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Nightfly
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 06/20/07

2013 Season - Who is Shooting Film This Year !
      #5724296 - 03/10/13 05:00 PM

Alright, it's 2013 and film has long been dead, right?

Well maybe not. The CN Film Astrophotography forum is the last active publicly open forum left on the globe dedicated to film astrophotography and with some activity it just might stay around for a few more years, maybe more. But an inactive forum is a soon to be dead forum.

There are the regular active members and an occasional posting of some legacy images from way long ago reposted for posterity, with very little new blood showing up.

Forum regulars, if you could dedicate to post a few images this season and if we could possibly recruit some adventuresome photogs to have a hand at it, we might just give the forum some new life. I'm not expecting to get back to the glory days of years ago, but possibly a well respected group of film shooters doing some good work showing the astrophotography newbs and old pros alike that film is still alive and can do some great work. It always did before !

For those just getting started, post questions of film availability, processing, scanning, post processing, etc and veteran members will be sure to advise to the best of their ability.

For old timers posting their work, offer a good thumbnail image on the post and perhaps an external link as well as details as to where and how you made the image as beginners will perhaps be watching.

Other astrophotography forums at CN have monthly contests. Perhaps during the summer we could hold a challenge contest or beginners challenge to get the juices flowing. Just an idea.

Moderator(s). Jump in with your idea(s) as well. Perhaps we can bring new life and function to this well established forum.

Anyone else? Jump in, tell us what you are doing with this traditional craft we call film astrophotography!

CS


Jim


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tuc
member


Reged: 12/10/10

Re: 2013 Season - Who is Shooting Film This Year ! new [Re: Nightfly]
      #5726208 - 03/11/13 04:03 PM

Excellent idea Jim. I would love to hear more about processing, in particular, noise reduction.

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SeaRefractor
member


Reged: 02/26/11

Loc: SeaTac, WA, USA
Re: 2013 Season - Who is Shooting Film This Year ! new [Re: tuc]
      #5726287 - 03/11/13 04:36 PM

I'm going to be new to film astrophotography this year. Just finished rebuilding an Olympus OM-1 MD camera.

Hope this forum stays live!


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Nightfly
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 06/20/07

Re: 2013 Season - Who is Shooting Film This Year ! new [Re: SeaRefractor]
      #5726651 - 03/11/13 07:18 PM

Welcome SeaRefractor, looks like you'll be ready with your "new" OM-1. We hope to see some of your images this season.

Noise reduction is a good topic tuc. I often battle with processing for additional sharpness without bringing out more noise. I say noise,as there really is none on the films we shoot. A well exposed negative or transparency has gobs of "data" that inexpensive scanners just can't pull out, at least not without blowing out stronger details and producing that "lovely" effect we call noise. We are mainly looking at scanner noise.

I'm going to ramble a bit as there are new members listening and might like to hear some details that apply to film and often other types of photography.

Exposure:

Exposing our images well is the first step to a good image. For transparencies, that means working up to the sky glow level. As a matter of fact it is good to have some sky glow on the transparency as this produces a thinner transparency that is easier to scan. Very dense and dark transparencies is a problem for scanners. The opposite is true for negatives as the roles are reversed. Recording too much sky glow on transparencies will produce higher contrast, but can be negligible in negative films.

It is true that a wider (faster) lens will record extended object such as nebulae more quickly, but a stopped down lens can be used to expose longer and record more stars. Sky glow will also take longer to accumulate on a stopped down lens. I have found that if you want to invest in your exposures, a stopped down lens will create better images, at the expense of a longer exposure.

Once that is accomplished, then your ready to scan your processed images knowing all has been done to produce a superior product.

scanning:

As this is a diverse operation I will speak in general terms. It is important to produce scans that have good shadow and midtone detail while not overemphasizing highlights. Furthermore, stretching an image to have midtones reach highlight levels produces a brighter, but poor image. Watch those histograms !

Noise:

Once a full resolution image has gone through basic processing, including levels, cropping, and color (if applicable) correction there is bound to be some noise. There are many different solutions here and I have not fully tested or experienced more than a few.

Neat Image is the noise profile solution I use and it works well. The removal of noise improves tonality and low contrast detail such as nebulae. After noise has been reduced you will find that you have more room to tweak the processing. Fainter details are now prominent and there is more "pop" to the image.

Neat Image is just one example of a good tool and I will only comment that you will need to play around with some daylight images first to get the hang of it and then apply it to your astrophotography.

Photoshop offers basic noise reduction, but I find that it will address only mild cases and is not as powerful as Neat Image.

