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TechPan vs TMax 400

Contrary to popular belief, Hypered TechPan is not the only choice for B&W astrophotography. In some cases, it may actually be the second choice.

The following photos of M10 in Ophiuchus were taken with the 10" Newt at prime focus. The exposures were 30 minutes under exactly the some conditions and setup other than the half hour difference in time. The significant difference is that the one on the left was taken with off the shelf TMAX 400 and the one on the right was taken with hypered TechPan.

[M13tm] [M13]

Although there is possibly a magnitude difference in the "depth", there is a considerable improvement in the detail available in the Tmax photo. Most conspicuous is the non-symetry in the central core that is completely lost in the TechPan photo.

The Tmax photo might be improved with a longer exposure and the detail in the TechPan may have been improved with a shorter exposure or softer developer but the point here is that one need not despair if hypered Techpan is not available. Tmax is an excellent film for astrophotography if we recognize its limits, which usually means it can not compete on emission regions. For stars and particulary globulars, the convenience of using it out of the box can actually make it the film of choice.

All photos taken with the...JSP ASTROCAMERA

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