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11-20-2012, 03:01 PM   #1
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Interval shooting

Hi All - this is my first post here -

Just recently purchased the K-30 and have been putting it through its paces. I have to say I am very pleased with what I have been seeing both for speed, and colour rendition. All the new bells and whistles are pretty cool too.

I have attached everything from a really cheapppooo 50mm up to my 12" telescope (single shot mode only) and love the results

One of the main reasons I purchased this model was for the INTERVAL mode of shooting for astrophotography - but Dang-It --- I can't seem to make it work. I thought maybe I was reading the book wrong and missing some step - but got the same results time after time - ONE shot - then nothing - - had a couple friends go through and they got the same thing --

what are we missing -????? clear skies on the way and the Lionid Astroid shower too ---grrrr

Doug

11-20-2012, 03:13 PM   #2
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If interval shooting is like on the K-5 (sorry I dont have K-30) you set the interval, # of shots and then tell it to start now. Hit OK, then you get a message saying the interval will start at first press of shutter.

Is that how K-30 works?
11-20-2012, 03:17 PM   #3
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Yup it looks like the same instructions - is this what you are doing?
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11-20-2012, 03:42 PM - 2 Likes   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by shudderbug9 Quote
Hi All - this is my first post here -

------

One of the main reasons I purchased this model was for the INTERVAL mode of shooting for astrophotography - but Dang-It --- I can't seem to make it work. I thought maybe I was reading the book wrong and missing some step - but got the same results time after time - ONE shot - then nothing - - had a couple friends go through and they got the same thing --

what are we missing -????? clear skies on the way and the Lionid Astroid shower too ---grrrr

Doug
I am pretty sure I know what's going wrong for you (and it isn't really your fault but rather the manual's):

When you set Interval, make sure it is longer than your exposure time. I.e. if you want x shots of four seconds exposure time with a 2 second pause in-between, then you have to set Interval at 6 seconds. That's because your interval as set in the camera menu starts when you press the shutter and not when your exposure ends.

It took me a few experiences like your's before I figured that out and, clearly, the designers and/or manual writers didn't have astro photographers like you and me in mind.

Hope that clears something for you. (Oh boy, could I use some clear skies at my place after months of overcast and rain).

11-21-2012, 10:59 AM   #5
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thanks, yep that is the same as my book shows -- tried going through it again - made double sure I followed every step == the 'blue' shoot now at the top of that screen doesn't come on every time - just once in a while - I have been playing with it for a bit- will tackle it again shortly - trying the method mentioned below - about the "interval + shot duration" as the correct time ;;; will keep you all posted : and thanks for all the tips appreciated.
12-11-2012, 08:40 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stone G. Quote
I am pretty sure I know what's going wrong for you (and it isn't really your fault but rather the manual's):

When you set Interval, make sure it is longer than your exposure time. I.e. if you want x shots of four seconds exposure time with a 2 second pause in-between, then you have to set Interval at 6 seconds. That's because your interval as set in the camera menu starts when you press the shutter and not when your exposure ends.

It took me a few experiences like your's before I figured that out and, clearly, the designers and/or manual writers didn't have astro photographers like you and me in mind.

Hope that clears something for you. (Oh boy, could I use some clear skies at my place after months of overcast and rain).
thanks guys - did all the things you suggested and yep -=- got it working - sort of lol ..... 20 sec shot time + 10 second pause = 30 second intervals works great- went out setup for some Jupiter shots with passing clouds --- decided 100 pics should be enough for a first try --- it shot 20 then stopped - ughhhh - so I clicked again and yep -- 20 more then stopped - so I checked and it still said 100 - so I am stumped lmao. but at least I am getting there
12-12-2012, 12:03 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by shudderbug9 Quote
.... --- it shot 20 then stopped - ughhhh - so I clicked again and yep -- 20 more then stopped - so I checked and it still said 100 - so I am stumped lmao. but at least I am getting there
That's very odd. I have used interval shooting and haven't encountered that issue. I've only tried it three times but each time I shot between 100 and 300 photos. What might have been different in my case is that I was using a normal auto focus lens rather than a telescope and my exposures were some 5 to 10 seconds.

I would suggest you try it out that way, just to help figure out what is going wrong.To me it seems that either it is not liking the absence of an AF lens (with contacts and electronics) or for some reason the interval shooting fails with longer exposures. However both these would seem very odd to me.

I have shot an interval sequence with 60 second exposures but that was with a K-r rather than a K-30 and the sequence was of only 25 photos.

I will try to replicate what you did and see what the result is. I don't have a telescope but I can mount a non-A lens which I guess as far as the camera is concerned will be no different from a telescope.
12-12-2012, 01:16 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by lister6520 Quote
That's very odd. I have used interval shooting and haven't encountered that issue. I've only tried it three times but each time I shot between 100 and 300 photos. What might have been different in my case is that I was using a normal auto focus lens rather than a telescope and my exposures were some 5 to 10 seconds.

