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My Best Film Image of M42

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#1 Alen K

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Posted 14 August 2018 - 06:36 PM

I have been looking through my old film astrophotos to see what I could do with them. I found three exposures of M42 taken with the same equipment that I had never turned into photos. So I stacked them using Sequator and this is the result after a little further processing. It's by far the best film image of M42 I ever took and I didn't even know it was sitting in my files unrealized for all these many years. (Click on the image below to go to my gallery for details and a larger image.)
 
M42, M43 & Running Man (Stacked)

Edited by Alen K, 14 August 2018 - 07:02 PM.

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#2 J A VOLK

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Posted 14 August 2018 - 07:29 PM

Dug up this film shot from maybe 20 years ago - C11 with f/6.3 reducer, single exposure - scan of print made in darkroom.

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  • M42C11.jpg

Edited by J A VOLK, 14 August 2018 - 07:31 PM.

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#3 zxx

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Posted 14 August 2018 - 07:38 PM

Was there a way to know you were in focus with film ? or did you find out when you got your photos back 


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#4 TOMDEY

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Posted 14 August 2018 - 08:24 PM

Cool! Here's my submission... from circa 1985-ish. The film was gas-hypered Ektachrome processed C-41 as a negative and then duped onto color reversal film and then recently scanned that "slide" and presented here. No other digital processing. Looks like I must have rendered it to show the outers stuff. I believe it faded a lot with age. Tom

 

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  • 03.0 35-160_M42 CIRCA 1985 44.jpg

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#5 TOMDEY

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Posted 14 August 2018 - 08:42 PM

Was there a way to know you were in focus with film ? or did you find out when you got your photos back 

The way I did it, stick in the camera body (Olympus manual OM-1 with the back removed and FP shutter locked open). Press a glass Ronchi on the rails and focus using the Ronchi on a bright star. I later bought a custom 2-inch Ronchi tube that mimicked that same camera body. It was a Painful way to image. Single exposure times 20 min minimun, 5 hours max!  I think this one was less than an hour...  Tom

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  • 03.2 Tom at Astrola annotated.jpg

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#6 zxx

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Posted 14 August 2018 - 09:01 PM

The way I did it, stick in the camera body (Olympus manual OM-1 with the back removed and FP shutter locked open). Press a glass Ronchi on the rails and focus using the Ronchi on a bright star. I later bought a custom 2-inch Ronchi tube that mimicked that same camera body. It was a Painful way to image. Single exposure times 20 min minimun, 5 hours max!  I think this one was less than an hour...  Tom

Wow ,that's awesome ,I can see that this hobby was a lot more challenging with film and no auto guiding .

was it possible yo use a polaroid  camera for AP ?

 

Bill



#7 TOMDEY

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Posted 14 August 2018 - 09:06 PM

Wow ,that's awesome ,I can see that this hobby was a lot more challenging with film and no auto guiding .

was it possible yo use a polaroid  camera for AP ?

 

Bill

I know people tried it, but never witnessed any significant successes.... There were many cameras that took sheet film and glass plates. I did 4x5 sheet film and plates for a long time. PAINFUL!  And very, Very expensive... Tom


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#8 Alen K

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Posted 14 August 2018 - 09:29 PM

Re focusing, I always used a home-made knife-edge focuser. It was easy to make using a plastic plumbing part and easy to use. The result was always bang on. There is no guessing. (Using a Ronchi grating is similar since it acts like multiple knife edges.)

However, I have taken film photos with bad focus resulting from other mistakes I made. I think I made them all over the years.

People don't realize it but you can still use a knife-edge focuser or Ronchi grating with a DSLR as long as it uses the same distance from the lens mount to the image plane as the legacy film cameras from that manufacturer that preceded it. Why would you want to do that? No guessing about focus, lower draw on your battery and lower heating of the sensor (because you do not need to use live view).

Re autoguiding, I never did it. That was for girly men. (No offense, Tom.) Every film image in my gallery here on CN was manually guided.
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#9 TOMDEY

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Posted 14 August 2018 - 09:50 PM

Re focusing, I always used a home-made knife-edge focuser. It was easy to make using a plastic plumbing part and easy to use. The result was always bang on. There is no guessing. (Using a Ronchi grating is similar since it acts like multiple knife edges.)

