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03-10-2016, 04:37 AM   #1
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K3-II Astro

When using he astro function on the K3-II will any foreground items become blurred? My thinking is that if the sensor shifts to enable longer exposures without star trails then static objects will blur, no?

I'm going to the middle of nowhere in Wales soon so thought it would be nice to try some astro photography and I'd like to capture the scenery in addition to the sky. I guess I'll have to fall back to the 500 rule if not.

Also I noticed the K1 menu option for automatic star trails. Do you think this might come to the K3-II via a firmware update?

03-10-2016, 04:46 AM   #2
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Yes, in order to keep stars sharp and a single point, foreground items (ie on earth) can become blurred. The usual approach to solve this is to overlay one static frame and blend them.

It would be lovely if the K-1 trails option came to K-3II, but unfortunately Pentax haven't historically been all that great in adding new software functionality like this to previous models.
03-10-2016, 05:01 AM   #3
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Technically, it's not a previous model as the K-3II is still current; it's just that the K-1 is a different format. As there hasn't been a firmware upgrade (yet), I'm also hoping that it's possible to put the pixel shift upgrades into a firmware upgrade too. One can but hope...
03-10-2016, 05:31 AM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by veato Quote
When using he astro function on the K3-II will any foreground items become blurred? My thinking is that if the sensor shifts to enable longer exposures without star trails then static objects will blur, no?
QuoteOriginally posted by Nass Quote
Yes, in order to keep stars sharp and a single point, foreground items (ie on earth) can become blurred. The usual approach to solve this is to overlay one static frame and blend them.
See the work of mikeSF - For example here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/115-pentax-k-5/143409-k-5-astrophotograph...ml#post3450798

QuoteOriginally posted by veato Quote
Also I noticed the K1 menu option for automatic star trails. Do you think this might come to the K3-II via a firmware update?
QuoteOriginally posted by Nass Quote
It would be lovely if the K-1 trails option came to K-3II, but unfortunately Pentax haven't historically been all that great in adding new software functionality like this to previous models.
I may overlook something (a lot?) about the K-1 automatic star trails feature, but isn't the K-3's option 'Interval Composite - Bright' essentially all you need to do such:






Time lapse movie using 'Interval Composite - Bright' together with 'Save Process': http://iloapp.gyes.eu/video/public/68/145703243957492700_high.mp4

03-10-2016, 05:39 AM   #5
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Ahh excellent, nice spot
03-10-2016, 09:02 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by veato Quote
When using he astro function on the K3-II will any foreground items become blurred? My thinking is that if the sensor shifts to enable longer exposures without star trails then static objects will blur, no?
Yes, the foreground will be blurred. But, the exposure for teh forground will not be right anyway (with astrotracer, you usually expose to get the best from the sky) and, the focus may not be optimal either since you used a large aperture focused at infinity... The best is to take one shot for the sky with astrotracer and one for the foregroud, each with their own optimal settings, and work them as layers in PS.

It's also much easier to PP each layer independently, since the sky and foreground usually require quite different adjustments. I find much easier and faster to just apply global settings to each one and blend the layers than trying to work with localised adjustements on a single shot.

Last edited by CarlJF; 03-10-2016 at 09:07 AM.
03-11-2016, 03:38 PM   #7
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Not the greatest shot, but here's a recent experiment using light painting for thirty seconds of a two minute single exposure trying to minimize foreground blur and bring out the barn (forgive the blue LED color and cross post from the DA 15 thread).
I think this technique has some potential, but layering separate shots with different ISO, focus and aperture settings would undoubtedly create a better final image.


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