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Astrophotography and Sketching >> Film Astrophotography

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AstroBobo
sage


Reged: 07/04/07

Loc: Zagreb, Croatia
Films for astrophotography
      #2140072 - 01/23/08 11:23 AM

I think we should make a sticky thread (or whatever it is called) about films for astrophotography as this is definitely the most common question here. I recently discovered Robert Reeves' website and his test of various b&w, negative and diapositive films, so here are the links to anyone interested:

B&W films
Color negative films
Slide films

Also, it would be nice if some of you could reply here and write your experiences with various films.

Personally I found Kodak E200 to have the best red response (I have also push-developed it with success) and Provia 400F for everything else.


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microbes
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 12/12/04

Loc: Romulus, Sector 12
Re: Films for astrophotography new [Re: AstroBobo]
      #2140560 - 01/23/08 03:58 PM

Your link for color negative films lists Fuji Superia X-tra 800 speed as the best color negative film. I have tryed several different color negative films and would have to agree, it has the both the best red response and the lowest reciprocity failure. It isn't as good as some of the slide films (like E200), but it's worlds better than stuff like T-max.

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Mopman
sage
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Reged: 10/14/06

Loc: Richland, WA, USA
Re: Films for astrophotography new [Re: microbes]
      #2141690 - 01/24/08 01:23 AM

Here is another film link ... Thanks, Mopman http://www.astropix.com/HTML/I_ASTROP/FILM/FILMS.HTM

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Suk Lee
Post Laureate
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Reged: 10/07/03

Loc: Pleasanton, CA
Re: Films for astrophotography new [Re: Mopman]
      #2141777 - 01/24/08 03:36 AM

Now sticky!

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AstroBobo
sage


Reged: 07/04/07

Loc: Zagreb, Croatia
Re: Films for astrophotography new [Re: Suk Lee]
      #2142126 - 01/24/08 10:11 AM

Thanks Suk!

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Hambone
sage
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Reged: 10/10/05

Loc: Martin, TN
Re: Films for astrophotography new [Re: AstroBobo]
      #2143521 - 01/24/08 08:54 PM Attachment (402 downloads)

Fuji Super HQ 400 negative film and Fujichrome HQ 400 slide film has decent red response. They are also easier to find than the good stuff.

Here are some examples of HQ 400.

This is a Prime Focus, 30 minute unprocessed shot of The North American Nebula using a 8" SVP with a Olympus OM-1 and 200mm lens at F 4.5


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Hambone
sage
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Reged: 10/10/05

Loc: Martin, TN
Re: Films for astrophotography new [Re: Hambone]
      #2143534 - 01/24/08 08:59 PM Attachment (404 downloads)

Here is another shot the same as above but using Fujichrome Super HQ 400 slide film, 20 minutes,(I think) and a 135mm lens.

Edited by Hambone (01/24/08 09:04 PM)


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stargazerken
member


Reged: 12/27/08

Loc: Fort Meade, Florida
Re: Films for astrophotography new [Re: Hambone]
      #2837014 - 01/01/09 04:49 PM

Anyone try Kodak Ultra Max? I picked up a roll of 400 speed, but clouds have stop any try at taking a shot. Thanks.

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chgomonitor
member


Reged: 09/18/08

Re: Films for astrophotography new [Re: stargazerken]
      #3182127 - 06/25/09 01:06 PM

-Tried the Kodak Ultra Max at 800 speed. Bad grain and seemed to really fog up on me rather badly after about 30 seconds. Also had a definite green color cast. Switched to Fuji.

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Matthew Ota
Hmmm


Reged: 04/30/05

Loc: Los Angeles, California
Re: Films for astrophotography new [Re: chgomonitor]
      #3236466 - 07/24/09 05:41 PM

When I did film astrophotography I got great results using Kodak 400LE. It is their "Law Enforcement" film and it has great red response. I guess originally it was great for showing blood....

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Matthew Ota
Hmmm


Reged: 04/30/05

Loc: Los Angeles, California
Re: Films for astrophotography new [Re: Matthew Ota]
      #3248829 - 07/31/09 01:34 PM

I found this print film on the web and I wonder if anybody here has tried it:

Photo Evidence Film


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M111
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/28/06

Loc: Western MA
Re: Films for astrophotography new [Re: Matthew Ota]
      #3248871 - 07/31/09 01:55 PM

Haven't tried it, but if it's good for blood maybe it's good for red emission nebulae too...

