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Thread: Star trails

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    Star trails

    I've had a number of attempts at star trails using digital (400D and 5D2) but have not had the patients of sitting around for another hour, and then another hour afterwards for the NR. So last month when a bunch of us when shooting, i decided to set my film canon SLR to shoot star trails while I used the digital to shoot other longish exposures. This is the result.

    Does anyone know how to effectively remove the noise/grain without sacrificing sharpness? I tried noise reduction on PS but wasn't happy with the result.

    Thanks.
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    Criticism & Suggestions welcome
    A pretty standard Canon setup covering the 17-200 range.
    Sigma 50 1.4
    Various film cameras

    My Flickr stream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/arubaato/

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    I am actually using noiseware to reduce noise with some lost of sharpness, but results are actually pretty good imo. If you are using PS, the other recommendation is Topaz Denoise, I think you should get much better results than the NR on PS.

    By the way, nice shot. I have not experimented with this kind of shots before, don't mind me asking how do you setup for this shot?
    Cheers,
    KahWai
    Equipment: D90 | Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 | Nikkor AF 70-210mm
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/lotsafruit/

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    Sure.we had to find a good foreground, which was hard. We couldn't find a good foreground on this occasion. then I put the camera on B with a cable release, focused on infinity and left the shutter open for approximately an hour.

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    Ausphotography Regular swifty's Avatar
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    http://luminous-landscape.com/review...re/topaz.shtml
    Here's a review of Topaz denoise, which lostafruit suggested. On the bottom there are some positive comments re: reducing noise/grain for film scans.
    Nikon FX

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    Quote Originally Posted by arubaato View Post
    Sure.we had to find a good foreground, which was hard. We couldn't find a good foreground on this occasion. then I put the camera on B with a cable release, focused on infinity and left the shutter open for approximately an hour.
    Interesting, never thought the stars move that much. Thanks for sharing!

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    All lines lead to Home ... arnica's Avatar
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    Lovely .. I reckon the noise makes it more interesting ....

    Quote Originally Posted by lotsafruit View Post
    Interesting, never thought the stars move that much. Thanks for sharing!
    It's actually us that is doing the moving
    Regards,
    Phil

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    Quote Originally Posted by arnica View Post
    Lovely .. I reckon the noise makes it more interesting ....



    It's actually us that is doing the moving
    Oops , you're right Phil, need to get back to class...

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    Ausphotography Regular swifty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arnica View Post

    It's actually us that is doing the moving
    U mean we're not the centre of the Universe?? Heresy!!!

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    your all wrong everything revolves around me!

    I'm the center of my universe

    nice pics by the way love the foreground silhouette
    Slybutcher
    Life is too short to take it too seriously

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    A benefit/disadvantage of film cameras is the ability to have really longgggggggg exposures.

    Benefit? No worries about batteries (depends on camera model) and you can ignore digital noise artefacts because you don't get any.

    Disadvantage? The light making the image is truly cumulative over the entire frame so if you are going for really long exposures, you need;
    a) REALLY dark skies (you had some clouds by the look of it as well as some ambient sky light)
    b) A really steady tripod (looks ok on your shot)
    c) Dry air or some method to keep dew off the front lens element (Again, yours looks ok)

    If you have really long exposures with decent max aperture and reasonably fast film, many of the dark areas tend to block up with star trails. Your image is starting to get into that territory. So you need to weigh up the various factors there and make choices to get the type of image you are after.

    Then there is the scanning portion which can present it's own challenges, particulalry if you are like me and have no negative scanner and a very basic ability to scan prints .... Still praying a cheap coolscan 9000 on ebay - will be a long wait I fear.

    Grain is supposed to be there - it's film - embrace it and love it !!!
    Where did the "noise" come from - is it on your prints? Is it on your negs? How did you get the image onto AP? Neg or print scan?
    The world is an AMAZING place . . .
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    Quote Originally Posted by swifty View Post
    http://luminous-landscape.com/review...re/topaz.shtml
    Here's a review of Topaz denoise, which lostafruit suggested. On the bottom there are some positive comments re: reducing noise/grain for film scans.
    Thanks Swifty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GlennSan View Post
    A benefit/disadvantage of film cameras is the ability to have really longgggggggg exposures.

    Benefit? No worries about batteries (depends on camera model) and you can ignore digital noise artefacts because you don't get any.

    Disadvantage? The light making the image is truly cumulative over the entire frame so if you are going for really long exposures, you need;
    a) REALLY dark skies (you had some clouds by the look of it as well as some ambient sky light)
    b) A really steady tripod (looks ok on your shot)
    c) Dry air or some method to keep dew off the front lens element (Again, yours looks ok)

    If you have really long exposures with decent max aperture and reasonably fast film, many of the dark areas tend to block up with star trails. Your image is starting to get into that territory. So you need to weigh up the various factors there and make choices to get the type of image you are after.

