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06-05-2014, 09:09 AM   #1
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Help with astrophotography and pentax k-r

I have a Pentax K-r with basic lenses. I have a vintage C8 with wedge mount and RA drive. I will be getting a focal reducer, new mount (likely Celestron AVX), and probably a used MF Pentax prime 50mm lens.


Questions:
1)best camera control? I have PKTether.. Are there other laptop control or shutter control devices?

2) battery life? Do I need to try and find the corded adapter I have read about?

3) K-r lock up last night? Last night I was PKTether. I ran into some issues. It seemed to work well. I went to a 300sec exposure after taking several shorter shots that turned out good. During the long one the shutter didn't seem to close. The battery was good. I disconnected the cable, popped battery in and out, and could not get the shutter to respond in any mode. I removed the battery for about 15min then everything started working.

4) Can PKTether be used with bulb mode, long exposure as well as setting it to do multiple repeat images?

5) I used PKTether last night but images came through as striped colored lines. When I disconnected and used just the camera the camera took normal photographs. Any ideas?

06-05-2014, 09:43 AM   #2
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Hey there!
There are actually quite a few threads about astrophotography, they pop up regularly. I think one is a good compilation of tips and experiences.

Why do you want to use PKTether? Will you have a computer with you?

Also, while a 50mm lens is the cheapest way to get a fast aperture, I would still suggest you get a wider lens. A 50mm lens on APSC is quite narrow, you won't see much of the scenery and you will quickly get star-trails. A wider angle lens lets you compose with the landscape and use a longer shutter speed. People seem to love the Samyang wide angle lenses for this purpose. Of course, if you already have a plan and you know the 50mm angle of view will work, go right ahead! Pentax M 50mm f1.7 is a great lens at a great price

And Pentax also makes the OGPS startracer thingy that might help you out a lot.
07-06-2014, 07:15 PM   #3
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Equipment update: I have a good telescope mount (celestron AVX) and will be doing mostly prime photography using my Celestron C8 scope which is an 8" Schmidt-Cassegrain scope with a focal length of 2000mm.

I need to do long exposures and without an external plug I am struggling to find a system that can automate multiple long exposures. PKTether seems to be the best option at this time unless I have missed other options.
07-06-2014, 07:33 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by woodscavenger Quote
I have a Pentax K-r with basic lenses. I have a vintage C8 with wedge mount and RA drive. I will be getting a focal reducer, new mount (likely Celestron AVX), and probably a used MF Pentax prime 50mm lens.


Questions:
1)best camera control? I have PKTether.. Are there other laptop control or shutter control devices?

2) battery life? Do I need to try and find the corded adapter I have read about?

3) K-r lock up last night? Last night I was PKTether. I ran into some issues. It seemed to work well. I went to a 300sec exposure after taking several shorter shots that turned out good. During the long one the shutter didn't seem to close. The battery was good. I disconnected the cable, popped battery in and out, and could not get the shutter to respond in any mode. I removed the battery for about 15min then everything started working.

4) Can PKTether be used with bulb mode, long exposure as well as setting it to do multiple repeat images?

5) I used PKTether last night but images came through as striped colored lines. When I disconnected and used just the camera the camera took normal photographs. Any ideas?
For #3, the camera will process the image for about as long as it took the exposure - 300 seconds in this case. During this time the camera appears dead but it isn't. I believe during that time it is removing noise. This feature can be turned off, but it is a useful feature. I believe removing the battery during this time will simply result in no image.

07-06-2014, 07:57 PM   #5
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Thanks for the reply but it was not time waiting for processing. I am aware of that issue and had waited an adequate time for that. The camera would not respond to off/on, or anything. Had to remove the battery.
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