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Thread: How to shoot decert in night with many starts on the sky?

  1. #1
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    How to shoot decert in night with many starts on the sky?

    Hi,

    I'm going to shoot a desert landscape with many starts on the sky. This is a night photography.

    I will take:

    1. Contax 645 with Sinarback 54M.
    2. Contax 645 with slide and black and white film.
    3. Manfrotto photo tripod.
    4. Mechanical cable release for long exposures.
    5. Nikon flash to light the desert. (not for stars )
    6. Macbook.

    Which lens do you recommend for such work?
    1. 35mm f3.5 - 28 seconds exposure max without tracking the stars.
    2. 55mm f3.5 - 18 seconds exposure max without tracking the stars.
    3. 80mm f2 - 12 seconds exposure max without tracking the stars.
    4. 140mm f2.8 - 7 seconds exposure max without tracking the stars.

    Which film do you recommend for such night work?
    1. Ilford PAN F PLUS (ISO 50).
    2. Kodak TMX (T-MAX PRO ISO 100).
    3. Kodak TXP (TRI-X PAN PR ISO 320).
    4. Fujifilm ASTIA 100-F (ISO 100).
    5. Fujifilm VELVIA RVP (ISO 50).
    6. Kodak PORTRA 160VC (ISO 160).

    What else I must to know?
    Any "how to" is very welcome!
    Thank

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    Re: How to shoot decert in night with many starts on the sky?

    Evgeny: http://www.thenocturnes.com/resources.html
    Hope this helps,
    Eduardo

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    Re: How to shoot decert in night with many starts on the sky?

    Eduardo, thank you very much!

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    Re: How to shoot decert in night with many starts on the sky?

    Or this one:
    http://www.aftercapture.com/reposito...ad_McGrath.pdf

    "Glad to be at your service"
    - The bicentennial man
    Love the movie.
    Ed

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    Re: How to shoot decert in night with many starts on the sky?

    Evgeny, if you are still shooting film I have 4 rolls of the only Fuji Acros in Israel sitting in my freezer if you're interested. Got a bunch of C-41 B&W 120 stuff as well including Kodak BW400CN (also can't get here in 120) and Ilford XP2 if you want, I'm not shooting film anymore so it's cheap!

    To be honest for night time photography you're going to need longer exposure times than that, super wide lenses shot wide open and focused at infinity are the best but if you want star trails you're looking at 30 minute exposures not seconds. You could of course use the stacking method whereby you take lots of shorter exposures and stack them in photoshop. I do think that film is your best bet though for long nightime exposures, just easier.
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    Re: How to shoot decert in night with many starts on the sky?

    Ed and Ben thanks!

    Ben I was in Jerusalem a few weeks ago, but have no time to go again before that night shoot event in desert.

    Do you recommend only black and white film, not slides (well, I know about color shift, but anyway)?
    Can you recommend a low grain Pan F b&w film (ISO 50) for night photography?

    I think to try to add someting unusual in the desert landscape, like wood dolls (these are used by still life photographers, I bought two in Ikea)...

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    Re: How to shoot decert in night with many starts on the sky?

    Why not shoot colour film? You're going to digitalise it anyway so you might as well shoot colour. Velvia 50 was always a favorite for those hour long exposures....
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Re: How to shoot decert in night with many starts on the sky?

    I agree completely. Velvia 50, open 'er up for an hour or so, and let her rip. Short pop of that flash at the finish possibly just to give some detail to the foreground landscape, and shut her down and process. Oh, and leave the digital at home, unless it's a PhaseOne, but even then you aren't gonna like the noise <Grin>.

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    Re: How to shoot decert in night with many starts on the sky?

    Ben and Chuck, thanks.

    I read on FujiFilm web site that Velvia 50 should not be exposed for longer than 30 seconds, and Astia 100F can expose up to 8 minutes.
    Can you comment?

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    Re: How to shoot decert in night with many starts on the sky?

    I definitely recommend Fuji Acros for black and white long exposure. It is one of the few films that has very little reciprocity failure. You can expose it for up to 10 minutes without correction. It is ISO 100 and exceptionally finely grained.

    Here is an example of a 12 second night exposure with it:



    That was Acros in Rodinal 1:100. For color film, I would recommend Provia 400F, slightly more grain, but you will be on medium format, and the extra 2 stops (or 3 over Velvia) will be useful in keeping the stars as points if that is what you are after.
    My photos are here: http://www.stuartrichardson.com and more recent work here: http://stuartrichardson.tumblr.com/ Please have a look at my book!
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    Re: How to shoot decert in night with many starts on the sky?

    This is looking (Southern Hemisphere) south. 400D, 12-24 @12mm, wide open, ISO1600, and about ?4minutes. The photoshop side, maybe could be better?

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    Re: How to shoot decert in night with many starts on the sky?

    This is the same exposure/lens 3-4minutes looking south. Except the mountain on left was pitch black at time.

