Shooting stars with my 35mm Konica Autoreflex


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Sep 15, 2015
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I need help...

This weekend I am heading down to big bend for a little hiking. I just found found my grandpa's old Konica Auto Reflex T laying around and considering Big Bend is supposedly one of the darkest places in the U.S. I want to get photos of the night sky.

However, I'm super unfamiliar with cameras of this sort and I'm not even sure if it is possible.

Can you all help me out? How is it different for film? What should the settings look like?

Here is a link to the instructions of the camera I have.

Konica Autoreflex t

Any help for my first post is appreciated!
It's sure possible, but astrophotography is from a technical perspective a level above doing everyday snapshots.
You will need to set the lens aperture, the shutter speed, and the film speed.

Two major ways it's different with film is cost and you can't see the photos until after the film is developed.

A person cannot hand hold a SLR camera still enough to not cause camera motion blur of the stars.
You'll need to put the camera on a solid surface or tripod because the shutter will need to be open for a few seconds so the film can gather enough light to make a photo.

Tell us what lens is on the camera and what it's maximum aperture is.

Film is made with differing sensitivities of light. That is known as the film's 'speed'
For doing astrophotography you would want a 'fast' film like ISO 1600 or ISO 3200.
On your camera it says ASA instead of ISO, but they are the same thing. Your ASA setting wheel only goes to 1000.
The 1600 or 3200 film can be 'push' processed to compensate for that.

This is a $12 roll of ISO 1600 color film (doesn't include developing/print costs).
Fuji Natura 1600 135-36

If you want a faster film look at B&W film like this $11.00 roll (+ developing/print costs):
Ilford 1887710 DELTA 3200 Professional, Black and White Print Film, 135 (35 mm), ISO 3200, 36 Exposures
I have a Konica too, a slightly different model SLR, and a Konica rangefinder. Nice cameras. I don't know what lens/lenses you have.

For just about any subject you should get some nice pictures with the Konica, but yeah, astrophotography seems to be rather specialized. Try searching on here, I think J Secord is one that does that, does long exposures, night sky, etc.

It might be a bit of a jump if you aren't familiar with film cameras to go from learning to load film etc. to doing astrophotography. But try Film Photography Project | An Internet Radio Show & On-Line Resource for Film Shooters Worldwide - they have fun videos on topics like how to load film and other basics. They sell film too, sometimes have specials, etc. Or I buy film from Adorama, B&H, Home | Freestyle Photographic Supplies , but for this weekend you'd probably need to go with what you can get where you live.

Before the weekend maybe practice some without film in the camera, and then practice loading and shooting a roll before you go. You wouldn't have time to get it developed but that would I think give you a feel for it. Those of use who learned on film had to learn how to see what's in the viewfinder and frame shots and think about what it would look like, if it will make a good picture.

Getting a proper exposure would be what you'd need to learn too. My starting point is f8 and 1/125 or 1/60, depending on the sync speed of the camera (usually in red on the dial); that's where I usually reset the camera when I'm done. For me f8 is a nice midrange aperture, and I can quickly open or close the lens a couple of stops either way. I don't usually go below the sync speed because for me, slower than 1/60 means finding a way to set up the camera somewhere stable or get myself braced to avoid shutter blur.

I usually use 400 speed (ISO/ASA) film indoors, lower light (evenings), 100 or 125 daytime outdoors.

Use the meter to tell you if you're getting enough light coming into the camera. If the needle bounces up and shows there's way too much light, you need to go to a faster shutter speed or shut the lens down a stop. (Still too much? adjust again.) If the needle doesn't move much or is showing not enough light, open the lens more or go to a slower shutter speed. I'd start out probably adjusting one setting at a time, then meter again, and go from there.

I'm just sharing suggestions etc. in case you want to do some general daytime pictures while you're there. Do you by chance have a shutter release that camera with the camera? something like this? Midwest Photo Exchange PROMASTER 20'' Manual Cable Release I'm thinking I'd probably try to figure out a place to set the camera so it would be stable and use a release to minimize movement and guesstimate a few seconds' exposure and do a few shots, maybe varying the exposure time for each. But then I like to experiment.

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