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09-08-2011, 06:00 AM   #1
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New to here! Semper Fi! Here to learn more about Astrophotography

Hello all,

I'm currently stationed in MCAS Iwakuni Japan and I have to admit, this is the first time I have ever "blogged" or "posted" in a forum. I'm glad that its at least something useful and a place where I can learn.

I have been into astrophotography for quite some time but just recently achieved half-way decent results. I'm looking forward to making new friends here and learning how to become a better photographer. I currently have a K-x and K-7 and a K-r is in the mail. I already have buyer's remorse about it. Here's my dilemma: I told a buddy that I'd sell him the K-x so I could get a K-r. Now after reading so much on here about other's experiences I really don't want to let go of it. So I'm gonna offer the K-7 to him. If anybody reads this: Should I return that K-r when I get it, for a K-5??? Does anybody know if a K-5 would be better for astrophotography than a K-r? Thank you all.

SEMPER FI!

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09-10-2011, 11:24 AM   #2
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I have none of these cameras and I don't shoot astro so my comments are untainted by reality. BUT... from what I've read, the K5 will be a much better astro camera than any Kx-Kr-K7, with superior sensor and controls. BUT... depending on how you shoot, the K5 lacks one feature: tethering. I can link my K20D (K10D has tethering also) to a laptop and control the camera very accurately. Both K10D and K20D are excellent at lowest ISO (=100), not so great at higher ISO. But tethered and equatorial-mounted, you'll want to shoot at base ISO anyway. If you don't need tethering, then by all means go for the K5. Great sensor, wide dynamic range, lotsa good stuff. I'd grab one in a minute if my budget allowed. Good luck!
09-10-2011, 11:45 AM   #3
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Welcome GWARmachine!

IMHO, the lens used is more important than the camera. Nice photo! Looks like a fast 50mm?
09-12-2011, 03:33 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forums marine. Not my money so I say get the K5 and sell the rest. Very nice shot BTW.

09-12-2011, 05:16 PM   #5
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Original Poster
Thank you all for the great welcomes and quick replies. Yeah, I'm starting to like the K-5 more and more. I'd be using the IR remote features mostly so I'm not too concerned with the tethering function. Plus with the 'get-up-and-go' lifestyle, I don't really have the space or land to set-up a laptop and make all the preparations for that.
Yep, that was a 50mm set at f/1.4 for 10 seconds. I set the timer then jumped up on a picknick table to take the shot. That was my first night taking some more serious astro-photos and I was super-excited about the results. I bought the lens 8 years ago from a gentlemen in a parking lot and never realized that my oldest, and cheapest lens would produce the best results. Now I'm looking for faster used lenses to shoot with. Here's another picture taken that night. Same setting as before. I don't remember the ISO exactly but I'm pretty sure it was 800. Andromeda Galaxy is just right of center. Thanks again for the compliments and information.
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09-12-2011, 05:35 PM   #6
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Well done.
ISO 800 for 10 seconds at f1.4. Damn that looks good. How did you manage the focus?. Must have had some really good "seeing".
09-13-2011, 05:29 AM   #7
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I do apologize, I just checked with the camera utility and saw that the ISO was actually 1600 for the last picture. Sorry.

To focus I just turned the focus ring all the way to infinity. After a few test shots I zoomed in on the instant review to make sure that the stars appeared as crisp as I could get them. For the old 50mm lens this was all the way over til the focus ring stopped. After doing some test shots, (and with a little help from Google), I found that 10 seconds was the max I could expose before getting star trails.

Yes, the seeing conditions were beyond perfect. I just hope this wasn't a "lucky night" for me. I'm ordering a new telescope soon with tracking capabilities so hopefully some better pictures will be coming.

This picture is def at 800 ISO (I double checked), same as before tho, 50mm f/1.4 10 seconds, fixed tripod (same night). Jupiter is bottom left, you can see a small satellite trailing the sky, and Comet Gerrardd is the green object at top. I took four pictures in a row and you can see it move against the background stars. If only I had known what I was taking a picture of when I did this. I would've taken a hundred more pics and made a small video.

Also, thank you all for your interest and support. It really helps.

SEMPER FI!
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