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02-28-2015, 01:31 AM   #1
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K3 and astrophotography

Hello, i saw u can get the astrotracker which will compensate for earths rotation etc.

What would be a good budget setup for start taking photos of stars. Hardware, software and example setting on camera if possible, thanks alot ))

Tim

02-28-2015, 01:47 AM - 1 Like   #2
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well that really depends on what effect you want. With a wide angle you can get spectacular shots of the milky way and by doing double exposures one with and one without the tracking enabled you will get the foreground aswell. With a telephoto lens you could do some basic deep sky, but the movemet the sensor is able to do is not enough for serious long exposures. The longer the lens the shorter time it will be able to expose, I can do about 2min exposures with a 135mm lens, as an example. To really get spectacular long exposures of deep sky objects you would need something like a 300mm+ lens or a telescope and an alt-azimuth mount. The mount here is the most important.

The gps unit is something like $100 and an alt-azimuth mount is somewhere in the range of $300.
02-28-2015, 01:58 AM - 1 Like   #3
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You can get wide-angle shots without much blurring just with the camera and a tripod . I did a short timelapse video for a college project and got perfectly usable results at 30" exposure, f/3.5 and iso800. I've not tried pushing it any further (e.g. buying expensive kit), but I'd try without anything first of all to see whether it works for you.

Sadly I can't give you any good examples as they are on my Laptop, but a link to the video is here if you are interested: https://www.dropbox.com/s/lv3011716sq8et1/A%20Portrait%20of%20the%20Sky.avi?dl=0
02-28-2015, 02:22 AM - 2 Likes   #4
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Well, there are tons of things I could recommend... But foremost, the o-GPS1 astrotracker is not cheap. From what others on the forum have stated, it also seems to be limited to lenses 300mm and shorter, as well as having a limit on the angle of tilt (incline). I'd put it in the "nice to have" category, but it is absolutely not necessary for astro.

With that out of the way, let's get into the real meat of your question... and that is necessities:

1.) Sturdy tripod (or some tripod substitute that isn't going to allow the camera to move).
2.) Wide angle lens with a wide aperture (28mm f/2.8 is a good starter lens for cheap).
3.) A cheap wired or wireless shutter release (not necessary but a lot more convenient than timer).
4.) Spare battery packs (or in case of k-30/k-50 the AA adapter and some energizer lithiums).
5.) Zoom lens or large fixed prime (if you want to take pictures of the moon in detail).
6.) A comfy portable chair.

That list can actually be pared down a little bit to:

1.) wide angle, wide aperture lens
2.) any method of keeping the camera still and pointed up
3.) batteries, batteries, batteries.
4.) Patience

Anything more than that is extra and just nice to have. Just remember that when it comes to lenses for astro, the more light you can let in vs lens size, the better. An example of this: 28mm f/2.8 is good... but 20mm f/1.8 would be a lot better due to allowing more light in compared to the size of the lens (i might not have phrased this correctly to make sense... someone correct me, pls).

02-28-2015, 02:33 AM   #5
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Awesome tips, and thanks to you all ! ✌️😊 look forward to trying out!!!
03-01-2015, 01:14 AM - 1 Like   #6
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I've got to add a vote for the 28mm f/2.8 as a great lens to get started with. You can get one used on evilbay for about 30 and as it's manual focus it's great for using when you don't have enough light for AF. They're also great lenses for other things and thus are a good general purchase as well.
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