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  1. #1

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    Night landscape light trail pictures with Leica M3

    I would like to ask is it possible to take night landscape pics with light trail on Leica M3 and how to do it.
    Thank You in advance

  2. #2
    ROL
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    "Light trail", as with moving a light?

    Fast film, wide aperture on wide angle (DOF), timed exposures, moving the bright light within the frame.


    "Light trail", as in painting with light?

    Same as above, paint near "elements" with a bright flashlight or strong spots.

    Same as with any film camera.
    Last edited by ROL; 03-24-2012 at 08:30 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #3
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    You need to buy the external LeicaTrails viewfinder. It's pretty good, but it has certain limitations at the longer ends of it's focal lengths. You can compensate using this formula Click image for larger version. 

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    It's a pretty good value for only $3,600.
    Last edited by EASmithV; 03-24-2012 at 11:35 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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  4. #4

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    Geez guys the guy is only asking a simple question.

    To the OP: Just put the camera on a tripod, set the camera on B, choose f4 or f5.6 to start with. Use a soft-release with a lock capability.
    Click the shutter and keep it open for an hour.
    Then Two, just to have a more pronounced effect.
    And then 3 or 4 hours, if you have the time to do so.

    That's it.

  5. #5
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    You want star trails. Right?
    Try to point the camera more toward the north. (Assuming you live in the norhtern hemisphere. Otherwise south.)

    The closer the camera points to Polaris, the north star, the star at the end of the handle of the Little Dipper, the more circular your star trails will be. I assume that's what you're going for because that's what people often want.

    The farther away from the north you point, the more the star trails become arcs until, if you point due east or west, they'll be almost straight lines.

    Other than that, do what NB23 says. Put the camera on a tripod and lock the shutter open for a while. There's not a lot to it.

    Do expect a bit of trial and error but, try it a few times, and you'll get the hang of it.

    What the hell? it's only film. Right?
    Randy S.

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  6. #6
    dehk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EASmithV View Post
    You need to buy the external LeicaTrails viewfinder. It's pretty good, but it has certain limitations at the longer ends of it's focal lengths. You can compensate using this formula Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	48430

    It's a pretty good value for only $3,600.
    I just saw one on ebay, mint!
    - Derek
    [ Insert meaningless camera listing here ]

  7. #7

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    Only thing I would add is to use 400 speed film. I thought with 100 speed film I experienced a threshold effect that kept density from building in the way I had hoped. With 400 speed I did not experience this.

    J


    Quote Originally Posted by NB23 View Post
    Geez guys the guy is only asking a simple question.
    To the OP: Just put the camera on a tripod, set the camera on B, choose f4 or f5.6 to start with. Use a soft-release with a lock capability.
    Click the shutter and keep it open for an hour.
    Then Two, just to have a more pronounced effect.
    And then 3 or 4 hours, if you have the time to do so.

    That's it.

  8. #8
    Poisson Du Jour's Avatar
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    You do not need high speed film for star trails. Star trails photography is not about perfection in imaging, it is just for a bit of amusement and interest, particularly if you get plenty of star trails and can research just what the patterns represent. ISO100, preferably reversal slightly underexposed, will be excellent. The smaller the aperture, the larger the number of star trails and the greater the colour shift due to reciprocity failure. Lens choice is a perrsonal one: the wider the lens, the greater the view but star trails will always be visible, and can be made even more appealing with a strong silhouetted subject like a rock, monument, old bar/building etc. My EOS1N takes care of star trails unattended with its intervalometer and usually a 24mm prime lens, no filter and most commonly for 2 hours before pausing for an hour and then taking another frame. For other cameras, f5.6 to f8, on bulb/time and shutter locked opened from 2 to 2.5 hours will give you a very good starting point. Be aware of your surroundings, roaming animals, people (either or both can trip on the tripod), the possibility of theft (if camera is left out in the open by itself) and cold: as the night progresses condensation can form on the lens and negate the entire experience. Above all else, have something to keep yourself occupied over a long period of time, or just leave the camera out, where it is safe to do so and retreat inside. And don't treat star trails as a critical science: it's not, it's just for fun.


  9. #9
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    Fuji 64T or something similar. Open aperture, pick a longish fast lens e.g. a 50/1.4 or such. Find polaris; that will help you know what you'll get. Expose for a few hours. Simple simple. Have fun.

    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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