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10-11-2012, 03:39 PM   #151
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K-5, smc Pentax FA 50mm f/1.4 and Astrotracer

I took delivery of the sms PENTAX f/1.4 50mm lens a week ago during a 4-week long period of constant clouds and rain. Fortunately, weather has co-operated for the last 4 days, and among my first test shots I think these two came out fairly well:


The Double Cluster in Perseus
4 images stacked in Deep Sky Stacker. All taken at f/1.4, 15s and ISO 800




The Andromeda Galaxy
13 images stacked in DSS. All also taken at f/1.4, 15s and ISO800

Images are crops of the original stacks post-processed in PhotoImpact. Clik on images to see full-size (100%) crop of the Double Cluster and downsized (approx. 85%) crop of the Andromeda picture.

And the weather forcast for the next week: 4 consecutive days of rain starting tomorrow afternoon and then perhaps-maybe a bit of a clearance of the clouds..........

10-11-2012, 03:54 PM   #152
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They look very good. Did you use a tracking mount?.
10-11-2012, 10:21 PM   #153
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stone G. Quote
Why, thank you Class A! But you see, I live on the island of Zealand, Denmark.
My apologies. I thought your location was a contraction of "North Island" and "New Zealand".

If you visit New Zealand, the Mount John Observatory near Lake Tekapo is the place to go. The area around it has strict limitations regarding light pollution in order to enable the best observation conditions possible.
10-12-2012, 12:47 AM   #154
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ex Finn. Quote
They look very good. Did you use a tracking mount?.
Thank you Ex Finn, and to your question: Yes and no. I used camera on tripod with the PENTAX O-GPS1 Unit and its Astrotracer function.

10-12-2012, 12:50 AM   #155
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
- - - - - -

If you visit New Zealand, the Mount John Observatory near Lake Tekapo is the place to go. The area around it has strict limitations regarding light pollution in order to enable the best observation conditions possible.
I like that!

Dark Skies ought to be a civil right for all of us. I can see that I need to go to your place some day.......
10-12-2012, 12:17 PM   #156
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The area around Tekapo has now been designated as of international importance Largest 'Dark Sky' Reserve Named : Discovery News
10-14-2012, 09:20 AM   #157
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K-5 with Pentax DA*200mm f/2.8 and O-GPS1 astrotracer function



M33: 36 photos stacked with DSS. 1 min exposure time @ f/4, 1600 ISO



M31: 8 photos stacked with DSS. 30sec exposure time @ f/2.8, 1600 ISO

my other results with the astrotracer: Home / Albums / Astrophotography / Nebulae and galaxies | PhotosSteph
10-14-2012, 11:25 PM   #158
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Great pictures Stéphane!

Now that I seem to have better results with K5 and O-GPS1, I hope I can get half as good as you!

François

Edit : I've had a look at your gallery... It's going to take time before I get half as good. A very long time!


Last edited by LeFanch; 10-15-2012 at 11:58 PM.
10-15-2012, 02:14 AM   #159
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I can only join in the praise of Stéphane's images. Thanks for the link to your gallery also - that's great inspiration.

Also, your DA* 200mm lens seems to be a fine tool for astrophotograhy
10-15-2012, 12:46 PM - 1 Like   #160
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Took this m31 last night. This has been the worst summer for Astrophotography with all the smoke in this area from all the forest fires and high thin clouds.
Last night the clouds came two hours after setting up. The photo is with my stellarvue 102ed telescope on my cgem mount, camera k5 24 shots at 30 seconds iso 3200
stacked with deepsky stacker cleaned up a little in photoshop. The high thin clouds sneaked in and did not notice for the next 20 shots
Hank
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10-17-2012, 01:36 PM   #161
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Thanks LeFanch & Stone G.

Yes the DA*200 is a very valuable lens for astrophotography. At f/4 the sharpness is extremly high even at the image borders. The Lightroom's lens correction function is very useful too. It does a very good job to correct the image uniformity.
10-20-2012, 02:59 PM   #162
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M33 with Astrotracer and FA 50mm Lens

I cannot compete with Stéphane's magnificent M33 image. Still, it was fun - and also kind of rewarding - to capture this elusive smudge of light with more modest means:


Pentax K-5 with smc Pentax FA 50mm f/1.4 and Pentax O-GPS1/Astrotracer
11 images of 15s at f/1.4 and ISO 1600 stacked in DSS, cropped and post-processed in PhotoImpact.

Click on image to see a full-size crop.
10-22-2012, 01:30 AM   #163
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M31 on Oct 21st 2012. I just did a quick edit as I wanted to get a rough idea of the data collected, will tinker more with the exposures, especially around the center of the galaxies.
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10-22-2012, 02:44 PM   #164
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Now that I've gotten some sleep from last nights outting I did some tweaks to the image I did last night. It's still using the same images stacked, just some more time fine tuning some settings. I'm sure I'll be twiddling with it for some time.
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10-22-2012, 04:00 PM   #165
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Wow great stuff here! I've been taking wide images using my K-5 and DA 15 of the night sky trying to catch meteors. I got a few Orionids on Sunday morning and here's the best one (2 image composite - 1 for the meteor and 1 for the foreground which I light painted in one of the exposures).



I used the camera's built-in timer to take 100 exposures at 13s, f/4, ISO 3200.
The single exposures without meteors aren't all that interesting but if I stack them all it's pretty cool looking.



These posts have me intrigued about getting some kind of device to correct for the movement like that O-GPS1 but I'm a little confused at exactly what it does. I know it can geo tag photos but without a special robotic mount how can it compensate for movement when your camera is just mounted on a tripod?
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