Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

My Best Film Image of M42

  • Please log in to reply
20 replies to this topic

#1 Alen K

Alen K

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 828
  • Joined: 25 Nov 2009

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.

  • Skywatchr, Joe F Gafford, mikewayne3 and 11 others like this

#2 J A VOLK

J A VOLK

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1042
  • Joined: 24 May 2006
  • Loc: So. Cal.

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.

Attached Thumbnails

  • M42C11.jpg

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

  • Todd N, John Rogers, Alen K and 7 others like this

#3 zxx

zxx

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 827
  • Joined: 27 Jan 2010

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 


  • TOMDEY likes this

#4 TOMDEY

TOMDEY

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3991
  • Joined: 10 Feb 2014
  • Loc: Springwater, NY

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

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • 03.0 35-160_M42 CIRCA 1985 44.jpg

  • Todd N, Alen K, mitsos68 and 1 other like this

#5 TOMDEY

TOMDEY

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3991
  • Joined: 10 Feb 2014
  • Loc: Springwater, NY

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

Attached Thumbnails

  • 03.2 Tom at Astrola annotated.jpg

  • Nightfly, zxx, Dartguy and 1 other like this

#6 zxx

zxx

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 827
  • Joined: 27 Jan 2010

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

TOMDEY

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3991
  • Joined: 10 Feb 2014
  • Loc: Springwater, NY

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


  • zxx likes this

#8 Alen K

Alen K

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 828
  • Joined: 25 Nov 2009

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.
  • Skywatchr, John Rogers and TOMDEY like this

#9 TOMDEY

TOMDEY

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3991
  • Joined: 10 Feb 2014
  • Loc: Springwater, NY

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

Alen K

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 828
  • Joined: 25 Nov 2009

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.

  • Skywatchr and TOMDEY like this

#11 TOMDEY

TOMDEY

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3991
  • Joined: 10 Feb 2014
  • Loc: Springwater, NY

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

Attached Thumbnails

  • 12 Tom returning home from work.jpg

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

  • Alen K likes this

#12 Joe F Gafford

Joe F Gafford

    Soyuz

  • ****-
  • Posts: 3827
  • Joined: 15 Dec 2006
  • Loc: Denver, Colorado, US

Posted 19 August 2018 - 08:48 PM

My submission here. Scanned negative.

 

Joe


  • Alen K likes this

#13 Skywatchr

Skywatchr

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2777
  • Joined: 03 Jun 2006
  • Loc: North-Central Pa.

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.


  • Tom K likes this

#14 Alen K

Alen K

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 828
  • Joined: 25 Nov 2009

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.


  • Skywatchr likes this

#15 John Rogers

John Rogers

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 301
  • Joined: 08 Feb 2008

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


  • Skywatchr likes this

#16 Alen K

Alen K

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 828
  • Joined: 25 Nov 2009

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.

Attached Files


  • John Rogers and telesonic like this

#17 Skywatchr

Skywatchr

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2777
  • Joined: 03 Jun 2006
  • Loc: North-Central Pa.

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. 


  • John Rogers likes this

#18 telesonic

telesonic

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 262
  • Joined: 17 Oct 2016
  • Loc: Idaho

Posted 11 October 2018 - 11:09 PM

Great image Alen! 


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


#19 BillHarris

BillHarris

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 368
  • Joined: 29 Nov 2017
  • Loc: northwest Alabama

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.


#20 Tom K

Tom K

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 441
  • Joined: 19 Jan 2010
  • Loc: Escondido, CA

Posted 22 February 2019 - 09:50 AM

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.

While it may make me seem old (I am only 54), when I was in my 20's I had a 2120 LX5 and did just as you described.   Sitting out there with an eye glued to the scope nudging it back and forth with the hopes that things would go well enough to produce something when you developed the film later.   After Fotomat prints failed many times, I actually used my scarce funds in college to buy my own darkroom equipment so I could do my own prints.   Digital is so dramtically easier now that when I read posts about the trials and tribulations of astrophotography I just shake my head - they have no idea....

 

I once made my own illuminated reticle eyepiece by painting strands of fine hair from a 3 year old's hairbrush with glow in the dark paint and gluing them into an old eyepiece.   I was rather broke back then but this worked.   I would shine a flashlight into the eyepiece for several minutes and it would glow for about 20 minutes before petering out.   I am not sure, but I think it was the first, and perhaps only, human hair illuminated reticle eyepiece.


  • Todd N likes this

#21 Alen K

Alen K

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 828
  • Joined: 25 Nov 2009

Posted 22 February 2019 - 01:27 PM

Nice story. When I started doing prime-focus astrophotography with a telescope in 2002, affordable DSLRs had not yet arrived (the Canon Digital Rebel didn't appear until 2003). I could have gone the CCD route, but they were mucho expensive or very low resolution. Plus, the process of using them was not to my liking. Film SLRs seemed the best route for me.

Even when DSLRs appeared I stuck with my film SLRs. With the scope I started with (shown here) and the methods I was using, including manual guiding, I was not doing anything that someone could not have done ten years or more earlier than when I started.

While film was still viable when I started, in only a few years it was considered a "retro" thing. By 2008 it was clear to me that I was probably wasting my time taking film photos, but I was not convinced that DSLRs were quite good enough for me to make the jump. However, by 2015 they were. For various reasons I did not jump in until last year but now that I have, I am already putting my film photos to shame. I am not dissing film but I can't deny what I can see with my own eyes.

While I no longer shoot film I do have a treasured library of slides that I invested hours and hours of effort obtaining. I have posted some of my better film efforts to my Cloudy Nights photo gallery but there are others I still have not yet properly image-processed more than ten years later! In particular, an examination of those slides reveals I have many shots of objects like M31/M32/M110 that I could stack and get a much better image than I had previously obtained from a single slide, just like the image I posted to start the thread. So while I no longer take film photos I will continue to image-process my slides and upload the results to CN.

Edited by Alen K, 22 February 2019 - 01:28 PM.

  • Tom K likes this


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics