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01-18-2016, 08:31 AM   #1
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K-3 Problem with Star Trails, Interval Mode & MUP

Hello fellow Pentaxians,

my name is Chris and Im in the fortunate position to stay in Oslo, Norway for a while, combined with a trip North to Tromso for Astrophotography/Aurora Hunting in about two weeks.
So far, my K-3 has been my trusted companion and Ive taken many good landscape and architecture shots with it. Now Im looking to "expand" into Astrophotography and especially star trails though and ran into some problems.

To be honest, until today Ive not thought this would be a problem but I just learned from another thread, that mirror lockup does not work with the interval mode and basically destroys any nice consecutive star-pictures. See here:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/172-pentax-k-3/281224-k3-interval-mirror-lockup.html

As for gear, I have a wireless third-party remote for the K-3 with me, no wired intervalometer or anything though.
My question is, how can I take a series (200 give or take) of basic 30-second-exposures (automatically) with the K-3, without the Mirror vibrations ruining the pictures? Do I necessarily need new gear? If so, can any of you recommend a shop in or around Oslo (offline or online) that would have them?

Thank you guys!

Chris

01-18-2016, 11:15 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Hello Chris,

when I take pictures of stars I set my camera into "continuous Shooting (H)" mode. Then I select "M" and set the time, for example 30s, and the aperture. Afterwards I connect a programmable intervalometer and select on this device the total time of the series, for examples 20 minutes. Then I switch the camera to Live View, the mirror goes up, and I start the external intervalometer. After 30s the time for the first picture is over and the second pictures starts immediately (without flipping the mirror) because of the continuous shooting mode. The camera will do this for 20 minutes until the time of the external intervalometer is over.

If you haven't got an intervalometer at this time, you can try to press the shutter release button for 20 minutes by your finger without any movements. NO, that's a joke. But you can try to keep it pressed with a adhesive tape around your camera. OK, the first picture you cannot use, because the camera will move while warping the tape around. But all the others pictures will be fine.

Good luck and no clouds, Siegbert
01-20-2016, 12:24 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Note that using Liveview for any sustained length of time will eat through your batteries. Best to have an external source of power if you do this.
01-20-2016, 09:30 AM   #4
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Thank you very much for the answers.

Siegbert, originally I had great problems with both solutions, as I had set the camera to display the picture it just took for about one second. This caused the camera to freeze, whenever it got to the second picture in continuous mode. As soon as I changed that, both holding the shutter button and using an external intervalometer (Hhnel Giga T Pro II) worked.

jbinpg, maybe I am wrong on this but the screen in the back is off during continuous mode, so would it not consume the same battery as any other mode? Independent of that, what external power sources exist for the K-3? I tried to find something through google but was not able to find any, apart from the battery grip?

01-20-2016, 09:58 AM   #5
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Yes, normally it's right, liveview needs a lot of power. But in this case, liveview is only active within the first seconds until you start taking pictures, and afterwards, when you have finished taking pictures. So, no problem.
01-25-2016, 05:21 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by DJK-03 Quote
As for gear, I have a wireless third-party remote for the K-3 with me, no wired intervalometer or anything though.
My question is, how can I take a series (200 give or take) of basic 30-second-exposures (automatically) with the K-3, without the Mirror vibrations ruining the pictures? Do I necessarily need new gear? If so, can any of you recommend a shop in or around Oslo (offline or online) that would have them?

Thank you guys!

Chris
If you have a smartphone (or tablet) with an IR-port you can download a camera control app with intervalometer function, and use 2 sec MUP.

Have you tried to turn off SR when using the built in intervalometer? I have the K5 and it turns out that (at least when shooting stars with wide angle lenses) it does make a difference. With SR on you get what appears to be a mirror slap problem, but with SR off the stars are perfect.
01-26-2016, 03:57 AM   #7
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Original Poster
The idea with the app is good, but my iPhone does not have an IR port. Also, would the 2 second delay not bring incomplete star trails with it?
So far the external intervalometer (Hhnel Giga T Pro II) I managed to find here, works great though.

As for the problems with Star Trails when not using MUP, I only found the link. I did not have a chance to test out my wide angle lens with stars yet, so I cannot tell you if turning off SR makes a difference. In such a scenario, I usually have turned everything off anyway though, so it should be ok.
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chris, dslr, gear, interval, k-3, k3, mirror, mode, mup, oslo, pentax k-3, star, star trails, trails
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