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08-16-2018, 04:05 PM   #16
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Thanks for that interested observer. I will try that tonight if the smoke and haze allows. It might be too late in the year to get the Milky Way from way up here but we'll see.

08-16-2018, 06:29 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by wtlwdwgn Quote
Thanks for that interested observer. I will try that tonight if the smoke and haze allows. It might be too late in the year to get the Milky Way from way up here but we'll see.
I used Stellarium and yes, the moon sets at 11pm your time, and the Milky Way is there at 210 degrees. I guess all the smoke and haze from the California fires is floating up your way. Too bad - we just have the monsoons continuing tonight - so everything is clouded in.

08-16-2018, 08:02 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
My largest suggestion is to change one item. Shoot wide open. There is so little starlight, you need as much aperture as you can get. Depth of field does not matter - with the distance we are talking about, it does not enter in to the discussion. Stopping down for sharpness - doesn't matter either. If you don't collect the starlight - sharpness is the least of the problems.

ISO 1600 is good, but personally - going with ISO 800 (with the K1) provides better dynamic range, and thus better overall color with the Milky Way.


Exactly this! I've had my best luck with 50 to 60 seconds. I need to try 90 seconds - others have had good experiences with 90, but I just have not gotten there yet.
_______________________________

Last year about this time, I finally decided to upgrade from the K5 to the K1 in order to really get the Milky Way images that I wanted to capture. I needed to go to a full frame sensor. Here is one from a couple of months ago. K1 with the Pentax 15-30/f2.8 at 15mm f2.8, 50 seconds - 3 frames stitched (Microsoft ICE) with the GPS astrotracer enabled.


This last year has been really difficult for me just getting out. Everything has just gotten in the way of getting out and shooting, now that I have the equipment to capture what I really want to capture.

I can't argue with success. And I'd call that image an unqualified success.
08-17-2018, 02:35 PM   #19
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I can't seem to fathom stellarium.
What white balance are you guys using? I read somewhere that 3200K represents the night sky, and while it looks good, I'm concerned that I have lost the MW colour .

08-17-2018, 03:48 PM   #20
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So far I've just used the auto WB but that might be something to experiment with. What is it about Stellarium that you can't fathom? I just look at it to see where the stars, planets, and constellations are.
08-17-2018, 04:46 PM - 1 Like   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kevin B123 Quote
I can't seem to fathom stellarium.
What white balance are you guys using? I read somewhere that 3200K represents the night sky, and while it looks good, I'm concerned that I have lost the MW colour .
I've always shot with auto WB, especially since it can easily be reset in post processing. The lonelyspeck articles has a good approach on determining the right WB for the scene in post. What I have encountered with the K1 is, that for whatever reason, it just nailed it automagically each time. So, I've been inclined to just leave it be, till it becomes broken.

* How to Process Milky Way Astrophotography in Adobe Lightroom – Lonely Speck

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Stellarium - Here is a quick video tour and how to use it....




Last edited by interested_observer; 08-17-2018 at 05:03 PM.
08-17-2018, 07:06 PM - 1 Like   #22
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Thanks for tips and videos!
08-18-2018, 12:44 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by wtlwdwgn Quote
Thanks for tips and videos!
Seconded.

08-22-2018, 03:57 AM - 2 Likes   #24
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The weather finally cooperated and I was able to do a bit of astrophotography last night. Too bad it was a work night, but I did capture M51, so astrotracer does appear to be useful for deep sky objects. Here is a 100% crop showing M51 that was taking using astrotracer:
18x20s, ISO800, F/4, Sigma 300mm F/4 APO lens, K-3 with astrotracer


Just so people don't think it came out of the camera or stacking like this it didn't and I did do some quick processing to bring out the detail.
08-22-2018, 08:05 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
My largest suggestion is to change one item. Shoot wide open. There is so little starlight, you need as much aperture as you can get. Depth of field does not matter - with the distance we are talking about, it does not enter in to the discussion. Stopping down for sharpness - doesn't matter either. If you don't collect the starlight - sharpness is the least of the problems.

ISO 1600 is good, but personally - going with ISO 800 (with the K1) provides better dynamic range, and thus better overall color with the Milky Way.


Exactly this! I've had my best luck with 50 to 60 seconds. I need to try 90 seconds - others have had good experiences with 90, but I just have not gotten there yet.
_______________________________

Last year about this time, I finally decided to upgrade from the K5 to the K1 in order to really get the Milky Way images that I wanted to capture. I needed to go to a full frame sensor. Here is one from a couple of months ago. K1 with the Pentax 15-30/f2.8 at 15mm f2.8, 50 seconds - 3 frames stitched (Microsoft ICE) with the GPS astrotracer enabled.


This last year has been really difficult for me just getting out. Everything has just gotten in the way of getting out and shooting, now that I have the equipment to capture what I really want to capture.

For only 3 frames, that looks fantastic!
08-28-2018, 06:17 PM - 2 Likes   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by wtlwdwgn Quote
I thought maybe a thread dedicated to star shots. I think discussing the images and techniques and offering suggestions would be helpful.
Great idea, thanks for starting this. I see a lot of beautiful shots in this thread, and a lot of good tips too. I mostly work with the astrotracer for nightscapes using the Samyang 16 mm F2 which works wonderfully at f/2.0. It's not ultra wide but here's an example of a 3 frame pano stitched in Microsoft ICE. I waited for the last quarter moon to rise to lit up the foreground. Mars is the planet on the left.

Three 60 s iso 800 shots with astrotracer. The bottom frame was shot a second time again 60 s but without the astrotracer. The two bottom frames were blended in PSE 14 and then stitched with the two others.


Last edited by SunValley; 08-28-2018 at 06:33 PM.
08-28-2018, 06:41 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by SunValley Quote
It's not ultra wide but here's an example of a 3 frame pano stitched in Microsoft ICE.
Nice. I keep wanting to take a stab at shooting the milky way but life or weather gets in the way. I have a shot in mind that I want but I probably won't be able to get it this year as september is about the last time I could get it but that month is already looking like it will be a zoo.
08-28-2018, 08:09 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by SunValley Quote
Great idea, thanks for starting this. I see a lot of beautiful shots in this thread, and a lot of good tips too. I mostly work with the astrotracer for nightscapes using the Samyang 16 mm F2 which works wonderfully at f/2.0. It's not ultra wide but here's an example of a 3 frame pano stitched in Microsoft ICE. I waited for the last quarter moon to rise to lit up the foreground. Mars is the planet on the left.

Three 60 s iso 800 shots with astrotracer. The bottom frame was shot a second time again 60 s but without the astrotracer. The two bottom frames were blended in PSE 14 and then stitched with the two others.
Beautifully captured!
04-02-2019, 05:39 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
I've always shot with auto WB, especially since it can easily be reset in post processing. The lonelyspeck articles has a good approach on determining the right WB for the scene in post. What I have encountered with the K1 is, that for whatever reason, it just nailed it automagically each time. So, I've been inclined to just leave it be, till it becomes broken. ...
Me too, particularly with the K-1's "multi-auto white balance" function, that seems to work really well - and uniformly better than I could do manually.
04-03-2019, 06:52 AM   #30
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smudgers

the stars were coming out a bit smudgy, so, as the old adage states, "when all else fails, read the instructions" - the K-1 manual says that you have to re-do the calibration every time you change batteries. Oops. It must keep its position data in CMOS, I reckon, such that when the power goes away, it loses its mind.

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