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06-25-2018, 05:02 PM   #1
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Astro UWA for K-5 iis, what pick?

Greetings,

Planning a trip to an island on the Southern Hemisphere this September, I have hopes of capturing some nice skies, altough the best I could get will be 3 nights before a New Moon. I dream of capturing the Milky Way, or is it unattainable given those conditions?

My current gear is :
-Tripod : Cullmann Magnesit 522T with Ballhead CB5.1
-Camera : K-5 iis
-O-GPS1
-Main lens : SMC Pentax-DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] DC WR
-Tele : HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED WR
-M42-PK adapter (official)
-Hanimar Automatic 1:2.8 f=28mm (M42 manual)
-Pentacon auto 1.8/50 (M42 manual)
-Super Carenar 1:1.9/50 (K-mount manual)

So far I've found my 18-135mm quite weak at 18mm, and I have no illusion regarding the manual primes in my hands for landscapes/astro/interiors. So I am looking for something wide and fast for those uses.

By default I was looking for a Samyang/Rokinon/Bower 14mm 2.8, but those are quite rare around here, not so cheap and the whole QC issue has dampened my enthusiasm...

Of course for too much pandering I missed a real bargain on a Sigma 8-16mm, so for now, after a lot of research, I have in my sights on those lenses, from budget-conscious to hard to justify :

Budget-conscious:

-Sigma 10-20 4-5.6, very cheap, with some wear on the rubber ring, but very cheap (like half the price of a new Samyang 14mm 2.8 at US price...), of course wide but not that fast...
-SMC Pentax-DA* 16-50mm F2.8 ED AL [IF] SDM, very cheap, with autofocus reportedly not working (just a little more expensive than the Sigma 10-20)
-that Sigma 8-16 REALLY was a bargain
-Sigma 10-20 4-5.6 in better condition

Less budget-conscious:

-Samyang 14mm 2.8 (through Amazon US... rare and more expensive locally, definitely don't want to have to return it)
-Pentax smc DA 15mm f/4 ED AL Limited (used, either local source or a little more on ebay.com, for roughly the same price as the Samyang 14mm 2.8...)
-some more Pentax-DA* 16-50mm F2.8 in better condition
-HD Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited (2nd hand locally)
-Pentax HD DA 16-85mm /3,5-5.6 ED DC WR (2nd hand locally, certainly the most versatile but also the most overlap with what I have...)

Starting to get hard to justify...

-Sigma 8-16 (several used ones available on ebay from japanese sellers)
-Irix 15 mm f/2.4 Firefly (if bought from BHphotovideo, but wary of customs and a little worried of what I read of QC issues..., definitely don't want to have to return it, locally would be a little more expensive but really uncertain of availability)
-HD Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited (new locally, just slightly more than the lowest local price for the Irix)

Of course for about the price of an Irix 15 mm f/2.4 Blackstone some guy is selling his kit of a silver K-3 with assorted grip, extra batteries, Pentax-DA 18-270mm F3.5-6.3 and 10-20mm F3.5 EX DC HSM.
And for some more another is selling his K-3 ii kit with 16-85mm and flu-card..., but down that slippery slope I'd end up wanting a K-1 with grip and 15-30mm... but I need my budget for the trip itself!

What do you think? What would you rate as a sensible purchase that would allow me to get results under the southern skies, and still be usable later and not becoming some expensive paper weight... I am willing to head for training a few nights to the mountains around my extremely light polluted lakeshore city, if I can spare the time...

06-25-2018, 06:20 PM - 1 Like   #2
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What about a used Pentax DA 14? Faster than the 15 and a wonderful close focusing wide angle. Very versatile and works reasonable for Astro. My most used wide angle on the K-3 with astrotracer.
06-25-2018, 07:51 PM - 2 Likes   #3
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3 nights before a *new* moon is fantastic timing. The moon will be down most of the night.

Avoid the Pentax 16-50 for astrophotography. It has a high amount of coma distortion. Coma elongates stars near the corners and isn't usually observable in daytime photos so it's not often tested in reviews.

