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08-12-2015, 02:21 PM   #91
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QuoteOriginally posted by TedH42 Quote
This is correct, but not the full answer.

The step-down rings (having a completely round hole) PRIMARILY avoid the diffraction spikes that the regular diaphragm (non-round blades) would cause for imaging stars. These spikes are rarely visible for daytime photographs, but are quite prominent on brighter stars, which are pinpoints of light on a totally black background. Think of the "starbursts" so desired on the SMC (vs HD) DA 15mm ltd for nighttime and sunrise/sunset shots.
Thanks for explaining that, I didn't know that either. I found and bought a Pentax 135mm f2.5 PK mount lens on fleabay for $30. Also returned my K-3II for one that hopefully doesn't have the shutdown bug.

BTW, Amazon has the K-3II for $825!!! The price is fluctuating wildly so good luck for anyone on the fence ��
Lee


Last edited by Quirky; 08-12-2015 at 05:56 PM.
08-13-2015, 02:06 PM - 2 Likes   #92
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Very intersting discussion here !

A new panorama i've made during the last night :

Nuit des etoiles - Night of Stars

Pentax K3 Sigma 18-35mm f/2.0 OGPS-1 60sec Iso1600 4 Pictures
08-29-2015, 11:33 AM - 4 Likes   #93
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My last from the Alps...



Pentax K3 Sigma 18-35mm HDR fusion of 2 pictures Iso 800 & 1600 15s @ f/2.0
09-02-2015, 08:53 AM   #94
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Superb!

09-02-2015, 09:21 AM   #95
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QuoteOriginally posted by m4v3rick Quote
Superb!
Phantastic! Well done!

By the way, perhaps you have a hint for me. Can you tell me how you link your flickr-pictures here? I tried but if I copy the adress from flickr and use the "Insert Image" function here in the post it ends up with am "x" in a small square and the picture does not show. If I use the "Insert Link" function the link is shown and works correctly but the picture is not shown in the post. As a test I tried it with the link of your photo and it did not worh either. Can you please explain what the trick is or write me a short PM?

Regards
Peter
09-02-2015, 12:00 PM   #96
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pete_XL Quote
Phantastic! Well done!

By the way, perhaps you have a hint for me. Can you tell me how you link your flickr-pictures here? I tried but if I copy the adress from flickr and use the "Insert Image" function here in the post it ends up with am "x" in a small square and the picture does not show. If I use the "Insert Link" function the link is shown and works correctly but the picture is not shown in the post. As a test I tried it with the link of your photo and it did not worh either. Can you please explain what the trick is or write me a short PM?

Regards
Peter
I use for the link, the page of the picture :
https://www.flickr.com/photos/zegaby/20788274138/in/dateposted-public/ for my last picture

And for the picture, you have to go to Download Picture / All size / Then you select your size (for me 1024*490), then right clic on the picture : copy url and you paste it into the insert image code.
For me : https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5728/20788274138_6cb83e79de_b.jpg
09-02-2015, 08:00 PM   #97
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pete_XL Quote
Phantastic! Well done!

By the way, perhaps you have a hint for me. Can you tell me how you link your flickr-pictures here? I tried but if I copy the adress from flickr and use the "Insert Image" function here in the post it ends up with am "x" in a small square and the picture does not show. If I use the "Insert Link" function the link is shown and works correctly but the picture is not shown in the post. As a test I tried it with the link of your photo and it did not worh either. Can you please explain what the trick is or write me a short PM?

Regards
Peter
on your image, click on the share icon (represented by an arrow curving to the right), and select BB code at 1024 pixels, just copy that code into your message and voila!
09-02-2015, 10:09 PM - 5 Likes   #98
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QuoteOriginally posted by ZeGaby Quote
I use for the link, the page of the picture :
https://www.flickr.com/photos/zegaby/20788274138/in/dateposted-public/ for my last picture

And for the picture, you have to go to Download Picture / All size / Then you select your size (for me 1024*490), then right clic on the picture : copy url and you paste it into the insert image code.
For me : https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5728/20788274138_6cb83e79de_b.jpg
So I tried it.....


Andromeda Galaxy with Satellite Cosmos 2263 and two planes crossing.....

---------- Post added 09-03-15 at 07:13 ----------

....but as you see the picture is inserted but the link to the flickr page seems not to work.

---------- Post added 09-03-15 at 07:18 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Weevil Quote
on your image, click on the share icon (represented by an arrow curving to the right), and select BB code at 1024 pixels, just copy that code into your message and voila!
and I tried this also....


