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12-04-2014, 06:43 AM   #1
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K3 Interval + Mirror lockup

I've played around with the camera for some time and didn't find a solution, neither does the internet seem to provide one.

I want to take pictures of the night sky, then stack them. For that I'd like to set a 15 sec. exposure and take 30 pictures in interval mode, however I'd like the camera to perform the 2 sec. timer with mirror lockup before every picture. I can't find an option for this, is it possible? Shooting in live view to keep the mirror up permanently doesn't solve the problem, as soon as the interval is started the camera terminates life view and the mirror flaps.

12-04-2014, 08:51 AM   #2
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I thought that a using a wired remote/intervalometer might work in MLU mode, but no. The mirror comes down after the first exposure.

That being said, I have found that these two approaches may do what you want using a wired remote/intervalometer similar to the one I own (LINK):
  • 2s delay mode
  • MLU mode using the interval on the wired remote to trigger both the mirror-up and the exposure. Example: 60 iterations at an interval of 5 seconds will allow for a 5 second mirror up with 10 seconds between exposures and 30 exposures total.

How about a feature request to Ricoh/Pentax for an interval shooting option using mirror up? Of course, it will only work in manual exposure mode

Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 12-04-2014 at 09:23 AM.
12-04-2014, 12:07 PM   #3
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This was one of my first feature requests for a K-3 firmware upgrade. I have found no in-camera way to achieve it.
12-04-2014, 02:22 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
How about a feature request to Ricoh/Pentax for an interval shooting option using mirror up?
QuoteOriginally posted by jbinpg Quote
This was one of my first feature requests for a K-3 firmware upgrade.
The more I think about it, the more I think it would be a very useful feature for many applications.


Steve

12-04-2014, 03:50 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
The more I think about it, the more I think it would be a very useful feature for many applications.


Steve
Astrophotographers would love it. I have to set my camera to 2-second delay, and an external interval timer to take the multiple images. Just more stuff to break or go wrong, and adding it to the camera would be easy - just a SMOP (simple matter of programming). (Yes, I was a real-time embedded software engineer.)
12-04-2014, 04:26 PM   #6
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Have you found that the mirror slap does indeed affect the images? I just got a K-3 and planning to use it a lot for multi-exposures (though not for astro), and I'd find it annoying if mirror slap vibrations were to affect the shots...

BTW, just a thought: a K-01 is guaranteed mirror-slap-free... You also know that no light will come in through the viewfinder on long exposures since... there isn't one. Used K-01 bodies are pretty cheap these days. If this problem is a show-stopper, it might be worth considering the K-01 as an option?
12-04-2014, 04:44 PM   #7
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It is not a showstopper. As it is right now, it just means I have to be within IR remote release range to do the sequences. If I could have MLU + interval, I could set it and run into the warm car or building while it is doing its run when it is -30 deg . At those temperatures, you are using external power anyway so battery drain with the MLU is not a concern. And take it from me, you do not want a mirror slapping around when you are doing any kind of astro work.
12-04-2014, 04:59 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Doundounba Quote
Have you found that the mirror slap does indeed affect the images? I just got a K-3 and planning to use it a lot for multi-exposures (though not for astro), and I'd find it annoying if mirror slap vibrations were to affect the shots...

BTW, just a thought: a K-01 is guaranteed mirror-slap-free... You also know that no light will come in through the viewfinder on long exposures since... there isn't one. Used K-01 bodies are pretty cheap these days. If this problem is a show-stopper, it might be worth considering the K-01 as an option?
Just got my k-3, so I haven't done any astro with it yet. But my K-5, for astro, does show a mirror slap effect for a series of 30-second images. From what I have read, the K-3 has comparable noise from the mirror. YMMV.

12-04-2014, 05:01 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
How about a feature request to Ricoh/Pentax for an interval shooting option using mirror up? Of course, it will only work in manual exposure mode
QuoteOriginally posted by jbinpg Quote
This was one of my first feature requests for a K-3 firmware upgrade. I have found no in-camera way to achieve it.
Is there something like a dedicated e-mail at Pentax for feature requests? I'd be up to shoot them an e-mail and describe how useful that feature would be for thousands of users, but I don't want my message to rot away in the inbox of some Ricoh employee who is not responsible for such stuff.

