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 My Films for Astrophotography

Last Update: 22 June 2002

Negative Films:

Negative Films require a positive print to be made. Prints out of a lab however are often VERY poor, as they run through the automatic machines without control. What you get is in most cases not what you want.

The only way in getting reasonable results is to make the prints by yourselves. But the chemistry work is not everybodys job. I do not like it, but from time to time I have access to a lab and I make those Black & White prints only.

Positive or Slide films:

Slides have the advantage of very high contrast. I am truely fascinated when I see the results through a projector. I do like those images with some of the red nebulas on, where you see colours as they are. Americans like processing, but I like to see a faint nebula somewhat faint, but without missing details. Nowadays you can get a print from a slide - which in most cases are too dark. Ask the lab to make them one stop brighter ! My lab does this without any higher price. This brings up the contrast from the slide to the print. And do not be attempted to order these "digiprints". They are are waste of money for astropohotography.

Slide films are my choice in most cases. Here is some summary of what I found out until now - what is indeed my own opinion:


TypeByMy Comment
Slide Kodak E200 One word: excellent ! It outperforms all other films I had so far. Good red sensitivity but also in all other colors. Has good speed. AND the film has an excellent resolution too. ++
Slide FUJI Sensia 400 Works good, but tends very green; poor with red nebulas -> almost not existent ... O
Slide KODAK Elite II 400 Best film so far with fine grain. ++
Slide AGFA CTX 100 Good, but green tending film, gave reasonable results with red nebulas. +
Slide AGFA CTX 100 precisa Follow-up to the CTX100. Have excellent results with high resolution on recent moon images (1st July 1998). Tends green with longer exposures.
This is my standard film for general photography.
Negative B&W KODAK Tmax 3200 Phantastic high speed, but very poor grain. Poor red sensitivity, so no red nebulas ... O
Negative B&W ILFORD SFX200 Near Infrared sensitive, but disappointed. The film has a poor reciprocal failure. --
Negative Color Kodak Gold 100 Tried one with moon images and sky photos, but I was very disappointed. -
Negative Color Fuji Superia 800 This film surprises me. It could lead me away from slide films ... Good red sensitivity, little slow in blue it seems. The film is not as gainy as I did expect. ++

Here is an address of a site, where you can learn more on films and their characteristics.

R.Reeves has made a phantastic work testing a number of popular films. Go and read his Robert Reeves' filmtest page.

All photos are Copyright © of C.Petermann DF9CY
 Text and All Images are Copyright by Christoph Petermann DF9CY

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