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07-13-2008, 05:30 PM   #31
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How was the camera triggered? And just out of curiosity, what angle was it it at?

07-13-2008, 06:10 PM   #32
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I am also curious to know if other DSLRs have attempted this and how they fared.
07-13-2008, 07:01 PM   #33
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All that I can say is WOW, that's cool PentaxPoke

I haven't read through 3 pages of posts in months, but did this time.

I have one question though.
How do you keep these balloons off the flight paths?
Or do you just communicate with air traffic control?
07-13-2008, 07:38 PM - 1 Like   #34
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Thank you again for all the kind comments. I was really looking forward to posting the pictures here to share with other Pentax enthusiasts, and I sure wasn't dissapointed.

Here are a couple more details I neglected to mention:

Time lapse was done using external triggering from a Pclix LT100. Lithium batteries are used since other battery technologies cannot handle the extreme cold. (K10d uses Lithium as well of course) Triggering was set to 1 picture every 15 seconds, and the flight lasted for 102 minutes.

Before we fly, we file a high-altitude NOTAM with the FAA. That way, air traffic control can notify aircraft of our flight. There are also certain regulations we have to follow regarding the design and operation of the system.

We have used other cameras before (film and digital) but nothing has even come close to the outstanding results from the k10d. Some even malfunctioned due to the cold. It is amazing that the k10d exposures came out so perfect with that payload swinging, spinning and bouncing around, especially after the balloon burst, when the payloads are coming down on the 'chute.

Lens was the DA 18-55 II kit lens. We set the lens to 18mm, and focus to infinity. Then we used electrical tape to lock the focus and zoom in place, and set focus to manual. Also remember that lens was sticking out of the box in direct exposure to space. I think this experience confirms the quality of Pentax kit lenses!

Last edited by PentaxPoke; 07-13-2008 at 07:56 PM.
07-13-2008, 08:03 PM   #35
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Wow that is just amazingly cool. You should really let Pentax USA know about this. And to know it was bog standard kit is just icing on the cake. Excellent work!

How has the kit performed after a ride?
07-13-2008, 08:04 PM   #36
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If the Pentax marketing folks don't get ahold of this and run with it- they are more clueless than I thought.
07-13-2008, 08:18 PM - 1 Like   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by c.r.brown Quote
How has the kit performed after a ride?
Camera and lens were perfect after the flight. Both were very wet from condensation as mentioned, and the lens a bit muddy from the landing, but wiped them off and they were ready to go again!
07-13-2008, 09:06 PM   #38
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Space shot


Outstanding image! I browse the various threads in this forum and I never cease to be amazed at the variety of images to be found. Your space shot is certainly amongst the most interesting I've seen to date. Well done!

Tom G

07-14-2008, 12:23 AM   #39
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Now where can I get a tall enough tripod .....
07-14-2008, 01:17 AM   #40
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Simply stunning pictures! Just further proof (if anyone needs it) that Pentax gear can go the extra mile. Or the extra 20, in this case.
07-14-2008, 03:04 AM   #41
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That is really really cool PentaxPoke You may have the first pentax that has been in space Can you rig a lawn chair to that?
07-14-2008, 04:11 AM   #42
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Stunning pictures and mindboggling stuff. Kudos mate..

07-14-2008, 05:23 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxPoke Quote
You may not believe me, but on a clear day if the sun is low, you can actually see the balloon from the ground at 100,000 ft. This is because the balloon is between 40-50 ft across at that point. I have seen it with my own eyes. I was amazed the first time I saw it. We were parked near the predicted landing spot and I saw it when I looked where the track said it was. It was a clear white speck.
I believe you, although I had always assumed that these were "VISITORS". I was ready to welcome our new alien overlords.

Seriously though, you must have one of the coolest jobs on the planet. You certainly have some images that are awesome.

Last edited by brothereye; 07-14-2008 at 05:31 AM.
07-14-2008, 08:11 AM   #44
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This is just awesome work. Thanks for posting it and the info to go along with it. Great efforts and the results were worth it. Amazing that you got this from the kit lens. One of these (or more) should be sent to the PPG with some info on how it was shot.

Excellent stuff!!
07-14-2008, 08:28 AM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxPoke Quote
...Also remember that lens was sticking out of the box in direct exposure to space. I think this experience confirms the quality of Pentax kit lenses!
Someone remind me again why I need "weather sealed" lenses?

Great work! Some of the best ever posted. Yes, Pentax, take a look at this. There is an advertisement campaign in this, (as well as a few bucks for the OSU meteorological department).

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