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    Re: How to shoot decert in night with many starts on the sky?

    Thank for sharing!
    I will try to find Acros and XP-2 in local store.

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    Re: How to shoot decert in night with many starts on the sky?

    Thanks for the shots Wayne. Please please please don't take offense at this, because I like the shots, but they really show the softness in the corners that most 35mm cameras seem to have on the super wide angles. Or is that all from the movement in the stars...it looks like it is from the lens to me, but I could be wrong.

    Oh, I forgot one...this is with Provia 400F on the Mamiya 7 -- 43mmm f/4.5 wide open. Probably about 30 seconds...maybe a bit more. I can't remember. It was too cold!

    My photos are here: http://www.stuartrichardson.com and more recent work here: http://stuartrichardson.tumblr.com/ Please have a look at my book!
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    Re: How to shoot decert in night with many starts on the sky?

    Stuart, try 20-23 seconds, there will be no movement in the stars

    (I suppose your 43mm lens is equal 25.8mm in 35mm format)

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    Re: How to shoot decert in night with many starts on the sky?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson View Post
    Thanks for the shots Wayne. Please please please don't take offense at this, because I like the shots, but they really show the softness in the corners that most 35mm cameras seem to have on the super wide angles. Or is that all from the movement in the stars...it looks like it is from the lens to me, but I could be wrong.
    Hi Stuart. No, actually you are right. Its a Sigma 12-24 and in day photos was only good closed down a lot...

    You could get same effect looking North and up. I found a torch a very good idea to take for night photos. Also this site on left is a picture showing "Current Aurora Oval" whether or not to expect Auroras for Northern/Southern Hemispheres... www.spaceweather.com

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    Re: How to shoot decert in night with many starts on the sky?

    Ok, thank all for replies, here is another question.

    I will be approx 24 hours in the desert close to Dead Sea in Israel.
    I believe there is a high lever of salt in the air there.

    I will take a Contax 645 with a film back for night long exposures. I think to take another Contax 645 with Sinarback 54M and Macbook for Sunset and Sunrise.

    How would you protect the equipment in the Dead Sea desert area?

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    Re: How to shoot decert in night with many starts on the sky?

    Quote Originally Posted by evgeny View Post
    Thank for sharing!
    I will try to find Acros and XP-2 in local store.
    Evgeny, as I said, I have the only 4 rolls of Acros 120 in the country, it isn't imported except in 35mm here.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Re: How to shoot decert in night with many starts on the sky?

    Ben, I buy everything from B&H. I actually don't know what is imported, how delivered and stored and when expired. Prices in Israel are strange, so I stay for years with B&H.
    Anyway, I will not be in Jerusalem before that event and cannot pick up your films, thanks anyway!!!!

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    Re: How to shoot decert in night with many starts on the sky?

    I'm back to home.
    Bought some Ilford 100, 3200, XP-2, Acros and Kodak 64T in Photofilm in Tel Aviv (the only store where I sometimes buy) before we went to Dead Sea.

    It was 40C/104F degrees at 8PM. I shoot one 120 roll of Velvia 50 and we quickly tired. In the early morning I shoot 6 frames of Astia 100 of Sunrise, the temperature was 32C/90F. The Sun was so bright that we decided to go home after half an hour.
    I will develop slides, scan and post in September. Not that quickly..

  21. #21
    carbonmetrictree
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    Re: How to shoot decert in night with many starts on the sky?

    Evgeny, I had a gallery of images a few months ago with a technique I found to push Ilford 3200 film to an ASA 100,000. This might be useful for you if you do not want star movements, the images at ASA 100,000 developed with a combination of Xtol and Dektol separate developents resulted in a grain structure similar to 3200 pushed 1 stop. If I can find my developing times and dilution ratios, I'll send you a PM.

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    Re: How to shoot decert in night with many starts on the sky?

    Quote Originally Posted by carbonmetrictree View Post
    Evgeny, I had a gallery of images a few months ago with a technique I found to push Ilford 3200 film to an ASA 100,000. This might be useful for you if you do not want star movements, the images at ASA 100,000 developed with a combination of Xtol and Dektol separate developents resulted in a grain structure similar to 3200 pushed 1 stop. If I can find my developing times and dilution ratios, I'll send you a PM.
    Wow!
    ASA 100,000, what ISO is it?
    Thank

  23. #23
    carbonmetrictree
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    Re: How to shoot decert in night with many starts on the sky?

    It's ISO 100,000! I got it up to a million ISO, but the results are very sporatic. I have only one roll of film that was processed correctly. Even with 1/2 a degree off, the results at this amount of a push are pretty drastic. I'll PM you the info when I find it, I have to clean up my negatives and notes to locate it.

    At a 1,000,000 ISO, specular highlights are really weird at night It almost looks like all of the lights have a halo effect, not like flare, but more like a "crown" around the light. If you've ever used an A and B solution for Lith, the grain structure is kind of like a lith development with Agfa 111 Classic.

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