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What are the advantages of film astrophotography?

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#51 rwiederrich

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 08:48 PM

Quote:
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I guess the issue of start and walk away is what is the main theme. You can't walk away from film imaging as you can with CCD driven my a program. Isn't this correct as you see it??

Rob


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Sure you can start and walk away while imaging with film - by having a CCD do the guiding for you, and people do just that.



Indeed, but this technique still requires a CCD to make sure everyone is on the same page. Hence the removal of the human element.

It appears we keep vacillating from one distinct issue(guiding), to another, (imaging). That in part, is my fault I am sure.

I guess when the rubber hits the road, film is the least expensive media, initially. And skill is required for both film, and CCD imaging. Not exactly the same skill but the initial mental investment is the same. The drain on your computer savee can be the very thing that makes CCD too expensive for some.

How you plan to guide the session is another matter.. :smirk:

Rob(Hardened film user)


Yep ;)



I'm oh so glad you didn't get really DEEP into it.... :smirk:

Rob(Let your answere be Yes or no) :grin: or Yep

#52 JakeJ

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 08:57 PM

Good post Jay -

I did have a nitpick with one point, however..

7.) The cost of film, including processing and digitizing, isn't all that cheap. I'd agree that film is cheaper to start with when compared to a CCD, but at some point you WILL start to spend more than the CCD you could have had to begin with. Again, remember that you don't need the same FOV CCD chip to make the comparision, but rather the one you'd need to accomplish your goals. For example, after two years of E200 or 400F photography with a Nikon F2 (with "C" screen and DW-2 6x finder), you've spent quite a bit of money, especially if you image a lot. By that time, you might have spent so much that you could have purchased an SBIG ST-2000, in either single shot color or monochrome CCD...a camera that can shoot a lot more objects than film or DSLRs.


You are forgetting to include the cost of a LAPTOP COMPUTER needed to run the CCD camera, as well as the associated costs of a deep-cycle battery (or two) and an inverter so you can power the CCD and laptop all evening.

Film is still cheap, and processing is cheap. You don't need to capture but one or two frames per image - that equals 13-36 objects per 36 exposure roll. It would take a LONG time of film imaging to equal the cost of even a ST-2000 plus computer and misc. hardware to run it - and by the time you did equal that cost, your ST-2000 and computer would be hopelessly outdated, and worth very little. The $50 manual camera you bought would still likely be worth $50.

Don't get me wrong, I do CCD, DSLR and film imaging - but film is certainly the most inexpensive and easy way to get into astrophotography.

-Jake

#53 rwiederrich

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 09:08 PM

Jay,

You make some very interesting points,and bring out a lot of good topics for discussion.

I suppose the binding point is that the media is not for everyone, and that means both film, and CCD.

I am not sure I completely agree with the idea that LFL scopes are all that difficult. I mean, I have used my f/15, to image M13, and the Wirlpool Galaxy, and I found it very pleasing. If wide FoV images are what is needed, then I use the f/6.5.

I'm not a fan of wide FoV imaging. If I have a great scope, I want to get up and personal, with steller objects.

My eyes give me all of that I really want.

I am also fortunate to have dark skies, and film can still bring out the faint objects. Sure CCD can be utalized to *stack* images, to make up for the poor LP issue, but I don't have the need.

Great topic fer sure.

Rob ;)

#54 rwiederrich

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 09:16 PM

You are forgetting to include the cost of a LAPTOP COMPUTER needed to run the CCD camera, as well as the associated costs of a deep-cycle battery (or two) and an inverter so you can power the CCD and laptop all evening.

Film is still cheap, and processing is cheap. You don't need to capture but one or two frames per image - that equals 13-36 objects per 36 exposure roll. It would take a LONG time of film imaging to equal the cost of even a ST-2000 plus computer and misc. hardware to run it - and by the time you did equal that cost, your ST-2000 and computer would be hopelessly outdated, and worth very little. The $50 manual camera you bought would still likely be worth $50.

Don't get me wrong, I do CCD, DSLR and film imaging - but film is certainly the most inexpensive and easy way to get into astrophotography.



Jake,

I completely forgot the computer, and batts, and cords, and inverter, and red screen, and more cords, and a table to put it all on. :grin:

Rob(but I do have a couple dollar roll of film in my pocket)

#55 Allaboutastro

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 10:03 PM

Jake/Rob:

I don't disagree...I guess it's just a point of perspective. I come at it from the standpoint that you'll likely need/want that same equipment for film as well. I mean, a good film scanner isn't cheap either...and neither is the PC and software you'd likely be using to process the image...and yes, you can process film images too. :)

I think my point is that if you want to test the waters, the film is the best way to go...but before you know it, you've spent more than you realize...money that you'll eventually wish you put into a good CCD camera. I've spent lots of money on things like off-axis guiders, flip mirrors, film scanners, camera prisms, etc., that were intended to make shooting film easier...things that were no longer needed once I went digital...and in fact, I've still got a ton of equipment like that that I've never gotten rid of.

I think everybody should shoot film to start with...no reason not to. But at some point, you have to realize that CCD options are becoming more and more affordable as the days go by...and that means putting more and more money into a film rig isn't exactly the wisest choice...IMO.

Plus, it's not a given that E200 and 400F will be around for another month, much less until you are ready for a digital camera. I know guys with more than a hundred rolls of Techpan in their freezers because they got stuck with no more options.

