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06-28-2020, 11:36 AM   #1
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K-1 II or KP for astrophotography?

I need to buy a camera for my job and it should really be a full frame sensor. I'm a landscape architect and the guidance for photographic work as part of a landscape and visual impact assessment calls for a full frame sensor at 50mm focal length. I get the difference between that and an image with the same field of view produced by an ASPC sensor, but I defy anyone to explain why it makes any material difference when considering the suitability of a development!

A few years ago I really enjoyed some time with a fairly cheap Canon DSLR (not full frame) mounted on a tracking mount (Astrotrac) and would love to be able to recreate those days. I'm older and more realistic about how much effort I can be bothered to put into aligning mounts and plugging things in, etc. I was reading a review on the Canon EOS ra and it mentioned the K-1 II so I started looking. It seems too good to be true - absolutely remarkable!

However....if I could get away with not using a full frame sensor, would something like the KP plus the GPS module give me similarly high images to the K1 or would the considerable savings come at a cost? My worry is I would always regret not getting the fully tiltable screen and I'm not sure the KP has the same illumination options as the K1. Could anyone enlighten me?

Sorry if these are silly questions but there are only a few sources of information on Pentax, unlike Canon and Nikon. That's fine with me though...i had to have my last Blackberry surgically removed from my fingers a few years ago so I'm good with going down a slightly different route.

Thanks

06-28-2020, 11:56 AM - 1 Like   #2
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welcome to the forums

you will find friendly members and knowledge here

have you found the forum's comparison tool yet?

Pentax K-1 II vs. Pentax KP - Pentax Camera Comparison - PentaxForums.com

there are some articles which might be of interest

QuoteQuote:
O-GPS1 vs Built-in GPS Guide
Introduction
We receive lots of requests for comparisons between the O-GPS1 unit and cameras with built-in GPS. Pentax released the O-GPS1 to complement the K-5 and provide the camera with in-camera Astrotracing capacity. Over time that feature has been popular enough to warrant an evolution to in-camera GPS units in models such as the K-3 II and K-1. There are differences and some surprises. To spoil the article's main findings up front, we found that the most important factor in astrotracer accuracy was GPS calibration quality, not model, camera age, or O-GPS1 vs. in-camera GPS. We also found that the second-most important factor was camera direction and relative angle to the horizon. Also important was the camera's shake reduction capability (more stops of stabilization generally correlated to longer tracing accuracy). Unimporant in performance was GPS location, internal or external, except that we found internal GPS systems harder to calibrate than the external GPS systems.


Read more at: O-GPS1 vs Built-in GPS Guide - Introduction - In-Depth Articles
QuoteQuote:
Astrophotography is one of the newest trends among photographers. Gone are the days of cold cameras, liquid nitrogen hypersensitization, and specialty high-reciprocity films. High-quality digital cameras with good high-ISO performance combined with fast, high-quality optics from makers like Pentax, Samyang, and Tamron are taking astrophotography out of the enclaves of astronomers and putting it in the hands of hobbyists, too. This six-part series will, over the next year, look at various elements of astrophotography.

Over the course of the coming weeks, you will be able to find the articles on our homepage at:

Articles and Tips | PentaxForums.com


Read more at: Astrophotography Series Announcement - Articles and Tips | PentaxForums.com
06-28-2020, 12:02 PM   #3
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Thanks Allen - that's great. I'll take a look now and sorry for not spotting those before I posted!
06-28-2020, 12:59 PM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by osbourne one-nil Quote
Thanks Allen - that's great. I'll take a look now and sorry for not spotting those before I posted!
no problem at all

lots to look at and to find here

and lots of friendly members to help out

here is a better link:

QuoteQuote:
Astrophotography Part 1 of 6: Planning the Shoot
Getting ready to take pictures of the night sky
By K David in Articles and Tips on Mar 12, 2015

Read more at: https://www.pentaxforums.com/articles/photo-articles/astrophotography-part-1...#ixzz6Qh0ugqhF

________________

My only full frame sensor cameras are film era not digital


Last edited by aslyfox; 06-28-2020 at 01:08 PM.
06-28-2020, 02:51 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by osbourne one-nil Quote
However....if I could get away with not using a full frame sensor, would something like the KP plus the GPS module give me similarly high images to the K1 or would the considerable savings come at a cost? My worry is I would always regret not getting the fully tiltable screen and I'm not sure the KP has the same illumination options as the K1. Could anyone enlighten me?

