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09-28-2014, 08:36 PM   #931
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The weather certainly hasn't helped - I went last night to Teemburra Dam, got there about 8:30ish and even with the setting moon it was inky black skies.. perfect! Got the scope all set up then went to image...I kid you not within 10 seconds it went from clear skies to 100% overcast.. I watched the cloud materialize in front of my eyes! Didn't get a single image out there after waiting for an hour for it to clear up. Tonight is the last chance for me due to the impeding moon.

09-29-2014, 02:28 AM   #932
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QuoteOriginally posted by weathermon Quote
I'm excited - my new IDAS LPS-P2 filter has arrived - can't wait to try it out
It took me a few seconds, but when I looked at the transmission spectra data sheet from the filter I didn't realize that the picture was upside down....i was about to say that filter has a really bizarre transmission spectra.

QuoteOriginally posted by weathermon Quote
I kid you not within 10 seconds it went from clear skies to 100% overcast
Looks like you missed an interesting time lapse opportunity.
09-29-2014, 09:25 PM   #933
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I had a good one last night here in Mackay, was imaging until 2:15 this morning! Decided to give the 70-200 a go and got really good results. Taken at F3.2 and ISO3200 with 30x1 mins for M31 and 15x1 min and 8x30 seconds for M43.
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09-29-2014, 10:40 PM   #934
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Nice image of the Andromeda galaxy weathermon, It would be interesting to get a shot of it with my Sigma 100-300mm f/4 APO with the pentax astrotracer.

09-29-2014, 11:39 PM   #935
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I went out trying to find a dark spot since it was completely cloud and fog free weather, but that search went bad. I came home with a bunch of shots but nothing I'm really happy with.
I wanted to get the Milky way but there was extreme light pollution despite me biking as far away as I could in limited time. Sometimes I really miss not living in a city.

K-5 + Pentax DA 14mm F2.8

One stacked in color


One desaturated single shot


The most interesting thing I found was when cropping my first decently captured Andromeda from the wide shot
10-02-2014, 11:37 PM - 1 Like   #936
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I decided to give my 300mm a whirl tonight and managed some 'meh' shots of the Orion nebula. before I left I decided to let the 10-20mm out to play for a shot or three and wound up with this. Considering I left my tripod head at home by mistake and was forced to improvise a rock/hat combination for support, I'll take it as a win.

EDIT: 90 second exposure, ISO 1600, 10mm via the O-GPS1

10-03-2014, 05:35 AM   #937
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Yeah, that shot's a winner - with the impressionistic forefield blurring against the ground glow.
10-04-2014, 07:21 PM - 1 Like   #938
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Greetings everyone,

Took some time to go to a darker place than my usual to really give the astrotracer a go, Humidity was so high K-30 and O-GPS1 were dripping with dew but hot shots kept the lenses dry. Also tried some of the stuff I learned from Interested_Observer's tutos about making panoramic shots.

Here are some of the results:


NGC 7000: 10 X 30s stacked using DSS, smc Pentax-A 135 f/2.8 lens iso 2500


Cygnus, a panorama of 3 90s frames (no stacking) with smc Pentax-A 50 mm f/1.4 @f/2 iso 2500


M31: 21 X 40s stacked using DSS, smc Pentax-M 200 mm f/4.0 iso 2500


California neb and The Pleiades: 2 X 90s + 8 X 60s stacked with DSS, smc Pentax-A 50 mm f/1.4 @ f/2 iso 2500


Although I still can't get the 60 - 90 s people get with their 200, I'm happy enough with 40s which I can get 90% of the time.
I also discovered that the 50 mm and O-GPS1 go very well together. That lens is a real "nebula buster"! I'll be using it a lot more in the future!

Best Regards

10-06-2014, 05:02 PM   #939
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Something to do on Oct 8 and/or 9th depending on which hemisphere you live.

