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11-27-2009, 02:45 PM   #76
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concidering the low price I would love to have a second with IR/UV modded

11-27-2009, 02:56 PM   #77
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QuoteOriginally posted by JackBak Quote
I had hopes for controlling the Pentax K10. Since, that would be a rather painful reverse engineering task AND they seem not to be interested in updating their own remote control software I'll pass for the moment.
You are aware that there is pkremote ?
Its linux remote assistant software in source format.
And I am also interested in what you made for guiding.
11-27-2009, 03:40 PM   #78
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QuoteOriginally posted by glasbak Quote
You are aware that there is pkremote ?
Its linux remote assistant software in source format....
I'm aware of pkremote. I'm reminded on this forum often!

I am not going to reconfigure my two other active computers (including an old laptop) to dual boot LINUX just because there is one program in the LINUX world I don't already have in Windows.

Don't think I'm fearful of UNIX. I started writing C in ATT UNIX on HP Desktop Computers in 1980. I had MINUX created by Andrew Tanenbaum, a professor with Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam running on my 2.5 MB Atari 68000 machine when IBM PCs had a paltry 640K and DOS. I serviced big Hewlett Packard UNIX machines for 20+ years. I had an HP UNIX workstation in my home until retirement left me without a need for HP-UNIX.

I LIKE UNIX! Currently only my main home computer (the one I'm typing on) has Fedora installed and that stopped booting when I changed motherboards. Someday I will re-install it, perhaps update the LINUX version as well. I did try and compile pkremote awhile back but got far more errors than I wanted to troubleshoot.

I won't switch to LINUX in the observatory and on the laptop just to run one program because I'd lose many other programs I depend on when I'm doing astrophotography.
11-27-2009, 03:46 PM   #79
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QuoteOriginally posted by pti-andy Quote
Ok, I finally got around to stacking these images from last week. The location is in Missouri outside of St. Louis. The seeing conditions were not very good. I cold barely see the Milky Way due to light pollution from a nearby town and lots of upper atmosphere hummidity.

The Andromeda galaxy below is a stack of 55 30s exposures half are at ISO 800 and the other at 1600. NR was turned off for both photos and I did not bother with dark frames because I knew there would be a better night but just wanted to get some photos. It turns out that the K-x really doesn't need DFS nearly as much as any previous Pentax DSLR.

The Lens was a 400mm F4 M* 67 with K adapter. All photos were manually guided with a seperate guide scope so the stacks would be as accurate as possible.

Processing was just simply applying contrast curves in PS and a touch of NR at the end. Color balance is a little off due to trying to clip the heavy red/brown light fog thus the green fringe due to inconsistent color curves but I just wanted to get these up here and get more particular once I get better night conditions.

These pictures are a good representation of what anyone can do with the K-x even with some light polution. If you can see the Milky Way at all these are possible. My results with previous Pentax DSLRs including the K200D are not nearly this good and require clipping the noise much more aggressively loosing much of the blue fringe areas but not so with the K-x!

Considering the conditions I think these photos prove that the K-x is a serious low light performer and I really look forward to doing some more serious work with it.
These are shockingly good. Very impressive !

11-27-2009, 05:09 PM   #80
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QuoteOriginally posted by glasbak Quote
You are aware that there is pkremote ?
Its linux remote assistant software in source format.
And I am also interested in what you made for guiding.
Thanks, yes I am aware of it and in fact I tried it - it seemed to work but I can't quite remember why I didn't like how it worked. I did look at the source and as I recall he reverse engineered the usb interface but couldn't quite get all of it. What I ended up doing was set up two monitors for my openSuse box so that one half of the screen was my CCDsnap program and the other half (2nd monitor) was a remote desktop to my XP machine running the Pentax software. Worked fine and it saved me a lot of coding time.
11-27-2009, 05:21 PM   #81
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QuoteOriginally posted by LeoTaylor Quote
I won't switch to LINUX in the observatory and on the laptop just to run one program because I'd lose many other programs I depend on when I'm doing astrophotography.
I hear you, I have tried and tried to like Gimp but I just don't nor any of the Linux based photo processing products. Although there was one that was offered for a nominal fee (forgot it's name) but when I tried their 30 day trial version it informed me my AMD processor couldn't be used with it. And then there are all the stacking software offerings which I think are excellent that only run on my XP machine.

It's just easier to have multiple machines with different OSs on my network.

EDIT: name of program was LightZone needs SSE2 support for the processor

Last edited by JackBak; 11-29-2009 at 02:22 PM.
11-29-2009, 04:37 AM   #82
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This is a 30 Second, f10, iso 6400 shot. Pentax K-X and DA 35 macro Ltd.
It was quite dark, the moon was behind clouds and all you could see of the 2 birchs was there siluets.
Its the 7th 30 sec exposure, so the sensor have had time to heat up. It was 3 degrees below 0 (celsius). I didnt use any 2 sec timer tho, and the Shake reduction might have been activated.