However, I have taken film photos with bad focus resulting from other mistakes I made. I think I made them all over the years.

People don't realize it but you can still use a knife-edge focuser or Ronchi grating with a DSLR as long as it uses the same distance from the lens mount to the image plane as the legacy film cameras from that manufacturer that preceded it. Why would you want to do that? No guessing about focus, lower draw on your battery and lower heating of the sensor (because you do not need to use live view).

Re autoguiding, I never did it. That was for girly men. (No offense, Tom.) Every film image in my gallery here on CN was manually guided.

Hi, Alen. I DID thousands of hours of "hand-guiding" before, finally, integrating the SBIG ST4 autoguider... right when it 1st came out! Only to discover that the Astrola RA and Dec drives were pathetically inadequate. So, I retrofitted a Byers 11.x RA drive and designed and build my own Dec tangent arm, then ran that thru electronics to allow the ST4 to sense the inputs and transmit the corrective outputs... and it WORKED! Locked onto my selected guide stars like a bulldog!  Tom


Edited by TOMDEY, 14 August 2018 - 09:51 PM.


#10 Alen K

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Posted 14 August 2018 - 11:01 PM

Hey, Tom, you evidently did your dues. But the youngun's today, they don't know from pain. Autoguiders, cameras tethered to laptops, GoTo, and the devil himself...complete remote control of your observatory over the Internet. I think budding astrophotographers should be required to take a course doing things the old-fashioned way before graduating to modern methods. Like my first university course in programming a mainframe computer in the seventies had us use punch cards before they let us use the timeshare terminals. Just so we appreciated how good we had it.

Edited by Alen K, 14 August 2018 - 11:01 PM.

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#11 TOMDEY

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Posted 18 August 2018 - 04:28 PM

Hey, Tom, you evidently did your dues. But the youngun's today, they don't know from pain. Autoguiders, cameras tethered to laptops, GoTo, and the devil himself...complete remote control of your observatory over the Internet. I think budding astrophotographers should be required to take a course doing things the old-fashioned way before graduating to modern methods. Like my first university course in programming a mainframe computer in the seventies had us use punch cards before they let us use the timeshare terminals. Just so we appreciated how good we had it.

Actually... more than a grain of truth in that! Back in the 1970's, at Bausch & Lomb, down by the Genesee River, I was one of the Very Few engineers allowed into the giant Computing Room, where resided the HUGE IBM-370 System, with the supervisor sitting at this big console with hundreds of blinking red lights, like something out of an old Sci-Fi movie... but REAL, leading-edge computing technology!

 

I'd derive my own analysis from Maxell's Equations, apply it to whatever optical system I was inventing, write the flow charts, algorithms, Fortran code, punch the cards, read them in, debug, run... all the way through prototypes, production, marketing and customer support. I'd work into the wee hours...

 

Then don my Fedora, grab my briefcase, bid the night watchman "Auf Wiedersehen"... torch in hand, out to the company stables and ride my horse home, to my waiting wife and chambermaid.  Tom

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  • 12 Tom returning home from work.jpg

Edited by TOMDEY, 18 August 2018 - 04:32 PM.

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#12 Joe F Gafford

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Posted 19 August 2018 - 08:48 PM

My submission here. Scanned negative.

 

Joe


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#13 Skywatchr

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Posted 14 September 2018 - 03:30 AM

Re autoguiding, I never did it. That was for girly men. (No offense, Tom.)

lol.gif  The youngins will never know the pains of contortion, manually guiding a Meade DS-16A on a ladder for 4 hours, only to capture a faint wisp of the Horsehead.  But the anticipation in the darkroom as you finally pull the Technical Pan film from the canister just cannot be beat with any "gadget" today.  Although I no longer have that negative, I do have one of M42 here somewhere stashed away that I took with a Meade 2080 LX5, but never had it scanned.  Mainly because the print had to be dodged -n- burned to bring out the trapezium while preserving other details.  The end result, though, was phenomenal.  I gave a print to Glenn Jacobs, who at the time, had Wholesale Optics of Pa (which later became Pocono Mountain Optics, then morphed into what is now High Point Scientific) and he had it displayed on his wall.  He got so many requests for that print, even as far away as Spain, it was unbelievable. As a side note, I bought both those scopes mentioned above from Glenn.  The LX5 was traded back in with him for a C11, and the DS-16A is now one of my truss Dobs.



