What shutter speed for rockets bursting in the sky?

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excalibur2

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#41
Well I'm sat to read this, I do hope that you'll update the thread in the future should you have success as I remain interested/intrigued
Well I was so bored I took a shot of an airliner passing over so might get a streak of light o_O A time when even a £4 film camera is just as good as the most expensive digi when nothing is happening ;)
 
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#42
I went to the Kenilworth Castle fireworks (round the back this time) with tripod, Pentax MX, 28mm lens,f/8, shutter release, Vista 400, and took the remaining 16 frames or so on the film. 24mm (or wider) would have been better, I think I was too close. I'm guessing I probably kept the shutter open too long most of the time; I realised afterwards that the premise for the black card approach was bursts happening in different parts of the sky, whereas these bursts all seemed to be in roughly the same place.
Excellent Chris and look forwards to seeing the results. But for rocket bursts it's never going to be easy as you need a few test ones to set the angle of the camera on the tripod and then select what lens to use. A wide angle on a MF would be useful as it doesn't matter if a lot of sky in the shot as you can crop without losing too much quality.... but the RB67 is very inconvenient compared to something like the T90 as once you press the shutter button on the T90 if will fire for you at your chosen time in secs and after, wind on to the next frame.....so once set up you could sit on a fishing chair holding just the shutter cable and watch out for the rocket trails.
 

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#43
I went to the Kenilworth Castle fireworks (round the back this time) with tripod, Pentax MX, 28mm lens,f/8, shutter release, Vista 400, and took the remaining 16 frames or so on the film. 24mm (or wider) would have been better, I think I was too close. I'm guessing I probably kept the shutter open too long most of the time; I realised afterwards that the premise for the black card approach was bursts happening in different parts of the sky, whereas these bursts all seemed to be in roughly the same place.
I look forward to the results of that, I was planning on heading back to Kenilworth this year myself for the display but ended up stuck at a display in Coventry because of work :(

Well I was so bored I took a shot of an airliner passing over so might get a streak of light o_O A time when even a £4 film camera is just as good as the most expensive digi when nothing is happening ;)
You certainly should have managed to get a light trail all be it fairly faint if it was high up
 

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#44
A time when even a £4 film camera is just as good as the most expensive digi when nothing is happening ;)
TBH, once you've got the settings sussed, film is probably better for capturing fireworks than digital is. The most obvious example is being able to keep the shutter open but the lens blanked off with a bit of lightproof stuff, be it a bit of card or a piece of blackout curtain or... If you use an old rangefinder or 100% mechanical body, you can lock the shutter open until the cows come home without the battery dying.
 
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#45
TBH, once you've got the settings sussed, film is probably better for capturing fireworks than digital is. The most obvious example is being able to keep the shutter open but the lens blanked off with a bit of lightproof stuff, be it a bit of card or a piece of blackout curtain or... If you use an old rangefinder or 100% mechanical body, you can lock the shutter open until the cows come home without the battery dying.
Well I haven't taken one shot yet without getting round to using a blanking card :D But this is a very informative thread and should be useful if anyone wants to shoot fireworks, so no excuses for not posting your shots in the future. (y)
 
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#46
Thinking about this a bit. If a rocket is bursting at a bit under 100m (assuming the burst goes up to 100m), and the viewer is 100m away, then the angle would be 45 degrees. From what I can see, a 28mm lens, which according to Pentaxforums has a horizontal field of view of 65 degrees would comfortably get that in if in portrait mode and at an angle. A 20mm lens (horizontal field of view 84 degrees) would almost work shooting horizontally in portrait mode (thought there may be other reasons not to do this)
Got my shots back from Filmdev, and this calculation was fine as far as it went... I have the vertical height comfortably in frame with a 28mm lens pointed somewhat upwards. However, the display was considerably WIDER than I had expected, and I have a lot of high bursts partly cut off on the RHS. The 24mm would have been better, 17mm even more so, although the Castle bits would have been tiny. Also, it appears I moved the camera quite a bit when winding on, as the Kenilworth Castle Keep I was using as "foreground" started on the left and ended up on the right! My tripod is rather low, so I wasn't checking the viewfinder between shots (daft, I know!), just assuming it was all in view (of course, you can't see during the exposure anyway).

I had most exposures much longer than 2 seconds (maybe up to 10 seconds?), and some shots I used my gloved hand (rather than black card) over the lens several times. Very little looks completely blown, which rather surprised me. The shorter exposures weren't so good as the Keep itself didn't show up so well (it was floodlit on one side), and there was less movement in the bursts.

Aperture was f/8, Pentax-M 28mm lens, Pentax MX on B, cable release that holds open, rubbish £5 Vanguard tripod with a Manfrotto head, Agfa Vista 400. I'll maybe put one shot up here for interest and create a thread in Photos from Film if there are more than a couple that are "worth it".
 
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#47
This is probably the best of a not very great bunch.



