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Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-07-2014, 03:23 PM  
Astrophotography
Posted By billsantos01
Replies: 1,245
Views: 296,768
Thanks, guys. I figured out the problem with DSS: Unfortunately, the program isn't in front of me on this PC, but the circular stars were being caused by improper setting of the "cosmetic" hot pixel removal. I had the percentage at like 75%. I disabled the checkbox entirely and no more problems.

Washed out is a real possibility, Learjet. I am technically in an "orange zone" and with the didymium filter at ISO 800, the histogram peak would be maybe 30-40% toward the middle with 3.5 min exposures. I also took a series of 2 min exposures, so will try stacking those and see if the skyglow/ lp is any less. Still haven't managed a fix for PKTether though, so looking for any suggestions for that. I'm attaching my first NGC-7000 attempt. I used StarTools for most of the processing including a gradient applied for LP removal. Total exposure was 1.25 hours.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-07-2014, 07:22 AM  
Astrophotography
Posted By billsantos01
Replies: 1,245
Views: 296,768
I figured I'd try and post my question here since using PK Tether is a real possibility for astro oriented folks. Well, I first used it recently with my Pentax KX. All went along fine except after downloading 7 images, I get a message to clear the buffer before continuing. The only way I found around it was to stop and restart the shutter. Obviously, the big limitation here is that I can't leave the set up unattended and for darks, not good. Is there any way around the limitation? I found a document suggesting having autosave checked in a couple of places and I always do before I start. Any help would be welcome. Thanks, Bill

---------- Post added 07-07-14 at 07:32 AM ----------

I figured I'd post another question while I'm here. I was recently imaging the Cygnus/ NGC7000 area with the KX at 35mm with the stock lens. There is some light pollution here, so I decided to try a didymium filter. I captured a series of 3.5 min exposures at ISO800 and the histogram showed about 40% to the right (not quite centered). Images looked good and the stars round as I was using my motorized barndoor. There ended up being 20 exposures and then I took 17 darks before I went to bed. As I've done before, I tried to let Deep Sky Stacker do the work, but the stacked image I end up with seems washed out and when zoomed in, the stars look more like circles than stars (this only becomes visible at 100%). To date, I'm still not sure which stacking settings to use. I basically tried median and another.... can't recall what one right now... but neither seemed to do much for the final stack. So I'd like to ask what settings are being used in DSS for wider field images with moderate LP? In addition, initially suspecting that my barndoor motor might be introducing some kind of error, I took the same 20 lights and let Photoshop CC do both alignment and stacking. I did median stacking in PS. The result did not produce the circular stars like DSS did. I think it comes back to improper DSS settings, so any help here would be appreciated. Thanks in advance, Bill
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 09-05-2013, 08:12 AM  
is there a cheap battery eliminator for the kx or DIY??
Posted By billsantos01
Replies: 3
Views: 2,049
After last night's astro session, there's one thing I need to do.... get this camera off of batteries! Since there's no jack for external power, is there a cheap eliminator that would replace the batteries or something DIY? Thanks.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 09-05-2013, 08:10 AM  
slow to respond/ eratic e-dial adjustment in manual mode
Posted By billsantos01
Replies: 2
Views: 1,076
Since I purchased this camera used, I was unaware of the problem I seem to have. When I switch to manual mode and use the e-dial to adjust either shutter or aperture, there is erratic response. I seem to be able to reach, say 30 sec or bulb amount, but instead of shutter advancing in increments as I turn the wheel, I seem to have to turn the wheel a large amount to reach the target value and sometimes the value with go backwards a bit before proceeding forward (example: I'm at 1/50 and want to go to 30 sec..... as I advance the e-dial, sometimes I'll get to say 2 seconds, then back to 1, and then 3, etc before reaching 30... but it still takes many more turns than it should). Any idea as to how to remedy and is this a serious problem or something that should be considered minor?

On a more personal note, the seller says he was unaware of this problem and suggests I submit a claim to USPS for damage (it was insured), but I don't know if I should because, after all, it does seem minor. I want to keep the camera and if it's a simple fix, DIY, but on the other hand I think this should have been mentioned in the description. If USPS does partial refunds I guess and don't want to keep the camera.... or if this is a simple DIY fix, then I wouldn't even need the claim.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 09-05-2013, 07:59 AM  
Pentax kx remote options and/or PK Tether for Win ME?
Posted By billsantos01
Replies: 7
Views: 2,558
Appreciated the help and suggestions all. The Universal RCA remote did a great job last night overall, so very satisfied. There were some quirks though that I am going to bring up in another thread.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 09-04-2013, 01:40 PM  
Pentax kx remote options and/or PK Tether for Win ME?
Posted By billsantos01
Replies: 7
Views: 2,558
Thanks guys, but I got lucky and found a universal remote at Walmart today that will do the job. It's made by RCA and can control up to 4 devices. Camera responds when I press fast forward.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 09-04-2013, 06:57 AM  
Pentax kx remote options and/or PK Tether for Win ME?
Posted By billsantos01
Replies: 7
Views: 2,558
I purchased the Pentax kx with the intention of using it for astrophotography, starting with wide field just to get a feel for the camera. However, there's one thing I'd like to have control over: exposure times. I have already disabled auto noise reduction successfully after 30 seconds, but there's no way I can use bulb without a remote or some of the triggering programs available. Since skies have cleared here for the first time in a month, I feel I have to act fast!

Last night I tried just 30 seconds, continuous trigger, at ISO's of 6400/ 12K. No problem as the shutter could be held down by rubber band and the camera took 30 seconds continuously. Problem was that these ISO's were too high for my location and I need to go no more than ISO 1600, but this means longer exposures.

I'm looking for a solution, in a pinch so I can try it out tonight. I downloaded PK Tether, but the catch is that it seems to need Microsoft Framework 3.5 or better and my old ME based laptop doesn't have it, nor do I think I can install it as MS says Framework needs XP or better.

Other option is a remote. Ebay remotes work apparently in bulb mode, but they are days away if I place an order. I've tried other remotes around the house but none of them trigger the shutter. My local Walmart has this one but I don't know if it will work with this camera (has anyone tried?). If anyone can suggest any remotes that would work that I could pick up locally, that would be great.

If I have no other choice, I'll wipe Ubuntu off of my good laptop, replace it with XP, install the framework and PK Tether, and I should be up an running tonight, but this is truly the last option I wanted to use.

Thanks in advance for your help,
Bill
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