I've been giving myself homework assignments to try to improve my photography. Spurred on by tcoles recent thread about unsharp images, I tried some lunar photos. It's harder than I thought! Hats off to Adam and Phil and Ridgeback for their great shots on the PAD forum. Here are my notes.
Lens matters. I used a 70-300 VR1 on my D5000. Even at 300mm, the moon wasn't quite 500 pixels across. 500mm on DX would be nice. (Can't say what's due to low resolution, a soft lens, and poor technique though)
Exposure is critical. Spot metering really helps. Any exposure averaged out over the whole sky will blow out detail on the moon. I used exposure bracketing and -1 stop compensation.
The right aperture helps. I tried the range and had the best results with f/8.
I'm not sure about shutter speed. I used 1/320 as minimum, but that resulted in higher ISO settings. If I go out again, I'm going to try lower ISO and longer shutters.
Focus is tough. I tried manual focus but I was just guessing at it really. What I could see through the viewfinder (or live view) would put things close, but the moon was too small to figure out where dead on was. It was hard to make tiny adjustments without obviously jiggling the camera (on tripod, triggered by remote release). Autofocus ended up being more consistent.
Might be the time & place. I just went out on my front porch and shot over the street lights. A cold clear night in the country might be better.
This what I got. C+ at best.