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05-18-2015, 07:35 PM   #1
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K-3 Intervals... Again

Alright, friends. I really need help; we're going to a dark space this weekend and I would love to capture star trails, but this internal intervalometer is giving me nothing but trouble.

I would like to get about 500 30-second shots, but despite turning off noise reduction and auto shutoff, updating to the latest firmware, trying both 2 and 32 second intervals (and some things in between), turning the shots all the way to 2000 from the desired 500, a fully charged battery and two large, formatted SD cards, this thing will only take 118 exposures on interval shooting.

I thought I was on to something with math and it not taking enough based on timing, but my last experiments have blown everything out of the water.

Anyone else have any ideas or having a similar problem with astrophotography? Is this something we need to talk to Pentax about?

Thanks in advance.

05-18-2015, 07:47 PM   #2
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the 32 seconds should work with 30 second exposure......I usually do 120 shots per sequence at 2 seconds+exposure time with K-r & K-50....noise reduction off is good....whats the speed of the sd card? could you change the file size you are saving since you are taking so many pics? is it saving raw & jpg? is manual focus on? (sometimes pics won't go if it don't focus)

---------- Post added 05-18-15 at 09:49 PM ----------

also thinking of goin out this fri/sat near natchez trail in Alabama near 72.....where y'al goin?
05-18-2015, 07:50 PM   #3
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Good questions: the card is 80 MB/s; I don't know about changing the file size, I'll have to look into that; it's only saving RAW, and it is in manual focus.
05-18-2015, 07:54 PM   #4
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I am going to assume that you have a wired shutter remote. I would bypass the intervalometer, and just put the camera in burst mode, lock the mirror in the up position (to minimize vibration), set the shutter for 30 second exposures, aim the camera and push the remote (sliding the button up) so that it would just continuously shoot. After 4 hours 10 minutes, just slide the button on the remote back down and it will stop shooting after the current frame.

But, I know - you want to set it up, start it shooting and then go to bed.... Or, you can just let the card fill up, or battery runs out of juice.




Last edited by interested_observer; 05-18-2015 at 08:07 PM.
05-18-2015, 07:58 PM   #5
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damn fast card that ain't it.......maybe the camera's write speed to the card since it's raw.....maybe bump to 33 sec (gaps unlikely) or record jpg's instead......I do all jpg haven't done raw
05-18-2015, 07:59 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by imall_vol Quote
Good questions: the card is 80 MB/s; I don't know about changing the file size, I'll have to look into that; it's only saving RAW, and it is in manual focus.
I see you have a K5. A 32GB card will hold 1000 RAW images (942 estimated on an empty card - I just checked). The just taken image will write to even a slow card while the current image is being taken - it has 30 seconds to write and that is easily done.

______

With my K5 and K5IIs, I have taken ~20 RAWs in quick succession with 1/100 second exposures and never had a problem. The buffer will fill up for a brief time after about 20 shots, but with 30 sec exposures you will not have a problem.


Last edited by interested_observer; 05-18-2015 at 08:04 PM.
05-18-2015, 08:17 PM   #7
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how long is the preview set for? doubt it has anything do with it....mine is at 1 sec but once the interval starts even with the 2 sec I give I don't see the preview......however I do with 15 seconds doin sunset intervals.......
05-18-2015, 11:56 PM   #8
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I gave up on the intervalometer on my K-30. Buggy piece of ... software.


Pentax. Great Hardware, super slow software development.

05-19-2015, 01:20 AM   #9
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Start with 40sec interval and work down from that.
05-19-2015, 02:08 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
I am going to assume that you have a wired shutter remote. I would bypass the intervalometer, and just put the camera in burst mode, lock the mirror in the up position (to minimize vibration), set the shutter for 30 second exposures, aim the camera and push the remote (sliding the button up) so that it would just continuously shoot. After 4 hours 10 minutes, just slide the button on the remote back down and it will stop shooting after the current frame.

But, I know - you want to set it up, start it shooting and then go to bed.... Or, you can just let the card fill up, or battery runs out of juice.

