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Astrophotography Lite!

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#1 Robert Provin

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 07:32 PM

Hi All,
I haven't done any astrophotography in years, but suddenly last week I got an itch. However, being the old man that I am, I really didn't want to do real work! So what better way to satisfy the itch (without too much effort) than some old fashion piggyback astrophotography! So here it is: this is a 1 hour exposure on Kodak PPF (this roll must be at least 10 years out of date) with a Pentax II 6x7 and 165mm f/2.8 lens working at full aperture. Film was pushed 2 stops. I hope you like it! :D

Robert

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#2 Robert Provin

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 07:50 PM

Sorry, the film was only 9 years out of date! :grin:

Robert

#3 Nightfly

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 08:02 PM

Robert,

Great shot! It must be the newest PPF shot around. Piggyback astrophotography is for the leisure life isn't it!
Glad to see you still shooting film. I enjoyed your masterwork on film astrophotography years ago. I've never parted with it, it planted a seed.

Thanks for posting.

Jim

#4 M111

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 08:19 PM

That is a fine shot, Robert. Great work!

#5 Rick Thurmond

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 10:38 PM

Beautiful image, Robert. A couple nights ago I was out and looking at that dark nebula north of Deneb.

Meanwhile, your book (AMOACP) has inspired me over the last year to take up the most difficult imaginable task: tricolor prime-focus astrophotography on hypered Tech Pan. A couple of successes:
http://www.rickthurm...s/large-14.html (M8)
http://www.rickthurm...s/large-15.html (m33)

lots of room for failures in this pursuit! I'm shooting through a C14 onto my dwindling supply of 4x5 Tech Pan. I use a Giant Easy Guider and a STV. Then I scan the resulting images into my Mac and combine them and do a little adjustment. The final results get printed by a local lab onto 16x20 photographic paper on a Chromira machine. The results are beautiful, but it sure is a lot of work!

I'm working on a picture of NGC6995 this month. So far I have just the red exposure. The green came out good except I picked the wrong guide star by mistake.

Before that I spent most of my time shooting on E200 and printing in my darkroom on Ilfochrome. I haven't shot on PPF in a long time, but I have a couple rolls in the freezer still.

Rick

#6 M111

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 11:00 PM

Rick, those are wonderful images. Masterfully done.

#7 Rick Thurmond

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 10:17 AM

Thanks, Brendan.

#8 Robert Provin

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 11:13 AM

WOW Rick, really nice work! Thank you for sharing. I am amazed that after all these years some one is still using the techniques outlined in AMOACP. And I might add doing a very good job of it as well. Thanks again.

Robert

#9 Robert Provin

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 11:15 AM

Thank you Jim and Brendan!

Best regards,
Robert

#10 tommyhawk13

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 11:29 AM

Robert, that is amazing! 1 hour at f/2.8!
I've been trying to persuade those interested in beginning astrophotography to try piggyback on film first. I wish they would take a look at some of the examples here.

If the clouds go away, I really want to give the Summer Milky Way another shot, piggybacked, of course.

#11 Rick Thurmond

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 02:39 PM

Robert, did your Silver to Silicon book ever come out? I'll want something that comprehensive and well thought out when I run out of film and get a digital camera.

In the mean time, working with film gives me a lot of pleasure. One thing I like is that when I'm photographing, once I start the exposure I can just sit there and watch the sky. No computers are bothering me. The only ones around are the one built into the mount and the one in the autoguider and they are pretty unobtrusive. I also like the manual work of hypering the film and developing it. All the stuff that requires some skill to do correctly rather than relying on software and hardware built by someone else. I pieced together the astro camera I used from a Graflex film holder. It is intercheangable between sheet film and medium format roll film.

I have a Lumicon hypering tank and an air conditioning servicing pump (a two-stage oil pump) called a JB FastVac. I'm not sure what level of vacuum it creates, but I'm guessing 25 microns. I noticed that if I run the vacuum for 12 hours or so, it does a better job hypering the film than if I just run it a short time. Could it be a strong enough vacuum that it is removing water from the emulsion?

Rick

#12 Nebhunter

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 09:29 PM

Really like the tri-colour efforts Rick. It must be painful treasuring each sheet of TP.

I've been looking over the Rollei films, the CR200 as a possible replacement for the E200. I noticed a Rollei TP film - but not the format size - saying it was a replacement for the Kodak TP. I'm sure you are aware of it, but thought I would mention it.

Igor

#13 Nebhunter

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 09:37 PM

Egads - are the pigeons coming home to roost? Here we are lamenting the loss of E200, and all of a sudden two masters descend on the forum.

I am personally thankful to you and Rick for this "shot in the arm". Now if we could gather enough momentum and if this weather would clear - we may actually be able to present a entry or two into the monthly contest.

May your itch continue and to spread to others. I'm well past my expiry date and don't look anywhere near as good as that frame you posted.

Igor

#14 Rick Thurmond

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 10:21 PM

Having such a limited supply makes the inevitable mistakes even more painful. If anyone has a stock of 4415 Tech Pan they'd part with, I would certainly make good use of it!

I've heard of the Rollei ATP film, but my understanding is that it doesn't reach 656 nm, and it isn't available in 4x5. I'd like to be proven wrong on both counts!

