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05-14-2021, 10:21 PM   #1
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Astrotracer Type 1 or Tyoe 2 With Pentax K3 III

Iíve been searching for any information on what the difference is between setting the astrotracer function on the K3 III with the OGPS-1 to Type one or Type 2 but canít find anything. Anyone know how the two behave?

Type 1
Tracks and captures celestial bodies in B mode using the Shake Reduction function.
Type 2
Tracks and captures celestial bodies with settings suitable for starscape photography in B mode using the Shake Reduction function.

05-14-2021, 11:39 PM   #2
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It is hard to say, though my guess would be that Type 2 is intended for interval work.


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05-14-2021, 11:56 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Painter Quote
Iíve been searching for any information on what the difference is between setting the astrotracer function on the K3 III with the OGPS-1 to Type one or Type 2 but canít find anything. Anyone know how the two behave?

Type 1
Tracks and captures celestial bodies in B mode using the Shake Reduction function.
Type 2
Tracks and captures celestial bodies with settings suitable for starscape photography in B mode using the Shake Reduction function.
I've yet to try it, but I suspect it does "exactly what it says on the tin", which, unfortunately, possibly only makes sense if you've used an earlier (KP or K-70) Pentax for the same job.
These had a specific "Astrophoto" setting, (not to be confused with the "Astrotracer" function), designed to retain the original colour of the stars and enhance the nature of the blackness of the sky whilst retaining most detail Ö probably "Type 2" in "K-3iii speak". Useful for making "Star-trail" pictures or movies, ("StarStream"), for which there was also a separate setting which was used without the O-GPS1 module.
It'll be interesting to see if these Modes on the K-3iii will actually work without the O-GPS1 fitted, thereby giving the functionality of the earlier models.
Unfortunately, without a tilting screen, I'd anticipate the K-3iii won't be as easy to use, especially for high elevation shots.
Oh for a clear moonless night with no wind
05-15-2021, 03:43 AM   #4
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There was mention of a mode that partially tracked star movement giving an option to double the exposure time while reducing foreground blur. This would fit the type 2 description above with type 1 for deep sky and fully tracked star movement. Perhaps, perhaps......?

05-15-2021, 01:16 PM   #5
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Bring on the Pentax Forums detailed review where all shall be revealed...or maybe not.


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05-15-2021, 03:11 PM   #6
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Discussed in this thread, read from this post #480

This is the Pentax K-3 Mark III - Page 24 - PentaxForums.com

Hope this helps!
05-15-2021, 03:14 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Grimmus Quote
There was mention of a mode that partially tracked star movement giving an option to double the exposure time while reducing foreground blur. This would fit the type 2 description above with type 1 for deep sky and fully tracked star movement. Perhaps, perhaps......?
Yeah, type 2 doesnít track as strongly, reducing the foreground blur for those who donít want to composite. There was one of the ambassadors in Japan who posted a photo to Twitter pre-release that used type 2. Doubt I will have much luck digging it up now, though.

05-15-2021, 03:16 PM - 1 Like   #8
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It's linked from the thread I quoted above - took me a while to find it with all the K-3 kerfuffle to wade through
05-15-2021, 07:24 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by mtkeller Quote
Yeah, type 2 doesnít track as strongly, reducing the foreground blur for those who donít want to composite. There was one of the ambassadors in Japan who posted a photo to Twitter pre-release that used type 2. Doubt I will have much luck digging it up now, though.
Based on some images I took I now am pretty sure your right about that. It looks like Type 2 is about half way between no tracking and type 1
05-15-2021, 08:54 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Grimmus Quote
It's linked from the thread I quoted above - took me a while to find it with all the K-3 kerfuffle to wade through
I like a mystery as much as the next but I gave up. Thanks though but in the absence of official info from Pentax I am comfortable with type 2 being half strength.
05-16-2021, 01:18 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by kypfer Quote
I've yet to try it, but I suspect it does "exactly what it says on the tin", which, unfortunately, possibly only makes sense if you've used an earlier (KP or K-70) Pentax for the same job.
These had a specific "Astrophoto" setting, (not to be confused with the "Astrotracer" function), designed to retain the original colour of the stars and enhance the nature of the blackness of the sky whilst retaining most detail Ö probably "Type 2" in "K-3iii speak". Useful for making "Star-trail" pictures or movies, ("StarStream"), for which there was also a separate setting which was used without the O-GPS1 module.
It'll be interesting to see if these Modes on the K-3iii will actually work without the O-GPS1 fitted, thereby giving the functionality of the earlier models.
Unfortunately, without a tilting screen, I'd anticipate the K-3iii won't be as easy to use, especially for high elevation shots.
Oh for a clear moonless night with no wind
QuoteOriginally posted by Grimmus Quote
There was mention of a mode that partially tracked star movement giving an option to double the exposure time while reducing foreground blur. This would fit the type 2 description above with type 1 for deep sky and fully tracked star movement. Perhaps, perhaps......?
QuoteOriginally posted by Grimmus Quote


I stand corrected
So presumably the "Astrophoto" pre-sets are "hard-baked" into both the new "AstroTracer" functions? It'll be interesting, when we finally get some suitable conditions, to get out there and run some comparisons.
06-14-2021, 07:04 PM   #12
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I finally got a clear night to test the Astrotracer on my K-3 iii. I didnít have a real dark sky, but it was good enough for some tests.

