I thought having an extension tube might be a good idea. The theory was that it would multiple my zooms by 2. So the 300mm zoom would become 600mm at a stroke. I trawled through second-hand website and came up with this:
So, I thought the moon might be a good target. Luna has always eluded me, in the sense that I’ve never really got a good picture of it. It’s very bright especially compared to the night sky. This makes metering a problem. I am not surprised to hear that many astronomers dislike the full moon because it drowns everything else out. But’s it’s a dramatic and craggy subject, full of contrasts that suit monochrome film. Having a clear night, I though I would try for the half moon.
This was the scene outside so I set the Canon up with the converter attached. I discovered a lot of zoom power but it costs a couple of stops in exposure and the autofocus becomes problematic. I had to rely on the tripod and my own eyes to focus correctly. The cable release came in handy as well.
And the end result was this:
Not too bad with a bit of help from Photoshop. There’s some good detail on the craters at the south pole but the image is a little soft. I’m still trying to capture that elusive great picture of the moon.
The brightest thing I could come up with is the night sky, if you see what I mean. Using a tripod and a cable release I fired the shutter and went to watch TV with a cup of tea. 30 minutes later I came back and closed the shutter. It’s worked quite well, no shake, hardly any cloud at all and I just about got the pole in the bottom right – I needed a smart phone app to help me line it up. The film is Ilford HP5+ and it went a little too grainy so I did a lot of correction in Photoshop. I need to start thinking about how film changes its properties over long exposures. Below is an alternative image where the sky isn’t so dark. Click on the image above to see some other bright things.