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11-03-2014, 10:46 AM   #1
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Trouble shooting stars using K-01 + 10-17 3.5 fisheye

Hi everyone,

Please forgive this noob question, I am a novice still learning to understand my K-01 better inside and out. Anyway, I brought my K-01 + 10-17mm F3.5 fisheye to Joshua Tree recently, and had trouble using long exposure correctly in order to capture the amazing view of the stars at night...

While shooting, I had the camera on a tripod and set to 30" exposure, with the ap at 3.5. What are your favorite settings to capture shots like these using this type of setup?

Thanks in advance

11-03-2014, 11:27 AM - 1 Like   #2
CDW
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Unless you're trying to achieve some special effect, the fisheye will dramatically distort your view of the night sky, especially at the extremes of the frame. You also did not state what ISO setting you selected. Having owned a K01, K5 and K3 in the past, I used a Samyang 2.8 14mm K mount. It's a manual focus lens but in my opinion, is optically superior in the corners to any of the Pentax wide angle when used wide open. I always stopped it down to 3.5, used Bulb setting with a shutter release cable although using Manual at ISO 1600 - 3200 at 30 secs should get you in the ball park to the point where you can push the file using ACR RAW. You'll want to shoot RAW so you can fine tune noise reduction rather than letting the camera make the decision. A 30 sec exposure will show smearing of stars (star trails) when printed large.

There are many websites dealing with the nuances of night sky and astrophotography. I would suggest you do a search.
11-03-2014, 11:36 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Not a pro myself but I have played with shooting stars and will try to help

First of, what do you mean by had trouble using long exposure, what in particular didn't work for you?

I used Kr and a 15mm prime lens and
1. usually keep my ISO at 3200 or 1600, wide open or close to wide open at f2.8
2. exposure time is usually around 20-30 seconds. there's a "rule of 600" (or 400 in the case of apsc cameras?) to determine the slowest shutter speed you can achieve without seeing noticeable star trails. In short, 400 divide by focal length gives you the rough estimate of that shutter speed.
3. use Manual Focus to focus to the infinity, take a picture and zoom in on the LCD to check if the stars are in focus. Sometimes you need to rotate back the focus ring just a little bit.
4. use a stable tripod
5. post processing - many tutorials online
11-04-2014, 05:20 PM   #4
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Maybe we can give better advice if you post a sample or two? Keep them small, though, so the forum doesn't break (or if you link to full size photos)
I did some astro photography with Samyang 14mm f2.8. I had trouble focusing, so next time I learned where focus is, and then trusted it at the night. Using 2sec or 12 sec timer (or better yet, a remote) is important, as is the tripod. Don't even walk around the tripod during the exposure.
Oh, and you know about the.. what is it.. 500 rule? 500/focal length=longest exposure time before stars begin to trail.

Location and atmosphere are very important, too. I was too close to a city, so there was light pollution, as well as some unclean air

01-03-2015, 03:01 AM   #5
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If sky has no moon and you are in dark, away from city lights, try 30sec, iso 3200-6400, f2.8-3.5, 16mm or so.
I got this in first try.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/12-post-your-photos/276973-abstract-milkyway.html
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