I will add that sharpening should be the last item on your list and this should be done after altering image size for either printing or posting on the web. I even turn off the USM (unsharp mask) on the scanning software as this is a source of noise (I use an Epson V600).

That's a mouthful, so I will stop there.

How was everyone's weekend?


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THEPLOUGH
ELEVEN Grandchildren; FIVE Ducklings
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Reged: 01/11/08

Loc: Carlisle, Cumbria, ENGLAND
Re: 2013 Season - Who is Shooting Film This Year ! new [Re: SeaRefractor]
      #5726745 - 03/11/13 08:06 PM

Quote:

I'm going to be new to film astrophotography this year. Just finished rebuilding an Olympus OM-1 MD camera.

Hope this forum stays live!






It will...


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Nebhunter
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 10/04/03

Loc: Frostbite Falls
Re: 2013 Season - Who is Shooting Film This Year ! new [Re: Nightfly]
      #5726776 - 03/11/13 08:20 PM

Well said Jim - and count me in. I've been guilty of pulling back. Heck I haven't even scanned the last batch from months ago.

Kick in the pants - fire up the scanner - let's get this train rollin. It may "only" be film - but it still fires my furnace.

igor


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d.sireci51
Arachnoid
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Reged: 11/19/09

Loc: The Tholian Web [S. Wisconsin]
Re: 2013 Season - Who is Shooting Film This Year ! new [Re: Nebhunter]
      #5727079 - 03/11/13 11:02 PM

Count Me in. The weather around these parts hasnt been great, but will be out there when possible. Have to keep those Olympus's and drive motors from getting gummy! I know I've missed the boat on the; "how to down size your images to fit the 204800 bytes format?" Maybe someone would be kind enough to help me out with that? I have a lot of Images I could post. I too would like to see this forum grow. Clear skies, D

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Nightfly
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 06/20/07

Re: 2013 Season - Who is Shooting Film This Year ! new [Re: d.sireci51]
      #5727519 - 03/12/13 06:22 AM

This is good. Post 'em if you got 'em. Start a new thread for each set. I'll try to add a few as well. I would like to see work by us old timers but some new work coming in from those just getting started.

Post your best work.


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SKYGZR
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 08/14/09

Loc: Planet Earth, Milky Way Galaxy...
Re: 2013 Season - Who is Shooting Film This Year ! new [Re: Nightfly]
      #5728315 - 03/12/13 02:48 PM

Will try some from a dark site. Need to get my camera setup refined, and guide this time (or better the polar alignment). Last years effort was a bust.

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Michal1
sage


Reged: 07/25/10

Loc: Czech Republic, Central Europe
Re: 2013 Season - Who is Shooting Film This Year ! new [Re: SKYGZR]
      #5728710 - 03/12/13 06:01 PM

I'm shooting film, how could I not do it! For me astrophotography = film astrophotography. This year will be my most ambitious ever!

Tuc, DeNoiseMyImage 2.1 Free version is my all time favorite. It's easy to use and gives the best results from the many programs I've tried (Photoshop default, its plugins Topaz Denoise and Grain Surgery, Neat Image, Noiseware, SGBNR in PixInsight LE and several others). The newer versions have another kind of control, that I wasn't able to understant and, moreover, the ad appearing at the start of the free versions is too buggy. Its substantial disadvantage is it can work only with 24 bit images. That's why I use it as one of the last steps in proccessing.

Nightfly, always when I tried to denoise an astrophoto in Neat Image, the program complained it was unable to find a uniform area to build the noise profile. When I ignored this warning, the program deleted the faint stars. How do you solve it?


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Nightfly
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 06/20/07

Re: 2013 Season - Who is Shooting Film This Year ! new [Re: Michal1]
      #5728931 - 03/12/13 08:24 PM

Michal, I have built profiles of my scans off of large opaque areas on the film, sometimes even the dark nebulae offer enough area to profile. I sometimes get dimming of some stars in addition to the noise reduction, but sharpening restored them after the reduction.

Scanning a blank piece of film will profile scanner noise. The scanner itself offers plenty of noise !


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laconicsax
super member


Reged: 10/05/10

Loc: Portland, OR
Re: 2013 Season - Who is Shooting Film This Year ! new [Re: Nightfly]
      #5729375 - 03/12/13 11:39 PM

I'll be shooting film until it isn't available anymore or is cost prohibitive.

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s58y
Postmaster


Reged: 12/12/04

Loc: Eastern NY
Re: 2013 Season - Who is Shooting Film This Year ! new [Re: Nightfly]
      #5729431 - 03/13/13 12:18 AM

I've thought about doing some startrails photos with film this season, just as a novelty or stunt. It seems like film might be well-suited for startrails.