    Then there is the scanning portion which can present it's own challenges, particulalry if you are like me and have no negative scanner and a very basic ability to scan prints .... Still praying a cheap coolscan 9000 on ebay - will be a long wait I fear.

    Grain is supposed to be there - it's film - embrace it and love it !!!
    Where did the "noise" come from - is it on your prints? Is it on your negs? How did you get the image onto AP? Neg or print scan?
    Yes I love the fact that there's no waiting around for digital noise reduction.

    You're absolutely right. We were at Seal Rocks near Forster. Behind the hill where the trees were, there was a caravan park and some street lights, and we had to end the shoot because some clouds and rain started rolling in. So conditions weren't perfect. I'm pretty sure i was using 400 film.

    For tripod I have a manfrotto 055XproB. it's pretty steady. For camera I have a Canon EOS 30, which is battery dependant. What camera would you recommend that does not require batteries? I much prefer the one long exposure rather than the stacking approach on the computer. When you say decent aperture, would f4 be enough?

    For scanning, I asked the camera shop that processed my film to scan them onto CD. they came as about 5mb jpegs.

    Thanks for your tips.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slybutcher View Post
    your all wrong everything revolves around me!

    I'm the center of my universe

    nice pics by the way love the foreground silhouette
    thanks slybutcher.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Arubaato. The trick with film, short of hypersensitizing it - but that's rather different - is not to use too high an ISO rating, since it's going to be exposed to even the relatively faint skylight. 50-100 ISO is pretty good. But you have to balance this with having a pretty wide aperture - an inch of lens, typically, on 35 mm cameras. This "rule of thumb" holds both for star trails and for tracking shots. The only time you need somewhat higher ISOs, like 400- (arm waving, say) 1600, is for non-tracked captures of about 30 sec or less. Am.
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    Agree with ameerat42's comments re film speed etc. I usually use ISO 100 colour print film and F5 to F8 depending. It's a hit & miss thing so I suggest keeping exposure notes carefully in a notebook and reference your negs/prints after processing to find what works best for you. Make sure you also note ambient light conditions, phase of moon etc. since that makes a huge difference over a long exposure.

    As to what camera? It doesn't matter much with astrophotography when using a film camera. I don't know much about Canon film bodies but anything that doesn't need a battery on the BULB shutter speed would be fine and that'd be the vast majority as long as you stay away from integrated motorowind style bodies as they often won't work AT ALL when the batteries die. I use a Nikon FE2 mostly for this type of stuff. Oh, and make SURE it has a threaded cable relase (I'm guessing yoou probably know this but ...)

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    Quote Originally Posted by ameerat42 View Post
    Arubaato. The trick with film, short of hypersensitizing it - but that's rather different - is not to use too high an ISO rating, since it's going to be exposed to even the relatively faint skylight. 50-100 ISO is pretty good. But you have to balance this with having a pretty wide aperture - an inch of lens, typically, on 35 mm cameras. This "rule of thumb" holds both for star trails and for tracking shots. The only time you need somewhat higher ISOs, like 400- (arm waving, say) 1600, is for non-tracked captures of about 30 sec or less. Am.
    Thanks Am.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GlennSan View Post
    Agree with ameerat42's comments re film speed etc. I usually use ISO 100 colour print film and F5 to F8 depending. It's a hit & miss thing so I suggest keeping exposure notes carefully in a notebook and reference your negs/prints after processing to find what works best for you. Make sure you also note ambient light conditions, phase of moon etc. since that makes a huge difference over a long exposure.

    As to what camera? It doesn't matter much with astrophotography when using a film camera. I don't know much about Canon film bodies but anything that doesn't need a battery on the BULB shutter speed would be fine and that'd be the vast majority as long as you stay away from integrated motorowind style bodies as they often won't work AT ALL when the batteries die. I use a Nikon FE2 mostly for this type of stuff. Oh, and make SURE it has a threaded cable relase (I'm guessing yoou probably know this but ...)
    Thanks for this. I'll try with 100 film next time.

    The thing with old mechanical canons is that my lens won't work with them, so I'll need a new set of lens. I've got a OM1 and i'm bidding on a white angle lens. If I get that I'll use that system instead. Will post results later.

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    try to find a good low speed film with good reciprocity characteristics. Typically the higher speed stuff is actually less sensitive over long periods than lower speed stuff.
    Cameras: Canon 20D, Canon A2, Fotoman 617, Hassy Xpan II, Mamiya C33 TLR.
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