Help with new D850 + moon shots

jeff5150jeff5150 Posts: 24Member
Hello folks,
I could use some help. I have a new D850, I also have a D750 and D500. I've taken a lot of moon shots with my D750, D500 and other older cameras and with multiple long tele & prime lenses. I'm also on a sturdy tripod with a cable release. With my D750 and D500, I can get a good crisp focus in live view. Settings f8, 1/500, ISO 320. However, when I use my D850 with same set up, I can't get a crisp focus which results in crappy blurry images. While the menus are slightly different, it appears to me to have all the same settings. I'm not having focus issues in other conditions (daytime). I'm not sure listing out all my settings will be worthwhile.
So...
1) Any D850 owners out there taking images of the moon...having similar issues or no issues? If you're in this boat and having success, maybe we can chat about settings.
2) Anyone else have any advice?
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Comments

  • AbhinavAbhinav Posts: 44Member
    Increase the ISO, and use faster shutter speed to compensate for the increase jump in megal pixels you have now .
  • jeff5150jeff5150 Posts: 24Member
    Still not looking good at 1/1000. I found a couple great examples on flickr with slower shutter speeds, exif data about the same as mine. https://flic.kr/p/Z1UTLB
    If I don't use live view, I can get a slightly better focused view, shot is still looking unfocused. If I'm in live view, it never looks close to being focused whether on manual or auto focus. Just looks overly blury like trying to take a shot with my phone.
  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,653Member
    Is this only for moon photos or everything else looks blurry on that body or body+lens?
  • jeff5150jeff5150 Posts: 24Member
    So far, just the moon shots. I just got the camera a week ago and haven't done a ton of various shots...But, I have done some macro work...nothing else at night time.
  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,653Member
    Maybe the moon is blurry after all? The D850 is now able to capture the blurriness of the moon like no camera has been able to before. jk.
    Test out that lens on another subject and compare it. If its still blurry try doing the AF fine tune then try it again on the moon.
  • jeff5150jeff5150 Posts: 24Member
    Understood, thanks. Yeah, the frustrating part for me is under the same conditions, my other camera perform great and looks like the settings are the same.
  • tc88tc88 Posts: 209Member
    What lens are you using? Did you try to change the lens and get the same issue? If you turn the focus manually from near to infinity and observe the live view, was the moon never in focus? These days, there is usually extra room on the lens' focus mechanism to focus "beyond infinity". So it's very rare for a camera to have such a large flange distance issue that can't be handled.

    (1) If your live view looks clear at some point when you turn the focus ring towards infinity and then blurry if you turn past that, then it's your technique, tripod, etc.

    (2) If on the live view in case (1), you feel it's clear, but not clear enough, then it's your lens.

    (3) If your live view keeps getting clearer when you turn the focus towards infinity, that is, it's the "clearest" at the furthest point you can turn, but still not clear enough, then it's a flange distance issue on the camera.
  • jeff5150jeff5150 Posts: 24Member
    Right on...I had those some thoughts in the moment and switched to manual. I've got experience at or near infinity. Using both a 300mm prime and 80-400...I tried manual and auto-focus. I could not get live view to focus at any position of the ring in manual. I also switched AF types and points. The lenses work just fine on my other cameras in the same conditions. Also, if just using the view finder, the focus looks ok given the size of the image in the view finder, I get focus lock, but, still a non-sharp image.
  • flipflip Posts: 64Member
    A word of caution> you may be experiencing the same symptoms as Lloyd Chambers at Diglloyd with a loaner D850 who points to possible sensor misalignment > this is why I am not generally an early adopter. Good luck and hopefully this is not symptomatic of a manufacturing issue and can be corrected with SW.
  • BetelgeuseBetelgeuse Posts: 18Member
    edited October 8
    "(3) If your live view keeps getting clearer when you turn the focus towards infinity, that is, it's the "clearest" at the furthest point you can turn, but still not clear enough, then it's a flange distance issue on the camera."

    ^
    This sounds like the most likely to me. If you can't get enough focus even going that little bit beyond infinity, then there must be a flange distance issue.

