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06-15-2016, 12:15 AM   #16
kwb
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RGlasel already gave you a good explanation for milky way thing, but let me add another thing. As far as you are at a dark site, you don't necessarily NEED a tracking mechanism like astrotracer to take a nice picture of milky way, though of course tracking helps to take a longer exposure without the stars trailing. An example of no-tracking picture of milky way is here:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10153029240626570&set=a.101509890243...type=3&theater

This was taken by my colleague on Canon APS-C camera (maybe 60D, I cannot remember), she didn't have any tracking whatsoever, and I believe she just put the camera on a fence on the roof or something, but you can still see the milky way.

In general, given the same exposure time, the longer the lens, the more the stars trail. Typically you use wide lens for milky way pictures, thus lesser need for tracking to take some interesting pictures.

Hope that this makes sense.


Last edited by kwb; 06-15-2016 at 12:53 AM.
06-18-2016, 04:16 PM   #17
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Should be a great trip! Have fun.

I would be inclined to stick with the K30. Still a great camera with a sweet sensor. You want to enjoy your vacation be comfortable with a camera you know and can use without thinking. Also it is fairly lightweight which can be useful when lugging around a camera all day long.

I thinking having the right lens mix is often more important on these trips. That is where I would put my money. What lenses are you planning to take out of interest?
06-20-2016, 12:57 PM   #18
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Thanks for the info - I ended up getting a really good deal on a K-S2 from B&H - I don't know if I can post the price here, but it was very reasonable and included the new 18-50 kit lens and the flash. I don't actually need either of those, so I'll probably sell them and recoup some of my money. :-) Considering I can now sell the K-30 as well, this will be a pretty inexpensive camera upgrade. I also sprung for the O-GPS1... don't tell the Mrs.! I'm really dying to try the Astrotracer functionality. We're going down to Cape Cod this weekend and I know of a few good places that are at least reasonably dark and afford a view of the Milky Way to the South. Looks like the weather should be clear and the moon won't be rising until a few hours after the sun sets, so hopefully conditions will be perfect. I already have something to compare it to. The picture below was taken with my K-01 (same sensor as the K-30), with no Astrotracer:

Harwich Jetty

It took quite a bit of tweaking to get the image this far. Light pollution in the area certainly doesn't help. It will be interesting to see what the K-S2 and O-GPS1 can do with this same subject.

The Cape should be a good dry run for our big trip to Europe. Caliscouser, here's what's in my lens stable at the moment:

Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM (Great lens, but a bit heavy, so I'm not really looking forward to lugging it around!)
Pentax-D FA 50mm F2.8 Macro
Pentax-DA L 50-200mm F4-5.6 ED
Pentax-DA 35mm F2.4 AL
Samyang 14mm F2.8 ED AS IF UMC

I guess I'd have to include the new 18-50 kit lens too, since it is going to be coming to me soon with the new K-S2. Technically, I could take all of these... but I'm aware of the need to pack light. If I were smart, I'd probably leave the Sigma at home in favor of the much smaller and much lighter kit lens. But the Siggy is a really great piece of glass and I'd hate to leave it behind. I could also leave the Samyang behind, but that's just such a fun lens that I'll probably end up taking it anyway. So that leaves the D-FA 50 and the DA 35. Technically I've got that focal range covered... but they are the two smallest lenses I have! And most of my filters are 49mm. Decisions, decisions!

Thanks again for all the info and opinions everyone!
06-30-2016, 12:59 PM   #19
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So I had a chance to re-shoot the Milky Way behind the lightpole on the Harwich Jetty on Cape Cod, using my new K-S2 and O-GPS1. I think the results are very promising!

Harwich Jetty

It's not perfect, but this was literally the first day I spent with the K-S2, so I was still very much in learning mode. It's really not that different from the K-30, K-01 and even my old K-r, but any little change is significant, especially when fumbling around in the dark! I also realized after I got there and got set up, that the battery in my remote control had died! So the milky way portion of this combined picture was literally taken with me holding my finger on the shutter button for about a minute and a half with the camera in bulb mode! Still, the galactic core looks pretty good to my eye. With a bit more practice, I'm sure I can do even better.

So far I love the camera. Biggest improvement over the K-30 is the articulating LCD screen. I used to think that an articulating screen was for wimps, but oh boy was I wrong. I is soooo convenient sometimes! The following shot I literally could not have gotten without it, because in order to get the framing I wanted, I had to position the camera on my backpack, which was wedged down low, between two boulders. It would have been really hard to see the LCD screen if I hadn't been able to swing it out and tilt it up:

Paine's Creek, Brewster

The K-S2's extra resolution and filterless AA are noticeable when pixel peeping. I haven't had the chance to compare shot for shot with the K-30 or K-01 yet, but I'm pretty sure that the detail I see when zooming in during post processing is quite a bit better than I've seen before.

06-30-2016, 02:19 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by pericombobulation Quote
So I had a chance to re-shoot the Milky Way behind the lightpole on the Harwich Jetty on Cape Cod, using my new K-S2 and O-GPS1. I think the results are very promising!

Harwich Jetty

It's not perfect, but this was literally the first day I spent with the K-S2, so I was still very much in learning mode. It's really not that different from the K-30, K-01 and even my old K-r, but any little change is significant, especially when fumbling around in the dark! I also realized after I got there and got set up, that the battery in my remote control had died! So the milky way portion of this combined picture was literally taken with me holding my finger on the shutter button for about a minute and a half with the camera in bulb mode! Still, the galactic core looks pretty good to my eye. With a bit more practice, I'm sure I can do even better.

So far I love the camera. Biggest improvement over the K-30 is the articulating LCD screen. I used to think that an articulating screen was for wimps, but oh boy was I wrong. I is soooo convenient sometimes! The following shot I literally could not have gotten without it, because in order to get the framing I wanted, I had to position the camera on my backpack, which was wedged down low, between two boulders. It would have been really hard to see the LCD screen if I hadn't been able to swing it out and tilt it up:

Paine's Creek, Brewster

The K-S2's extra resolution and filterless AA are noticeable when pixel peeping. I haven't had the chance to compare shot for shot with the K-30 or K-01 yet, but I'm pretty sure that the detail I see when zooming in during post processing is quite a bit better than I've seen before.
Strong first shots from the new camera.
07-04-2016, 03:32 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
I'm going to suggest the KS-2:

Cheaper, lighter weight than the K-3 series.
20MP sensor gives great compromise between resolution and noise performance. Not a big difference but it's a consideration.
Tilting screen
Wifi access to post pics as you go.
Did I mention lighter?

The K-70 has the same benefits with these changes/additions.
Different sensor - 24mp like the K3 series.
Pixel shift!
Hybrid AF may play a role later.

As for astrotracing. Pick up the external option from the marketplace and sell if you don't love it.
Just my 2 cents worth.
I tend to agree with the above. When travelling weight becomes a bigger consideration than you might think and I doubt if the time you will have in the next week will be enough to really get to know any of the cameras so minor differences in sophistication won't likely be an issue till later on.
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