Shooting the moon... : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I was playiong around with my 35mm gear during the recent full moon and got close to a full-frame shot of it. It was a canon eos 600mm f4 with the 2x extender added. The 1200mm was still a little short and about a 1600mm to 2000mm would've worked best. Anyway, lets say I get the bug to shoot it in 4x5 next time I look up and see a full moon. I can't imagine the size of the lens or a telescope adaptor that would allow me to do so. I know that macro is just a matter of bellows extention, but what would be my procedure for a full-frame 4x5 moon shot? Since I'm just playing around with this and having fun shooting different things, I would like to hear if there is a best quality way AND a cutting corners cheap way to get it done...

-- Jason Janik (, July 06, 2001



All you need is a 6000mm lens. Contact Yerkes or Mt. Wilson Observatories for rental terms.

-- Glenn C. Kroeger (, July 06, 2001.

I heard once that the formula is something like each 100mm of focal length = about 1mm of moon on film; thus a 1200mm lens would give you a moon that is 1.2cm in diameter (does this match your results?). Thus to fill the frame of a 90mm-wide sheet of 4x5 film you'd need a lens with a focal length approaching 9000mm. Maybe it's time to call Edmund Scientific....

Then again, I don't see any reason to stop at 4x5 when there are 8x10 frontiers to conquer! Any of the ultra-large-format guys want to jump in? Just picture the 20x24's you could make....

.... .... .... ....

-- John (, July 06, 2001.

Hi Jason, Out where I work we've got a 117 inch (2972MM) lens on a tracking telescope. It makes roughly a 30MM wide image of the moon. About the size of a quarter. So 10,000MM ought to do it. I don't think anybody's been close enough to the moon to stretch out the bellows and do a macro shot lately. 600mm with a doubler on 35mm is a pretty good rig. Keep having fun. Jim

-- Jim Galli (, July 06, 2001.

Yeah, in reference to the last post, I wasn't planning to do a macro shot on the moon, simply suggesting that I knew a bellows extension wouldn't work since I wasn't doing macro work. It seems like it won't be an easy task to do. Maybe I'll find something else to play with or go back and use the nice 35mm gear at the paper again with a very slow and fine grained film to get as good detail as possible and be happy with that...

-- Jason Janik (, July 06, 2001.

4x5 lens equivalent of a 35mm lens? I use the 3x formula. Take the 35mm focal length and multiply it by 3 to get a close equivalent for 4x5 work. Note I base this on the angle of coverage along the long side of both format.

-- Ellis Vener Photography (, July 06, 2001.

As I wrote Jason earlier this evening, I ran across an item for auction on eBay. It's for a 4x5 camera fitted for microscope photography, but the advertisement also says that it might be possible to modify it for attachment to a telescope.

Check it out if you desire.

The link is: 1620859756

Cheers - and keep me posted if you get into this sort of thing. I'm a bit interested in it myself, but I can't afford the proper equipment right now.


Alan Agardi

-- Alan Agardi (, July 27, 2001.

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