Andromeda Galaxy 15-08-22 final


AND THIS WORKS ON MY SYSTEM!!!!


Thank you both very much!


Last edited by Pete_XL; 09-02-2015 at 10:20 PM. Reason: adding another comment...
09-02-2015, 10:52 PM   #99
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Wow. Great work.
09-03-2015, 05:37 AM   #100
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pete_XL Quote
Andromeda by pete_xl, auf Flickr
Andromeda Galaxy 15-08-22 final
Wow again! That's magnificent. Did you use the Astrotracer feature or some other kind of ... ehm--Nachführung (what's that in English)?
I found the technical details on the flickr page but as probably not all viewers will go there, it would be nice for us to learn from your experience if you post them with the shots here too. Great work!
09-03-2015, 06:09 AM   #101
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimmyDranox Quote
Wow. Great work.
Thank you Jimmy!

By the way, between the two versions you see (besides that I turned the second one 180° to get the galaxy oriented with the dark nebulas to the front) the effect of the 2x drizzle funtion in DeepSkyStacker: double size and more detail.

Also in the second picture I applied the new Lightroom dehaze effekt as one of the last modifications in my post processing workflow.
09-03-2015, 07:13 AM - 1 Like   #102
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QuoteOriginally posted by wkraus Quote
Wow again! That's magnificent. Did you use the Astrotracer feature or some other kind of ... ehm--Nachführung (what's that in English)?
I found the technical details on the flickr page but as probably not all viewers will go there, it would be nice for us to learn from your experience if you post them with the shots here too. Great work!


I used the Astrotracer function (with O-GPS-1 mounted on my K-5) in the first half year of my experiments in shooting the stars until April 2015 or so. Comming to longer lenses (200 mm) I then reached the limitations of the system. More than 15-20 seconds of exposure time were not possible with 200 mm, longer times mostly lead at least to slight trailing that disturbed the results. It is a great tool but I only use it for wide field photos with short lenses now.


I searched for other possibilities to use my DSLR without buying a teleskope and all the heavy, expensive and time consuming stuff around such a scope. It was obvious that I needed a more professional system to get longer exposure times without trailing stars - a motorized (german) equatorial mount (=Nachführung ).


Scanning the market of mounts I soon got afraid of the costs, weight and complexity of such systems. Comming to smaller solutions (travelling mounts for DSLRs like astrotracer, vixen polarie etc.) I had the impression that most of these systems should be limited by the weight of the lens/camera-system and/or - more important - by the missing accuracy in getting exact polar alignment which is the key to long exposures of astro objects. The best compromise in cost, weight and Performance for me was the Skywatcher Star Adventurer. It is very small, light and much cheaper than comparable systems. Also it has a lot of smart and intelligent features and functions. In one sentence: for my purpose it is great!
Link: Star Adventurer - Multi-Purpose Mounts - Sky-Watcher Telescope - One and only official website for Sky-Watcher and Acuter products in Canada! Complete product inventory including product information, specs and retail prices.


With the Star Adventurer I realize > 120 s exposure time with focal length > 400 mm without trailing - if I take enough care of the polar alignement of the system. I have even mounted 2 cameras at the same time on the one system. One camera captured < 100 Pictures of the North America Nebula with a 100 mm lens and the other shot the same amount of photos of M51 at the same time with 200 mm lens and TC. The Star Adventurer trigered the exposure with ist built in timer - ingenious tool, isn't it?!?

During the sessions I take long series of pictures (light frames and sometimes also dark frames if there is time for it), most of them while I am in bed (at least in summer, when dark hours are after midnight and I have to work in daytime). A typical camera setting is: exposure 200 Pictures of 120seconds, F1:5.6, ISO 1.600 at focal length 200 mm with applied teleconverter 1.4x.

The results I import into Lightroom do some small adjustment and save the pictures as tiff-files in a working directory. I stack them in the free software DeepSkyStacker and use the best 75% of the series or decide according to the Quality index of the software. The outcome is mainly processed in Photoshop CC unsing levels and curves to strech the histogram and work out the fine differences between dark and light. The finish I mostly do in Lightroom because it lets me find the last percents of best result in a very ergonomic, trial and error way by playing with the rulers and stopping when I like it best.