What type of photos are you hoping for? Do you want to feature the sky, or do you want to see the ground+sky?
  • Sky: Your 50/1.8 or 50/1.9 might be okay with the O-GPS1 provided the corners are relatively sharp and low coma distortion. September in the southern hemisphere offers the Sagittarius constellation (with many nebulas and star clusters), Large Magellanic Cloud, Small Magellanic Cloud. All 3 are relatively large targets suitable for 50mm. Test your lenses close to home ASAP, comparing wide open, f2.0, f2.8. You might be able to find an inexpensive used Pentax 50/2.8 macro; most macro lenses are sharp across the frame and don't show much coma.
  • Ground+Sky: Unless you want to get into Photoshop layer manipulation, the astrotracer is less useful with the ground in view because the ground blurs while stars are being tracked. For starting night ground+sky landscapes I therefore suggest a wide, fast (f2.8 or better) lens without the astrotracer. The Samyang/Rokinon 14/2.8 is a good combination of price and performance. There's also a Samyang APS-C 16/2.0 available but I have no firsthand experience with that.
Sample of Sagittarius region on the K-1 at 100mm. 50mm on your crop K-3 will give a slightly wider view than this:

06-25-2018, 07:55 PM - 1 Like   #4
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Up until recently I have shot astro (Milky Way over landscapes) with the K5IIs, using the Sigma 18-35/f1.8. I also have the 8-16/f4.5, 10-17/ fisheye long with the 12-24/f4. As good as the K5IIs is, you need a faster lens, mainly for 2 reasons: 1) the more starlight you gather the better; and 2) the lower ISO you gather the starlight at the better the dynamic range which results in more color within the Milky Way's core. That is mainly why, I acquired the 18-35/f1.8 and for astro, essentially bypassed the 8-16, 10-17, and 12-24. They will work, but you are loosing about 3 fstops of light.

Here is an excellent discussion on lenses for astro.In my opinion, it comes down to 3 or 4 best lenses for the MW (from wide to narrow) are - Samyang/Rokinon 16/f2, Sigma 18-35/f1.8, Samyang/Rokinon 24/f1.4, and the Sigma 35/f1.4. The size of the physical aperture really reduces the usefulness of wider lenses.

From your lenses the best for the MW would be...
  • Hanimar Automatic 1:2.8 f=28mm (M42 manual)
  • Pentacon auto 1.8/50 (M42 manual)
  • Super Carenar 1:1.9/50 (K-mount manual)
I would keep the exposure around 60 seconds using the GPS astrotracker. The higher the ISO, the more definition you will get in the MW - it will be with "white" stars, but the less star color you will get. It's a careful balance between ISO and capturing color, and it's really dependent on how dark your location is. The darker the location, the better the MW will be.

Also, especially with the 50mm lenses, stitch!!!! The 50's will collect a lot of light with a very large aperture, however the images will be relatively narrow. The 28/f2.8 will also do pretty well - reasonably wide but the f2.8 will soak up a lot of light too. You will probably want to stitch with it also. Note, I really never shot the MW with a 50mm. I did try the 85/f1.8 shooting some star fields with pretty good success (shot well over 500+ images in burst mode, 3 second exposures to prevent star trailing, and then stacked all the images together using Sequator (a free star stacking software utility).

It also comes down to a fair amount of experimentation with collecting the images and then processing them so that you can make adjustments the next evening. So, if you have access to a laptop with post processing software, I would try to bring that along.

There is also quite a few excellent posts down in the AstroPhotography group here on the forum.


06-26-2018, 01:20 AM   #5
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Personally, I use a Samyang 10mm f/2.8 as my primary. A bit wide for using astrotracer, so you tend to see center of frame is sharp, ground is blurry, and trailing stars to the left/right where the astrotracer can't work due to extreme viewing angle. Definitely great for astro. If I'm not using that then I'm using either an m28 f/2.8, or the SMC Pentax DA L 18-55 WR f/3.5-5.6. Despite what some would think the DAL is a good all around lens for just about everything. It IS a little finicky with fine focus for astro, but with practice it will generally do pretty well. Just bump your ISO up to about 1600-3200 and stick with the 18mm side.
06-26-2018, 03:28 AM - 1 Like   #6
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Since you mentioned it, the Sigmas 10-20 (both the variable aperture and the constant one) have a lot of copy-to-copy variation, and are generally not strong in the corners.
I don't think they would be my primary choice for astro.
06-26-2018, 09:54 AM   #7
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Definitely don't discount the Samyang 16mm 2.0, it's an amazing astro lens. I have the 10-20 4-5.6, and it's just too slow for catching the Milky Way at reasonable ISOs (at least on the K-3).

