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11-16-2013, 08:03 PM - 6 Likes   #1
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K-3 astrophotography first session

The skies finally cleared last night. Seeing as how there are four comets visible in the pre-dawn sky from northern latitudes, I dragged myself out of bed to put the K-3 through its paces. No problems other than one I had not anticipated: the multi-function button on the back of the camera is harder to manipulate with gloves now since they made the contact ridges a bit lower. The fact that it was -5C and my fingers were not working so well also did not help. Anyway, Comet Lovejoy was well-positioned so I snapped 33 x 10 second frames, stacked them in DeepSkyStacker and then post-processed the output in a variety of image editing programs. I used neither a remote release nor mirror lockup for this shoot since I wanted to test the damping of the shutter mechanism. No extraneous movement caused by finger release that I could detect. The K-3 is a great astro camera. - Jack




11-16-2013, 08:40 PM   #2
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Great shot, Jack!

What was the focal length for this one?
11-16-2013, 09:07 PM   #3
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Awesome - i'm keen on getting myself the O-GPS1 module for some amateur astrophotography... these shots make me keener
11-16-2013, 09:07 PM   #4
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Wow! I really need to get out and try to get some shots myself.

11-16-2013, 10:34 PM   #5
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Sorry, forgot to mention the shot specifics. I used the DA*300, f/4.5, ISO1600 for all exposures. I want to explore the Bright mode of the composite function in the future, If what Painter says is true, Bright composite will ignore all pixels below a certain luminance so the blacks will remain black which is exactly what you want with astro work.

Jack
11-16-2013, 10:41 PM   #6
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Good stuff, looks like you are prepared for ISON if/when it puts on a show. Hope the west coast gets more clearing the next few weeks, just in case!
11-16-2013, 11:06 PM - 1 Like   #7
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Actually, ISON has brightened a lot over the past few days. But it will be swinging around the sun on US Turkey Day so opportunities to photograph it will likely have to wait until it boomerangs around and we see it again on its way out of the solar system.

Jack
11-16-2013, 11:21 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jbinpg Quote
The skies finally cleared last night. Seeing as how there are four comets visible in the pre-dawn sky from northern latitudes, I dragged myself out of bed to put the K-3 through its paces. No problems other than one I had not anticipated: the multi-function button on the back of the camera is harder to manipulate with gloves now since they made the contact ridges a bit lower. The fact that it was -5C and my fingers were not working so well also did not help. Anyway, Comet Lovejoy was well-positioned so I snapped 33 x 10 second frames, stacked them in DeepSkyStacker and then post-processed the output in a variety of image editing programs. I used neither a remote release nor mirror lockup for this shoot since I wanted to test the damping of the shutter mechanism. No extraneous movement caused by finger release that I could detect. The K-3 is a great astro camera. - Jack


There's a large sensor stain just to the right of the comet but I love the shot.

PS: There are two.. sorry

11-16-2013, 11:26 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by bossa Quote
There's a large sensor stain just to the right of the comet but I love the shot.

PS: There are two.. sorry
Excellent work.

It would appear there is a smaller dust spot or stain just above and to the right as well. Perhaps just a copy of the darker one cause by the software.
11-17-2013, 09:12 AM   #10
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"Bright mode"

When you say the "Bright mode" could be good for atrophotog, what setting are you talking about?
11-17-2013, 09:36 AM   #11
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Page 50, Multi exposure. From the manual: Creates a composite image that combines only bright parts.

You get at it through the drive mode on the 4 button toggle.
11-17-2013, 09:46 AM   #12
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@Pioneer - Yes, I saw those. There are about four of them. They are not visible in the separate frames, only after the stacking procedure so I'm not sure if they are just artifacts of some kind. Regardless, I did a wet sensor clean after and everything seems to be fine. Will watch for it next astro session.

Jack
11-17-2013, 10:02 AM   #13
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derekkite

Ahh okay found it, thank you! Will try it hopefully tonight! It also took me forever to find the 4K timelapse hahaha
11-17-2013, 04:20 PM   #14
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Nice! I guess I have to start sucking up to Santa real soon. A couple of questions. Does the LCD screen swivel? It's PITA crawling under a tripod to compose those night images. Wired remote or are we still stuck with the IR? And if still only infrared, does the @($*&!! sensor still detect only from the front of camera?
11-17-2013, 04:46 PM   #15
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No the LCD does not swivel but I for one am glad because it would impact the durability and weather sealing. It has option to have wired remote but I use the IR it has IR front and back! but to make it easier to compose use the HDMI, buy a cable and a small cheap monitor that had HDMI But when the Fluecard for pentax comes out you can control all the settings and trigger the camera using any computer, tablet, phone that has wifi and a browser.
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