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Thread: Photographing stars, 4x5

  1. #21

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    Dec 2009
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    Re: Photographing stars, 4x5

    The LEAH telescope at Chabot Observatory has Graflok back.

  2. #22

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    Jul 2016
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    bay area, CA
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    18

    Re: Photographing stars, 4x5

    I work/volunteer at Lick observatory. They have several mounts for 4x5, 5x7 and mainly 8x10 for most of the scopes up on the hill. but the 36" was the main one along with the crosley, which became one of the major photo scopes in the world in from 1900-1930. they also have a full dark room attached to the 36" dome. years ago I spent several hours cleaning it up as it hadn't been used for many year for obvious reasons.

    the 8x10 mount for the 36" is huge and stable. I have yet to find one of the 4x5 or 5x7 mounts as I think they were all moved. the vault I think has a collection of over 100,000 glass plates and later film negs. sadly, they are never printed, let alone looked at any more. I can remember even a few years ago in the gift shop they had 11x14 B&W prints on fiber paper they were selling for $20 each. they finally sold out and I begged them to let me print more or scan some so they could be printed digitally. No way. The shots they had of the moon was so amazingly filled with details that I wonder what emulsion they used. they have notes for every shot they took, but I dont have access to them. I believe the emuslsions were all hand made glass plates. Still, I keep my hopes up every year and ask. with the fire disaster last fall, I think they are planning on moving the vault down to the santa cruz campus, but thats up to the powers that be.

    there are a lot of amateurs that bring their scopes up for the viewing parties. most of us "old times" still have their camera mounts so they could be mounted to the tubes. I don't know any who used 4x5. almost all used a pentax 67 set up and a few used nikon. just hoping we can re-open this year as last year was a total shut down.

    john

  3. #23
    Nodda Duma's Avatar
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    Nov 2014
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    Re: Photographing stars, 4x5

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred L View Post
    Whoa, stunning photograph ! Wonder how bad colour shift would be if it was colour film (vs filters)
    That didn’t use any filter. That was a hand-coated dry plate.
    Newly made large format dry plates available! Look:
    https://www.pictoriographica.com

  4. #24

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    May 2006
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    Re: Photographing stars, 4x5

    Quote Originally Posted by Nodda Duma View Post
    That didn’t use any filter. That was a hand-coated dry plate.
    haha, meant I wonder what a colour neg or chrome would look like. LF piggyback or afocal is pretty next level work.
    notch codes ? I only use one film...

  5. #25

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    Re: Photographing stars, 4x5

    Quote Originally Posted by j enea View Post
    I work/volunteer at Lick observatory. They have several mounts for 4x5, 5x7 and mainly 8x10 for most of the scopes up on the hill. but the 36" was the main one along with the crosley, which became one of the major photo scopes in the world in from 1900-1930. they also have a full dark room attached to the 36" dome. years ago I spent several hours cleaning it up as it hadn't been used for many year for obvious reasons.

    the 8x10 mount for the 36" is huge and stable. I have yet to find one of the 4x5 or 5x7 mounts as I think they were all moved. the vault I think has a collection of over 100,000 glass plates and later film negs. sadly, they are never printed, let alone looked at any more. I can remember even a few years ago in the gift shop they had 11x14 B&W prints on fiber paper they were selling for $20 each. they finally sold out and I begged them to let me print more or scan some so they could be printed digitally. No way. The shots they had of the moon was so amazingly filled with details that I wonder what emulsion they used. they have notes for every shot they took, but I dont have access to them. I believe the emuslsions were all hand made glass plates. Still, I keep my hopes up every year and ask. with the fire disaster last fall, I think they are planning on moving the vault down to the santa cruz campus, but thats up to the powers that be.

    there are a lot of amateurs that bring their scopes up for the viewing parties. most of us "old times" still have their camera mounts so they could be mounted to the tubes. I don't know any who used 4x5. almost all used a pentax 67 set up and a few used nikon. just hoping we can re-open this year as last year was a total shut down.

    john
    used to spend time at the David Dunlap Observatory and saw some of 8x10 plates they had. Stunning. Not sure where those plates are now. Unfortunately the observatory is surrounded by sprawl so light pollution is pretty nasty, and a subdivision was built on the grounds that were sold off.
    notch codes ? I only use one film...

  6. #26

    Join Date
    Jan 2019
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    239

    Re: Photographing stars, 4x5

    Quote Originally Posted by j enea View Post
    The shots they had of the moon was so amazingly filled with details that I wonder what emulsion they used. they have notes for every shot they took, but I dont have access to them. I believe the emuslsions were all hand made glass plates. Still, I keep my hopes up every year and ask. with the fire disaster last fall, I think they are planning on moving the vault down to the santa cruz campus, but thats up to the powers that be.
    For much of the 20th century Kodak made glass plates with various specialized emulsions that astronomers used - different emulsions had different color sensitivities. Some of the commonly used emulsions were called IIa-O, 103aO, IIIa-J - if you search for these you'll come up with papers in the astronomy literature on using them, hypersensitizing, etc. By the early 90s astronomer demand for plates had fallen a lot due to photoelectric detectors and CCDs, and Kodak stopped making these emulsions. The last few telescopes (Schmidt cameras) needing extremely large (like 14x14") photographic material switched to Technical Pan - I think the red sensitivity was also of interest. Most of those telescopes have now been retrofitted with electronic detectors.

    I have an old handbook from Kodak with technical details of various scientific imaging products, but it's stuck in my office at the moment.

  7. #27

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    Jul 2007
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    105

    Re: Photographing stars, 4x5

    Interesting information
    I would like to know how to shoot the moon with a 4x5 camera or a pentax 67 , and how to attach it to a telescope long enough to fill the frame.
    I know nothing about astrophotography but i would like to have some prints of the moon in crescent and full moon. any advices are apreciated.

  8. #28
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Photographing stars, 4x5

    The moon fills the frame of my 36 x 24 mm camera with a 2000mm lens (telescope). So for 6x7 you need a 4500mm lens or so and on 4x5 an 8000mm lens.

    Good luck, I hope you have deep pockets and a good tripod/observatory!

    Seriously though, just shoot it with a small format camera and make prints as you would normally. The moon is not a challenging subject given a moderately good 300-400mm lens on APS-C digital, or 35mm film with same or a bit longer if you have it. My telescope actually makes worse images of the moon than a normal lens because I don't have a field corrector for it, yet - but are you going to spend $3000-$4000+ on this endeavor? I shot moderately good moon photos over a decade ago with a Nikon D90 and 70-300mm VR lens, which today would cost a few hundred bucks. If insisting on film I would still shoot 35mm and use a ~500mm lens, which should give decent results with a good tripod and careful technique. Unless you need a massive print that should work out okay.

    Or you could download some NASA images and print those .
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram | Portfolio
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

  9. #29
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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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.
    What film do you use?

  10. #30
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Photographing stars, 4x5

    Interesting article about how film plates recorded the bending of starlight around the sun during the solar eclipse of 1919 to prove Einstein's theory of relativity in 1919. War and intrigue followed the scientists as well as malfunctions in the photo and telescope equipment.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/31/s...elativity.html

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