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Today's 35mm film off the shelf

Started by Broken62, 01/21/2019 10:54AM
Posted 01/21/2019 10:54AM Opening Post
 I wanted to try to photo this "Wolf"lunar eclipse.
Could not make up my mind on a digital camera, hard to choose with the cost, and so many options in the used market.
So, found and dusted my 35mm cameras off. 
Managed to find some batteries to replace, Penatax K1000 and a Kalimar k-90.
Now, for a few bucks more can just use these. 
Finding film was a challenge. After my search I had one store, 2 options.  I understand if I would have planned better, online would have more options.
I went with the Kodak Ultramax 400 speed.
My other option was Portra 400. They also had a fuji Provia 100. 
Since looking at eclipse, went with the 400 spd.
Anybody have experience with either out of curiosity?
Took some shots, will see how eclipse color is, and praying for good focus.
Will share later possibly if find where I want to get them developed.
Posted 01/21/2019 02:41PM #1

I still shoot 35 mm sometimes.  For years I used Kodak EliteChrome 200 and 400 and Fuji Provia 400, mostly for star trails and wide-field piggybacked images.  The two EliteChromes have been off the market for a while, so what little I still do is with Provia 400.  All three slide films pick(ed) up red nebulas very nicely (unlike the color print films I tried) and have/had excellent reciprocity characteristics.

Here is a 10°x15° swath of the summer Milky Way that I shot in about 2004.  IIRC:  Olympus OM-1N pickybacked on a Celestron C5+/Orion SkyView Pro combo, 135-mm f/3.5 Zuiko lens @ f/5.6, EliteChrome 200, 23 minutes.  The Fuji would have produced similar results, but required a shorter exposure.


Attached Image:

flusk's attachment for post 161212
Posted 01/21/2019 02:44PM | Edited 01/21/2019 02:46PM #2
....and here is a 4h40m star trail.  My notes are hard to get to at the moment, so IIRC:  Olympus OM-4T on tripod with locking cable shutter release, 24-mm f/2.8 Zuiko lens @ f/8.0, Fuji Provia 400.

BTW, I took both shots at our club's high-elevation observing site:  Courtright Reservoir in eastern Fresno County, elevation 8200 ft ±.


Attached Image:

flusk's attachment for post 161213
Posted 01/22/2019 02:49AM #3
Nice, I never tried slide films. Will keep in mind for next round! Thanks for posting
Posted 01/22/2019 01:43PM #4

Slides work for me because I have a Nikon CoolScan V slide scanner.  It does a nice job on astrophotos, in fact better than the local service I used to use before I got the scanner (c.2005).  I am slowly working my way through scanning >8,000 slides I took over the years (mostly non-astro), but finding time can be difficult.  One slide takes about 1.5 minutes and I like to do a roll at a time (either 24 or 36 slides).

Regarding my comment above about reciprocity failure....
If you're not familiar with the term, here is an explanation:

In short, back in the day, the linear exposure model for photography would break down at exposures as short as a few seconds up to several tens of seconds.  For daylight exposures, this wasn't a problem.  But it was/is a big problem for astrophotography.

My first few tries with color print film showed me that reciprocity failure (and the inability to pick up red nebulas) would be a problem.  However, the three slide films I mentioned above solved the problem.  It turns out that as film was dying, some of the best films ever were being produced.  Back in the early 2000's I did an experiment with the EliteChrome 200 at our Courtright site.  I pointed my piggybacked camera at Cygnus and took a series of exposures:  1 s, 1 min, 2 min, 4 min, 8 min, and 16 min.  The 1 s exposure got the Northern Cross and little else..  The 1 min exposure picked up the brightest part of the Milky Way and the North America Nebula.  The best part was that the succeeding doubling of exposures produced a doubling of the light gathered on the film (at least it looked that way to my untrained eye).  My guess is that the EliteChrome 200 would keep gathering light up to maybe 20-30 minutes.  My results with the EliteChrome 400 and the Provia 400 leads me to believe that they have similar excellent reciprocity characteristics.