I was pleased that I'd picked a position beforehand where fireworks were visible through empty windows at the back of the Keep (the front wall was destroyed in the "slighting" after the Civil War). I was also pleased to get the moon in this shot, to the right. Not so pleased that the moon is a bit blown out and possibly suffering from a bit of UCM. Pleased to have the light on the left of the Keep giving it some form, too. The backlighting doesn't really work for me, though. Annoyingly, if another year I want to get a good tripod position within the normal viewing enclosure, I'll have to get there MUCH earlier. This position was outside the normal viewing area (*), the other side of the castle, easier to get to, although there were still many hundreds of people there. There were even half a dozen cars that were apparently driving past when it started, who'd just drive off the road at an angle up the bank, and got out to share the show.

* I did find a volunteer with a bucket for donations before going back home; it wasn't the cost but the press of almost 20,000 folk getting into and out of the field that put me off.
 
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#48
Very good Chris, next time maybe you could choose a field further away so you could still use your 28mm\24mm lens. H'mm looks like I'll need my 19mm for new years eve and the good news is that I'd be only standing out in the cold from about 1 min past 12 to about 12:30 (y)
 
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#49
While all you guys are getting drunk, I've got the T90 set for 6 secs, the RB for counting elephants and since I've busted my 3rd tripod will try the OM2 on B with a monopod (gotta finish a film up)...now what could go wrong other than no fireworks? Well I ain't going to face my lenses up into the sky if it's drizzling so will report back in the morning or better still when the films are developed.
 
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#52
:eek: Bit excited as if I finish the film up in the RB, will send TWO 120 films off to filmdev and one 120 are the shots at the peak meet of scenery. (y)
Anyone know if they pay the postage to filmdev? if so and providing they are not checked for width by the sorting office, do I send first class or 2nd class for large letter?
 
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#53
No fog no rain, but we can't afford fireworks in the North

I'm about sick of hearing whining about a bit of fog in the South, don't the bbc have local news broadcasters they can shove that on, cos nobody else cares, why its national news I've no idea, heck, LBFD is fogged out evey 5 minutes, it doesn't make regional news never mind national

/rant end

:D
 
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#55
Hmmm, fireworks on the RB... now thats a tempting idea since I no longer have to be up for 4 tomorrow morning
Probably a waste of money using the RB unless doing crops as I doubt any firework shot would be razor sharp so might as well use 35mm, also I've only got a 65mm lens (what's that about 30mm equivalent)
 
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#56
No fog no rain, but we can't afford fireworks in the North

I'm about sick of hearing whining about a bit of fog in the South, don't the bbc have local news broadcasters they can shove that on, cos nobody else cares, why its national news I've no idea, heck, LBFD is fogged out evey 5 minutes, it doesn't make regional news never mind national

/rant end

:D
Well you've only got tiny... villages and cities oop north...you should be grateful that you even get a mention on the BBC :D :exit:
 
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#57
Probably a waste of money using the RB unless doing crops as I doubt any firework shot would be razor sharp so might as well use 35mm, also I've only got a 65mm lens (what's that about 30mm equivalent)
And then you go and smashes me to bits with a top drawer one punch KO Brian-ism

the ref can stop countin, jox ain't gettin up....:hungover:



:)
 
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#58
:eek: Bit excited as if I finish the film up in the RB, will send TWO 120 films off to filmdev and one 120 are the shots at the peak meet of scenery. (y)
Anyone know if they pay the postage to filmdev? if so and providing they are not checked for width by the sorting office, do I send first class or 2nd class for large letter?
You pay the postage to Filmdev, and if you take it to a PO (assuming any are left open these days) they'll probably charge you £3.35 or so for 1st class small packet. If you've got one of those plastic envelopes and a large letter stamp, you can take a bet that Royal Mail won't notice. Most people seem to win that bet; I've lost it 3 times so far, must have a picky sorting office. :( They only charge £3 extra however, so comes to £3.95 which is not too bad, but the really annoying thing is they tend to wait until then end of the week to deliver, which is a PITA. Filmdev will pay the postage and recharge you.
 
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#59
And then you go and smashes me to bits with a top drawer one punch KO Brian-ism

the ref can stop countin, jox ain't gettin up....:hungover:



:)
It could get worse as we could get some digi guy popping over saying "I'm going take 500 shots tonight and know at least some will be great" o_O:eek:
 
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#60
You pay the postage to Filmdev, and if you take it to a PO (assuming any are left open these days) they'll probably charge you £3.35 or so for 1st class small packet. If you've got one of those plastic envelopes and a large letter stamp, you can take a bet that Royal Mail won't notice. Most people seem to win that bet; I've lost it 3 times so far, must have a picky sorting office. :( They only charge £3 extra however, so comes to £3.95 which is not too bad, but the really annoying thing is they tend to wait until then end of the week to deliver, which is a PITA. Filmdev will pay the postage and recharge you.
I'll take a gamble on plastic bag, although I got away with it last time in a jiffy bag...but Murphy's law says "if it can happen, it will happen" :(
 
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#63
Happy new year everyone..
Lessons learnt:- don't try and use a RB with a T90, the firework display was for about 5mins and the T90 was a dream as you can set it for say 6 secs with autowind, but on the RB I kept forgetting to switch from "T" to 1 sec to close the iris and had to use a torch to see, plus the annoyance of winding on and tripping the shutter..and while doing this was missing some nice shots so had to switch and find the T90 shutter cable to take more shots and then flit back to the RB....guess you can imagine it :eek:. Anyway it was all over before I finished the film in the T90 and RB and never got around to the OM2 :(
The only thing worrying me is whether I set the angle of the cameras right on the tripod....well I'll be down Asda on tues to see the 35mm shots.
 