If you do go with the Samyang 16mm, make sure you calibrate the infinity stop. I believe there's a way to mechanically do it (though don't quote me on that) but at least try finding true infinity and put a piece of tape to mark it, mine focuses way past infinity.
06-28-2018, 03:12 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
3 nights before a *new* moon is fantastic timing. The moon will be down most of the night.

Avoid the Pentax 16-50 for astrophotography. It has a high amount of coma distortion. Coma elongates stars near the corners and isn't usually observable in daytime photos so it's not often tested in reviews.

What type of photos are you hoping for? Do you want to feature the sky, or do you want to see the ground+sky?
  • Sky: Your 50/1.8 or 50/1.9 might be okay with the O-GPS1 provided the corners are relatively sharp and low coma distortion. September in the southern hemisphere offers the Sagittarius constellation (with many nebulas and star clusters), Large Magellanic Cloud, Small Magellanic Cloud. All 3 are relatively large targets suitable for 50mm. Test your lenses close to home ASAP, comparing wide open, f2.0, f2.8. You might be able to find an inexpensive used Pentax 50/2.8 macro; most macro lenses are sharp across the frame and don't show much coma.
  • Ground+Sky: Unless you want to get into Photoshop layer manipulation, the astrotracer is less useful with the ground in view because the ground blurs while stars are being tracked. For starting night ground+sky landscapes I therefore suggest a wide, fast (f2.8 or better) lens without the astrotracer. The Samyang/Rokinon 14/2.8 is a good combination of price and performance. There's also a Samyang APS-C 16/2.0 available but I have no firsthand experience with that.
Nice picture and thanks for your feedback!

To be more precise I'll be going back home on the day the moon is classified as New Moon, so during my stay I'll have from Last Quarter to Waning Crescent. How good would that be?

We'll be staying at a resort on the West Coast of the Island of Mauritius, with a view of Le Morne World Heritage Monument, so with the sea and that I hope to do some nice sunsets and starscapes. Not sure I'd try renting a car to try to reach darker areas and/or try to make compositions (heard the South is where to go)...need to check on traveller's forums how safe it would be to wander alone at night.

Will do some trial at the next New Moon in 2 weeks if the weather allows, also need to not miss the Perseid this year. But for the latter I feel the widest angle possible would be best, correct?

QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
Up until recently I have shot astro (Milky Way over landscapes) with the K5IIs, using the Sigma 18-35/f1.8. I also have the 8-16/f4.5, 10-17/ fisheye long with the 12-24/f4. As good as the K5IIs is, you need a faster lens, mainly for 2 reasons: 1) the more starlight you gather the better; and 2) the lower ISO you gather the starlight at the better the dynamic range which results in more color within the Milky Way's core. That is mainly why, I acquired the 18-35/f1.8 and for astro, essentially bypassed the 8-16, 10-17, and 12-24. They will work, but you are loosing about 3 fstops of light.

Here is an excellent discussion on lenses for astro.In my opinion, it comes down to 3 or 4 best lenses for the MW (from wide to narrow) are - Samyang/Rokinon 16/f2, Sigma 18-35/f1.8, Samyang/Rokinon 24/f1.4, and the Sigma 35/f1.4. The size of the physical aperture really reduces the usefulness of wider lenses.

From your lenses the best for the MW would be...
  • Hanimar Automatic 1:2.8 f=28mm (M42 manual)
  • Pentacon auto 1.8/50 (M42 manual)
  • Super Carenar 1:1.9/50 (K-mount manual)
I would keep the exposure around 60 seconds using the GPS astrotracker. The higher the ISO, the more definition you will get in the MW - it will be with "white" stars, but the less star color you will get. It's a careful balance between ISO and capturing color, and it's really dependent on how dark your location is. The darker the location, the better the MW will be.

Also, especially with the 50mm lenses, stitch!!!! The 50's will collect a lot of light with a very large aperture, however the images will be relatively narrow. The 28/f2.8 will also do pretty well - reasonably wide but the f2.8 will soak up a lot of light too. You will probably want to stitch with it also. Note, I really never shot the MW with a 50mm. I did try the 85/f1.8 shooting some star fields with pretty good success (shot well over 500+ images in burst mode, 3 second exposures to prevent star trailing, and then stacked all the images together using Sequator (a free star stacking software utility).

