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Finally, a fresh film shot

astrophotography beginner
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#1 telesonic

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 11:59 PM

Yesterday I received the prints of my 2 rolls, and just as I had expected... there is certainly much more for me to learn about this fascinating hobby. The first roll was just spent testing focus, some fixed tripod shots, and a mix of daylight and blank frames. Not totally useless for note taking... just to figure out what works.

The second roll had a couple of shots I thought were half decent, so I'm posting this one up for a sort of starting marker.

 

This is a resized image (taken from the photo cd) from the lab, original. 

 

Trying to catch some milky way (original)
 
This is the same image with just some post processing in iphoto / gimp, that I whipped out earlier.
 
Milky way edited

 

Image Details:
Vicinity of Deneb / Sadr (I think)
Film was Fuji Xperia 400
Lens 28mm f2.8 down 1 stop?  (notes aren't too clear)
Exposure - 8 minutes
Vixen Polaris EQ mount roughly aimed at the pole by eyeball, single axis drive (self modified Orion unit)

Just set it down and let it go with no guiding or corrections.

 

 

 

When I got both rolls back, I was surprised by how light many of the frames were... almost as if overexposed or developed wrong. I don't live under a pristine dark sky, more like a mixture of urban and rural (yellow/green zone) so I suspect that I'm picking up sky glow / sky fog from the surrounding areas (local area lights and light domes) is that correct? I do notice some coma on the edges of the frame... likely from the lens, and I'm not experienced enough to pick out tracking errors or anything like that... so for now, it is what it is... a start.

 

Feedback is welcome of course,

Temp


Edited by telesonic, 08 November 2018 - 11:59 PM.

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#2 Michal1

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 03:32 AM

Hi telesonic! Good start! I reminds me my beginnings. To improve your photos, you can work on the following:

- a better film. See the newest post here https://www.cloudyni...tography/page-2 , many also have high expectations of the newly introduced Kodak Ektachrome 100.

- stop down your lens. The elongated stars in the corners of the image indeed look like being caused by lens aberrations.

- With a stopped-down lens and a slower film, you will probably have to increase the exposure time. Then you will have to put more effort to polar alignment and guiding.

 

I guess that your photos came out so bright because they are overexposed. You used a fast film and lens. Experimenting will allow you a quick start. Remember: "You have to waste film or you will waste your time".


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#3 telesonic

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 04:42 PM

Thanks Michal!

I do have some 200 speed Kodak Gold rolls that I'm going to try soon, and I'm also curious to hear how that Ektachrome works for astro shots.... but don't think there have been any results posted here yet.

 

Next time I will be using my Super Polaris mount, which has a polar alignment scope (and updated reticle) to help me get it more precise, and a better single axis drive with hand controller, so I should be able to guide with my short 80mm scope. I may have to man up and learn drift alignment too, but haven't got that far yet.

 

 

Thanks for your comments,

and that last line about wasting film or wasting time is true! I hope to get some more shots soon, and I'm not worried about using up film do do so.

 

Cheers,

T



#4 Uwe Pilz

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Posted Yesterday, 09:04 AM

As long as you make the first steps in film bases astrophotography, it may be worth using b/w film. It can be processed easily at home, and you may process just a few images. YOu get negatives, of course, but their use is not uncommon in astronomy. To look what you got a simple slide projector is of use.


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#5 telesonic

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Posted Yesterday, 08:13 PM

Uwe,

 

It has been on my mind to try some b&w.. and may do that to, as my girlfriend took a few years of photography at the university level. She is familiar with the process of developing it, but I may have convince her it would be a good idea... we live in a small home with not much indoor space for more things. 

 

 

Can you, or maybe anyone else that reads this suggest a good b&w film to start with? I've read mentions of Ilford +5 (I think) and one other brand. I think I've also read (maybe on here) about winding your own film into cartridges with only a small amount of film to develop instead of a full roll, is that what you are referring to?

 

Temp



#6 Uwe Pilz

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Posted Today, 12:22 AM

Dear Temp,

 

I make (non astronomical) b/w photography since around 1973 an may give you some hints.

 

> we live in a small home with not much indoor space for more things.

 

You don't need much. A developing tank, a bottle of developer and one of fixer and maybea funnel. I gave you links to powder chemicals, yo you don't need more space for stock bottles.

 

Every photographer recommends the film it uses for theirself, so I do.

 

If you want a classical emulsion, than I recommend APX 400 new aka Kentmere 400 aka CHM 400. It need a exposure time of around 5...10 mins under rural sky at f/2.8, SQM around 21.

If you want best quality / finest grain, take Ilford Delta 100. It takes the double time.

I don't recommend the high speed films Ilford delta 3200 and Kodak TMZ. They cannot be stored well and have a giant grain.

 

I strongly recommend the developer Atomal 49, which makes most of the speed. It is powered, so there are less problems with shipping beyond the ocean. 

 

For my rarely done astronomical work I use a mechanical camera, which does not depend on batteries. After shooting, you may open the camera in the total dark (bath room at night with lights of) and cut the exposed film strip.

 

You should sacrifice a film for practicing how to insert it in the tank. Try it first in an illuminated room to see how it works.

 

If you have more questions, please ask.


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#7 telesonic

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Posted Today, 09:47 AM

Uwe,

Many thanks for your reply, and detailed information.

 

Both cameras we have are mechanical, so no problems there. I will re-read over your information this evening, and will ask if needed.

 

 

Thanks again,

Temp



#8 NWAAstronomer

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Posted Today, 10:29 AM

The raw image looks to me like reciprocity failure: https://en.wikipedia...y_(photography)

 

From that wikipedia article: Astrophotography

Reciprocity failure is an important effect in the field of film-based astrophotography. Deep-sky objects such as galaxies and nebulae are often so faint that they are not visible to the un-aided eye. To make matters worse, many objects' spectra do not line up with the film emulsion's sensitivity curves. Many of these targets are small and require long focal lengths, which can push the focal ratio far above f/5. Combined, these parameters make these targets extremely difficult to capture with film; exposures from 30 minutes to well over an hour are typical. As a typical example, capturing an image of the Andromeda Galaxy at f/4 will take about 30 minutes; to get the same density at f/8 would require an exposure of about 200 minutes.

When a telescope is tracking an object, every minute is difficult; therefore, reciprocity failure is one of the biggest motivations for astronomers to switch to digital imaging. Electronic image sensors have their own limitation at long exposure time and low illuminance levels, not usually referred to as reciprocity failure, namely noise from dark current, but this effect can be controlled by cooling the sensor.



#9 Alen K

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Posted Today, 08:10 PM

The passage from Wikipedia does nothing to explain what reciprocity failure is or how it affects exposures. Try this instead: https://en.m.wikiped...y_(photography)


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