How do you lock the mirror up when in burst mode?
05-19-2015, 07:03 AM   #11
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Oh, I forgot to reply to a few things!

1. We're going to Monongahela NF in West Virginia.
2. Interested_Observer, I'm not sure which you one this thread you meant, but I at least have a K-3, not a K-5. I didn't even know the K-5 did intervals! Something else to look into
3. I also didn't know it had a mirror lock-- if anyone knows how to do that, please let me know, too!
4. I've also got the preview screen turned off to save all the extra power I can for shooting.
5. Well, I tried a test on the burst mode last night, and it got over 118 before the already-low-from-other-tests battery died, so I'm recharging and going to try again. If it works and I can get a cloudless night before this weekend for tests, we may have found a good workaround, since intervals is just being so difficult. I wonder if Pentax keeps up with any of these things, because it would be so appreciated by so many people if they would get their software straightened out. Most cameras I've seen don't come with built-in intervalometers, and require either hacking or something external. It would be a great selling point for them with astrophotographers.
05-19-2015, 08:05 AM   #12
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Anything to do with mirror lock up (MLU) and intervals won't work on the K-3 (and likely previous bodies). It seems Pentax has deemed that MLU drains too much power so they have nixed that option. It is too bad since a lot of astro work will be done with external power anyway so it is not much of a concern.
05-19-2015, 03:12 PM   #13
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1. cool.....goin well north 4.was just throwin it out there
hope it works out! good luck and happy shooting!
05-19-2015, 06:39 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tjompen1968 Quote
How do you lock the mirror up when in burst mode?
Well, on both my K5 and K5IIs, I use...
  • The ^ button to go into the little bar menu row and select MUP which is the last option
  • Then I use the ^ to go into the same little bar menu row to select continuous shooting (second icon) with the hi speed option
  • Then I push the shutter once to lift and lock the mirror and then it beeps where upon I press the shutter again (keeping it down) to take the series of images. Letting go the shutter when I wish to stop.
QuoteOriginally posted by imall_vol Quote
Oh, I forgot to reply to a few things!

2. Interested_Observer, I'm not sure which you one this thread you meant, but I at least have a K-3, not a K-5. I didn't even know the K-5 did intervals! Something else to look into
Well I looked at your profile page - click on your name, then click on "full profile", then click on "about me" and you have a K5 listed there. Interval shooting is on page 133 of the K5IIs manual. I don't know about the K3.

QuoteOriginally posted by imall_vol Quote
Oh, I forgot to reply to a few things!

5. Well, I tried a test on the burst mode last night, and it got over 118 before the already-low-from-other-tests battery died, so I'm recharging and going to try again. If it works and I can get a cloudless night before this weekend for tests, we may have found a good workaround, since intervals is just being so difficult. I wonder if Pentax keeps up with any of these things, because it would be so appreciated by so many people if they would get their software straightened out. Most cameras I've seen don't come with built-in intervalometers, and require either hacking or something external. It would be a great selling point for them with astrophotographers.
I have not really used the interval mode that much. For star trails, having as little time as possible between frames, makes the trails appear to be more continuous, so in my mind, just going into continuous mode and letting it just shoot away is pretty easy, less painful, and takes the least amount of time to close the shutter and re-open it. To save power, you can turn off the rear display - which will help.

05-20-2015, 06:45 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
Well, on both my K5 and K5IIs, I use...
  • The ^ button to go into the little bar menu row and select MUP which is the last option
  • Then I use the ^ to go into the same little bar menu row to select continuous shooting (second icon) with the hi speed option
  • Then I push the shutter once to lift and lock the mirror and then it beeps where upon I press the shutter again (keeping it down) to take the series of images. Letting go the shutter when I wish to stop.

:
Since M.UP and Continous mode are two Drive modes and you can only choose one at a time this should not work and it does not work on the K3. Only combo in the drive mode menu that has any effect is if you have 2s delay choosen and then use multi exposure with self timer the 2s will be used, if not it will use the 10s.

If you want MUP when in Continous you turn on LV and use Continous.
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