens
DMC-G80 and 100-300 lens also f/8 1/400 ISO200

Looking 1:1 the Panasonic has the edge on sharpness, and the 100-400 is less sharp on the top right than on the left. So I probably didn’t line up that EF100-400 front element exactly right when I de-fungused it. So if I get back into long lens action maybe I should go for the 400 prime. You never have enough reach with birds, a 100-400 zoom is always on the 400 end.

The Panasonic is great for predictable objects but trying to track birds in flight with a MFT camera is an exercise in frustration – you have to look through the lens optically to track birds. Even with the Moon and everything set manual the Moon looked like it would be well overexposed on the electronic viewfinder – but the shot is great, it’s the Panny for Moon shots now.

NASA has a nice animation of the moon as seen from the Northern Hemisphere in 2018, in many decades of seeing it I had never noticed that the Moons disc as seen from Earth apparently rotates a little from side to side through the phases!

There’s not any real point in taking a pic of the Moon because NASA does the job so much better. Other than the reasons people take crummy photos of Stonehenge with their phones – the ownership thing.

Nasa’s Moon from today

Looks like I shouldn’t have pushed the contrast so much, but I like the look better that way. The Panny I pushed from a jpeg because the program I use doesn’t really like camera Raw from it, but the Canon I pushed from camera Raw, so some of the greyscale detail and better colour balance on the Canon is probably because of that.

  1. Astronomy now are picky beggars as the Moon is full at 2.24am so on the 2nd, but for mere mortals the evening of New Year’s day is good enough 

4 thoughts on “Wolf Supermoon”

  1. Nice moon picture. I tried something similar a few years ago with my camera attached to my 70mm refractor telescope. It was a bit of a swine to focus but it came out OK in the end.

    1. Wow – I find it quite painful to look at the moon using my 65mm birding spotting scope, it’s so bright, so I bottled on that plan. It was a warmup to trying the old trick of using a massive zoom to get the moon to look huge relative to a foreground object, and a scope would be the way to get a superzoom of 600mm or so. Perhaps using an EVF or sunglasses on an optical VF is the way!

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