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This week I went out to shoot the moon. To compensate for my lack of a long zoom lens I used my dads old SOLIGOR ZOOM&MACRO 60-300/f4-5.6 lens for Nikon and a 2x Danubia teleconverter also for Nikon and mounted it on my Canon 7D with a converter.

When I was out shooting, I wanted to focus the moon using the live view feature but I found that it was completely black (I made sure live view was really on). The picture I took then however turned out to be exposed pretty well.

Settings were:
S: 1/100
ISO: 100
Aperture: f/11 --> but hard to tell due to the converter

Canon Firmware: 2.0.6 --> should be the newest

So now I'm left wondering if there is a problem with my camera or if the situation I encountered is the aftermath of me using an old lens and converter for a different system.

I found this thread (http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/archive/index.php/t-247001.html) that discusses a similar problem also with manual lenses for the 60D and the 550D. Could I have the same issue with my 7D? Or is it even a known issue?

I did a couple of tests with the setup and noticed that generally the final images are brighter than what the live view shows. Is there a reasonable explanation for all of this e.g. the thread I've found? Or do I need to worry about my camera?

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If you've got Live View set to "exposure simulation" but the camera is unable to communicate with the lens you'll have issues. That is because "exposure simulation" needs to know 1) at what aperture the lens is currently set (when shooting stills in LV the lens remains wide open until the shutter button is pressed all of the way), 2) at what aperture the lens will be set when the photo is taken. Without any information from the lens the camera can not calculate exposure simulation properly because it doesn't know the difference between the aperture when metering and the aperture when taking the photo.

When shooting the moon it is also possible that you have Live View zoomed in at 5x or 10x magnification on a part of the field of view that does not include the moon. When set to properly expose the moon, it is not likely that any other celestial objects beyond a couple of the very bright planets (Venus and Jupiter) will be visible in LV.

One way to meter and focus with the non-EOS compatible lens would be to switch to video mode for metering. In Live View video mode exposure is based on the amount of light coming through the lens (because with EOS lenses the lens is already stopped down to the "shooting" aperture in LV video mode).

But when shooting the moon there's a much easier way: just use the "lunar 11" rule of thumb. It's similar to the "sunny 16" rule. If your shutter time is the reciprocal of your ISO setting, you should use f/11 to properly expose the illuminated parts of the moon. After all, it is in direct sunlight even though you aren't. Don't forget to add two f-stops to the Av setting on the lens to account for the 2X TC. For an aperture value of f/11 the lens would be set at f/5.6 when using a 2X TC and f/8 if using a 1.4X TC.

For the non-illuminated parts of the moon, please see: How can I capture earthshine?

  • That's what I expected. Would you suggest turning exposure simulation off and and focusing manually with live view magnification? – svvage May 12 '17 at 17:11
  • Well, since "exposure simulation" doesn't work at all without communication from the lens, turning it off would be the first step. – Michael C May 12 '17 at 17:16
  • Editing answer to include possible solutions. – Michael C May 12 '17 at 17:19
  • @ Michael Clark : Thanks for bringing that "lunar 11" r-o-t to my attention. Never in all my photography years heard of that one. – David Barry May 12 '17 at 21:12

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