I'd probably use an old Canon 7s rangefinder from about 1968. It has a "T" setting, so the shutter can stay open by itself while I tend mostly to collecting images with a CCD camera on the tracking mount (can't waste any precious clear nights on just film).

Hopefully, I can just use the marked infinity focus, and things won't be too fuzzy. I guess I'll need dewstrips on the camera to keep dew off, since the film camera won't generate any heat while it's running.

If the resulting images are of poor quality, digitizing them with a slide duplicator and DSLR should be sufficient.


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Nightfly
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 06/20/07

Re: 2013 Season - Who is Shooting Film This Year ! new [Re: s58y]
      #5729736 - 03/13/13 06:21 AM

I've built a large portfolio of startrail images over the years and find that with the proper films, the images are excellent. How I tire of DSLR stacked images with all those pure white startrails. Chrome films make such great colors.

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M111
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/28/06

Loc: Western MA
Re: 2013 Season - Who is Shooting Film This Year ! new [Re: Nightfly]
      #5730207 - 03/13/13 12:11 PM

My output has been greatly reduced lately(along with forum posts) due to living near an urban area, but I will certainly be exposing some frames this summer. I worry that some of my E200 stores may be starting to spoil, though. The last roll I shot was extremely red-cast, and not in a good way. I ruled out a processing error as I processed it with a roll of Fuji 400, which came out fine.

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Nightfly
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 06/20/07

Re: 2013 Season - Who is Shooting Film This Year ! new [Re: M111]
      #5730312 - 03/13/13 12:58 PM

Great to hear from you Brendan. Long time. Sorry to hear of your E200 going bad. I hold my breath when I develop a roll. So far so good.

Will be looking forward to your offerings this summer. I may be able to part with a few rolls if you find you need some.


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Kona
member


Reged: 10/22/08

Re: 2013 Season - Who is Shooting Film This Year ! new [Re: Nightfly]
      #5731399 - 03/13/13 11:51 PM

Count me in as well. I could post some photos and techniques from my large format 4x5 camera. I was just out with it last night in fact. I'm the most curmudgeon-y of everyone here--most everyone scans; my goal has always been good film negatives for making prints in the darkroom! Jim and Igor have seen my work firsthand.

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Nightfly
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 06/20/07

Re: 2013 Season - Who is Shooting Film This Year ! new [Re: Kona]
      #5731660 - 03/14/13 06:19 AM

You are correct, most of us use a hybrid process and you are the only one making large format traditional prints ! I can attest to the quality of the prints, the star images are exquisite. One fails to understand the quality of this type of work. I hope one day to be able to master these methods. Much is lost in scanning, especially the cheap flatbeds we are using. A fair job, but not with the fidelity of what the format can produce.

Great to see you on the forum and we are looking forward to a contribution to images this year.


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mrpizza
member


Reged: 04/30/10

Loc: Palm Coast, FL
Re: 2013 Season - Who is Shooting Film This Year ! new [Re: Nightfly]
      #5776858 - 04/04/13 12:31 AM

I still have my Olympus OM-1. Used to hyper, still have equipment. I was thinking about getting a roll of film since I now have a better set up for guiding more accurately. I used to use the ST-4. It's been over 10 years since my film days but they were fun.

I would take the film in for development to the local grocery store and they would give me the negative without charge because they thought the film was defective because there weren't any terrestrial images. I brought them back and scanned them in and a processing away I went.

Would there be a film still in production that would be viable today?

Chris


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Nightfly
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 06/20/07

Re: 2013 Season - Who is Shooting Film This Year ! new [Re: mrpizza]
      #5777036 - 04/04/13 05:56 AM

You can check other threads for films used today, but the short list would be this:

Slides: Provia 400X

Color Negative: Kodak Gold 100, 200 & 400 or Fujicolor 100 and 200

B&W: Fuji Acros 100

Acros can be hypered successfully with remarkable gains, but is fine right out of the box.


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Jeff Phinney
super member


Reged: 02/20/13

Loc: CA
Re: 2013 Season - Who is Shooting Film This Year ! new [Re: Nightfly]
      #5777793 - 04/04/13 01:53 PM

Jim, Regarding your list of films above: Before I go placing my order with Amazon for 35mm Fujicolor 100 and 200, do you have any idea if there's any difference between what you've listed above and what I'm finding listed on Amazon. Specifically the "Fujifilm Quality Fujicolor CN 100" ( http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B7RZ24Y/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?ie=UTF8&... )and "Fujifilm Super HQ 200"( http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004TWLY/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&... ). I assume "CN" simply means Color Negative, but what's the deal with "Super HQ". Are they all the same and the differing names are just a a bit of pointless puffery that Fuji maybe engaging in?

