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03-03-2012, 12:12 AM   #211
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QuoteOriginally posted by zambonikane Quote
Hey guys!
I just picked up a copy of PS 5x and have been re-stacking my subs from earlier in the season. I have finally worked out the bugs in DSS ( was using auto WB instead of Camera WB). Here is my best shot yet! It is a composite of 5, 30, 60, and 90s subs combined with layer masks and tweaked with curves, levels, and saturation in PS. What do you think?
Great shot Zambonikane. I went to your page and checked out your gear and I was kinda hoping this was taken with just a 300mm lens (yes I'm laughing too), but the 8" does a great job. I also like the Jupiter shot. Thanks for sharing.

03-04-2012, 05:42 PM   #212
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AGREED! Awesome detail in Orion. Can't wait for the weather to clear up here so I can get back to work. I haven't had a clear workable night in over a month now. I'm also ordering the O-GPS1 soon to shoot on the go (hopefully). Best of luck to all! Be sure to check out our Social Group here on the Forum also. Astrophotography - PentaxForums.com
03-09-2012, 06:42 PM   #213
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NEWBIE QUESTION -- Pointing at the sky randomly: what could be expected ?
_________________________________________________________________

I've been trying a few odd things, not really sure of what I am doing, for taking evening/night shots but of course it is a mess.
None of the shots I have been taking show much at all, except for a few blurry and faint images of Venus and Jupiter (I don't expect much using just a K5 and a DA*300/4 lens); as a matter of fact I found that if I expose for longer than 1 second, those two planets, especially Venus, will show what seems to look like a "comma", so I presume that is because it is starting to "trail".
So, I more or less just quit trying to take those sorts of pics because I find it totally out of my league.

But, just out of pure curiosity, I have a question:

IF I were to point the camera/lens (on a tripod of course) toward a random spot in the night sky - let's say 45-60 degrees up from the horizon and looking north-west (just an assumption), and then expose for 10, 20, 30 seconds ... should I expect to see something at all on any of the pics?
I am just curious, please don't take this too seriously and insults are welcome if you so wish !

JP
03-09-2012, 07:02 PM   #214
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Hmm, I'd tend to start with a lower power zoom lens, maybe the kit lens if you have it. I'd use a fairly wide aperture as well since depth of field is not really an issue since everything is at infinity or almost.

At 300mm you're going to get some trails very quickly. At 18mm and up to maybe around 50 you should get some quite nice starscapes to start with. You can then refine further.

I'm fairly new to this stuff so I'm having to ask the same kind of questions you're asking and I hope my answers here are correct.


Last edited by mtansley; 03-09-2012 at 07:08 PM.
03-09-2012, 07:23 PM   #215
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QuoteOriginally posted by mtansley Quote
Hmm, I'd tend to start with a lower power zoom lens, maybe the kit lens if you have it. I'd use a fairly wide aperture as well since depth of field is not really an issue since everything is at infinity or almost.

At 300mm you're going to get some trails very quickly. At 18mm and up to maybe around 50 you should get some quite nice starscapes to start with. You can then refine further.

I'm fairly new to this stuff so I'm having to ask the same kind of questions you're asking and I hope my answers here are correct.
Thanks for the reply!

I think I have been using the wrong lens to start with !

JP
03-09-2012, 07:28 PM   #216
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QuoteOriginally posted by jpzk Quote
Thanks for the reply!

I think I have been using the wrong lens to start with !

JP
Yep, start simple with a nice photo of some scenery and stars in the background, that will give you something to look at and enjoy while you refine the technique, otherwise, you get disheartened and give up.

I know that from bitter experience.
03-09-2012, 09:11 PM   #217
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QuoteOriginally posted by jpzk Quote
NEWBIE QUESTION -- Pointing at the sky randomly: what could be expected ?
_________________________________________________________________

I've been trying a few odd things, not really sure of what I am doing, for taking evening/night shots but of course it is a mess.
None of the shots I have been taking show much at all, except for a few blurry and faint images of Venus and Jupiter (I don't expect much using just a K5 and a DA*300/4 lens); as a matter of fact I found that if I expose for longer than 1 second, those two planets, especially Venus, will show what seems to look like a "comma", so I presume that is because it is starting to "trail".
So, I more or less just quit trying to take those sorts of pics because I find it totally out of my league.

