Planetary and Deep Space Astrophotography


The planets are probably the most difficult objects to photograph. As mentioned in previous pages, eyepiece projection is necessary to obtain high magnification. As a general rule the exposure times (@f/100) are:

Planetary Exposure times


Exposure time

VenusLess than 1 sec.
Jupiter1 to 4 sec.
Mars1 to 4 sec.
Saturnless than 5 sec.

Recommended film (for the beginner): Fuji Super HG400, Kodak Gold 400. Black and White: T-Max 400

Deep Space, Stars, Meteors and other Celestial Phenomenon.

Fixed Camera Photography
SubjectLensFilm ISOf ratioExposure Time
Constellations50mm400 to 32001.4 to 210 to 20 sec.
Planets50 to 135mm400 to 32002 to 2.84 to 20 sec.
Auroras8 to 50mm400 to 32001.4 to 2.84 to 20 sec
Zodical Light8 to 28mm400 to 32002 to 2.860 to 90 sec
Star trails28 to 50mm4002.8 to 45 to 60 min.
Meteors28 to 50mm4002 to 2.85 to 20 min.
Comets28 to 135mm400 to 8002 to 2.82 to 3 min.

Deep space objects such as galaxies, faint nebulas and globular clusters require long guided prime focus exposures. Exposures usually range 30 to 90 minutes to record these faint objects. A telescope with an electronic drive is required for this type of astrophotography. See "Guiding".

Recommended film (for the beginner) Fuji Super HG 400, Fuji 800, Kodak Gold 400. For Black and White: T-Max 400, T-Max 3200

  • Back