Re: Best Film/Shutter/f-stop combination for satellite photography?

Tristan Cools (
Thu, 17 Aug 1995 09:59:52 +0200

>>Quick question:  What's the best film speed/shutter speed/and f-stop
>>combination to take pictures of satellites?  It should be noted that I'm
>>currently using a 35mm, with 1000 speed film, and a shutter speed of
>>20 seconds.  I use a 58mm lens, at an f-stop of 1.2.
>Other question: Are you using slides or negatives ?  I think you are using
slides.  If you are using slides, a moderate film of ISO 400 is sufficient
to photograph satellites upto magnitude 4, depending of which equipment you
use or the angular motion of the satellite.  Generaly speeking, a 58mm lens
with f1.2 is good.  If you are trying to photograph short flashing
satellites, a 135mm f2.8 is better.
>>Unfortunately, I live in an area that can only be described as
>That's why it is better to use a less sensitive film of about ISO400.
>I live also in a light polluted area and my methode of photographing
satellites is as follows:
>I almost never use slides.  Instead I use a Tmax 400 black and white film
which I puch to ISO1600.  Now you say that's making this film very sensitive
?  Well, it's not.  With pushing it to ISO1600 you get a much higher
contrast and with this film it gives very good results.  It certainly gives
much better results than Tmax 3200 which gives much grain and less contrast.
>Maybe that film would be good when you are living in an area with no light
>>Should I use slower film?  (How about black and white, for that matter?)
>>Close the aperature a little?  Any advice would be welcome.
>You can close the aperature a little when you decide to keep on using the
ISO1000 film.  Your pictures should be a little sharper also.
>>(I did get a nice shot of Mir the other night, the second time around.  The
>>first pass, at about 9:00, was washed out -- It looked like it was taken
>>in the middle of the _day_!)
>I have the same picture greg !
>Tristan Cools