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#64
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#65
Well all the firework shots came out but they were so boring compared to seeing with the eye.
The first problem was setting the angle of the lens too high as quite a few shots were cut off before I adjusted the angle, then using a 20mm lens didn’t work as too much sky in the shot and probably the reason why seeing by eye was better in that the eye is equivalent of about 40-50mm although you do pan..
So next time I’ll use say 28-35mm lens or try multiple exposures with the 20mm, also I still don’t know if 6 secs at f5.6 is too long.
Took 4 shots with the RB67 with 65mm lens and it will interesting to see what they look like with less wide angle.



I have no idea why the sky is red unless I accidentally shone the torch in the wrong place


 

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#66
They're actually not bad Brian.

The red sky - was there a bonfire?
 
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#67
They're actually not bad Brian.

The red sky - was there a bonfire?
Thanks...but no bonfire maybe the red sky was caused by the 2nd fire work exploding nearer to the camera and was brighter. Of course John (Joxby) will say I'm using a crappy Canon T90 with a dodgy shutter and should have used a Nikon :D
 
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#68
At a guess, the red sky (apart from delighting any shepherds present!) will have been caused by a red bursting firework - the smoke will be lit much less intensely than the actual bursts so colour renders better rather than as an all but burnt out shower of sparks.
 
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#69
At a guess, the red sky (apart from delighting any shepherds present!) will have been caused by a red bursting firework - the smoke will be lit much less intensely than the actual bursts so colour renders better rather than as an all but burnt out shower of sparks.
Well that seems the answer...anyway might as well show some cockups using the wrong lens and angle of camera on the tripod:-
CNV00001.jpg

CNV00009-500px.jpg

CNV00012-500px.jpg
 

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#70
I wouldn't consider that last one a cock up......Crop it a bit and it's useable(y)
 

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#73
Please excuse the heresy that follows...

D***t*l could be your friend next time. Shoot with a non film body (no, not a Polaroid!) and play with the settings while almost ignoring the results. Look at the shots on a decent screen afterwards and select the ones that have given you the results you like. To my eyes, the aperture you used was a bit wide - a stop or 2 less exposure than was used would have given the fiery streaks more colour and have reduced the impact that the lit smoke has on the final shots. Make a note of the settings that worked (I reckon the shutter speed is about right, so just ISO and aperture need a play) and use them for the next film experiment/outing.

As for framing, well, that's always down to a bit of luck! I usually shot fireworks fairly wide then cropped to get the framing I wanted (after scanning [or of the original d***t*l files...])

As Asha said about himself, your entry will beat mine - for the same reason!
 
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#74
Please excuse the heresy that follows...

D***t*l could be your friend next time. Shoot with a non film body (no, not a Polaroid!) and play with the settings while almost ignoring the results. Look at the shots on a decent screen afterwards and select the ones that have given you the results you like. To my eyes, the aperture you used was a bit wide - a stop or 2 less exposure than was used would have given the fiery streaks more colour and have reduced the impact that the lit smoke has on the final shots. Make a note of the settings that worked (I reckon the shutter speed is about right, so just ISO and aperture need a play) and use them for the next film experiment/outing.

As for framing, well, that's always down to a bit of luck! I usually shot fireworks fairly wide then cropped to get the framing I wanted (after scanning [or of the original d***t*l files...])

As Asha said about himself, your entry will beat mine - for the same reason!
Well it was Vista (200 ISO) @ f5.6 @ 6 secs......I'll try f8 and f11 @ 6 secs on the next Diwali and the new year, maybe the following year alter the shutter speed...and am sure I'll get it right after a few years o_O;)
 

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#75
Using a d***t*l body would tell you immediately whether the aperture gave you decent colours on the streaks so you could shoot the rest of the display on film.;)
 

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#77
Ah! There's the problem!!!
 
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#78
Ah! There's the problem!!!
Well a digi might not be much extra help as ok you can get one rocket burst right but the next lot might fill the sky, so exposure would vary and all these tests would have to be done in about 5-10 mins...also there are not plenty of rockets sent into the sky to experiment as the display in people's gardens include near the ground fireworks as well.
 

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#79
Hence the loose framing. The exposures can be reasonably constant - some may come out slightly under and some slightly over, just as you found in the shots above. Large amounts of luck involved in catching the bloody things unless you invest in a selection of them yourself, in which case you can use one to see where the one to shoot will be close to when doing its thang!
 
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#80
If I was a digi guy I'd try the camera on video and choose the best frames...job done and have a laugh at filmies trying to get the same results :D
 
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