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RE: 35mm Astrophotography

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Posted by Kip Crawford on July 30, 2000 06:21:00 UTC

At least you have the right camera. You`ll need at least a tripod which I`m sure you have. You`ll also need a cable shutter release. The 28mm will do great for 30-40 second still pics. The 45mm might work for 15-20 seconds. I would invest in a 50mm. They are ideal for the next step up from 28mm. Maybe your 35-80mm will do ok. I prefer a f/1.8 to 2.8 if I can. Try the 28mm first on a tripod. Once very dark (avoid any moon light if possible) set up the camera. As for film, slide film is best, however, try emulsion film first. Kodak 400 or even Fuji 400 to 800 will do fine for starters. Put the cap on the lens, lock the shutter open (set f stop to 2.8 or the lowest) carefully remove the cap. Don`t get your fingers in the way. expose for 30 seconds. Try various times and see what you get when printed. Carefully replace the cap and release the shutter. Pretty simple. Once the film is used, go to a film lab (avoid 1 hour photos) that you trust or has experience in star shots. Tell them you have night shots and tell them not to cut the film. I forgot to mention that when you load the film, take a few shots in the light so that the lab will be able to discern the frames. Very important. Astrophotography is trial and error. My saying is this: If you take 100 shots and you get 1 good one, then you have succeded.

Get a standard 50mm instead of the zoom lens. And when the time comes for telescopes shots, then the rules change drastically and new things to consider. Good Luck!!!

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