Trivia question: The road to the solar observatory in Sunspot, NM is Hwy 6563. What is the significance of that number?

#15 Nightfly

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 06:04 AM

Rick,

Not trying to get you to spend: http://tinyurl.com/kovsms

#16 Robert Provin

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 08:11 PM

Robert, did your Silver to Silicon book ever come out? I'll want something that comprehensive and well thought out when I run out of film and get a digital camera.

In the mean time, working with film gives me a lot of pleasure. One thing I like is that when I'm photographing, once I start the exposure I can just sit there and watch the sky. No computers are bothering me. The only ones around are the one built into the mount and the one in the autoguider and they are pretty unobtrusive. I also like the manual work of hypering the film and developing it. All the stuff that requires some skill to do correctly rather than relying on software and hardware built by someone else. I pieced together the astro camera I used from a Graflex film holder. It is intercheangable between sheet film and medium format roll film.

I have a Lumicon hypering tank and an air conditioning servicing pump (a two-stage oil pump) called a JB FastVac. I'm not sure what level of vacuum it creates, but I'm guessing 25 microns. I noticed that if I run the vacuum for 12 hours or so, it does a better job hypering the film than if I just run it a short time. Could it be a strong enough vacuum that it is removing water from the emulsion?

Rick

Hi Rick,
"From Silver to Silicon" never really got off the ground as real life issues seemed to get in the way. At this point, the technology has gone way beyond what Brad and I were working on back then. So I guess we will let others move things forward, and I might add the images being produced now are simply amazing!

As to your vacuum question, I don't know right off hand, but I can find out. Let you know in a day or two.

Best,
Robert

#17 Rick Thurmond

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 09:46 PM

Thanks, Robert.
The vacuum pump I have is a DV-85N. I think by letting it pump for hours before introducing forming gas has reduced the time in the forming gas from 72+ hours to about 48. I used to just run the pump for 15 minutes then seal off the hypering chamber, but then I got to thinking there might be leaks and for sure there's outgassing from the film that would quickly spoil the vacuum.

#18 Robert Provin

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 09:57 AM

Thanks, Robert.
The vacuum pump I have is a DV-85N. I think by letting it pump for hours before introducing forming gas has reduced the time in the forming gas from 72+ hours to about 48. I used to just run the pump for 15 minutes then seal off the hypering chamber, but then I got to thinking there might be leaks and for sure there's outgassing from the film that would quickly spoil the vacuum.

Hi Rick,
OK, here's Brad's take on your set-up (he did extensive tests on various hypering configurations).

"if he pumped for 4-5 days then it might semi dry out the film. 12 hours is *maybe* starting to get thru the various emulsion layers and starting to do something .... film is TOUGH stuff

it's probably pumping to about an inch ... like he guesses.....it's certainly doing more than the stupid hand pump !! but longer is better......

if he's using forming gas.. it's probably OK....
if he used pure hydrogen he'd get black film !!
('cause the film is still going to be full of water and *BLEEP*)"

Robert

#19 Rick Thurmond

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 10:26 AM

Thanks for the information, Robert. And thanks again for writing AMOACP (A Manual of Advanced Celestial Photography) so many years ago.

#20 Nebhunter

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 01:46 PM

All I can come up with is an NGC number aka PK358-7.1 in Sagittarius. A Planetary nebula probably directly above your head?

#21 Nebhunter

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 02:55 PM

We love the frame your took. Would either yourself or Rick consider entering the monthly contest under the Film Forum. We would be honoured.

Igor

#22 Robert Provin

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 08:22 PM

Post deleted by Robert Provin

#23 Nebhunter

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 11:25 PM

Hi Robert - near the top of the threads is one with July09 Imaging Contest. It lists the file size and the rules. You would have to meet those guidelines to have an entry accepted. It stays in the film forum, and if there are other entries, then we vote on them. The winner goes on as the selected FILM FORUM entry and is listed with all the other entries from CCD - DSLR etc.

I would love to see yours entered, along with Rick's if he gets it done in time. Weather is a killer for us. If Rick can't make it, I hope he enters next month.

Wide field shots do not tend to come out well - lots of compression, so it takes some work, and maybe some cropping to get the best results. Jim is more experienced here, and could help to make sure your final images meet the guidelines. Jim managed to win the big one last year if I remember correctly.

Igor

#24 M111

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 10:43 AM

I was also considering entering one of mine, but if Robert or Rick want to enter I'll wait until next month. There are quite a few worthy entries in this group at the moment and it doesn't make much sense to me to have them compete against each other when we can just fast track each entry straight to the finals. That way film could be represented in the finals for the next few months.

#25 Nebhunter

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 11:02 AM

Good thinking. Weather being the way it is - the rest of us may not get any shots until well into August.

Having to crop and compress the large or medium format image is clearly a disadvantage to those sizes. Using a wide field shot has the stars looking like oatmeal compared to pin points.

This is done apparently in consideration of those using dial up connections. So, at least we are backward compatible to the stone age, regardless of what advances technology has made. I can understand that thinking, as this is a forum for all levels of users. I just wish they would allow links to personal websites for contest entries. One can usually access a "regular" version for dial up, or HD version for high speed. This would allow a proper wide field full frame to be displayed.

Igor


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