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02-17-2013, 10:40 AM   #511
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@Dr_who:
Incredible!

02-17-2013, 02:40 PM   #512
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I'm a newbie with a K5 and O-GPS astrotracer. I have tried it a few times with some reasonable results given that I haven't yet ventured into the techniques of stacking and processing.

One question though. I struggle to know that I'm pointing it in the direction I want. It's been a bit of guesswork so far and usually OK at the short end of my 55-300 lens, but somewhat harder if I use it at 300mm.

I'm wondering about whether I can set up a red dot finder but I am unsure how given that they are usually for attaching to a scope or hotshoe. Are there any adapters or brackets available?

What do other users do?
02-17-2013, 02:57 PM   #513
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Question

QuoteOriginally posted by Dr_who Quote
Learning my way around PixInsight a little more and more I went back to my data of M42 I did a week ago and here's the result.
Is pixinsight freeware or a paid program? I always seem to have trouble with the adjustments with DSS and plus I'm looking for something that will run on my Mac. Thanks!

PS...I hate you in a loving sort of way. Amazing work with Orion. I'm just jealous.
02-17-2013, 05:09 PM - 1 Like   #514
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ravvie Quote
I'm a newbie with a K5 and O-GPS astrotracer. I have tried it a few times with some reasonable results given that I haven't yet ventured into the techniques of stacking and processing.

One question though. I struggle to know that I'm pointing it in the direction I want. It's been a bit of guesswork so far and usually OK at the short end of my 55-300 lens, but somewhat harder if I use it at 300mm.

I'm wondering about whether I can set up a red dot finder but I am unsure how given that they are usually for attaching to a scope or hotshoe. Are there any adapters or brackets available?

What do other users do?
You can easily make a bracket for yourself. For example something like this:



Then you can use a red dot finder or a finder/spotting scope as you please. Just be aware that your bracket is made of non-magnetic material. I discovered the hard way that the O-GPS1's compass is very sensitive to such local disturbances.

02-17-2013, 05:21 PM   #515
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QuoteOriginally posted by GWARmachine Quote
Is pixinsight freeware or a paid program? I always seem to have trouble with the adjustments with DSS and plus I'm looking for something that will run on my Mac. Thanks!

PS...I hate you in a loving sort of way. Amazing work with Orion. I'm just jealous.
No it's not freeware, however they do provide a 1 month trial key if you signup for it. It's biggest knock I've read is it's learning curve compared to programs such as DSS, but once you get used to it, it is like a mini photoshop for astroimages. One of the reasons I went with PixInsight is it has a 64 bit version, so alot of the processing such as curves or histogram or color balance editing can be seen live, and not have the sluggish mosaic style loading that DSS has. There are some good video tutorials out there thou, and step by step work flows. Also the forums and customer support of PixInsight seems pretty good.

You can request the free trial or find more information at PixInsight — Pleiades Astrophoto
I know nothing of Mac Os versions but it does say it'll work on

Mac OS X
Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion).
Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion).
Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard).
PixInsight is not compatible with Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard). It requires at least Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard). If you are still using Mac OS X 10.5 on your machine, the obvious solution is installing OS X 10.6 (or 10.8). It's more secure and efficient, and is a real 64-bit operating system (10.5 uses a 32-bit kernel).



Gimbal thanks for the compliments. It's probably my favorite image so far. I did one of Horsehead nebula I really like as well but this one is better with dealing with coma distortion focus ect. Practice practice thou being fairly north, the summer nights are going to begin to get really long here in no time

Last edited by Dr_who; 02-17-2013 at 05:41 PM.
02-17-2013, 10:24 PM   #516
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Thank You

QuoteOriginally posted by Dr_who Quote
No it's not freeware, however they do provide a 1 month trial key if you signup for it. It's biggest knock I've read is it's learning curve compared to programs such as DSS, but once you get used to it, it is like a mini photoshop for astroimages. One of the reasons I went with PixInsight is it has a 64 bit version, so alot of the processing such as curves or histogram or color balance editing can be seen live, and not have the sluggish mosaic style loading that DSS has. There are some good video tutorials out there thou, and step by step work flows. Also the forums and customer support of PixInsight seems pretty good.

You can request the free trial or find more information at PixInsight — Pleiades Astrophoto
I know nothing of Mac Os versions but it does say it'll work on

Mac OS X
Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion).
Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion).
Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard).
PixInsight is not compatible with Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard). It requires at least Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard). If you are still using Mac OS X 10.5 on your machine, the obvious solution is installing OS X 10.6 (or 10.8). It's more secure and efficient, and is a real 64-bit operating system (10.5 uses a 32-bit kernel).



Gimbal thanks for the compliments. It's probably my favorite image so far. I did one of Horsehead nebula I really like as well but this one is better with dealing with coma distortion focus ect. Practice practice thou being fairly north, the summer nights are going to begin to get really long here in no time
Thank you very much. I've been on there website since, reading and learning. I just hate having to put all my pictures on two different computers. I think I'll be looking into PixInsight now. You should post what you did with the Horsehead Nebula. I like when people share even their not-so-perfect photos here so that we all can learn from each other. Thanks again for the great info!
02-17-2013, 10:37 PM   #517
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QuoteOriginally posted by GWARmachine Quote
Thank you very much. I've been on there website since, reading and learning. I just hate having to put all my pictures on two different computers. I think I'll be looking into PixInsight now. You should post what you did with the Horsehead Nebula. I like when people share even their not-so-perfect photos here so that we all can learn from each other. Thanks again for the great info!
It's funny you should say that I made a entire post on my setup and the resulting image here https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/210829-first-astro...aph-k5iis.html