Thanks!


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Nightfly
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 06/20/07

Re: 2013 Season - Who is Shooting Film This Year ! new [Re: Jeff Phinney]
      #5779017 - 04/05/13 06:34 AM

Hi Jeff. Fujicolor 100 CN is the same formula as the old Superia 100 CN, which was the best color negative film for astrophotography in my opinion. CN is a designator for the film. The more recent Reala Superia 100 is designated CS and is a poor film for astrophotography.

The designator is similar to Kodak's GA, GB, GC for Gold 100, 200, & 400.

I believe the Super HQ 200 is the same as Superia 200.

Superia 100 in medium format is nothing less than spectacular.


Le Gentil 3 Region by Nightfly Photography, on Flickr

A quick test of Superia 200






Film Test: Fujicolor Superia 200 by Nightfly Photography, on Flickr


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Jeff Phinney
super member


Reged: 02/20/13

Loc: CA
Re: 2013 Season - Who is Shooting Film This Year ! new [Re: Nightfly]
      #5779539 - 04/05/13 12:35 PM

Jim, Thanks for the reply. I've gone ahead and placed the order for the film. We'll see how it all goes once the film gets here, and if/when I get my camera back from the repair shop.

Your mention of "formats" has shaken loose a few misplaced nuts that have been nesting in parts unknown within my skull. Mainly that a format can have an effect on the performance of some films. I remember it was quite the shock to find out that Tech Pan on glass plates was a totally worthless combination when it was found that the emulsion had no response to the hypering process(vacuum followed by H2 soak). The assumption was that it had to do with the gaseous permeability(or lack of) of the glass vs. the usual ESTHAR or acetate base.

So I'm going to assume that there will be no difference in performance between the medium and the 35mm Fuji formats. The film is cheap enough and the only thing I really have to loose is the time doing the tests.
Just one more opportunity to live and learn.

Thanks again!


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Nightfly
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 06/20/07

Re: 2013 Season - Who is Shooting Film This Year ! new [Re: Jeff Phinney]
      #5779618 - 04/05/13 01:12 PM

One thing that differentiates 35mm and medium formats is the scanning results with consumer scanners. A dedicated film scanner for 35mm will do wonders over what I can accomplish with my flatbed. Your 35mm performance (I will assume you will scan your negs) will be determined by the quality of the scans over format differences.

Certainly the film size will create improvements in color and tonality as well as star image quality.

I have shot Fujicolor 100 CN in 35mm and can attest that it is the same film as the Superia 100 CN in 120 format. You might want to scoop some up as I believe it is either discontinued or soon will be.

Good luck and be sure to post when you get your results !


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Jeff Phinney
super member


Reged: 02/20/13

Loc: CA
Re: 2013 Season - Who is Shooting Film This Year ! new [Re: Nightfly]
      #5779707 - 04/05/13 02:07 PM

I have a Nikon Coolscan 9000 I use at work for archiving photos, which I'm hoping will be sufficient for my purposes. If not, I have a camera shop here that claims to have "something better",... whatever that means

Also, Thanks for the tip! Guess I'll go ahead and order some more Fujicolor 100 CN.


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TxStars
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/01/05

Loc: Lost In Space
Re: 2013 Season - Who is Shooting Film This Year ! new [Re: Jeff Phinney]
      #5780987 - 04/06/13 12:57 AM

A drum scanner would be "Something better than the Nikon 9000".
I've been watching ebay for a used one, unless someone wants to give me 10k


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Nightfly
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 06/20/07

Re: 2013 Season - Who is Shooting Film This Year ! new [Re: TxStars]
      #5781175 - 04/06/13 06:10 AM

You should expect great results with the Nikon. Scanning astrophotos is different than daylight frames and takes some practice, but I'm sure you'll do just fine.

Looking forward to your results.


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Doppler
member
*****

Reged: 01/04/13

Loc: NE Georgia, USA
Re: 2013 Season - Who is Shooting Film This Year ! new [Re: Nightfly]
      #5833954 - 05/01/13 09:46 AM

As per Jim's initial post, I am "new blood" looking forward to getting into film AP. I am currently gathering tools (camera, lenses, developing supplies, etc.), and I am "obsessively" studying your all's galeries, and posts to this forum - Great Stuff!! I just shot some terrestrial photos with my first roll of film (in 20 years) to check out my newly acquired Nikkormat FTn w/ 50mm f1.8 and Sigma 28mm f2.8 mini-wide. I also picked up, for a steal of a deal, a mint Bronica SQ with a 150mm f3.5 lens (I also got the 80mm f2.8 but it doesn't do time exposures - go figure!). It's not a Pentax but I'm hoping it might work for astro. Anyway, know that there is at least one new guy lurking, and who will be posting questions, and my first image, soon. Thanks to all of you for the wealth of information!