I would suggest you try it out that way, just to help figure out what is going wrong.To me it seems that either it is not liking the absence of an AF lens (with contacts and electronics) or for some reason the interval shooting fails with longer exposures. However both these would seem very odd to me.

I have shot an interval sequence with 60 second exposures but that was with a K-r rather than a K-30 and the sequence was of only 25 photos.

I will try to replicate what you did and see what the result is. I don't have a telescope but I can mount a non-A lens which I guess as far as the camera is concerned will be no different from a telescope.
Hi lister and thanks for the tips!

My bad, I forgot to point out that I did that test within the following parameters: - K-30, on tripod, set at ISO 3200 with 18-55mm lens set at 18mm @ f3.5 and loading to an 8GB card. Sequence was 100 images at 20seconds with 10 second intervals, & a FRESH battery It shot 20-, then stopped - I pressed the shutter release again and it did 28 more, then stopped. It seemed to be buffering OK, and there was still lots of battery life and lots of memory left on the card.
I had the same thought as you - get it down right using an easy set up before I drag 120 lbs of scope out on the deck

12-12-2012, 02:07 PM   #9
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I finished the sequence a short while ago and it turns out that it didn't really work out well as I have only 50 photos instead of 100.

I had just finished writing a post detailing the results when I rechecked the settings and found out that I had actually set the interval to 20 seconds instead of 30! Can;t quite figure out how I made that mistake as I was sure I had 20 sec shutter and 30 sec interval.

Given those settings though it seems the camera behaved as expected, as every second photo would be missed because the camera would try to trigger while still shooting a photo.

So apart from that human error it seems that it worked fine. I'll need to redo the test another time, bu not today as it is getting a bit late to do an hour long test.



Apart from that something just occurred to me that you might need to take care of, even if it may not explain what is going wrong, or fix it. Check whether you have the 'Slow Speed Shutter Speed NR' switched to On or Auto. It is second line in menu 3. Not saying it will fix the problem but it may be something you would like to check.

If this is set to 'on', then after every exposure the camera will shoot a second exposure with the shutter kept closed. It does this to 'measure' the noise and then subtract it from the image. The issue here is that each 20 second exposure will actually take about 45 seconds to shoot, 20 for the actual photo, 20 for the dark frame and a few seconds of processing. This will mean that a shutter speed of 20 seconds and an interval of 30 will result in only one shot per minute.

If it is set to auto you may get unpredictable results as the dark frame subtraction may be done on some but not all photos so you will have some photos at 1 minute intervals and others at 30 seconds.

If you do want to use this function make sure you allow for a bit more than double the exposure time when setting the interval.
12-16-2012, 06:55 PM   #10
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The solution

I had the same problem until I discovered that the interval between shots needs to be longer than the time of exposure plus the NR time plus the write time.

This is why: The interval time begins at the front end of the exposure instead of the end. For instance, if you have an interval of 5 seconds and an exposure of 10 seconds, the next shot begins as soon as the first shot ends. Try it yourself - set your interval at 5 seconds and your exposure at 10 seconds. The second shot will initiate as soon as the first one completes. This is because the timer for the second shot starts when the button is pressed for the first shot, NOT when the first shot ends, as you might think would be the case.

At that rate, it won't take long to fill your buffer because the camera is constantly trying to write files and make exposures at the same time.

My recommendation is to turn off NR. With NR turned off, your formula for determining your interval is as follows: Exposure time + write time = interval time. Most of my night shots are at 20 seconds. The write time I estimate at 5 seconds per shot (I shoot Raw+). Mty calculation would be 20 seconds exposure plus 5 seconds write time = 25 seconds interval. But I like to wear a belt and suspenders, so I set my interval to 55 seconds. Works like a champ and it will for you, too.

If you insist on using NR, you will have to add that into your formula. So your formula will look like this: Exposure Time + Exposure Time + Write Time. The second exposure time is for your in-camera Noise Reduction. Noise Reduction always takes exactly as long as your exposure. So if you are shooting a 20 second exposure your interval would be 45 seconds (20 seconds exposure plus 20 seconds noise reduction plus 5 seconds write time). To be conservative, try my 55 second interval and you'll see that it works like a champ.

For other than long exposures, you are just looking at the write time for the file. Five seconds is probably too long, especially if you go with JPEG only, but I have not played with this so I can't give you sound advice. As for night shots of 30 seconds or less WITH NR TURNED OFF you will find that a 55 second interval works. If you use NR, double the exposure time, add five seconds for write time, and use that for your minimum interval time.
01-08-2013, 08:32 PM   #11
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Interval

Hi every one - thanks for all the great tips and hints for the interval shooting - they worked - though I am still not sure how lol.. but - - -

got out last night during an hour break in the cloud cover and managed to get a set of 300 of the Great Nebula in Orion...
here is my first attempt at stacking - using Deep Sky Stacker...... I know there should be some colour there - but I haven't mastered post processing yet - so it will have to wait

thanks again!!
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