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fatihayoglu

long, really long exposures with film

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Hi all,

So I would like try out leaving the shutter open for few hours, like 4-5 hrs, to capture star trails. I have various films, like Velvia 50, Velvia 100, TriX, HP5, Portra400, Ektar 100 and Ectachrome 100.

 

Does anybody have any experience with this long exposures and what should I pay attention to, when I am shooting for this?

 

Many thanks,

 

Fatih

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Colour might be even more of a problem as reciprocity failure affects the different colour sensitive layers by differing amounts.

Kodak used to make Ektacolor sheet film in both S for short and L for long exposures, I think from memory the 'cut off' was a tenth of a second.  S was daylight sensitive, c 5400K I think amd L was artificial, 3200K.

You couldn't truly correct the problems with filtration either, if you used either drastically outside its ideal range you got 'crossed curves' where the sensitivity and gamma  (contrast) of the different layers differed from each other.

That said, you can get some interesting results!

 

Gerry 

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Hello Faith,

I have, once or twice, thought of trying this.

As Keith (M) says reciprocity failure does occur with long exposures.  But because of the nature of this long exposure there are only two considerations.

!. Film speed;  2. Aperture setting.

Gyoung is quite correct with his analysis of reciprocity failure affecting colour recording.  However there quite probably ain't-not-no-colour to be had.

The work-around - - use monochrome.

As for calculating the aperture have a mooch on the amateur astronomy sites. Most will talk about the use of Newtonian reflectors, Cassegrain, refractors.

Surely someone will have experience of pointing a camera at the sky, open the shutter and go indoors and read War and Peace.

Better, if you can, to work from indoors from a non-wobbly floor, no children no Springer Spaniels.

Since you will only get the one shot at a time (4 hours) it sounds like an experiment.

If I had the patience I would start at f2 with HP4 or TriX.

I'm sure that you will let us know how it pans out.

 

D.Lox

Edited by Jerry Attrik

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Hi all,

 

thank you very much for your responses.

The idea came to me while I was reading a book from Art Wolfeas attached, so he was leaving the shutter open for his slide films.

And if we need to compensate the reciprocity failure with the developing times, that means my whole roll will be developed with this new time? 

Btw, for this shot he used an exposure of 8 hours and used a Fujichrome Velvia with a Canon 1N body which actually can do multiple shots. First he shot for the red horizon and then an 8hr shot for the star trail.

 

Edited by fatihayoglu

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I've shot a lot of star trails with film over several hours, and not worried about reciprocity.

Just develop the film normally.

 

Great colours and nice smooth trails.  I reckon film is better than digital for this sort of photography.

 

...

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In b&w normal compensation for reciprocity failure is increased exposure as its the sensitivity that is affected. Increasing dev time will increase contrast 'normally', you may want that too but thats another matter.

As I said before, colour is different,  and for slides you'd need artificial light film which ain't available any more. And an 80b filter will compond the problem. Bestt use neg and sort out the colour problems as best you can afterwards.

Gerry 

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With B&W you loose most of the sensation! Stars are of different colour and this should be visible in the exposure.

Why not just try various exposure times? I did this in the southern hemisphere and exposed for about 2 h on Kodak Ektachrome:

Hermann-Josef

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9 hours ago, gyoung said:

In b&w normal compensation for reciprocity failure is increased exposure as its the sensitivity that is affected. Increasing dev time will increase contrast 'normally', you may want that too but thats another matter.

As I said before, colour is different,  and for slides you'd need artificial light film which ain't available any more. And an 80b filter will compond the problem. Bestt use neg and sort out the colour problems as best you can afterwards.

Gerry 

Hello Gerry,

Why would you think that you would need film corrected for artificial interior lighting? When Starlight is more or less Sunlight. Which calls for Daylight film.

Don't forget that: When a person photographs the Moon: Which is lit with Sunlight: They use Daylight film.

Best Regards,

Michael

Edited by Michael Geschlecht

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If you make a long enough exposure, over-exposed areas reverse, solarize. An Italian fellow built a steel pinhole camera and made a 400 day exposure that included the sky and the paths of the sun were black.

