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Thread: Photographing stars, 4x5

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2021
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    Photographing stars, 4x5

    I'd like to try photographing the night sky on my 4x5 crown graphic, ideally not star trails.

    I've found it hard to come across much (beginner) information on LF star/night sky photography, so just wondered if anyone here had any tips or information they'd like to share?

    Just some general information on exposure times or camera settings that have worked for you - would be really helpful!
    The only lens I have for the moment is a Kodak Ektar f/4.7 127mm.


    Thank you

  2. #2
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Feb 2007
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    Re: Photographing stars, 4x5

    Photographing stars... not star trails.
    Agree, it is not obvious. You have to look up "Clock Drive" and "Equatorial Mount."

  3. #3

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    Jan 2021
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    Re: Photographing stars, 4x5

    Quote Originally Posted by ic-racer View Post
    Agree, it is not obvious. You have to look up "Clock Drive" and "Equatorial Mount."
    Ah...I didn't realise I'd need external equipment. I thought I would just need the camera and a tripod and release cable.

  4. #4
    umop apsidn
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    Mar 2007
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    Texas
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    Re: Photographing stars, 4x5

    I've been doing this very thing for years and years. It has its challenges for sure, but it's so very satisfying when you see a 4x5 negative you made yourself just full of stars. But it does require some work and care.

    At the very minimum you're looking at ten to fifteen minute exposures so you need a way for the camera to track the stars. Yes, you will need some extra equipment for that. Your best bet is an equatorial mount to attach the camera to. Simply put the camera and lens on top of the mount. The telescope guys call this 'wide field' work. I put a couple of photos of two of mine below. There are a number of other considerations so if you're inclined send me a note and I can go into better detail and techniques to help and what to expect.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 4x5-Astro.jpg   45Astro.jpg  

  5. #5

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    Jan 2021
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    Re: Photographing stars, 4x5

    Quote Originally Posted by konakoa View Post
    I've been doing this very thing for years and years. It has its challenges for sure, but it's so very satisfying when you see a 4x5 negative you made yourself just full of stars. But it does require some work and care.

    At the very minimum you're looking at ten to fifteen minute exposures so you need a way for the camera to track the stars. Yes, you will need some extra equipment for that. Your best bet is an equatorial mount to attach the camera to. Simply put the camera and lens on top of the mount. The telescope guys call this 'wide field' work. I put a couple of photos of two of mine below. There are a number of other considerations so if you're inclined send me a note and I can go into better detail and techniques to help and what to expect.
    Thanks for your reply, I appreciate it

  6. #6

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    Mar 2005
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    Newbury, Vermont
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    Re: Photographing stars, 4x5

    The problem with most stars is that they are either very busy...or are at least always trying to look and act busy (keeping up appearances, etc.)...and the idea of getting any of them to sit still in front of a 4x5 - much less for the lengths of time some have suggested above...is beyond me!

  7. #7
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
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    Re: Photographing stars, 4x5

    Another example of adventuring with LF!

    Perhaps an expert will show the Hinge Method?
    2022

  8. #8
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Re: Photographing stars, 4x5

    Has any body mounted a TravelWide or WillTravel directly to a telescope already set up for star tracking? That would give 4x5 images with a real astrophotography telescope.

    Either camera body would be light enough for direct coupling. Even if a suplimental bracket was needed, it wouldn't be much I would think.

    I think the technique is called "Eyepiece Projection".
    Drew Bedo
    www.quietlightphoto.com
    http://www.artsyhome.com/author/drew-bedo




    There are only three types of mounting flanges; too big, too small and wrong thread!

  9. #9
    Corran's Avatar
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    Apr 2011
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    North GA Mountains
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    Re: Photographing stars, 4x5

    I currently have a SkyWatcher EQ6-R on order, arriving tomorrow hopefully but sky forecast looks cloudy until late next week.

    Will be experimenting with full-size 4x5 cameras on the mount, as well as piggybacking on a Celestron C8 I will be remounting onto it as well.

    Eyepiece projection will probably not happen for me. I don't think it's worthwhile - I know others disagree. First usage on 4x5 will probably be DSO with Linhof MT and 250mm Sonnar (heavy!).
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram | Portfolio
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Bristol, IL
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    1

    Re: Photographing stars, 4x5

    One of the laws of astronomy that you will not find in a textbook is that the arrival of new equipment will bring with it a week of cloudy skies.

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