I was shooting my K-3 iii with the Rokinon/Samyang 14/2.8 at ISO 1600, f3.5 with 40 seconds with Astrotracer. One note, I first did a rough calibration under the GPS menu and then a precise calibration under the Astrotracer menu... not sure if it matters. I also did a comparison against my K-1 with the same lens at the same time in crop mode.

First, the stars tracked great. Very sharp points of light. I didnít push the time much; I did go out to 80 seconds and it still looked good. The noise at Iso 1600 doesnít look bad at all. I also did some shots at 10 sec and Iso 6400 (same exposure conditions) without Astrotracer and there is more noise, but it can be dealt with in post processing. (I wanted to see if I could get decent shots at higher Iso without needing to use the O-GPS.)

Compared to the K-1 in APC crop mode, the stars looked similar and the amount of noise we similar. The noise in the K-1 shots was a little brighter and finer grained. I wasnít able to figure out whether that was a good thing or a bad thing? Of course, when you then go full-frame on the K-1, it looks really good! I am always impressed with the low-light color on the K-1.

Overall, I was very happy with the stars on the K-3 iii. It does take longer to calibrate the K-3 iii compared to the K-1, but donít give upóit may take a few tries. (Once it accepted calibration it was good... just took a few attempts before it was accepted.). The stars and noise were similar between the K-3 iii and K-1.

I compared Type 1 and Type 2 tracking and I agree there is less tracking but less blurring of the foreground in Type 2. Type 1 is ďnormalĒ Astrotracer. In Type 2 you get a little trailing in the stars, but much smaller trails than if you turn off Astrotracer. In other words, if you donít want to do any post processing, Type 2 gives you a nice foreground and an acceptable starscape, but not great.

Definitely no complaints on the astro capabilities of the K-3 iii.
06-25-2021, 10:25 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by MaineNative Quote
I compared Type 1 and Type 2 tracking and I agree there is less tracking but less blurring of the foreground in Type 2. Type 1 is ďnormalĒ Astrotracer. In Type 2 you get a little trailing in the stars, but much smaller trails than if you turn off Astrotracer. In other words, if you donít want to do any post processing, Type 2 gives you a nice foreground and an acceptable starscape, but not great.
Very detailed report, thanks ! Just wondering about the reason Pentax configured these two type of Astro setting and one is exactly the one you catch. The other , maybe, is to slow down the sensor movement with short focals lens. I used often the Samyang 10mm and the Pentax 16-85 @16mm and with that lenses the time can be pushed very hard (over 120 seconds) and the stars in the center are perfect. Not so in the corners, where you can notice trails. It's quite a complex matter, and I do not have knowledge other then "i have been told", but i suspect this TYPE2 can help with ultrawide lens where optical corner's stretch is a normal characteristic.
I am trying these days (now that I discovered the green button has to be pressed to allow the front wheel for time setting !!!) and I'll let you know. In the meantime thanks all of you who gave me info about this topic.

Bye
Danilo
06-27-2021, 11:39 AM   #14
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Hi all,
here some sample about TYPE 1 and 2, ASTROTRACER mode. ISO 400, 18mm, f3.5 , 120sec. Just curious about Lightroom is actually showing 18.13mm using the sigma 18-35 f1.8 art , using the lens fully turned toward the wide side. BTW I think i will never use type 2 unless the profile of the ground is really hard to select (i.e. close trees) and the exposure time is slower then something like the rule of 600.

bye!

Danilo
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Last edited by mctaveck; 06-27-2021 at 11:39 AM. Reason: forget to say goodbye
07-16-2021, 08:18 PM   #15
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I want to thank everyone who has posted i this thread. I just took a few test shots on my K-3 iii with astrotracer for the first time. I am used to using it on my K-70. My experience on the K-3 iii is the same as others in that it seems to take longer and more tries to calibrate than on the K-70. And I appreciate the discussion on Type 1 vs Type 2. Very helpful. I only tried Type 2 before mosquitos drove me in, but I will definitely use Type 1 in the future. With 20 mm focal length (on a 20-40 limited) and 50 second exposure I am not seeing trails. But since I intend to do 2 or 3 minutes next time I will not bother with Type 2.

David
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