I can confess to lathering on contrast a good deal... but with regards to the moon I have tryed to keep it as much in step with general crater detail as I can. Whenever I look back on this particular example, the angle of post-straightening gives me the illusion of being out there inside an apollo spacecraft!
I've had so much moon-exposure these days, I'm begining to really think differently about space in general. Just imagine... what we think of as an endless sky above us ceases to support any life beyond 30,000 feet, and yet the cosmos spreads endlessly beyond in defiance of our species hubris to touch the face of infinity.
I can't say that everyone can take a capture like this without equivilent equipment, but you can certainly try getting close by stealing my settings down below there >>>
The trick to getting detail is having a high (low number) aperture of either f/4 or f/5.6 so that you take in as much light as possible for as short of a shutter speed as possible... preferably with an exposure time ranging from 1/500s to 1/2000s depending on your cameras ability to tolerate the higher ISO light sensitivity settings without producing grain artifacts.
Other wise with the moon you would risk getting motion blur with slower exposure times, since it's moving at over a thousand meters a second... half of a degree in the night sky.
A good way to prepare for the next clear sky is to check with the national weather forcasts for the local area, and keep checking daily. I try to never miss a chance. I think I'm addicted to the moon now lol
Jaa... well physical constrictions on optics are everything.
I'm glad that you can judge that though. Most point and shoot owners I know just think that all they have to do is point simply their little 12mm "lense" at the moon and then call it a masterpeice lol.
The main purpose of any lense is to gather light to compose an image. Naturally, the larger aperture and focal length on a lense... the better.
You cannot miniturize optical performance. Digital format light sensors will never win on that front against film, which is endlessly superior.