Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home

Show Printable Version Search this Thread
02-20-2008, 08:41 PM   #46
Veteran Member
vievetrick's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Easthampton - Massachusetts - USA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 5,185
Pat Nice work. I started a new post eclipse shots thread to hopefully keep them all in one shot. If you want check here. Again nice work Pat from Pat

02-20-2008, 08:49 PM   #47
Site Supporter
Site Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: central Louisiana
Posts: 161
Nothing but rain and clouds here... Hope the rest of you are having better luck!
02-20-2008, 08:58 PM   #48
Veteran Member

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Boston, PRofMA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,026
QuoteOriginally posted by ve2vfd Quote
did you use a remote or a delay on the shutter? I shot my pics with the 2 seconds delay to give my camera time to stabilize after I hit the shutter, I probably whould have had even better results with the 10 seconds shutter delay.
Yep, I did use MLU by kicking in the 2sec delay as I mentioned. I'm not sure the 12sec delay gives you MLU (manual only mentions it for 2sec).

I think what got me is I didn't crank my ISO up high enough and my shutter speed was way too slow...4-7sec is what the K10D metered at ISO100. I didn't realize the moon moves that quickly :-P
I'm sure your 600mm lens helped a bit too ;-)
02-20-2008, 09:09 PM   #49
Veteran Member
ve2vfd's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Montreal, Canada
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,433
Yes, I'm sure the 600 helped, but it has a razor thin DOF so focusing was quite an adventure! The moon was so bright I had a hard time seeing in my eyepiece, and it moved so fast that I had to move the head (and refocus!) every 3-4 minutes as it literally moved out of frame.

I think 4-7 secs may be a little long with the movement... you probably would have been better off brigning the f down to 5-6 and starting to snap at 1/60 .

By the way, I did not use the camera metering at all... I started at 1/60 and snapped away at different speeds until I made it to something I liked (1/500 for the first pic and as the moon gradually was hidden I slowed down all the way to 1 sec at full eclipse)


02-20-2008, 09:54 PM   #50
Veteran Member
ryan s's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Madison, WI
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,383
Clear night, 0 degrees, zero clouds Was out for about 45 minutes during the full eclipse, with a mug of coffee to keep me warm lol.

Taken with my SMC Pentax 80-320mm, no cropping.

f/11 1/125 ISO 200...just the start:

f/8 same stuff...last light:

The best of mine IMO f/8 2s ISO 200:

This one was taken at 80mm, some cropping lol:
02-20-2008, 10:06 PM   #51
Veteran Member
LeoTaylor's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Connecticut
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 679
Some nice Lunar photos on this thread, the Moon is a difficult subject. Yes, in the Northern Hemisphere Tycho (crater with long rays) is on the bottom. Here we see A Bunny in the Moon, in Australia they see a Kangaroo.

Neither the Flu nor dismal weather predictions can keep a dedicated Pentaxian from a rare opportunity. My wife did not want me to go outside for 3+ hours so I convinced I could do the full eclipse sequence controlling my observatory computer from the house. Unfortunately I felt so awful at dinner time (I'm not someone who turns down a dinner) that I decided to nap and missed the first contact. The eclipse seemed to start a tad early.

I'm using a modified K110D (which is not the best choice, but I save my K100D for daytime). Remote Assistant is working well, a bit quirky but OK. I realized at totality I needed the 2 second mirror up delay. This function is not in the istD R.A. so required a trip outside to pull the USB cable, set delay, then set up R.A. again. I wish the USB cable did not lock up all controls on the camera, they should work in parallel.

Exposure times were tough, I started at 1/350 dropped a couple step as things progressed, then jumped to 1/4 second during totality. I assumed I could back up the same way but I found 1/350 overexposed when I last checked it. Perhaps the clouds were thicker in the beginning.

I'm using an 8 in (200mm) SCT with f6.3 reducer. For non astro people think of a 1250 mm mirror lens about 15 inches long and too heavy for handheld. The image fills about 80% of the frame. The unfortunate thing about the size is I need to tweak the mount position every 20 minutes or the Moon gets clipped. Working from the warm house it I get distracted... While typing message this the Moon drifted past the edge. I shooting every 2 minutes so it will take me awhile to process all those images. The Pentax is producing far better images that the Nikon P&S I used in the past. Rather than keep you in suspense here is one frame from dated 10:25 (mid totality).

The sequence just ended, it is after midnight, I need some sleep. Hmmm... I could warm up the dinner I didn't eat earlier.
Attached Images

Last edited by LeoTaylor; 02-20-2008 at 10:18 PM. Reason: Typos, added exposure times.
02-21-2008, 05:56 AM   #52
Inactive Account

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Outside of Philly
Posts: 1,561
Figures I just sold all my Pentax stuff, so now my longest focal length is 85mm.....But I did take a look out the window around 10:30 PM EST and got a good look at it, pretty cool!