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huckabuck
professor emeritus
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Reged: 02/18/07

Loc: statesboro, ga
Re: Films for astrophotography new [Re: M111]
      #3248930 - 07/31/09 02:26 PM

if the shipping wasn't so ridiculas i'd give it a try

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PaulEK
sage
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Reged: 05/25/08

Loc: Wisconsin
Re: Films for astrophotography new [Re: AstroBobo]
      #3262259 - 08/08/09 11:50 PM Attachment (289 downloads)

Here's a crop (about 60-70% of the frame) from the center of a shot I took a couple of years ago, using Fuji Provia 400f slide film. If my memory is correct, I took it using my Nikon F, with a 50mm f/1.4 lens set at f/2.8. I didn't take careful note to time the shot precisely because I took several of varying length, and this one turned out the best. but I think it was about 10 minutes.

What I like about this film is that, though it doesn't record the reds as well as other films I've seen used, it is very sharp, with little grain, and it seems to have a low reciprocity failure rate. I've not done -- and wouldn't know how to do -- scientific comparisons, but I've taken astrophotos with my Mamiya RB67 (which I have not yet scanned to my satisfaction) that have lots and lots of very tiny stars on them!

I have noticed that the film seems to show more purple than I think it should.

Edited by PaulEK (08/09/09 12:03 AM)


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PaulEK
sage
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Reged: 05/25/08

Loc: Wisconsin
Re: Films for astrophotography new [Re: AstroBobo]
      #3262273 - 08/09/09 12:00 AM Attachment (211 downloads)

Here's a much closer to 100% crop. And the more I think about it, the longer I think the exposure was. 15 minutes?

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Saturnalia
member


Reged: 12/17/09

Re: Films for astrophotography new [Re: PaulEK]
      #3546241 - 01/07/10 06:20 PM

AstroBobo - the three links in your original first message here are not working.

Any chance of fixing them...?


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tommyhawk13
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 09/28/07

Loc: Jacksonville, Fl
Re: Films for astrophotography new [Re: Saturnalia]
      #3561196 - 01/14/10 07:49 PM

Saturnalia, a lot has changed since the info on the links was posted.
Fuji Provia 400F has been discontinued, and replaced by Provia 400X. It's an ok film, but it has poorer red response. Not bad, but not as good as the old stuff.

Kodak E-200, Elite 200, or Ektachrome 200 is king right now. It picks up red (Hydrogen Alpha) like nobody's business. Even though it's rated at 200, it picks up photons faster than the 400 after only a few minutes. It suffers from reciprocity failure like any film, but not nearly as bad. Some say that it is as fast as the old hypered films.

Both the Fuji and Kodak films are slide films.

Hope this helps.


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stargazerken
member


Reged: 12/27/08

Loc: Fort Meade, Florida
Re: Films for astrophotography new [Re: tommyhawk13]
      #4302186 - 01/09/11 10:42 AM

Any leads on a good color print film for astrophotos? I do mainly CCD now, but would like to do wide field again. I have the equipment for slides, but just need to buy new chemicals for processing

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Nightfly
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 06/20/07

Re: Films for astrophotography new [Re: stargazerken]
      #4302782 - 01/09/11 03:22 PM

Kodak Gold 200 does a good job:

Kodak Gold 200 Test- Milky Way by Nightfly Photography, on Flickr


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stargazerken
member


Reged: 12/27/08

Loc: Fort Meade, Florida
Re: Films for astrophotography new [Re: Nightfly]
      #4303558 - 01/09/11 09:50 PM

Thanks Nightfly; excellent photo! I will have to pick up a roll or two and get some pics done next dark period.

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Starmon
member


Reged: 05/25/09

Loc: Front Range Northern Colorado
Re: Films for astrophotography new [Re: Nightfly]
      #4382077 - 02/12/11 08:55 PM Attachment (310 downloads)

I agree Nightfly, but since I have a dark site to image at, I use 400 and have returned good results.
But, I'm also looking for better film, so I'm going to try the Fuji Superia and the LE. I do enjoy capturing
those red nebulae. Wide Field Southern Summer Sky at Keota


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Geo.
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/01/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: Films for astrophotography new [Re: stargazerken]
      #4398751 - 02/20/11 08:09 AM

I'd stock up on Ektachrome if you like it. Kodak has stopped making it in sheet form. Anyone have experience with any of the Central European films Freestylephoto.biz imports?

