re: Pre Apollo
Before the first landing. Not before the program was well underway.
Luna 9 was the first probe to soft land on the Moon and transmit pictures from the lunar surface on February 3, 1966
There was Russian & USA closer up photography of the moon too before 2001 release.
The Far side (NOT the dark side, either side can be dark!), first photographed by the Russians in 1959. Atlas published in 1960.
"The Soviet Union had sent two tortoises, mealworms, wine flies, and other lifeforms around the Moon on September 15, 1968, aboard Zond 5"
Apollo 8 was I think in December 1968 and was first humans to orbit the moon.
Apollo 12's lander landed within walking distance in 1969 of the USA Surveyor 3 unmanned lunar probe, which had landed in April 1967 on the Ocean of Storms. Apollo 11 was first MANNED landing in 1969.
We had good idea of the surface of the moon before any human walked on it. The awkwardness of the dust wasn't known.