It also comes down to a fair amount of experimentation with collecting the images and then processing them so that you can make adjustments the next evening. So, if you have access to a laptop with post processing software, I would try to bring that along.

There is also quite a few excellent posts down in the AstroPhotography group here on the forum.
I haven't contemplated doing star only and composites yet, the weak point of my gear is my ballhead, as its a rather simple one, not allowing precise adjustments and definitely not convenient for panoramas or even the use of the small MAK scope I have (Celestron C70). Years ago I was contemplating purchasing a geared one like the Manfrotto 410, or an Arcaswiss monoball, but those are quite a budget on their own.

Recently came across a sale on the Sirui T-005X + C-10S, how would you people rate it? I could also use the head only with my sturdier tripod as well. Or are there better options?

QuoteOriginally posted by Auzzie-Phoenix Quote
Personally, I use a Samyang 10mm f/2.8 as my primary. A bit wide for using astrotracer, so you tend to see center of frame is sharp, ground is blurry, and trailing stars to the left/right where the astrotracer can't work due to extreme viewing angle. Definitely great for astro. If I'm not using that then I'm using either an m28 f/2.8, or the SMC Pentax DA L 18-55 WR f/3.5-5.6. Despite what some would think the DAL is a good all around lens for just about everything. It IS a little finicky with fine focus for astro, but with practice it will generally do pretty well. Just bump your ISO up to about 1600-3200 and stick with the 18mm side.
QuoteOriginally posted by LensBeginner Quote
Since you mentioned it, the Sigmas 10-20 (both the variable aperture and the constant one) have a lot of copy-to-copy variation, and are generally not strong in the corners.
I don't think they would be my primary choice for astro.
Thanks for reminding me of the 10mm f/2.8, I admit I was pretty excited when they announced it. Its a little on the pricey end tough but I admit that 10mm is hooking! Does it have the same QC issues?
At work I get to use very often a Canon 650D together with a Canon EF-S 10-22mm 1:3.5-4.5, and it is true that my main issue with it is how dark and blurry it gets at 10mm, where I need it the most when I am shooting cracked walls indoor... (civil engineering expertise work).

QuoteOriginally posted by Dipsoid Quote
Definitely don't discount the Samyang 16mm 2.0, it's an amazing astro lens. I have the 10-20 4-5.6, and it's just too slow for catching the Milky Way at reasonable ISOs (at least on the K-3).

If you do go with the Samyang 16mm, make sure you calibrate the infinity stop. I believe there's a way to mechanically do it (though don't quote me on that) but at least try finding true infinity and put a piece of tape to mark it, mine focuses way past infinity.
Thanks, but I admit I am a little unsure if it would be wide enough compared to the 14mm F/2.8, plus its more pricey.

BTW I have never bothered purchasing a Pentax T2 adapter to use with my Celestron C70 Mini Mak, but maybe I could get reasonably good results on the Moon. Not a stellar scope but nice to show the moon to the kids.

06-28-2018, 03:48 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by JMvS Quote
*snip*

At work I get to use very often a Canon 650D together with a Canon EF-S 10-22mm 1:3.5-4.5, and it is true that my main issue with it is how dark and blurry it gets at 10mm, where I need it the most when I am shooting cracked walls indoor... (civil engineering expertise work)
Ironically, my Sigma 10-20/3.5 is a razor's edge at close distances, even wide open
06-28-2018, 07:20 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by JMvS Quote
To be more precise I'll be going back home on the day the moon is classified as New Moon, so during my stay I'll have from Last Quarter to Waning Crescent. How good would that be?
I think the moon will be down for part of the night when Sagittarius and the 2 Magellanic clouds are in the sky. 3rd quarter should rise (very roughly!) midnight, and rise a little later each day of your stay.

Confirm with a planetarium app. I use Stellarium - inexpensive app for Andrioid (I think there's an Apple version), and free software with more features on Windows desktop. You can change your location and time to simulate the night sky where you'll be.