No noise redution or other PP done. Click on the picture for full size one

11-29-2009, 05:20 AM   #83
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Surprisingly still conditions (water, branches). Quite an impressive quality.

12-09-2009, 12:31 PM   #84
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1- quick question for the astro photography, what are these "stacking" photos you guys are mentioning?

2 - I just recieved my K-x with the kit lens. What exactly would I have to do to take star shots? I am guessing, point the camera toward the stars with tripod, do a 30 sec exposure at around 800 or 1600 iso. Is that it? Thanks
12-09-2009, 05:09 PM   #85
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QuoteOriginally posted by boodiespost Quote
1- quick question for the astro photography, what are these "stacking" photos you guys are mentioning?

2 - I just recieved my K-x with the kit lens. What exactly would I have to do to take star shots? I am guessing, point the camera toward the stars with tripod, do a 30 sec exposure at around 800 or 1600 iso. Is that it? Thanks
Stacking is when you take many exposures and use a program to "stack" them which increases the signal/noise ratio and basically ends up with a better, cleaner, shot.

If you just want some shots, get a reasonably wide lens, as near wide open as you can be while maintaining decent image quality, focus with liveview at highest magnification to get the best possible focus, and do a 30 sec shot at 1600 or so... should get you some interesting stuff.
12-09-2009, 09:25 PM   #86
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QuoteOriginally posted by pingflood Quote
Stacking is when you take many exposures and use a program to "stack" them which increases the signal/noise ratio and basically ends up with a better, cleaner, shot.

If you just want some shots, get a reasonably wide lens, as near wide open as you can be while maintaining decent image quality, focus with liveview at highest magnification to get the best possible focus, and do a 30 sec shot at 1600 or so... should get you some interesting stuff.
thanks for the info. So how would I take many exposure on the same spot of sky since it's always moving? Or does it not matter because the shots are fired quicker then the earths rotation.
12-10-2009, 03:51 AM   #87
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Programs like Deep Sky Stacker will correct for the movement between consecutive frames.
02-27-2010, 11:30 AM   #88
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I just joined, so I have to figure out how to post some astrophotos I did recently with my new Kx. I am thrilled with this camera:
1. Box stock, it has acceptable red sensitivity. (I got good response on the Rosette Nebula, Orion Nebula, Horsehead and Flame Nebulae.) I will load a single M-42 shot to give you an idea.
2. Noise (after mandatory DFS) at ISO 12,800 really isn't so bad... and that speed lets you actually SEE that you have at least registered something on very dim objects (e.g. IC2177 Seagull Nebula.) OK, it takes a minute to get a 30 second photo.... but at that speed, my old Canon Rebel at ISO1600 would theoretically take 4 minutes to get the same density.
3. Light and Compact.

I was FURIOUS that there was no hard-contact remote switch jack. But I was able to get decent shots just using the self timer on 30 second shots, and I have picked up a PClix automatic exposure timer that uses IR for the remote so that I can fully automate my shooting sessions.

I also was furious that they eliminated the external power jack. I haven't found a source for the Canon DRebel - style external power adapter yet... but that WILL let me get the battery heat source out of the camera. That would let me get more pix before the temperature gets high enough that the camera actually enforces the "required DFS." (If the camera is cold and you are shooting short exposures e.g. fixed tripod, DFS won't actually be done until you shoot enough to warm the camera up.) I was VERY pleased that one set of rechargable batteries lasted at least half the night with essentially constant 1/minute shooting!
OK, that is enough for a teaser... now let me see what I can do about posting images....
Bob
02-28-2010, 07:31 PM   #89
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Hello outpostbob,

Just before purchase I found they dropped the jacks you mentioned so I dropped the purchase. The official external power solution is an adaptor that goes between a K100D power supply and the K-x battery holder. I think you pull the batteries to insert it.

The lack of a hard wired shutter jack was the dealbreaker. I built RS-232 to Pentax micro-mike jack adaptors for my observatory computer and field laptop. I also built a timer box that can be used to control exposures without a computer. I'm not about to give up three homemade devices because Pentax decided save a buck (or less) on jacks.
04-18-2010, 01:36 AM   #90
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I tried my bulb exposure and while I am not happy with it I have many excuses.

I live an hour outside philly on the east coast so its a light pollution hell.

I did not use a tripod, I laid it on the roof of my car and held the button for 144 seconds.

I understand the focus should be infinity when taking such photos? I guess did not do that, I am also not sure how to do that as I am still new to the camera.

Last edited by Shadohh; 04-21-2010 at 10:18 PM. Reason: fixed picture link
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