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02-15-2015, 09:30 PM - 4 Likes   #1036
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Comet LoveJoy 2014

I normally shot astrophotos with CCD but I decided to try my K-30 on Comet LoveJoy 2014
Here is an image of it taken on January 10th.

Equipment:
Telescope:
Astrotech AT72ED
Mount:
Meade LXD75
Camera: Pentax K-30
Filters: None
Guiding: None
Processing: PixInsight
Capture software: Intervalometer
Exposures: ISO1600 140x30"
Location: UACNJ

Additional information:
Comet LoveJoy 2014 | Astrophotography by Alex Varakin

Attached Images
 

Last edited by MetClub; 02-15-2015 at 09:49 PM.
02-15-2015, 09:39 PM - 2 Likes   #1037
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Orion Nebula - M42

Here is an image which I took on the same night as the comet.
I am pretty impressed with the sensor of this camera - for just 30 minutes total exposure, result is pretty nice.

Equipment and processing:

Telescope: Astrotech AT72ED
Mount: Meade LXD75
Camera: Pentax K-30
Filters: None
Guiding: None

Processing: PixInsight
Capture software: Intervalometer
Exposures: 59x30 ISO1600
Location: UACNJ

Additional information:
M42 | Astrophotography by Alex Varakin
Attached Images
 
02-16-2015, 04:34 AM   #1038
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Wow metclub.. Thats like it comes straight from NASA.... so impressive !!!!!!!! Good job !

Kendigitize, Is there a tutorial for your tracking device in this forum somewhere?
02-16-2015, 06:59 AM - 1 Like   #1039
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QuoteOriginally posted by LucaBumble Quote
Wow metclub.. Thats like it comes straight from NASA.... so impressive !!!!!!!! Good job !

Kendigitize, Is there a tutorial for your tracking device in this forum somewhere?
There probably is, but I just searched the web and there are quite a few plans and info. Here are the 2 links I used for info to build mine:
Barn Door Tracker for astrophotography Barn door tracker for astrophotography DIY build guide
A Beginner's Guide to DSLR Astrophotography

Here's what mine looks like. I added an extra 1/4-20 bolt on one end so I could use my monopod for extra support. A strong solid tripod is a must.



Last edited by Kendigitize; 02-16-2015 at 08:08 AM.
02-16-2015, 09:57 AM   #1040
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Wow thats really cool... If I have some time I'll try to build one too Thanks for the links and your pictures !

Anyway... I found another picture from my travel in New zealand where I also unfortunately didnt know about stacking/darkframes etc. So instead of having several 1minute exposures and add them together I did ONE single shot for 21minutes... So its full of hotpixels and stuff...

The only reason why I share it is because I wonder what that "thing" in the background ? Is that the milky way ? doesnt it turn with the stars ??
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PENTAX K-30  Photo 
02-16-2015, 10:28 AM   #1041
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QuoteOriginally posted by LucaBumble Quote
Wow thats really cool... If I have some time I'll try to build one too Thanks for the links and your pictures !

Anyway... I found another picture from my travel in New zealand where I also unfortunately didnt know about stacking/darkframes etc. So instead of having several 1minute exposures and add them together I did ONE single shot for 21minutes... So its full of hotpixels and stuff...

The only reason why I share it is because I wonder what that "thing" in the background ? Is that the milky way ? doesnt it turn with the stars ??
I think it is the Milky Way. I think that long of an exp. would create a soft blur effect of the Milky Way. And it does seem to rotate with your stars. It's hard to tell, but if that's Sagitarius next to it, then it's the milky way.
02-16-2015, 04:31 PM   #1042
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Another form of tracker uses a curved bolt as part of the drive. If motorized, this allows consistently longer tracking times compared to a straight bolt.
Build a Hinge Tracker for Astrophotography | Gary Seronik.com
02-21-2015, 06:28 AM   #1043
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Conjunction of the Moon, Mars & Venus last night. K-30 SMC FA 50mm 1.4
https://www.flickr.com/photos/millermagic/16574912916/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/millermagic/16599989052/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/millermagic/16414761669/

02-27-2015, 11:07 AM - 5 Likes   #1044
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It's been a while since I posted to this thread.

In January, I shot some nebula targets after the comet set.

Same camera as always for my setup: Pentax K10D modified and cooled. For this shot, I also used the smc P-A* 1:4 300mm lens with IDAS LPS P2 filter. This was taken in the backyard over 3 nights. Thus, the background is muddy with light pollution.

4 hours and 20 minutes of integration. 10 minute subs at ISO 100, F 5.6.




For reference, this is what a single subexposure looks like straight out of the camera.


Last edited by smigol; 02-27-2015 at 11:14 AM.
02-27-2015, 02:54 PM   #1045
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Smigol thats really impressive and sounds like you need to be really proffessional about this... Hwo did you come to photograph like this and learn this ? I mean, I wouldnt even know what I needed to modify on my camera to be able to shoot something like this. Very impressive !
02-28-2015, 12:53 AM   #1046
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QuoteOriginally posted by LucaBumble Quote
Smigol thats really impressive and sounds like you need to be really proffessional about this... Hwo did you come to photograph like this and learn this ? I mean, I wouldnt even know what I needed to modify on my camera to be able to shoot something like this. Very impressive !
It's been a long process. The big leap happened when I got the camera modified. I didn't do the task, I had a service do the work. Looking at the service manual for the K10D camera, I knew that my poor soldering skills were not up to the task of fixing all the wires back in place.