#56 ClownFish

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 11:38 PM

Jay, good points! I do have to add that when you say things like "..you might have spent so much (in the long run) that you could have purchased..." this implies that you HAVE the funds to make such a large purchase to begin with.

Many, myself included, can justify and afford a roll of film and developing twice a month. But I can not afford to drop down a grand on this hobby becuase I know in the long run it will be more cost effective. The "long run" has no meaning for many people.... it's what they have today that counts.

I do agree that all this film talk will be a dead subject just as soon as E200 and Provia goes away. As soon as the film manufacturers stop producing Ha sensitive emulsions, film astrophotography will just about over. And with more and more high end photographers going digital, the only thing left in film marketing will be disposable 35mm cameras, and they do not require sensitive slide film like E200 and 400F. I see this day coming :(

CF

#57 Allaboutastro

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 11:55 PM

Good points as always, CF. The question is, when do you stop? I'd just hate to see you have a lot of money sunk into a film setup with little chance to pawn it off to somebody else...or no good films to work with, which I feel is inevitable...and sad.

I really think you can still do great work with E200 and 400F (like yours), stuff that compares to anything shot with a DSLR. But I'd really like to see what can happen with a blend of modern, high dollar equipment, and a film like 400F. After all, I don't know anybody with a Paramount and RC shooting film right now. I might have to do an experiment on that soon...it should produce a very nice image.

#58 TxStars

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Posted 07 June 2006 - 07:56 AM

You are forgetting to include the cost of a LAPTOP COMPUTER needed to run the CCD camera, as well as the associated costs of a deep-cycle battery (or two) and an inverter so you can power the CCD and laptop all evening.

Film is still cheap, and processing is cheap. You don't need to capture but one or two frames per image - that equals 13-36 objects per 36 exposure roll. It would take a LONG time of film imaging to equal the cost of even a ST-2000 plus computer and misc. hardware to run it - and by the time you did equal that cost, your ST-2000 and computer would be hopelessly outdated, and worth very little. The $50 manual camera you bought would still likely be worth $50.

Don't get me wrong, I do CCD, DSLR and film imaging - but film is certainly the most inexpensive and easy way to get into astrophotography.



Jake,

I completely forgot the computer, and batts, and cords, and inverter, and red screen, and more cords, and a table to put it all on. :grin:

Rob(but I do have a couple dollar roll of film in my pocket)


Don't forget the software to process the CCD image...


I guess when they make a 24x36mm CCD with 1um pixles that costs 1K I will buy one...
Or when Kodak shuts down their film production :bawling: which ever comes first..

#59 rwiederrich

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Posted 07 June 2006 - 08:32 AM

Jake/Rob:

I don't disagree...I guess it's just a point of perspective. I come at it from the standpoint that you'll likely need/want that same equipment for film as well. I mean, a good film scanner isn't cheap either...and neither is the PC and software you'd likely be using to process the image...and yes, you can process film images too. :)

I think my point is that if you want to test the waters, the film is the best way to go...but before you know it, you've spent more than you realize...money that you'll eventually wish you put into a good CCD camera. I've spent lots of money on things like off-axis guiders, flip mirrors, film scanners, camera prisms, etc., that were intended to make shooting film easier...things that were no longer needed once I went digital...and in fact, I've still got a ton of equipment like that that I've never gotten rid of.

I think everybody should shoot film to start with...no reason not to. But at some point, you have to realize that CCD options are becoming more and more affordable as the days go by...and that means putting more and more money into a film rig isn't exactly the wisest choice...IMO.

Plus, it's not a given that E200 and 400F will be around for another month, much less until you are ready for a digital camera. I know guys with more than a hundred rolls of Techpan in their freezers because they got stuck with no more options.


In this hobby perception is everything.

My expence using film is a camera(I already owned from eons ago), and a Stiletto(which most DSLR's still need). Of course your programing can focus your CCD.

I don't need an expensive scnner, cause I get my film put on CD for $4 at Wal-Mart.

So I get the pix, a Cd and then I can do what I need to do at home. Crop, etc...

I also agree that some day I too may go CCD, but I will cross that river when it is time.

Rob(Master river crosser)

#60 rwiederrich

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Posted 07 June 2006 - 08:39 AM

You are forgetting to include the cost of a LAPTOP COMPUTER needed to run the CCD camera, as well as the associated costs of a deep-cycle battery (or two) and an inverter so you can power the CCD and laptop all evening.

Film is still cheap, and processing is cheap. You don't need to capture but one or two frames per image - that equals 13-36 objects per 36 exposure roll. It would take a LONG time of film imaging to equal the cost of even a ST-2000 plus computer and misc. hardware to run it - and by the time you did equal that cost, your ST-2000 and computer would be hopelessly outdated, and worth very little. The $50 manual camera you bought would still likely be worth $50.

Don't get me wrong, I do CCD, DSLR and film imaging - but film is certainly the most inexpensive and easy way to get into astrophotography.



Jake,

I completely forgot the computer, and batts, and cords, and inverter, and red screen, and more cords, and a table to put it all on. :grin:

Rob(but I do have a couple dollar roll of film in my pocket)


Don't forget the software to process the CCD image...


I guess when they make a 24x36mm CCD with 1um pixles that costs 1K I will buy one...
Or when Kodak shuts down their film production :bawling: which ever comes first..


I'm holding out for the day a good DSLR is going for around $200. Remember when DVD players were $400, now I can get one for $25 new.

It is probably true that film will vanish, but I will use it till that day comes. :grin:

Rob


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