#14 Alen K

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Posted 17 September 2018 - 09:57 PM

Although I no longer have that negative, I do have one of M42 here somewhere stashed away that I took with a Meade 2080 LX5, but never had it scanned.  Mainly because the print had to be dodged -n- burned to bring out the trapezium while preserving other details.  The end result, though, was phenomenal. 

You should scan it today with a good slide scanner (or ask someone who has one to do it). One of those can capture all of the dynamic range in the negative (using multiple passes, if necessary) and you can then use a modern image processing program to show that dynamic range in the image. In my image at the top of the thread one of my exposures was only five minutes and hence captured the Trapezium without overexposing it. I used Sequator's HDR option when stacking to retain some of that detail in the final image.


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#15 John Rogers

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Posted 08 October 2018 - 07:56 PM

Re focusing, I always used a home-made knife-edge focuser. It was easy to make using a plastic plumbing part and easy to use. The result was always bang on. There is no guessing. (Using a Ronchi grating is similar since it acts like multiple knife edges.)

However, I have taken film photos with bad focus resulting from other mistakes I made. I think I made them all over the years.

People don't realize it but you can still use a knife-edge focuser or Ronchi grating with a DSLR as long as it uses the same distance from the lens mount to the image plane as the legacy film cameras from that manufacturer that preceded it. Why would you want to do that? No guessing about focus, lower draw on your battery and lower heating of the sensor (because you do not need to use live view).

Re autoguiding, I never did it. That was for girly men. (No offense, Tom.) Every film image in my gallery here on CN was manually guided.

There was a commercial version of the Ronchi grating method called the SureSharp produced by a company called Spectra Astro Systems during the 1980s.  I had one for my Olympus OM1 and it worked great.

 

John Rogers


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#16 Alen K

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Posted 08 October 2018 - 09:37 PM

There was a commercial version of the Ronchi grating method called the SureSharp produced by a company called Spectra Astro Systems during the 1980s.  I had one for my Olympus OM1 and it worked great.

 

John Rogers

I initially bought a different one called the PointSource by Spectra (shown here). But I didn't actually use it because I ended up with an OAG in my first set-up (seen here and here). The PointSource screws on to what the T-ring of a standard T-adapter screws on to. But the OAG I used, a Lumicon 2-inch Newtonian Easy Guider, didn't mechanically work that way. I ended up making my own knife-edge focuser for peanuts and it worked like a charm. (I wrote an article about that for a newsletter I edited; see attachment.)  I continued to use my homemade device even after I switched to a different telescope (still a Meade 6-inch f/5 S-N but now an OTA on a GEM - shown here) and used a guide-scope instead of an OAG (not enough back-focus for the latter). I was at that time using an integrated T-adapter for my OM-1 that didn't vignette a 35mm frame the way a standard adapter based on a T-ring would (and still will if you are using a full-frame DSLR). Note that while my DIY knife-edge focuser worked very well for the Schmidt-Newtonian, and would work as well for a Newtonian reflector of course, it would be very awkward to use with a refractor, an SCT or an RC.

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#17 Skywatchr

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 02:32 PM

There was a commercial version of the Ronchi grating method called the SureSharp produced by a company called Spectra Astro Systems during the 1980s.  I had one for my Olympus OM1 and it worked great.

 

John Rogers

I still have mine for the OM-1 as well. 


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#18 telesonic

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 11:09 PM

Great image Alen! 


Edited by telesonic, 11 October 2018 - 11:23 PM.


#19 BillHarris

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Posted 17 October 2018 - 02:47 AM

Tom, Alen, et al. Amen!!! This discussion brings back memories. Let me dig around on the Laptop and see if I can find pix to share.

I still have all my Tech Pan negs, mounted in slide mounts, still neatly filed away. And I've bought a slide scanner...

Bill

 

 

edit--  oops, no "M42 in color"  images are to be found.  Let me scan a neg/print of my FujiColor pics of M42 and get back.


Edited by BillHarris, 17 October 2018 - 10:31 AM.



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