Complete Newbie (Lightning and Stars)

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by pnrule, Jun 23, 2009.

  1. pnrule

    pnrule TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello everyone.

    I have almost no knowledge about photography. I am interested in photographing lightning and also star movement, whatever that is called.

    What is a camera with the required features (B mode I believe?) I could purchase? I would like to keep it under $100. Also, do I need anything else? (Lens, Remote shutter release, etc.?)

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Messages:
    4,820
    Likes Received:
    285
    Location:
    Montreal
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    You won't be getting much for under $100. Not even a decent P&S camera is under $100.
     
  3. blash

    blash TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    Messages:
    599
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Film's probably your best bet here, for two reasons: star trails/astrophotography is better in general with film, and also because of your budget. Don't kid yourself though, that budget will be blown through like tissue paper.

    You can get a consumer-grade film SLR for somewhere in the range of $50. That doesn't include a lens. You can get a really cheap Tamron lens (or poorer quality - might get a Russian lens for cheaper) for something like $30-$40, and then pay a few bucks for your first roll of film.

    For astrophotography though you will need something to keep your camera steady. Really steady. Unfortunately... tripods worth their salt are $200+. Which means you'll have to jury-rig something. Perhaps a couple telephone books set up outside with the lens and body pointed right up at the sky... duct tape might help you too. You won't know what you're taking though since you won't be able to look through whatever it is the camera is lying on to see the viewfinder, so.... even if you took star trails for 36 nights in a row or so (36 frames in a roll), you wouldn't be able to see what you saw for over a month.

    $100 is just about as miniscule as it gets and impossible to pull off with digital. It is going to be a sorry experience if you take this route. If you REALLY wanted to do this right, you'd save $200 for that tripod, $150-$200 through about $350-$450 for a decent film SLR, and $250 on a used wide-angle lens. Add film, a cable release, etc. - you're talking $700 minimum for a nice kit that can do astrophotography half-right.

    Even if you could afford a digital camera, you wouldn't be able to afford scores and scores of them - astrophotography means leaving the camera on all night, and a digital sensor burns up and bricks with that kind of exposure. Film, on the other hand, has no problem.
     

Share This Page