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Thoughts on wide-field film astrophotography

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#26 hiro

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 07:53 PM

Samir Kharusi,

I've enjoyed your rich pages several times. I learned something from your review of Kenko Skymemo mount. I like your expression of light polluted sky as "chocolate colored sky." I live in Tokyo, one of the most badly light polluted cities, and our sky is really chocolate colored.

I enjoy astrophotography as a hobby, and I feel that competition or effortlessness has less meaning as long as we enjoy the effort.



Jim,

Thank you for your kind and gentle words. You encouraged me much. My end is to watch faint nebulosities as deep as possible.
I understand that we are enjoying the same hobby. Clear sky!

hiro

#27 Nightfly

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 08:36 PM

Hiro and Samir

Great discussion. I hope other members of this film forum are learning from this as well. It was my point to bring all this about. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

Many of us film astro guys (and gals) still use the old medium for a variety of reasons, ranging from aesthetics, economy, or just being old film dogs. I'm still using equipment I bought used in 1984, only the film has changed. I'm perfectly happy with this for now. Someday, out of neccesity I will, perhaps finally cross over to the dark side.

Regards,

Jim

#28 tommyhawk13

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 08:58 PM

I'll throw my novice 2 cents in.
I had no idea that fil was capable of such stunning images until I found the images posted here on Cloudy nights. The older books do not do today's film astrophotography justice. I would say that despite the threat of film disappearing forever, right now might be the best time to shoot film.

From what little I've read, Kodak E-200 out performs the hypered films of the past, and cold cameras seem redundant.

Today's equipment is easy to come by. The Meade Schmidt Newtonians offer a big aperature for a fast focal ratio. I couldn't find many other scopes at f/4 or faster.

The fact that I have always leaned towards the old school methods plays a major part, of course.
My guitar amps have vacuum tubes, and 2 of my cars have carburetors. One even has points ignition!

I'm not going to say one is better than the other, but for now, film is better for me, even if it is not easy.
"It's not the kill, it's the thrill of the chase."

#29 Nebhunter

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 09:10 PM

Great and welcome to this small group - of outcasts, well maybe more like traditional cast outs. Like wearing your old leather jacket. Feels, and smells like leather, and weights like it as well. Gee, I could have worn that ballistic armoured jacket!

#30 Suk Lee

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 02:05 AM

I enjoy astrophotography as a hobby, and I feel that competition or effortlessness has less meaning as long as we enjoy the effort.


Hiro I very much agree with the sentiment you express. We Americans love to compete, and to win, but we should also remember to just enjoy the effort and results.

Suk

#31 Suk Lee

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 02:07 AM

From what little I've read, Kodak E-200 out performs the hypered films of the past, and cold cameras seem redundant.


Definitely E200 has remarkably little reciprocity effect, and doesn't benefit much from hypering.

It's a great film.

I wonder how many more days it has in 35mm format - stock up!

Cheers,
Suk

#32 Paulimer

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Posted 03 September 2008 - 02:43 AM

Dear All,

I had been doing exclusively on film for quite a few years and the results are not really bad. I've also upgraded my setup to an M645 compatible one and i now have medium format coverage ^^

However, things changed this summer.

I had my 350D, which was first intended to use in daily life situations, modified, and I went to an astrophotography trip in July. I brought both 350D and M645 with me and I used them for a night each.

My film results are the best I've ever had (because of the medium format), I've yet to scan and process them tho.

And then I have taken some DSLR images as well. And these stunned me. Please share with me here:

Exposure: 5min x 7; Canon 135 mm F/2L @ F/2
Minute M31


A mosaic of 2 frames, each exposed for 4min x 10, Canon 135 mm F/2L @ F/2
Rho-Complex


A mosaic of 4 frames, each exposed for 4min x 3, Canon 135 mm F/2L @ F/2
Milkyway Centre

I'm still trying to decide which road I'm going to take, maybe I'll do both...

Best Regards,
Paul Ng

#33 Nightfly

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Posted 03 September 2008 - 05:56 PM

Paul,

Excellent photographs! If I had seen these before my original comments I would have stricken some of my words. Very good work. I love your Rho Ophiuchi shot. A favorite area of mine and others on this forum.

I admit to being partial to film astrophotography mostly because I've been doing it for almost 25 years. The old dog, new trick thing. I am encouraged by your work to step outside the box someday.

Thank you for your constructive comments.

Jim

#34 Paulimer

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Posted 03 September 2008 - 07:05 PM

Jim,

I would say I still use the old ways of shooting film photos with my DSLR images... polar alignment with polar scope, a bit of drifting, focus, align the guidescope with main scope, finding object and guide star, manual guiding (!!!), open the shutter, and the work flow is basically the same.

Both ways give you a specific kind of experience though.

Plugging into my ears a pair of headphones, I sat there fighting against the overwhelming drowsiness. It would be even better to have some hot soup sitting next to me. A bit of chatting every now and then with friends, peering up at the night sky from time to time, and simply waiting for the time to pass. You stope worryign about what you will get until you take the roll for development. Then you get the thrill when you were walking to the lab to collect your "precious".

Another night I was always busy checking at the monitor to see whether the stars are round and tight, whether the framing was correct so that I could do a proper mosaic. I had less time to talk with my friends because the guiding tolerance is much less. I would get busy fumbling with buttons every now and then and that could keep me awake throughout the night without my ipod. I probably won't need a hot drink or a snack that often because I would be moving around all the time. And then I could guarantee that the pictures I got are satisfactory.

Well, its good to be able to enjoy both.

Paul

#35 Nightfly

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 11:46 AM

Paul,

There is certainly room for both. I enjoy the silence of the night and no hastle with equipment. I sometimes use a small CCD and I find it exciting, but I revert back to the film. I'm happy with the results. I enjoy my night vision as well! We are all explorers. Enjoy the journey.

#36 Kolenka

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 02:37 AM

Paul,

There is certainly room for both. I enjoy the silence of the night and no hastle with equipment. I sometimes use a small CCD and I find it exciting, but I revert back to the film. I'm happy with the results. I enjoy my night vision as well! We are all explorers. Enjoy the journey.


Not to needlessly revive this thread, but I definitely have to agree here. I wound up as a DSLR guy because of the workflow more than anything else. The major benefit to me is being able to take test exposures and decide if the night is going to be 'good' or not. If the viewing is not good, I can usually switch to doing more visual observing instead until it is time to go in. If the night is good, then I take the exposures, and process them when I find time over the next day or two. Thankfully, I haven't fallen into the trap of examining the frames as they are captured... I would go nuts.

If I still had access to a film camera, I would probably be doing some of my work with film as well, developing the negatives by hand. Unfortunately, I never owned a film camera, and was just using what my school had access to. Maybe I should pick one up and some developing equipment. :lol:

#37 Nightfly

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 06:07 AM

I have a DSI and use it occasionally, it is great fun. I used it to take some of the first images of Comet Holmes and those images were used in more places than my film images were. I'll need a bigger observatory to do that more often as it is quite small.

As for film, its aesthetics more than science that I stay with it.

I've marked your blog and will check it time to time

Jim

#38 Nebhunter

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 08:27 PM

I enjoyed your website and reading about the adventures. I like the way you think. Your thoughts are so similar to mine. We are from different countries, cultures, yet are bonded by the night sky.

Please keep posting your thoughts and photographs.

Igor

#39 Nebhunter

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 08:33 PM

We have seen the digital images, now where are those film photographs?

Impressive results - you don't need to give up one for the other. Enjoy the experience from each and let use share.

Igor


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