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Lasers and Film Cameras?

Ears and Eggs

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I just ordered a 561nm pen from tinkertavernco's sale last week and was wondering if anyone else had tried this. Many digital cameras have trouble with certain wavelengths, often with lasers in the 405 and 540 - 580 part of the spectrum. Many pictures of them appear the wrong color and not at all what is actually seen.


Has anyone tried photographing these wavelengths with a film camera? Was the film able to correctly capture these wavelengths? I do have a very old film SLR camera (picture below) that used to belong to my dad and would get some film and try when I get my 561 laser if anyone's had some luck with this.


oldcameras.jpg
 





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That would be a neat experiment, I wish I had a film camera to give it a shot
 
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I had a Minolta film camera back in the early 1980s. But don't have one any longer. My daughter may still have the one I bought her back in the early 207ish. I have a 574 nm laser I could try with that if she still has it.
 
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Haven't tried shooting those specific wavelengths but I did shoot some lasers on film a while back. IIRC the film I used was Kodak Gold 200 ISO.

This is 445nm, turns out white-ish which I suspect is because film really, really likes the blue end of the spectrum so its going to overexpose really quick and just turn white.
cO9JNMml.jpg
532nm is pretty spot-on. The red is just from a heat lamp in the background.
276ivrkl.jpg
And then 638, again pretty spot on though hard to tell exactly because of the red background light. Film is least sensitive to red light so you need to expose a little longer for it.
VtaLfG2l.jpg

Hope this is in any way helpful.
 
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I just took this with my phone of 405nm and it looks way more blue than violet. This is a pretty tricky color to capture as well.

1701393606639.png
 
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I'd be willing to guess that 405 is either right on the edge of what the filters in most cameras let through and/or just gets strongly attenuated by the optics and/or Bayer filter.

Given me the idea to try shooting lasers with a digital camera I removed all the filters from though.
 
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Hello I am back after conducting a very scientific test.

405nm taken with my phone:
LSxuqTRl.jpg
And heres with a camera I took all the filters out of:
cW0vHPLl.jpg

So yeah seems that filters affect how digital cameras perceive 405nm, obviously not a perfect test because its two different cameras but I dont have another camera like the one I modified sooo yeah. Both were left on all automatic settings so make of this info what you will I guess.
 

julianthedragon

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Digital cameras have a certain color space between green, red, and blue. Violet 405 is a spectral color outside that range, best approximated by a purple with more blue than red. Until you build a camera that can really see color and not approximate it, it’s gonna be a problem. Similar problem with 561. The camera knows it’s somewhere between green and red but isn’t calibrated to get the balance exactly right, or it’s the same problem as 405 if it’s outside the color gamut. Again, similar problems with the emulsions of color film. All that leaving a digital camera on auto settings with no modifications does is let the camera do the thinking for you. Auto white balance in digital cams frequently get the colors of perfectly normal scenes wrong on a good day. Editing the temperate and color profile of a raw photo with an app like Lightroom is a fair bet and can still be “legit” unless you’re literally painting over the image with the color you want. We need someone to invent spectral color cameras and screens that display 32-bit depth images lol
 

Eidetical

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If you want a really accurate photograph of any color, try Lippmann photography. Color is encoded by interference means and not by dyes or filters. This was the first color photography technique. Here's an article describing the technique by my old friend Hans Bjelkhagen. Modern holographic recording materials are good for making such photographs.

 

sunnyprot

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I'd like to try it too. I think it could make for some great photos.. And I think it will be useful for a lot of people. However, I haven't used this method for a long time. And to save time, I buy ready-made unique images in depositphots.com high resolution. This allows me to use them in my projects and saves a lot of time.
 
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I've had the same thought about whether film would be better at capturing the green and yellow spectrum but it's a hassle to develop film these days so I haven't followed through.
I suspect it will be dependent on the particular film composition and it will take some research and/or trial and error to find film that does well across the visible spectrum.
I've got a Canon AE-1 and a nice Tokina AT-X lens that does a good job with color rendition, even when adapted to my digital camera.
As for lasers, it makes the most sense to prioritize the blue end of the spectrum 405-450 nm and the green and yellow portion 495-570 nm where digital cameras struggle most.
If anyone wants to donate a roll of 35 mm film (or $ to buy/develop), I can do some experimentation and post detailed results.
 

Eidetical

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Making an accurate photographic negative of the actual wavelengths of light used is only the first step. Color balance of the print then needs to be considered. And if you want to go "digital" with it later, you're back to the color balance issues with scanners, digital cameras, and whatever monitors will be used. The only really accurate method is directly viewing a Lippmann photograph in sunlight.
 
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Making an accurate photographic negative of the actual wavelengths of light used is only the first step. Color balance of the print then needs to be considered. And if you want to go "digital" with it later, you're back to the color balance issues with scanners, digital cameras, and whatever monitors will be used. The only really accurate method is directly viewing a Lippmann photograph in sunlight.
This is true, however there is a huge difference in technical difficulty between conventional film photography and Lippmann photography.
More importantly, the question isn't "can film accurately reproduce the color of visible light?" Rather, it's "can film differentiate yellow and green lasers?" The latter is the primary problem that spurred the idea and I think it's worth some experimentation to get an answer.

If there is a commercially available film that can differentiate yellows and greens, or any range of wavelengths, it would be nice to know. It would also be useful to know whether film is generally better than digital for photographing laser light.
I think I'll stop by my local photography shop and pick up a couple rolls of whatever they have on hand. I have good enough camera equipment and good coverage of the visible spectrum in my collection for a nice digital vs. film comparison. As an added bonus, I can adapt my film lenses to my digital camera to eliminate the optics variable!
The more I think about this, the more I want to try it.
I'll write up a preliminary report once I get the film developed.
 




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