    If it wasn't for this above fact, then I would suggest shooting using MUP. That's the only thing I haven't seen come up in this discussion. I only mention it now because when shooting the moon MUP is a good idea to prevent vibration blur being introduced into your shots.

    For moon shots, I use MUP, remote, and a heavily weighted tripod. The slightest breeze can get that long lens a jiggling too, at least for me because I need a heavier tripod and head unit.
    Post edited by Betelgeuse on
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 5,351Moderator
    If it weren't for you saying that you have seen sharper shots using the same settings, I would have said (after reading a post about diffraction) it could be diffraction caused by f8 and 46mp. @Westendfoto may be able to help out here.
    Always learning.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 2,355Member
    I have been reading this post with great interest and am looking forward to seeing how it is resolved. But I find myself at a loss to add anything of value. I would test two hypotheses. One is that there is an issue with the camera. The other is whether there is an issue with the support.
  • BVSBVS Posts: 273Member
    What happens if you enable focus peaking and manually focus? Does the moon ever get highlighted?

    If it weren't for you saying that you have seen sharper shots using the same settings, I would have said (after reading a post about diffraction) it could be diffraction caused by f8 and 46mp. @Westendfoto may be able to help out here.

    Wouldn't his D500 show similar diffraction in that case?

    D7100, 85 1.8G, 50 1.8G, 35 1.8G DX, Tokina 12-28 F4, 18-140, 55-200 VR DX
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 2,355Member
    BVS said:

    What happens if you enable focus peaking and manually focus? Does the moon ever get highlighted?


    If it weren't for you saying that you have seen sharper shots using the same settings, I would have said (after reading a post about diffraction) it could be diffraction caused by f8 and 46mp. @Westendfoto may be able to help out here.

    Wouldn't his D500 show similar diffraction in that case?

    Yes, I believe it would. Should be nearly identical as the pixel density is nearly identical.
  • PurdydPurdyd Posts: 8Member
    edited October 9
    The best way to focus is manually and use a star. A star should be a pin point.

    So use live view or a laptop with a live view. Programs like backyard Nikon for instance will give you a focus assistant for a star.

    Then go and take your moon picture.

    Also, atmosphere and conditions make a big difference. Present state of the art in planetary and solar/moon imagery centers around capturing thousands of frames and using a program to sort out the 'lucky' images where you see through the crud.

    Even then, depending on the day, you can have good or bad viewing.
    Post edited by Purdyd on
  • vtc2002vtc2002 Posts: 318Member
    Perhaps I am missing something but diffraction does not cause the level of image degradation that @Jeff5150 has described in his post, especially at f8 or f11 for most if not all lenses. Diffraction results in a image that looks soft, less sharp or blurry but you can tell that the image is in focus. Having examples of other Moon shots using the same values as Jeff5150 that are sharp and in focus to me indicates that this is not a diffraction issue as well.
    I have tried to recreate the issue described and can not replicate it with a variety of lenses and several different D850 cameras. I also tried a variety of camera settings, longer exposure time, higher ISO, etc. and could create some images that were slightly softer but nothing that resembled a crappy photo.
    The fact that Jeff5150 can never achieve a in focus image in Live View to me indicates a issue with the camera flange alignment that @flip suggested or the focusing mechanism in Live View needs calibrating. I would contact Nikon and describe the issue and push to have the camera sent in for adjustment/repair.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 2,355Member
    I don't think it is diffraction either.
  • AbhinavAbhinav Posts: 44Member
    Can you post pictures ?
  • vtc2002vtc2002 Posts: 318Member
    I am in route to Alaska. I have a brief layover in Anchorage and will try to post several. The major issue that Jeff5150 posted was not being able to get a clear focus in Live View. I am able to get a clear focus in Live View and photos are in focus as well.
  • vtc2002vtc2002 Posts: 318Member
    @WestEndFoto I didn't take your post as proposing diffraction as the issue. Your post has a lot of good information. Thanks for sharing.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 2,355Member
    No worries. And thank you.
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