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09-06-2019, 04:11 PM   #1
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pentax k3 ii astrotracer

Anyone know of a good video on the set up of this Astrotracker program?

09-06-2019, 04:30 PM - 1 Like   #2
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The video on the Pentax Japan website is good for the calibration procedure:


It is also on YouTube.

09-06-2019, 07:16 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Posts: 5,198
Can't speak for the K3ii, but as far as how it works on K-1 and KP just be careful you also have the GPS on.

I find the whole procedure a little odd, but basically a huge amount of failure rate with astrotracer is users not doing the gps thing in addition to turning the astrotracer on. I have no idea why you would want the astrotracer on and for it not to use the gps but there you go...


1) turn gps on
2) turn astrotracer on
3) calibrate the gps with the calibration mode.

Done, good to go.

You should probably see a green satellite icon on the screen indicating it is successfully working, red means not found a satellite yet.
09-06-2019, 07:36 PM - 1 Like   #4
Aaron28's Avatar

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do not know of a good video or video...…

once the gps is activated its available in all modes and can be calibrated via the menu selection under gps

for the astrotracer function to be active the camera needs to be in bulb mode.....I usually do the precise calibration (again found via the menu under gps)

you will have a choice of setting the exposure time or have the green button set it for you...the green button switches between the two choices.....I prefer setting my own time

09-07-2019, 05:43 AM - 1 Like   #5
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some additional notes~

if using a manual lens with no 'A' ring be sure to input the correct focal length (in the menu under shake reduction)
also have shake reduction turned off
also have any noise reduction features turned off if left on the camera takes a second exposure the same duration as the first....i.e. if you expose for 2 minutes it will take an additional 2 minutes for it to complete its work totaling 4 is usually suggested that you take your own 'dark frames' separately with the lens cap on for the same exposure time and iso

there are various techniques in regards to making the composites of astro work......but keep in mind with wide field astro (milk way) the astrotracer has a static sky and blurred having an identical frame with astrotracer off with a static foreground and blurred sky to mix together.....some folks have the skill for a single frame flooding the foreground with light near the end of an astrotracer frame....I have yet to try

good luck and clear skies!
09-07-2019, 07:42 PM   #6
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I haven't used it on the K-3ii but with the K-3 getting it calibrated is kind of finicky. You are going for consistency in movement and going past 180 degrees to like 220 seems to produce better results. Use a short light lens when calibrating as it will make your life easier and help keep movements to one axis only. Some things to avoid when calibrating it would be power lines, running appliances (think your air conditioner), being near your car or other vehicles, being near some blob of steel, being near reinforced concrete (steel rebar in it), being near iron heavy rocks (not sure how much but I have heard of some experienced users of it thinking this throws some locations off).

The more you use it the better you will get at using it. Be sure to do the general calibration first and then go and do the precise calibration. They both require the same motions but only doing the general coarse one will produce substandard results. If you are calibrating it and it says it is done before you have finished all movements restart that calibration. If it consistently finishes before you finish all the movements move to a different spot as something is consistently throwing it off likely power lines.

The first few times you try it is may fail to calibrate in the 1 minute window it gives you so just try it again eventually it will work. If you just can't seem to get it to calibrated again go to a different spot as something it throwing it off. Remember consistancy in movement speed is key as is limiting movements to only 1 axis at a time.

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