On 7 April we had this year’s second supermoon, a so-called Pink Moon. It’s a real treat for photographers, and Ilja Kagan managed to get some stunning shots. He used his crop sensor camera, a second-hand telephoto lens and two teleconverters, ending up with a whopping a 3600mm equivalent focal length. We chatted with Ilja a bit about his process and he kindly shared the images and some details with us.
To take the photos, Ilja used three cameras: a Sony a6400, a6500, and an a7sii. He bought a used Tamron 150-600mm from Amazon for this purpose and used Sigma MC11 and Commlite adapters. To get a larger equivalent focal length, Ilja used Kenko Teleplus HD 2x and Kenko C-AF 2x Teleplus pro 300 2x teleconverters.
Once he took the photos, he found that the most usable ones with manual focus were taken with the Sony a7sii, Commlite adapter, and both Kenko Converters. He didn’t use image stabilization, and he shot at 1/800s. The best photos he took with AF-S were taken with the Sony a6500, Commlite adapter, and Kenko Teleplus HD 2x teleconverter. In this case, the lens image stabilization was on.
Ilja got the closest images with the Sony a6400, the MC11, and both converters. When you count in for the focal length of the lens, the converters and the crop sensor, you get the equivalent focal length of 3600mm.
When he was done taking photos, it was time to process them. “Due to dust, noise, and haze, I decided to load all sharp images into Photoshop and use the blending mode ‘brighten’”, Ilja explains. “On the composite, I applied multiple sharpening techniques and Camera-RAW Development for contrast and white balance.”
These are the results of 17 images stacked together into one:
Ilja’s setup is relatively simple, it took a white to process the images, but the results are impressive. If you’d like to check out more of Ilja’s work, make sure to visit his website and follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and Vimeo.