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Geo.
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/01/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Links for: Films for astrophotography new [Re: microbes]
      #4398758 - 02/20/11 08:14 AM

Try http://www.robertreeves.com/

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telletdl
member


Reged: 07/22/08

Loc: Alexandria, VA
Re: Films for astrophotography new [Re: stargazerken]
      #4412798 - 02/26/11 12:03 PM

Just scored two rolls of E200 (35mm) at my local camera store. So there is still some of it floating around out there.

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Nightfly
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 06/20/07

Re: Films for astrophotography new [Re: telletdl]
      #4413513 - 02/26/11 06:30 PM

There is some E200, Elite Chrome 200, and even Provia 400F on the evil bay. I scored some fresh frozen 400F last month. Get it while you can.

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NGC 4755
newbie


Reged: 06/03/08

Loc: Queensland, Australia
Re: Films for astrophotography new [Re: stargazerken]
      #5173465 - 04/15/12 10:42 AM

Ilford's HP5 is more red sensitive than any other. Try some! DEv. 8 mins in neat Microphen at 20C.

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Nightfly
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 06/20/07

Re: Films for astrophotography new [Re: NGC 4755]
      #5177704 - 04/17/12 10:06 PM

My test of Kodak's T-Max 400.

http://nightflyphotography.blogspot.com/2012/04/testing-kodaks-tmax-400-for.html


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GaryS
sage
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Reged: 10/30/06

Re: Films for astrophotography new [Re: Nightfly]
      #5178303 - 04/18/12 11:16 AM

Hi James:

Have you had any experience with Fuji's Neopan 100 Acros? The spec sheet claims some pretty impressive reciprocity characteristics -- only 1/2 stop loss for 1000 seconds (16 minutes).

Gary


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Nightfly
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 06/20/07

Re: Films for astrophotography new [Re: GaryS]
      #5178435 - 04/18/12 12:51 PM

Hi Gary,

Sure thing. I have been working with Acros for some time now and it is a suberb film. It is not a great H-alpha film, but it is a strong recorder of starlight.

Here is a sample:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/12598495@N08/sets/72157622491249838/detail/

Two of the frames in the above gallery have been selected for the Starstruck exhibit. I hope you get a chance to see the exhibit.

http://www.bates.edu/museum/exhibitions/upcoming/starstruck/

James


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GaryS
sage
*****

Reged: 10/30/06

Re: Films for astrophotography new [Re: Nightfly]
      #5178814 - 04/18/12 04:05 PM

Hi James:

Thanks for the photos -- really great stuff. I think I've seen these before, but somehow didn't notice they were shot with Acros. One last question, while on the topic, what is your view of push processing the Acros. It doesn't seem like you've done so, but I wondered if there was a reason.

Congrats on getting into the Starstruck exhibit. It's a distinction that's well earned!

Gary


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Nightfly
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 06/20/07

Re: Films for astrophotography new [Re: GaryS]
      #5179043 - 04/18/12 06:25 PM

Thank you Gary, I've enjoyed myself with these images. I use standard development with Xtol 1:1 for all my Acros work. I have been wanting to try pushing the film and have seen good results in terestrial photography up to ISO 1600. One was with Caffenol-C using Folgers crystals! Pushing Acros with astro work may be different. I suspect contrast could be an issue.

Acros does work very well Hypered as we have seen with the work of Rick Thurmond. The gains were substantial. Acros does well right out of the box of course and seems to continue out to an hour and beyond.

I've been wanting to experiment with some red sensitive films, but have not had the time. Films to think about are Rollei Retro 80S and Superpan 200. Extended red films in the past have been disapointing, but one must be willing to try them! I've done my share and it seems I will perhaps continue this lesson in futility.

I think it is great that you continue to shoot film Gary. I enjoy your new Filmadvance blog. I'll chime in from time to time.

James


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GaryS
sage
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Reged: 10/30/06

Re: Films for astrophotography new [Re: Nightfly]
      #5180041 - 04/19/12 11:06 AM

Thanks for the info James. And thanks for the inspiration too. I've been shooting Acros 100 for daylight stuff, but was seriously tempted to try some night-sky shots when I saw its reciprocity characteristics. And now that I've seen your work, I'm going to load up the Hassy and give it a try next time I'm under a good, dark sky.