Maybe I'll repost with a step by step on the processes in the actual stacking and post processing area. So many things to do. The gradient/background removal tool works wonders, probably worth the program alone as shown in my Orion Nebula, I didn't use any flat or dark frames and I think it came out pretty well. If you use a Pentax K5 IIs you'll want to debayer your raw files using the pixel order BGGR. With my K5 I believe it was RGGB (or default). This may be due to it not having a alias filter but whatever the case you can just debayer 1 raw and see which one doesn't leave a mosaic grid pattern in the conversion and just use that one in any future uses. If you download the free trial feel free to toss me a message with questions, as I was like WWHHHHAAATTTT do I do now... and still learning after having it for a little over a month. But If I can be of any help I'm willing I attached a image I did of it's background removal tool which is the first tool I use after stacking any photo.
Attached Images
 
02-18-2013, 01:47 AM   #518
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Amazing! I'll surely let you know when I get it downloaded. Thanks again!

02-18-2013, 04:29 AM   #519
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my first attempt

Hi all

I've been greatly inspired by all your pictures here and I'm going to try some stacking when the weather clears. I have a long way to go with this but I'm loving the new challenge.

this is my first half decent attempt with the k30, SMC M50mm f1.7 wide open. I pumped the ISO up to 3200 for a 10sec shot then applied some noise reduction and black level adjustment in LR4. Your critique would be well received.


Last edited by Adinfinitum; 03-05-2013 at 09:13 PM.
02-18-2013, 03:12 PM   #520
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stone G. Quote
You can easily make a bracket for yourself. For example something like this:



Then you can use a red dot finder or a finder/spotting scope as you please. Just be aware that your bracket is made of non-magnetic material. I discovered the hard way that the O-GPS1's compass is very sensitive to such local disturbances.
Stone G - Thanks for the tip on non-magnetic material. I'll post some pics once I think they are decent enough!
02-18-2013, 08:31 PM   #521
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adinfinitum Quote
Hi all

I've been greatly inspired by all your pictures here and I'm going to try some stacking when the weather clears. I have a long way to go with this but I'm loving the new challenge.

this is my first half decent attempt with the k30, SMC M50mm f1.7 wide open. I pumped the ISO up to 3200 for a 10sec shot then applied some noise reduction and black level adjustment in LR4. Your critique would be well received.
I think the stacking looks good. I personally wouldn't clip the blacks/contrast so much. Often there is very fine details in those areas that just get lost doing that. However that's more a personal choice and style as far as presentign a image goes. Keep at it, it requires tons of patience but its a fun hobby.
02-18-2013, 08:39 PM   #522
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dr_who Quote
I think the stacking looks good. I personally wouldn't clip the blacks/contrast so much. Often there is very fine details in those areas that just get lost doing that. However that's more a personal choice and style as far as presentign a image goes. Keep at it, it requires tons of patience but its a fun hobby.
Thanks Dr Who - There was quite a lot of noise in the blacks with this ISO so I agree, I did overdo the black level adjustments.

I intend to get a GPS unit to enable a longer exposure time and thereby lower my ISO but apparently there is a back order a few months long here in OZ. Meanwhile, I'll keep working with stacking - this is a whole new learning curve for me.
02-19-2013, 12:10 AM   #523
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ravvie Quote
I'm a newbie with a K5 and O-GPS astrotracer. I have tried it a few times with some reasonable results given that I haven't yet ventured into the techniques of stacking and processing.

One question though. I struggle to know that I'm pointing it in the direction I want. It's been a bit of guesswork so far and usually OK at the short end of my 55-300 lens, but somewhat harder if I use it at 300mm.

I'm wondering about whether I can set up a red dot finder but I am unsure how given that they are usually for attaching to a scope or hotshoe. Are there any adapters or brackets available?

What do other users do?
I've used a red dot finder with a bracket from Photosolve (here's the link)

In the end, I didn't like how that worked for me and now use a wire sight for rangefinders, specifically the Ikodot. I like this device because it works well when I use the camera with a visually opaque filter I can just frame and shoot.

Hope this helps!
02-19-2013, 04:16 AM   #524
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QuoteOriginally posted by smigol Quote
In the end, I didn't like how that worked for me and now use a wire sight for rangefinders, specifically the Ikodot. I like this device because it works well when I use the camera with a visually opaque filter I can just frame and shoot.
I have pressed into service an old wire frame viewfinder from an old Linhof Technika plate camera. It slots on the hot shoe easy peasy. Been trying to photograph Comet Lemmon recently and as it is on the edge of visibility, the cam viewfinder is completely useless. The wireframe just makes it easier to eyeball the general area. GW, I hear you on DSS. It just makes a real pig of anything I try to stack. I have almost given up on it.
02-19-2013, 10:36 AM   #525
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QuoteOriginally posted by smigol Quote
I've used a red dot finder with a bracket from Photosolve (here's the link)

In the end, I didn't like how that worked for me and now use a wire sight for rangefinders, specifically the Ikodot. I like this device because it works well when I use the camera with a visually opaque filter I can just frame and shoot.

Hope this helps!
Smigol and Pixelsaurus,

Thanks for your ideas. The camera's flash shoe is tied up with the O-GPS1 Astrotracer which limits my options. The link to PhotoSolve looks potentially worthwhile since they have a "Reversible Bracket with flash shoe" which can be mounted onto a camera tripod, so just needs a RDF with a shoe attachment which I think I can get.
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