But, just out of pure curiosity, I have a question:

IF I were to point the camera/lens (on a tripod of course) toward a random spot in the night sky - let's say 45-60 degrees up from the horizon and looking north-west (just an assumption), and then expose for 10, 20, 30 seconds ... should I expect to see something at all on any of the pics?
I am just curious, please don't take this too seriously and insults are welcome if you so wish !

JP
A fast 50mm lens can be good for astrophotography since it will show what your eyes can't see. The wider field of view makes it easier to aim and allows exposures of 10 seconds before trailing shows. It just happens that the Andromeda Galaxy is in the northwest in the early evening. I recommend downloading a free program called Stellarium. It will show you where everything is in the sky and help you find interesting objects to point the camera at.

This picture was taken with a 50mm f1.7 lens. You can improve pictures by stacking them with Deep Sky Stacker, this was a stack of 50 pictures.



The light pollution is really bad here and I couldn't see any of these galaxies with my eyes. So it can be fun to find out what the camera can see that I can't.

Last edited by krp; 03-09-2012 at 09:29 PM.
03-10-2012, 01:14 AM   #218
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Single Exposures

Another thing to note is don't go by just the infinity marking on your lens. Even the highest quality lenses may be slightly off for astrophotography. I also have a K-5 and focusing is usually the most tedious part of the night time set up. You want it to be as close to perfect as you can get it. Use your LCD screen then zoom in a little and play with the focuser. Of course be careful not to touch it after that. Don't be discouraged! Being able to capture light that has been traveling towards us since the dinosaurs walked the Earth is an amazing feeling.

Please check out our social group here on the forum too titled 'Astrophotography'. There are a few good topics there to check out and our members are growing.
These are both fixed tripod/single exposures:



03-10-2012, 12:33 PM   #219
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Venus should look like a comma, or should I say a crescent or half moon shape depending on the phase of Venus when it's photographed. Proper focusing is very important in astrophotography and atmospheric conditions are critical for planetary photos. Use the movie mode and then stack the frames in a program like avistack2.
Taking one shot and getting a good frame is luck taking a 1000 avi frames and you should get many good shots when the atmosphere above you settles for a moment.
Hank
03-10-2012, 04:21 PM   #220
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QuoteOriginally posted by oneeyedhawk Quote
Venus should look like a comma, or should I say a crescent or half moon shape depending on the phase of Venus when it's photographed
With what telescope?.
03-10-2012, 05:42 PM   #221
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It dose not take much of a telescope to see the phases of Venus. You will not see any surface features unless you use filters and then only variations of cloud intensities. Using a 300mm lens on your camera and a close crop will show the the phases. Knowing where to look in the daylight sky will easily show the phases. Just make sure the sun is not in the shot. With my guide scope, 60mm, its is an easy view.
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03-10-2012, 06:00 PM   #222
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I did not know that, thank you for the information.
Cheers. Mike.

edit: wait..." 60mm" as a FL or objective lens diameter?

Last edited by Ex Finn.; 03-10-2012 at 06:05 PM.
03-10-2012, 06:09 PM   #223
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QuoteOriginally posted by GWARmachine Quote
Another thing to note is don't go by just the infinity marking on your lens. Even the highest quality lenses may be slightly off for astrophotography. I also have a K-5 and focusing is usually the most tedious part of the night time set up. You want it to be as close to perfect as you can get it. Use your LCD screen then zoom in a little and play with the focuser. Of course be careful not to touch it after that. Don't be discouraged! Being able to capture light that has been traveling towards us since the dinosaurs walked the Earth is an amazing feeling.

Please check out our social group here on the forum too titled 'Astrophotography'. There are a few good topics there to check out and our members are growing.
These are both fixed tripod/single exposures:
GWAR, that second shot is.... fantastic!.

Last edited by Ex Finn.; 03-11-2012 at 08:36 AM.
03-10-2012, 06:27 PM   #224
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To ex finn "60 mm objective"
03-11-2012, 12:35 AM   #225
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ex Finn. Quote
I did not know that, thank you for the information.
Cheers. Mike.

edit: wait..." 60mm" as a FL or objective lens diameter?
In astronomical terms, the optical equipment is defined by aperture (ie the diameter of the lens/mirror) followed by the f/ratio (ie that which terrestrial photographers call aperture). So the telescope I am building has an aperture of 14.3" and f/ratio of f/4.3. The focal length of said beast is 14.3*4.3 = 61.49" or 1561.8mm.
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