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1 hour ago, Michael Geschlecht said:

Hello Gerry,

Why would you think that you would need film corrected for artificial interior lighting? When Starlight is more or less Sunlight. Which calls for Daylight film.

Don't forget that: When a person photographs the Moon: Which is lit with Sunlight: They use Daylight film.

Best Regards,

Michael

Its not the colour sensitivity, artificial light transparency films (type B or in the case of Kodachrome type A) were formulated for long exposures, in the same way as I quoted for Ektacolor S and L.  So a type B Ektachrome will give less problems with different reciprocity failure characteristics between the emulsion layers than a daylight film.

Gerry 

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Actually the problems of converting daylight film to artificial aren't relevamt to this  case, it was a general comment,  sorry for any confusion! 

Gerry 

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I like star trails from film more than from digital. Digital stacked trails look too artificial for me.

For exposure you should try out yourself. Aperture f8 with multiple hours exposure on 100 ISO film is good start. I have tried Ektar and TMax100 for three hours with good result. If Moon is out then it may over expose foreground and you will need to adjust based on how bright moon is.

Old films like TriX400 are even slower than 100TMax for such a long exposure due to reciprocity failure. You can leave TriX400 for a  really long exposure safely but it is too grainy for such usage. 

You can find my star trail picture on Ektar in my Flickr album. I loved the color of the sky. I also have digital trail (not on Flickr) from same night but it is not beautiful as the film one. 

Go shoot and share with us. :)

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On 12/5/2018 at 4:08 PM, david strachan said:

I've shot a lot of star trails with film over several hours, and not worried about reciprocity.

Just develop the film normally.

 

Great colours and nice smooth trails.  I reckon film is better than digital for this sort of photography.

 

...

I also like film star trail than digital.  I would like to automate the exposure cut off (after N hrs) so that I don’t need to get up in the middle of the night. I have searched but could not find commercially available timer to work with shutter cable. I am thinking of rigging something with delay timer (used for switching on/off light after 4-6hr). 

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8 hours ago, jmahto said:

I like star trails from film more than from digital. Digital stacked trails look too artificial for me.

For exposure you should try out yourself. Aperture f8 with multiple hours exposure on 100 ISO film is good start. I have tried Ektar and TMax100 for three hours with good result. If Moon is out then it may over expose foreground and you will need to adjust based on how bright moon is.

Old films like TriX400 are even slower than 100TMax for such a long exposure due to reciprocity failure. You can leave TriX400 for a  really long exposure safely but it is too grainy for such usage. 

You can find my star trail picture on Ektar in my Flickr album. I loved the color of the sky. I also have digital trail (not on Flickr) from same night but it is not beautiful as the film one. 

Go shoot and share with us. :)

this is good! have you change anything on the development process? I'm getting my films developed at a shop, so do i need to interact them anything?

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1 hour ago, fatihayoglu said:

this is good! have you change anything on the development process? I'm getting my films developed at a shop, so do i need to interact them anything?

No need. Let them develop normal. I had bunch of daylight photos on the same roll. They all came out good. However, I do scan myself and little bit of color correction was done during scan (for pleasing colors, without adjustment is not way off though). I am not sure how lab scan will be. In the past I was not happy with their scan. Too much sharpening but they were better in dust removal. 

I will suggest do both. Let them scan and if you have scanner then do yours too. More flexibility in final outcome.

i will also add that the Flickr one was my first attempt. After that I have tried couple of more times and learned that variation in aperture is needed only for foreground. Sky and stars are fine from f5.6 to f11. It is difficult to mess up. 

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15 minutes ago, pico said:

It is helpful to locate the North Star, if only to pre-visualize. Anticipate the Ursid meteors peak next week, too!

It does. I do get surprised when today’s city boys/girls can’t locate the North Star! Blaming too much light pollution in cities. 

As fir meteors my past attempt to capture on film had been not successful. Digital is the way for me (interval shoot all night, sit in front of computer next day and hope to get lucky). 

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