QuoteOriginally posted by JMvS Quote
Will do some trial at the next New Moon in 2 weeks if the weather allows, also need to not miss the Perseid this year. But for the latter I feel the widest angle possible would be best, correct?
Wider has the potential to catch more meteors, less wide will make trails look longer. I call them meteor "drizzles" because most showers you'll be lucky to get a meteor a minute. Every 10 years there will be a very active shower but it's tough to predict. Good luck.
06-28-2018, 09:21 AM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by JMvS Quote
To be more precise I'll be going back home on the day the moon is classified as New Moon, so during my stay I'll have from Last Quarter to Waning Crescent. How good would that be?
So, roughly you will be on the island the first part of September. It looks like during your entire stay, the moon should just fine. It appears that the moon will be down from sunset through midnight, and only getting better each day of your stay.Here is a web application that you can step through each day of your stay.
QuoteOriginally posted by JMvS Quote
We'll be staying at a resort on the West Coast of the Island of Mauritius, with a view of Le Morne World Heritage Monument, so with the sea and that I hope to do some nice sunsets and starscapes. Not sure I'd try renting a car to try to reach darker areas and/or try to make compositions (heard the South is where to go)...need to check on traveller's forums how safe it would be to wander alone at night.
Here is a link to a dark sky finder. It looks like you will be in one of the darkest places on the island. The site is based on google maps, so just zoom in and around to where you want to go. I attached a chip out of the island for you below...I also use Stellarium (it's a free download) and it shows that every day of your stay, from 8pm on, that the Milky Way's core will be overhead, from 8pm on - in the south south west, arching over to the north. See the attached image below.

QuoteOriginally posted by JMvS Quote
Will do some trial at the next New Moon in 2 weeks if the weather allows, also need to not miss the Perseid this year. But for the latter I feel the widest angle possible would be best, correct?
You are trading the wide angle for aperture on this. Also, with the Milky Way being pretty much directly overhead, the Pentax astro tracker will be effective up to around 45 degrees (but your lens' field of view coverage will be able to catch it). I would just set everything up, calibrate the astro aim it, and then just take successive single images. Then use a free download utility like Sequator to stack the images together (it align them together automagically). This way, you can probably make up for a slow lens. You can probably shoot 60 second exposures pretty easily.

QuoteOriginally posted by JMvS Quote
I haven't contemplated doing star only and composites yet, the weak point of my gear is my ballhead, as its a rather simple one, not allowing precise adjustments and definitely not convenient for panoramas or even the use of the small MAK scope I have (Celestron C70). Years ago I was contemplating purchasing a geared one like the Manfrotto 410, or an Arcaswiss monoball, but those are quite a budget on their own.
You really only need a simple ballhead. With the Milky Way core being pretty much overhead, you are not going to be getting a lot of landscape in the image. You are going to want to align the long side of the camera to be parallel with the Milky Way. I have never shot this, since I've had the opportunity of having the MW core overhead. For me it's always been much more near the horizon.

QuoteOriginally posted by JMvS Quote
Recently came across a sale on the Sirui T-005X + C-10S, how would you people rate it? I could also use the head only with my sturdier tripod as well. Or are there better options?
I would think that it should be fine. The one thing that you do NOT want to do, is to extend the center column, as that will only add vibration into the mechanical support system - what vibration and shake the tripod removes - the extended center column will add back in. The extended center column acts as a cantilevered beam held at one end, with a large mass at the other.

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06-29-2018, 05:17 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by JMvS Quote
By default I was looking for a Samyang/Rokinon/Bower 14mm 2.8, but those are quite rare around here, not so cheap and the whole QC issue has dampened my enthusiasm...
QuoteOriginally posted by JMvS Quote
-Irix 15 mm f/2.4 Firefly
Consider the Laowa 12mm F2.8. I'm testing it right now and it's excellent. The Irix is quite good too (see its recent review) but for ruggedness and compactness the Laowa is impressive.
06-29-2018, 05:17 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by JMvS Quote
By default I was looking for a Samyang/Rokinon/Bower 14mm 2.8, but those are quite rare around here, not so cheap and the whole QC issue has dampened my enthusiasm...
QuoteOriginally posted by JMvS Quote
-Irix 15 mm f/2.4 Firefly
Consider the Laowa 12mm F2.8. I'm testing it right now and it's excellent. The Irix is quite good too (see its recent review) but for ruggedness and compactness the Laowa is impressive.
06-30-2018, 12:23 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by LensBeginner Quote
Ironically, my Sigma 10-20/3.5 is a razor's edge at close distances, even wide open
I admit I'd be very tempted by the Sigma's 10-20/4 or 3.5, since for landscape and architecture I'd have less concern about the f-number.