Wake Up to a Total Lunar Eclipse on October 8, 2014 | Sky & Telescope
10-06-2014, 06:18 PM   #940
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sagitta Quote
I decided to give my 300mm a whirl tonight and managed some 'meh' shots of the Orion nebula. before I left I decided to let the 10-20mm out to play for a shot or three and wound up with this. Considering I left my tripod head at home by mistake and was forced to improvise a rock/hat combination for support, I'll take it as a win.

EDIT: 90 second exposure, ISO 1600, 10mm via the O-GPS1

Nice! And it's always extra nice to get a great image after winging things like a bag of dried beans, a wadded up shirt, or a rock and a hat.

---------- Post added 10-06-14 at 06:21 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by pixelsaurus Quote
Something to do on Oct 8 and/or 9th depending on which hemisphere you live.

Wake Up to a Total Lunar Eclipse on October 8, 2014 | Sky & Telescope
Bonus! The Draconids meteor shower peaks tomorrow night. The full Moon will likely wash out the dimmer meteors but the eclipsed Moon should give about an hour of dark skies.
10-06-2014, 07:30 PM   #941
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QuoteOriginally posted by SunValley Quote
Greetings everyone,

Took some time to go to a darker place than my usual to really give the astrotracer a go, Humidity was so high K-30 and O-GPS1 were dripping with dew but hot shots kept the lenses dry. Also tried some of the stuff I learned from Interested_Observer's tutos about making panoramic shots.

Here are some of the results:


NGC 7000: 10 X 30s stacked using DSS, smc Pentax-A 135 f/2.8 lens iso 2500


Cygnus, a panorama of 3 90s frames (no stacking) with smc Pentax-A 50 mm f/1.4 @f/2 iso 2500


M31: 21 X 40s stacked using DSS, smc Pentax-M 200 mm f/4.0 iso 2500


California neb and The Pleiades: 2 X 90s + 8 X 60s stacked with DSS, smc Pentax-A 50 mm f/1.4 @ f/2 iso 2500


Although I still can't get the 60 - 90 s people get with their 200, I'm happy enough with 40s which I can get 90% of the time.
I also discovered that the 50 mm and O-GPS1 go very well together. That lens is a real "nebula buster"! I'll be using it a lot more in the future!

Best Regards
Really 40s with a 200mm and OGPS1? I must be doing something wrong.
10-06-2014, 11:18 PM   #942
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QuoteOriginally posted by VisualDarkness Quote
Really 40s with a 200mm and OGPS1? I must be doing something wrong.

Calibration is key. I've managed two minutes with my 135mm:



But have also had nasty trailing at shorter than that, when I've not calibrated as successfully.
10-06-2014, 11:28 PM   #943
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tsuken Quote
Calibration is key. I've managed two minutes with my 135mm:



But have also had nasty trailing at shorter than that, when I've not calibrated as successfully.
Do you got any procedure/advice for us less successful? As of now I've not really been successful with the device for astro even once. I haven't touched it for astro in a while due to me messing with it lessens my time shooting each night that I get less decent shots.
10-07-2014, 02:58 AM   #944
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QuoteOriginally posted by VisualDarkness Quote
Do you got any procedure/advice for us less successful? As of now I've not really been successful with the device for astro even once. I haven't touched it for astro in a while due to me messing with it lessens my time shooting each night that I get less decent shots.

I think my more successful efforts have been those when I've managed to keep the body of the camera in close to the same spot in space while rotating about each of the three axes- so the only movement is the rotation.

I think it's also affected by nearby magnetism, metal, and such.
10-07-2014, 04:08 AM   #945
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One thing you can try, if your tripod head has a 360 degree scale that is, is to orientate the tripod so that the scale matches up with north. Then after calibration, check so that the compass reading on the camera matches the scale.

Iíve noticed that sometimes the electronic compass is very accurate in all directions, other times itís accurate in some directions but wanders off in other directions. Then there is the problem of the compass reading changing when you tilt the camera, anyhow ONE key to success must be to get an accurate compass reading.

The confusing part is that the result after a calibration seems to vary quite a lot even if I do my calibration routine exactly the same way every time.
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