02-21-2008, 07:06 AM   #53
Veteran Member
vizjerei's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,418
QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote
I was disappointed in the lack of sharpness from what I got. I shot at f/11 on a Bogen 3021 tripod and used the 2sec delay to cause mirror lockup. I don't get what I did wrong

Pics are cropped to roughly 800-900pix, then downsampled 2:1 and sharpened.
How long was your exposure? looks like you are having too long exposure time while the moon is moving.

haha I have took so many pic last night, now it will take quite some time to post :P
02-21-2008, 07:57 AM   #54
Veteran Member

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Boston, PRofMA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,026
QuoteOriginally posted by vizjerei Quote
How long was your exposure? looks like you are having too long exposure time while the moon is moving.
Yep, I'm sure that was the issue. Exposure was 4-6 secs and I should have kept it as fast as possible. I should have known better when I noticed I had to reframe after every 5-10min. And I should have practiced the night before. Oh well...plenty of time to practice until 2010 when it happens again
02-21-2008, 08:16 AM   #55
Junior Member
Lensvision's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: The Netherlands
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 47
No moon here either, just a whole lot of clouds.
I did see two deer though.
02-21-2008, 08:36 AM   #56
Veteran Member
m8o's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: 40-55'-44" N / 73-24'-07" W [on LI]
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,092
QuoteOriginally posted by LeoTaylor Quote
...convinced I could do the full eclipse sequence controlling my observatory computer from the house.
Wow, I like the sound of that! Is this an observatory built into or on-top-of your home or do you mean a big white domed building observatory you were controlling remotely?

I'm looking forward to the results! Nice detail in that near totality. Unusual color with that purple cast. I didn't notice that though I missed near totality.

I found I couldn't "rig something up" in lieu of a tripod (soon) so no pictures for/from me, and I'd forgotten that I brought my pretty good Pentax binoculars home just for the viewing pleasure. Better luck in 2010 for me.

Last edited by m8o; 02-21-2008 at 06:45 PM. Reason: fixed a typo
02-21-2008, 12:17 PM   #57
Veteran Member

Join Date: Sep 2007
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 969
the shutter speed was too low, that was wrong . the moon is very fast moving, the movement is visible with the naked eye even, on an interval of one minute or so. with 300mm (450 equiv) and 8s, you stand no chance without a tracking mount.

better luck next time

[edit] my appologies, i realised i had missed a page: it was already explained several times. didn't mean to turn the knife in the wound :/

Last edited by nanok; 02-21-2008 at 12:25 PM. Reason: redundancy
02-21-2008, 12:32 PM   #58
Veteran Member

Join Date: Sep 2007
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 969
leoT, you are undoubtadely what can be called "the owner of any man's childhood dream". remote controlled observatory, dslr body dedicated for astro-photo.. next will probably be an actively cooled big ccd attached to a domed tracking "mount", holding a mirror 2m across.. sure beats the hell out of a bat-mobile congrats!

very nice pics, show us more, please (i am one of the "lucky" ones who stayed at home, where it's warm, not because of remote-controled fun, but fog and clouds )
02-21-2008, 06:34 PM   #59
Veteran Member
LeoTaylor's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Connecticut
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 679
m80 and nanok,

You make me sound like I have expensive equipment, but I tend not to spend a lot on my hobbies if I don't have to. For example my most expensive lens is a Pentax 50mm Macro my wife gave me, her most expensive is a used Pentax 50mm Macro I gave her for her K1000. We have a LOT of lenses, all but two are under $300.

No white dome here. The observatory was entirely hand built by me in 2000. No sophisticated table saws or anything, just a circular and saber saw. It is small, 6*7 feet. I combined it with a 4*7 tool shed to make it more appealing to my wife and the zoning board. Sides are 800+ cedar shingles, 1700+ nails, all pounded by me.

The scope was bought used in 1987 for $900, updated to GOTO a few years ago for $600. Not bad for a 2000mm f10 on a computerized mount.

The K110D is one of the cheapest DSLRs around, that is why I was brave and ripped into it to remove the filter (and broke the camera). Even with the cost of repair there is no way to match my total with a Canon or Nikon modified by a professional.

Yes nanof, I do have a temperature controlled SBIG CCD. It is by far the most expensive thing I've bought for a hobby and yet it too is small: 0.39 megapixels. It is getting downright tiny which I why I bought the K110D.

Two meter mirror? It would be nice but I don't think my wooden pier will handle it. My complete pier including renting a post digger cost $45.

Construction photos of the observatory:

Astroleo Oobservatory

Processing the eclipse photos is taking awhile, but should be done soon. I'm hoping to make a start to finish video. They are too big to send to this forum, and my website is full. I'm negotiating with my cat Henri for space on his web site, but he claims he lost the password. His WS-FTP works but the password is encrypted. I may pass the files to him and he can upload them....

I enjoy my hobby and will spend some money when needed, but like to see what I can do with lower priced stuff. I live in a lousy place for astronomy (city of 100,000 starts 1/4 mile South) so I will never get astrophotos like the experts. Having much better equipment will result in little improvement unless I move to Arizona. And from what I hear even there the sprawl is hurting astronomy.
02-22-2008, 12:07 PM   #60
Veteran Member
LeoTaylor's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Connecticut
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 679
I've selected 7 of the 107 frames I took of the Lunar Eclipse and put them on the web. I cropped them about 50% to 1024 square, large enough to keep the details visible.

Eclipse of the Moon

Video should be done this weekend.

Last edited by LeoTaylor; 02-22-2008 at 12:08 PM. Reason: added one line

  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
camera, dslr, photography, pm
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Night Lunar Eclipse 2010 goddo31 Post Your Photos! 6 06-30-2010 05:46 PM
Night Lunar Eclipse TOUGEFC Post Your Photos! 4 06-28-2010 02:16 PM
New York/Central Park Zoo Meet-up Feb 17-20th 68wSteve Travel, Events, and Groups 13 02-20-2010 03:15 PM
Lunar eclipse from Montreal ve2vfd Post Your Photos! 0 02-20-2008 08:18 PM
The lunar eclipse that Wasn't steve917 Post Your Photos! 1 03-06-2007 10:17 PM

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:30 PM. | See also:, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]