The real challenge over the years has been chasing dead ends on ISO settings, data calibration, and flexure. I've finally settled on ISO 100 to allow the most bit depth on this old CCD camera. Sub length varies but it's mostly 10 minute durations. Learning how to process the images after calibration is not too hard, there are many tutorials available now for PixInsight.

Much of the recent work done over the past year of so has been documented on my blog. Some of the knowledge is transferable to other camera models and setups, some is specific to my own experiences.

Hope this helps!
03-18-2015, 10:23 PM   #1047
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Orion Nebula, Pentax K-5, ISO 3200, 30 sec, DA 55-300mm at 300mm/
f 5.8 with Pentax O-GPS1 Astrotracer. You can see a bit of trailing, I got an even better calibration later on in the night, but then the clouds rolled in.

03-20-2015, 12:40 AM - 4 Likes   #1048
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I recently bought a preloved K-500 which was still in the box. I have had it for several weeks but unable to do any astro due to inclement weather. Last night I finally got to use it. This is tripod mounted, stock 18-55mm DAL lens @18mm, 20 sec exposure and just for a giggle, ISO set to 51200. Except for some tweaking in ACR, nothing else has been done to it. No NR, no darks, no flats, no bias frames. No noise cancellation software. Compared to my Pentax *ist DS, these newer camera are streets ahead on noise control. This is a region of the southern sky encompassing Centaurus right through to Carina. The Southern Cross is just above centre and the Coalsack Nebula just below it. To the right of the Coalsack, the horizontal dark nebula is the Great Dark Doodad in Musca. About halfway between the Coalsack and the left edge of the frame is the globular cluster Omega Centauri. Just left of Omega Cent is the radio Galaxy Centaurus A. Above and right of the Southern Cross is the Eta Carina Complex, this is one of the more interesting regions of the Milky Way. Eta Carina itself underwent a nova event back in the 1840's and is a candidate for a supernova or hypernova event. It this were to happen soon, it would be the brightest object in the sky with the exception of the sun.


Last edited by pixelsaurus; 03-20-2015 at 12:51 AM.
03-20-2015, 05:32 PM - 1 Like   #1049
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Partial Solar Eclipse over Slangerup, Denmark

There was a partial solar eclipse over Denmark yesterday (: on the 20th of March), with 80+% of the Sun covered by the Moon at maximum.

And - do I need to tell you? - It was overcast all day long. And when you go out to study the changing light (now that there was nothing more to study), you hardly notice it, because our eřes adapt so readily to the changing lightning conditions. But a timelapse video may show:


Time is 10.46 am. to 11.16 am. GMT+1.
Pentax K-3 with DA 18-135mm @ 18mm; f/8; 1/60s; ISO 160. Click on image to see timelapse video.

Just as I was packing up my gear, the cloud layer thinned, and I managed to get a few pictures of something resembling a partially eclipsed sun.


Time is 11.19 a.m. GMT+1
Pentax K-3 with DA 18-135mm @ 135mm; f/8; 1/2500s; ISO 160 -No filter.


Time is 11.24 a.m. GMT+1
Pentax K-3 with (handheld) Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 300mm f/5.6 lens (Model 54B)
f/6.3; 1/200s; ISO 12,800 - With Thousand Oaks solar filter.

The last picture posed something of a dilemma: The clouds were thin enough that I could not see through the viewfinder without risk to my eye with no filter, but thick enough that the viewfinder image was almost completely dark with filter on. Well, I prioritized my eyes and hence, the somewhat bizarre Exif-dat for a picture of the Sun.

Anyway, I at least did secure some memories from this day. (This year's Equinox, by the way).
03-20-2015, 06:19 PM   #1050
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QuoteOriginally posted by pixelsaurus Quote
I recently bought a preloved K-500 which was still in the box. I have had it for several weeks but unable to do any astro due to inclement weather. Last night I finally got to use it. This is tripod mounted, stock 18-55mm DAL lens @18mm, 20 sec exposure and just for a giggle, ISO set to 51200. Except for some tweaking in ACR, nothing else has been done to it. No NR, no darks, no flats, no bias frames. No noise cancellation software. Compared to my Pentax *ist DS, these newer camera are streets ahead on noise control. This is a region of the southern sky encompassing Centaurus right through to Carina. The Southern Cross is just above centre and the Coalsack Nebula just below it. To the right of the Coalsack, the horizontal dark nebula is the Great Dark Doodad in Musca. About halfway between the Coalsack and the left edge of the frame is the globular cluster Omega Centauri. Just left of Omega Cent is the radio Galaxy Centaurus A. Above and right of the Southern Cross is the Eta Carina Complex, this is one of the more interesting regions of the Milky Way. Eta Carina itself underwent a nova event back in the 1840's and is a candidate for a supernova or hypernova event. It this were to happen soon, it would be the brightest object in the sky with the exception of the sun.
Excellent shot! I tried the summer triangle with the DA 18-55 WR which is supposed to be a bit better than the DAL 18-55 but I couldn't get such a beautiful picture!
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