Thanks
There are, of course, pro's and con's for each ... and just to throw an extra parameter into the bag, give the K-70 a thought

All the image quality of the KP, almost all of the functionality AND a fully-articulated screen. I do prefer using my K-70 in the dark on a tripod. I find having the screen "out of the way" yet fully visible when the camera is at a steep angle to be an advantage. However, both cameras have wi-fi and HDMI, so a remote screen is an option, just not one I've implemented yet.

I'm not familiar with the K1 so can't comment on the "illumination options".

Lens availability may be a consideration, depending on your interests. On a full-frame sensor an f/2 28mm is a readily available wide-angle option, manual focus etc. not being an issue for "astro". Finding a lens with a similar field of view (or wider) with such a wide aperture for use on an APS-C sensor starts to put the price up!


Good luck
06-28-2020, 04:03 PM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by osbourne one-nil Quote
I need to buy a camera for my job and it should really be a full frame sensor. I'm a landscape architect and the guidance for photographic work as part of a landscape and visual impact assessment calls for a full frame sensor at 50mm focal length. I get the difference between that and an image with the same field of view produced by an ASPC sensor, but I defy anyone to explain why it makes any material difference when considering the suitability of a development!

A few years ago I really enjoyed some time with a fairly cheap Canon DSLR (not full frame) mounted on a tracking mount (Astrotrac) and would love to be able to recreate those days. I'm older and more realistic about how much effort I can be bothered to put into aligning mounts and plugging things in, etc. I was reading a review on the Canon EOS ra and it mentioned the K-1 II so I started looking. It seems too good to be true - absolutely remarkable!

However....if I could get away with not using a full frame sensor, would something like the KP plus the GPS module give me similarly high images to the K1 or would the considerable savings come at a cost? My worry is I would always regret not getting the fully tiltable screen and I'm not sure the KP has the same illumination options as the K1. Could anyone enlighten me?

Sorry if these are silly questions but there are only a few sources of information on Pentax, unlike Canon and Nikon. That's fine with me though...i had to have my last Blackberry surgically removed from my fingers a few years ago so I'm good with going down a slightly different route.

Thanks
If your guidance calls for the full frame sensor, I would think that's what you need. I have the KP and love it, I can put a zoom lens on my KP at 33mm and be close to that 50mm on ff as far as field of view, but it won't really be the same, depth of field will be different depending on the aperture. I really doubt anyone could tell the difference, unless they are looking at your files and exif data.
06-28-2020, 07:29 PM - 1 Like   #7
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Silly question but why do you have to buy a camera and not your employer ?


Dave
06-28-2020, 07:44 PM   #8
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Maybe it's his business?

06-28-2020, 07:53 PM   #9
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I went buy his mention of an employer requesting that the files / pictures should be ff only.


Dave
06-28-2020, 08:22 PM - 2 Likes   #10
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If astrophotography is your goal (albeit driven by personal use rather than business), I'd nudge you toward the K-1 or K-1ii over the KP.
I have a K-1 and a KP, and I use both for astrophotography. The KP will do well. The K-1/K-1ii will be stellar though.

The biggest difference isn't necessarily going to be the camera - it's going to be the lenses.

For shooting wide Milky Way stuff, in North America anyway, I love the 24mm field of view the best. It gets you the best mix of the interesting part of the galactic core, with plenty of frame left to arrange your foreground/landscape elements. The wider you shoot the Milky Way, you're adding in the longer tail to the MW, but you're doing at at a sacrifice because it makes the beautiful core smaller.