---------- Post added 09-03-15 at 16:33 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by wkraus Quote
Wow again! That's magnificent. Did you use the Astrotracer feature or some other kind of ... ehm--Nachführung (what's that in English)?
I found the technical details on the flickr page but as probably not all viewers will go there, it would be nice for us to learn from your experience if you post them with the shots here too. Great work!
By the way: your SMC PENTAX-FA* 200mm F2.8 ED[IF] I saw in your gallery must be an excellent lens for the night sky (much better than my SMC Pentax-M 200 mm F4.0 from the late 1970s)


Last edited by Pete_XL; 09-03-2015 at 07:37 AM. Reason: orthographics
09-03-2015, 12:11 PM   #103
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pete_XL Quote
So I tried it.....


Andromeda Galaxy with Satellite Cosmos 2263 and two planes crossing.....

---------- Post added 09-03-15 at 07:13 ----------

....but as you see the picture is inserted but the link to the flickr page seems not to work.

---------- Post added 09-03-15 at 07:18 ----------



and I tried this also....


Andromeda Galaxy 15-08-22 final


AND THIS WORKS ON MY SYSTEM!!!!


Thank you both very much!
Well done !

Beautiful pictures
09-03-2015, 03:23 PM   #104
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Thanks Pete_XL for the detailed explanation! The results justify every bit of effort that you made in my mind.

QuoteOriginally posted by Pete_XL Quote
By the way: your SMC PENTAX-FA* 200mm F2.8 ED[IF] I saw in your gallery must be an excellent lens for the night sky (much better than my SMC Pentax-M 200 mm F4.0 from the late 1970s)
That's what I'm thinking too, but since I've neither Astrotracer nor equatorial mount (thanks for helping me out!) I can only use it for star trails or moon shots. I'm only just beginning to look up to the night skies, and experimenting with stacking; my maximum so far is 24 images for non-trail images.
09-03-2015, 11:12 PM - 1 Like   #105
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QuoteOriginally posted by wkraus Quote
Thanks Pete_XL for the detailed explanation! The results justify every bit of effort that you made in my mind.



That's what I'm thinking too, but since I've neither Astrotracer nor equatorial mount (thanks for helping me out!) I can only use it for star trails or moon shots. I'm only just beginning to look up to the night skies, and experimenting with stacking; my maximum so far is 24 images for non-trail images.
Without Astrotracer or an equatorial mount you can have a different approach to deep space objects if you have a fast lens. I started this way and was surprised of the results that can be achieved without any guiding tool.

Try this:
Set camera to manual mode and raw picture format. White balance to 4.900
Go for M31 (Andromeda Galaxy) first. Make test pictures with 4s ISO 6400 F1:2.8 to see if you have it in the field of view. If you can't find it use astrometry net with a test picture.
Try to get very best focus (essential) using monitor loupe on a not too bright star and/or test pictures.
Leave the aperture wide open. In later series you can perhaps close it a bit, depending on the results.
Set camera to continous mode and use remote control (auf "Dauerfeuer") or use internal intervallometer if camera has one. Or use TriggerTrap, which is great for a lot of similar purposes.
Image stabilisation off. Denoise off.
Set exposure to 500/(200*1,5) = 1.5 seconds or so (perhaps 2 secs., try out if you get trails , zoom deeo into picture).
Choose ISO equal or more than ISO 1.600 depending on the noise IQ of your camera (I choosed ISO 1.600 or 3.200 with my K-5).
Shoot 200 pics in continuous mode (thats is net total exposure time 5-10 minutes).
Andromeda is big! Stop every 25 pictures or so and control/adjust/center it in the middle of the field of view.
Put on the lenscap and shoot 100 dark pics with the same camera Settings in continuous mode.
Convert everything into Tiff-files (best if you use Lighroom or eqv.)
Load the picures (lights and the darks) into DeepSkyStacker. Use the best 75% of the pictures for stacking. Save as 32 bit file (autosave.tif).
Work on with the 32 bit file for the next steps. Search the Internet (Youtube) for "ASTROHARDY" (is in German language). Watch his techniques for streching Astroimages with Fitswork and/or Photoshop. Save as 16 bit and do the final processing on the 16 bit file.
Be proud of the results

In the next weeks there will be a small tutorial of mine on astrophotos with DSLR to download for free, published in the little magazine "Andromeda" on the page of the "Sternfreunde Münster".
Link: Sternfreunde M
The first part of the tutorial (mainly on shooting startrails) can be found in "Andromeda 3/2014" on the same site.

---------- Post added 09-04-15 at 08:29 ----------

P.S. This Picture of the comet Lovejoy and the Plejades I made in this technique with a SMC Pentax-A 50 mm F1:1,7 on an Olympus OM-D E M5 without any guiding tools from my balcony.


Last edited by Pete_XL; 09-03-2015 at 11:29 PM.
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