I guess in the best of all Worlds I'd have a K-1 with the 15-30/2.8. If not for the weight and price, it'd be perfect for my uses and ambitions...

---------- Post added 06-30-18 at 12:29 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
I think the moon will be down for part of the night when Sagittarius and the 2 Magellanic clouds are in the sky. 3rd quarter should rise (very roughly!) midnight, and rise a little later each day of your stay.

Confirm with a planetarium app. I use Stellarium - inexpensive app for Andrioid (I think there's an Apple version), and free software with more features on Windows desktop. You can change your location and time to simulate the night sky where you'll be.


Wider has the potential to catch more meteors, less wide will make trails look longer. I call them meteor "drizzles" because most showers you'll be lucky to get a meteor a minute. Every 10 years there will be a very active shower but it's tough to predict. Good luck.
Copy that. I did have Stellarium on my field Tablet PC. But poor thing is so derelict now... Will try to install it on my PC.

Back in the days I also purchased the full version of SkySafari, will check if it is up to date.

Otherwise, thanks to the nice links above, I got interested in the Photopills app, might give it a try, altough as a general rule I tend to be a "candid" photographer, even for landscapes.

---------- Post added 06-30-18 at 12:39 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
So, roughly you will be on the island the first part of September. It looks like during your entire stay, the moon should just fine. It appears that the moon will be down from sunset through midnight, and only getting better each day of your stay.Here is a web application that you can step through each day of your stay.
Here is a link to a dark sky finder. It looks like you will be in one of the darkest places on the island. The site is based on google maps, so just zoom in and around to where you want to go. I attached a chip out of the island for you below...I also use Stellarium (it's a free download) and it shows that every day of your stay, from 8pm on, that the Milky Way's core will be overhead, from 8pm on - in the south south west, arching over to the north. See the attached image below.


You are trading the wide angle for aperture on this. Also, with the Milky Way being pretty much directly overhead, the Pentax astro tracker will be effective up to around 45 degrees (but your lens' field of view coverage will be able to catch it). I would just set everything up, calibrate the astro aim it, and then just take successive single images. Then use a free download utility like Sequator to stack the images together (it align them together automagically). This way, you can probably make up for a slow lens. You can probably shoot 60 second exposures pretty easily.


You really only need a simple ballhead. With the Milky Way core being pretty much overhead, you are not going to be getting a lot of landscape in the image. You are going to want to align the long side of the camera to be parallel with the Milky Way. I have never shot this, since I've had the opportunity of having the MW core overhead. For me it's always been much more near the horizon.


I would think that it should be fine. The one thing that you do NOT want to do, is to extend the center column, as that will only add vibration into the mechanical support system - what vibration and shake the tripod removes - the extended center column will add back in. The extended center column acts as a cantilevered beam held at one end, with a large mass at the other.

Wow thanks for doing the research. I'll be slightly more North and in a more populated area (orange I think). But otherwise seems I'm in the best of luck. Orientation is perfect, above the ocean and maybe with that mountain aligned to the SW... and even at a very reasonable time 8pm...
Normally it should be the driest and least windy part of the island as well but you never know of course.
Now I sincerely hope my wife will be able to travel (she is pregnant and currently on total rest... Hard 1st trimester, hope they'll be fine for the trip I secretly planned for 2nd trimester...)

---------- Post added 06-30-18 at 12:47 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
Consider the Laowa 12mm F2.8. I'm testing it right now and it's excellent. The Irix is quite good too (see its recent review) but for ruggedness and compactness the Laowa is impressive.
Haven't done much research on the Laowa, tough I have seen some striking examples of what people can get from it, but at first glance too pricey for now...
Irix sure seemed to me an attainable option, if only at US prices... closer to $550 here for the Firefly, with very little listings. Could be a little cheaper if ordered from the US, but it is not listed on amazon who AFAIK is the only one who takes care of both shipping and duties.
06-30-2018, 04:37 AM   #15
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What technique do you use in astro? Since you went into discussion fast vs slow, you are not doing stacking?

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