Waxing Crescent Moon

Last night was a clear night so I thought I would put the D800e to the test by photographing the waxing crescent moon. I should have been out a 1/2 hour earlier to keep some of the dusk sky colour, but such is family life.

Settings: Nikkor 300mm ƒ4 AF-S IF-ED; ƒ5.6 @ 1/60; ISO200; no filter; on a sturdy tripod & head & MLU; NEF 14-bit raw capture. Each image is cropped to 100% (1 pixel on the jpeg = 1 pixel on the sensor). I tried a few different exposures to get just the right balance of shutter speed without losing highlights. You see, since Earth is spinning, a fast enough shutter speed is needed to stop any motion. when I opened the photos in Lightroom, I noticed that ƒ5.6 is slightly sharper and has no chromatic aberration compared to ƒ4.

For comparison sake, I have included what I have called “Normal” processing to enhance this specific image to my liking as well as the original Unmanipulated raw file.  Frankly, I am amazed at the detail and sharpness of even the unmanipulated raw file at 100%. Also, there appears to be some significant Highlight “headroom” compared to Nikon’s blinking highlights as the right edge of the moon was blinking on the LCD preview. I’m aware of the inaccuracies of the Preview image on the LCD, but was surprised by how much is actually there “behind” the blinking highlights. When imported into LR, there were no clipped highlights – a function of LR’s reading of the image file.

Here are the photographs. to see them at full resolution, try right-clicking on a photo and selecting “Open in new Tab”.

– Enjoy!

Processed in LR
Unmanipulated direct from raw file

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