I also really like your moonlit shots as well. So much good stuff there.

(BTW -- drop me a line some time at my regular e-mail address. I have some questions regarding developers that I suspect will bore the pants off CN readers.)

Thanks again,
Gary


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OneGear
member


Reged: 12/30/11

Re: Films for astrophotography new [Re: stargazerken]
      #5715751 - 03/06/13 02:10 AM

All links are dead. Anyone have new links to useful info?

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Michal1
sage


Reged: 07/25/10

Loc: Czech Republic, Central Europe
Re: Films for astrophotography new [Re: OneGear]
      #5716580 - 03/06/13 02:44 PM

Hi OneGear! Nightfly has made a lot of film tests. Look here and here.

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AurigaDoug
member


Reged: 07/15/13

Re: Films for astrophotography new [Re: stargazerken]
      #6012610 - 08/07/13 10:44 PM

Don't know if Konica 1600 Print film is still around, but back in '85 in Arizona it was the hot ticket. I used to vacuum out a pressure vessel and "pump & purge" with a 30% hydrogen with the balance of nitrogen to hyper-sensitize the film. I was going to post a link, but right now I haven't found any ~

Doug


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Michal1
sage


Reged: 07/25/10

Loc: Czech Republic, Central Europe
Re: Films for astrophotography new [Re: AurigaDoug]
      #6164223 - 10/29/13 09:48 AM

Has somebody tried Fuji Pro 160 NS? Its spectral sensitivity and reciprocity characteristics look similarly as those of Superia 100, according to the datasheet.

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Nightfly
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 06/20/07

Re: Films for astrophotography new [Re: Michal1]
      #6165269 - 10/29/13 08:05 PM

Fujicolor 160NS has identical specs to 160S, a fine film for portraits. I have yet to test either for astro, but I do have some 160S in the freezer. I'll have to run a roll through and see. I would recommend others to give it a go as well as you point out Michal, the response and specs are similar to the coveted Superia 100.

I'm running low on Superia, but have enough for a few more years of rationed shooting. Last time it was available at B&H in New York, I paid $1.99 for a 120 roll. I now wish I had picked up a case of it!


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Michal1
sage


Reged: 07/25/10

Loc: Czech Republic, Central Europe
Re: Films for astrophotography new [Re: Nightfly]
      #6166301 - 10/30/13 12:30 PM

Now I have to test new films, too. I have the last 4 rolls of E200, which I spare for the case I get under really dark sky. Then I have a few Provias 400F bought expired on Ebay. They don't produce such nice colors as E200 did. Hard times are comming for me.

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Nightfly
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 06/20/07

Re: Films for astrophotography new [Re: Michal1]
      #6166988 - 10/30/13 06:14 PM

Michal, I have some good "fresh" E200 I can spare when you run out. I might be able to part with a few pro-packs. I tried some 8 year old frozen Provia 400F and I was not too happy with it as well.

Looking into the Pro160S / NS I am seeing interesting results from folks using it for pinhole photography and reciprocity charts look good even 1 hour out. It will be the next film I test. Thanks for bringing up the topic.


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Michal1
sage


Reged: 07/25/10

Loc: Czech Republic, Central Europe
Re: Films for astrophotography new [Re: Nightfly]
      #6174146 - 11/03/13 05:35 PM

Jim, many thanks, but you will also need them. In the next year or two I can easily get by the Provias I have. I have to watch Ebay for frozen medium format E200. I also have 4 fresh rolls of 35mm E200. Maybe I will have to adapt to the situation and start to shoot throught the telescope with my Practica camera.

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Michal1
sage


Reged: 07/25/10

Loc: Czech Republic, Central Europe
Re: Films for astrophotography new [Re: Michal1]
      #6317110 - 01/16/14 06:24 PM

What do you know about Ektachrome 200 EPD? There is plenty of it on Ebay. Can still produce good astrophotos today after more than 10 years?

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Nightfly
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 06/20/07

Re: Films for astrophotography new [Re: Michal1]
      #6318783 - 01/17/14 02:20 PM

EPD was the earlier version of Ektachrome 200, before E200. I believe it worked well at the time, but after the years in storage, frozen or not, I would pass on it in favor of fresher stock.

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