QuoteOriginally posted by Doundounba Quote
Have you found that the mirror slap does indeed affect the images? I just got a K-3 and planning to use it a lot for multi-exposures (though not for astro), and I'd find it annoying if mirror slap vibrations were to affect the shots...
I'm not sure - it was the first time I did night sky photography and interval shooting and as I did a couple of things wrong in the shooting and post-processing process that ruined the image anyway (too few dark frames, didn't know about bias frames, exposed too long and stars started to smudge etc.) I can't tell whether the mirror flap contributed.

But I'd imagine that with a pretty much uniformly black background und small, bright light sources spread across it you would easily see vibrations, as the stars would 'paint' over the surrounding black sky.

Last edited by FantasticMrFox; 12-04-2014 at 05:50 PM.
12-04-2014, 05:13 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by FantasticMrFox Quote
But I'd imagine that with a pretty much uniformly black background und small, bright light sources spread across it you would easily see vibrations, as the stars would 'paint' over the surrounding black sky.

Exactly.
12-04-2014, 05:51 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by TedH42 Quote
Exactly.
Good to see that we foxes agree
12-04-2014, 07:17 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by TedH42 Quote
SMOP (simple matter of programming). (Yes, I was a real-time embedded software engineer.)
I have to grin. I have been involved in several projects where a simple programming change was a prelude to disaster. Those four letters have such a huge implication. Even the simplest feature implementation carries the burden of potential unanticipated side-effect. Don't forget the effort for feasibility, POC, QA, documentation, and migration into the intended product space with no particular link to enhanced sales.

Still though...Ricoh did give us AA filter simulation bracketing and they were very fast in bring it on!


Steve
12-04-2014, 07:21 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
... with no particular link to enhanced sales.
Customers who feel like the brand manufacturer cares about their wishes and quickly implements requested improvements are happy customers. Happy customers are more likely to recommend said brand to friends and family
12-04-2014, 07:32 PM - 1 Like   #14
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Some examples for my K-5 using only the internal interval timer (no mirror up using the 2-second delay):

First is the typical slap in this particular series. Notice the bump at the top of the brighter stars. Lens is an FA*200, f2.8. This image is a 100% crop of the center of the frame. The bump is not coma, as the bump is in the same place across the entire frame.




Next up the worse image of the same series. Stars don't look like this. Total lose here. (No, I did not kick the astro mount.)

Name:  IMGQ1561crop.jpg
Views: 297
Size:  99.6 KB

Using an external interval timer, with the K-5 set to 2-second delay, the stars look like nice round stars. (I didn't get to make the error-free series of the above portion of sky.) An example:

Name:  IMGQ4915crop.jpg
Views: 333
Size:  94.8 KB

Mirror up interval shooting is important to astrophotography.

---------- Post added 12-04-14 at 07:37 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I have to grin. I have been involved in several projects where a simple programming change was a prelude to disaster. Those four letters have such a huge implication. Even the simplest feature implementation carries the burden of potential unanticipated side-effect. Don't forget the effort for feasibility, POC, QA, documentation, and migration into the intended product space with no particular link to enhanced sales.

Still though...Ricoh did give us AA filter simulation bracketing and they were very fast in bring it on!


Steve
Sorry I forgot the smilies. But SMOP implies many smilies and loud guffaws for those who know, eh?

OK, some smilies, etc.
12-04-2014, 08:18 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by TedH42 Quote
Next up the worse image of the same series. Stars don't look like this.
Celestial Spermies?


Steve

---------- Post added 12-04-14 at 07:21 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by TedH42 Quote
Sorry I forgot the smilies. But SMOP implies many smilies and loud guffaws for those who know, eh?
Yep...after all, it is not rocket science...errr...brain surgury...ummm...rocket surgery?

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