Greg
Winterville, GA USA


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Nebhunter
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 10/04/03

Loc: Frostbite Falls
Re: 2013 Season - Who is Shooting Film This Year ! new [Re: Doppler]
      #5834917 - 05/01/13 06:00 PM

Greg - welcome and glad to have another film shooter. Go ahead and shoot that roll, ask questions, and most of all enjoy it. Experimentation is where I get a kick. Nice kit you've picked up there. It should do just fine.

igor


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vandkc
member


Reged: 04/29/13

Re: 2013 Season - Who is Shooting Film This Year ! new [Re: Nebhunter]
      #5835486 - 05/02/13 12:23 AM Attachment (13 downloads)

This was one that I took last year. Nothing too spectacular, just a 50mm piggybacked shot of Sagittarius. Kodak Gold 400 for about 5 minutes. I am thinking about f/2.8 or f/4. I was not in a very good spot and my scope alignment was a little off, but it is not the worst I have shot. I hope to do some medium format piggybacking this year when I get back out there.

Edited by vandkc (05/02/13 12:24 AM)


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Nebhunter
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 10/04/03

Loc: Frostbite Falls
Re: 2013 Season - Who is Shooting Film This Year ! new [Re: vandkc]
      #5836402 - 05/02/13 02:08 PM

This is a really nice shot. Framed by the trees to let the Milky Way and Orion take centre stage. I'm thinking it was probably f/2.8 as there is a lot of detail for 5 minutes. Shooting a 50 lens makes it very forgiving for trailing.

I personally like shots like this - different perspective. Kodak Gold 400 really came through here. Fix the tracking and add a few more minutes and WOW.

Great start. Any idea what camera system you will use for MF? Lots of help here.


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vandkc
member


Reged: 04/29/13

Re: 2013 Season - Who is Shooting Film This Year ! new [Re: Nebhunter]
      #5836827 - 05/02/13 05:43 PM

Thanks for the compliment. As far as a "system" it is just an old Yashica A TLR that I have had for quite a while. I have gotten some decent B/W shots with it of landscapes and cityscapes in the past, but I have never really used it too much for astrophotography. I recently got into scanning some of my old negs and I was having some success with that so I thought now would be a good time to try the Yashica with some piggybacked shots. I will be limited to the stock lens (80mm) as there is no way to add a telephoto on this camera, but with the larger film size, I would hope to get some nicer detail than I would with the 35mm shots I have taken so far. This forum has been a great source of information and I hope to be able to post some results in the not too distant future.

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Nebhunter
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 10/04/03

Loc: Frostbite Falls
Re: 2013 Season - Who is Shooting Film This Year ! new [Re: vandkc]
      #5837469 - 05/02/13 11:38 PM

So the Yashica will be 6x6? The 80 should be a very nice size - probably a bit wider than you 50 in 35mm. Is the lens a Yashinon? I believe they made two types of lenses with one being the better over the other. Is it f/2.8? You might need to stop down one or two for vignette reasons and sharpness. But try it wide open to see what happens.

I like the Yashica and almost got one for a companion camera. Just something about them. Looking forward to those shots.

igor


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Michal1
sage


Reged: 07/25/10

Loc: Czech Republic, Central Europe
Re: 2013 Season - Who is Shooting Film This Year ! new [Re: Nebhunter]
      #5838810 - 05/03/13 05:38 PM

Vandkc, welcome aboard! I must agree with Igor, very nice frame, indeed! If you have more, post it.

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vandkc
member


Reged: 04/29/13

Re: 2013 Season - Who is Shooting Film This Year ! new [Re: Michal1]
      #5838860 - 05/03/13 06:24 PM

Thank you Michal. I will see what I have in my archives, but I have not shot too much recently. Certainly nothing of the quality that you have produced!

The lens on the Yashica is a Yashimar, which is not the higher end of the Yashica lenses. The A was the most basic TLR that Yashica produced, but still a nice little camera. The lens is actually a 3.5, so stopping it down will require some longer exposures to get good images of star coulds and nebulae, should they be in the field of view. I will most likley do a lot of experimaenting when I get the chance. I will post results as soon as I have somethng worth posting!


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