Anyway - for the same field of view, with a K-1 you'd be using a 24mm lens, and for the KP you'd be using a 16mm lens.
With the K-1, the Rokinon/Samyang 24mm f/1.4 is the clear favorite.
With the KP, the Rokinon/Samyang 16mm f/2 is the closest you could get. So you're sacrificing one extra stop of light.

Using the astrotracer, I'd stop down to f/2.8 anyway, and extend the exposure time into the 2-3 minute range.
Stopping down the 24mm to f/2.8 gives you brilliant rendering and sharpness all across the frame, and minimizes any coma at the corners.
When you stop down the 16mm to f/2.8, you get *some* benefits over shooting wide open, but it's not as drastic as the 24mm gives you.

Add in the rest of the things - the resolution increase. The better battery power. The better peripherals (lights, controls, viewfinder, LCD screen, dual card slots).
The GPS is built-in so you'll never lose it or forget the battery or worry about the module getting knocked off your hotshoe.
Also factor in that for everything your business requires - a lot of times people who write deliverable specs insist on a FF camera, even if they don't know why.

The K-1 is a slam dunk. You can find it used for $1,100-1,300, with somewhat low shutter counts in there. It's a monster of a value camera, and was almost purpose-built to be an astrophoto peak performer.

Welcome to the forum, btw!
06-28-2020, 09:22 PM - 2 Likes   #11
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I find the K-1 works quite well for my work. Some examples...





06-28-2020, 09:24 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by dbs Quote
I went buy his mention of an employer requesting that the files / pictures should be ff only.


Dave
Oh. I did not see that comment.
06-29-2020, 12:06 AM - 2 Likes   #13
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Thanks everyone - a nice lot of advice to wake up to. Much appreciated.

As for the work thing, I am a freelancer so it's up to me to provide the kit. New is probably better for me from a tax perspective as I can immediately claim back 20% VAT and then set the rest against....you know the score!

The more I read about Pentax (cameras) the more they remind me a bit of Blackberry in that they seem to be innovative and make things the right way that perform above their price yet seem to get overlooked for Canon and Nikon (who could be Android and Apple). Unlike Blackberry, however, they seem to be a very viable company.

I think it's going to have to be the K-1 for a couple of reasons. Firstly, while I think it's absolutely ridiculous that anyone could criticise a report because its photos were taken with 35mm lens on an APSC sensor as opposed to a 50mm lens on a full frame...I don't want to be the one to test it! Also, as Disasterfilm says, getting a 24mm equivalent shot on an APSC would add cost back into things. 24mm (or even wider) is definitely the way I'd look to go as I live in the English Lake District and getting some shots of the Milky Way rising behind a lake or mountain really appeals. The 24-70 f2.8 lens its sometimes bundled with looks a no brainer for astrophotgraphy, work and landscape, so I think I'd go for that.

I have been pondering the size, but I have a pair of 10x52 binoculars which are much bigger than my 8x32, yet I can hold them much steadier, despite their increased weight and magnification. I think there's something to be said for a bit of mass sometimes. In any case, an extra 500g isn't going to be a deal breaker should I want to hike a mile or two to the right location.

To think, this is all because I read a review on a Canon Ra!
06-29-2020, 01:34 AM   #14
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PS - Mark....lovely shots (and house). It seems silly that I've spent the last few years walking in some spectacular scenery armed with nothing more than a mobile phone. What was I thinking?!
06-29-2020, 02:28 AM   #15
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congrats

now on to other things

have you found the forums' marketplace yet

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/24-photographic-equipment-sale/?security...100&loc=&all=1

and that it can be sorted

The Pentax Marketplace | Buy & Sell Pentax Cameras and Lenses (UK) - PentaxForums.com

The Pentax Marketplace | Buy & Sell Pentax Cameras and Lenses (EU) - PentaxForums.com

feel free to ask for advice as to what you might like regarding other equipment

some of us love to advise you on how to spend your money
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