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Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 05-02-2019, 03:08 AM  
Anybody familiar with the ASAHI SMC Takumar 1:2/55?
Posted By k5astro
Replies: 6
Views: 536
That's awesome, I wonder if that's the one that was stolen from me back in 1985?! ;-) My father had the very same, which I acquired - see my avatar :-) I think it's from the early 70s (edit: I've read 1971). Very good camera and lens. I think this model was considered a professional camera at the time. Hang on to it!
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 12-24-2018, 08:52 AM  
helping those looking for Pentax DSLR cameras
Posted By k5astro
Replies: 7
Views: 556
All Pentaxes are weather sealed . That's one of their selling points. There may be the odd camera that is not so check that.

Basically, Advanced have professional features and quality with an APS-C (crop) sensor. The professional are full frame and medium format sensors... and expensive! The others speak for themselves.
Forum: General Photography 09-22-2018, 08:08 AM  
Fixed my astrotracing mount
Posted By k5astro
Replies: 4
Views: 530
OMG! That looks like something exploded inside. That looks like an HEQ5. You could get a belt drive upgrade and get rid of the spur gears. Check these sites. they may be able to get you replacement parts too:

DarkFrameOptics | Worldwide EQ Mount Tuning Specialists

Deep Space Products, Telescopes, Telescope Accessories, Custom Telescope Services, ADM Products, Deep Space Coolers, Do-It-Yours
Forum: Product Suggestions and Feedback 08-28-2018, 05:34 PM  
Tethering support and or API release for K-50 and others
Posted By k5astro
Replies: 17
Views: 1,843
LOL! Don't mean to be a stalker - I just noticed an update on this thread and thought I would share my present thinking on the matter... since it waxes and wanes like the moon!

PS: Great to hear you're working with the good ol boys at indilib
Forum: Product Suggestions and Feedback 08-28-2018, 03:36 AM  
Tethering support and or API release for K-50 and others
Posted By k5astro
Replies: 17
Views: 1,843
Hi @blues_hawk, sounds like you are suffering like the rest of us astrophotographers. A friend who also has a K-5 has been sharing the pain.

I was lucky enough to have bought a K-5 II years ago and it just happens to be an excellent AP camera - I would even venture to say the best. So good in fact that I spent another $300 US or so for a full spectrum modification. You might think about buying one second hand - I modded my K-5 and bought a second hand K-3 for regular photography!

After a couple of years of dealing with lack of software support on the Pentax, I would say that at this point, there is only one real need for tethering and thats to work with plate solving, which I use for alignment and to zero in on my targets. If you don't do plate solving, that is you do alignment and target framing manually. Then the intervalometer is all you really need. You can preview your shots on camera and these computer-less setups are much less frustrating to deal with - I had often thought I should have stuck to the manual methods.

For focusing I still use live view - I can put my K-5 into live view mode without causing hang-ups with GPhoto2 - just have to remember to put it back to bulb mode before trying to take a pic or it WILL hang.

Cheers
Greg
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 05-31-2018, 06:38 PM  
Software support for Pentax needed!
Posted By k5astro
Replies: 33
Views: 3,484
Yes, I may try my hand again at some software development given the SDK may give some insights. I would hope that Ricoh kept the API similar from the K3 to the K1 and and KP. K3 may actually be supported to a lesser extent although unofficially.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 05-20-2018, 03:47 PM  
Software support for Pentax needed!
Posted By k5astro
Replies: 33
Views: 3,484
Sadly they arenít supporting the k3 and k5, two highly coveted cameras for astrophotography. But I have to say RICOH/Pentax are really impressing now. Maybe another bug plant tho!
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 05-17-2018, 03:52 AM  
Software support for Pentax needed!
Posted By k5astro
Replies: 33
Views: 3,484
This is what I'm talking about. Good on you Pentax!

Ricoh Releases SDKs for Pentax DSLRs - Pentax Announcements | PentaxForums.com
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 05-06-2018, 06:20 AM  
Astrotracer star trails *sigh*
Posted By k5astro
Replies: 23
Views: 1,850
This is good news! Maybe I'll give astrotracer another try on my K-3II


PS: Theres an astrophotography group here you might want to join.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 05-04-2018, 06:54 PM  
Astrotracer star trails *sigh*
Posted By k5astro
Replies: 23
Views: 1,850
You could be right. I started to get the distinct impression that I just didn't have the magic touch!
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 05-04-2018, 04:56 AM  
Astrotracer star trails *sigh*
Posted By k5astro
Replies: 23
Views: 1,850
Try it on a friends camera. I had one and could not get it to work on my camera. I now have a K-3II with it built in and I still can't get it to work - gave up - I use a Star Adventurer instead - works great.
Forum: Pentax Price Watch 04-24-2018, 03:43 AM  
Adobe Photoshop Elements 2018 $59.99
Posted By k5astro
Replies: 2
Views: 677
WTH!?!?!? How come its so expensive! Its listing for ~$100 US in the apple store. They better do 16 bit images for that price
Forum: Pentax K-3 04-23-2018, 04:00 AM  
Thermal noise during long exposures: K-3II Vs. others
Posted By k5astro
Replies: 11
Views: 1,278
I haven't seen any thermal noise data but for sensor data I go to DXO for colour info and Sensorgen - digital camera sensor data for noise and DR info.
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 04-18-2018, 04:12 AM  
I'm looking for a Mac based photo storage application
Posted By k5astro
Replies: 9
Views: 943
I should point out that if you have a Mac then you probably have Photos but you have to enable the advanced features to get the pro editing tools. Otherwise you may think its really too basic. Check online how to do this.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 04-14-2018, 05:32 PM  
Software support for Pentax needed!
Posted By k5astro
Replies: 33
Views: 3,484
Thanks @DrawsACircle. Interesting. I tried using a Flu card to give my K-5II similar capability. It worked but not well. The range was only a couple of feet. Not remote enough I'm afraid :-) It seems a good tethered connection is required. As you know, the Kstars and GPhoto2 boys have been doing a good job despite the lack of Pentax support. Hope it works for you with the K-70.

---------- Post added 04-14-18 at 08:35 PM ----------



Here! Here!
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 04-14-2018, 07:05 AM  
Software support for Pentax needed!
Posted By k5astro
Replies: 33
Views: 3,484
Yes, even making public the API would be a huge boost and almost zero cost. I have looked and tried myself to implement Pentax tethering but without the API its shooting in the dark.

---------- Post added 04-14-18 at 10:38 AM ----------



Canon provides software development kits (SDK) so that 3rd parties can develop the drivers and applications. To my knowledge Pentax does not. This is the problem, they could just publish their API and a lot would be accomplished without them having to write or release code.

That's great about the K-1 and K-3II (which I have) and it helps but tethering is what I'm really talking about.

I wonder how good facebook would be but I'll give it a try.

You say I deride Pentax and take the time to evaluate the tools... Do you read anything I wrote? Are you just a fan boy who take offence at someone saying Pentax could do better. You've never heard of this... don't know that... Yet you are sure! Sounds like if its not in YOUR interest, its of no interest.

I have 3 Pentaxes and think highly of them and I promote them to others. Pentax has even targeted astrophotography in their camera features and have developed the O-GPS1 (which I also bought) which gives older cameras astrophotography features. If they can spend all this development money on such things, they could spend a fraction of that on releasing their API or directly writing their own drivers. They are not such a small company, never have been, selling their products world wide for decades. Don't be such a nay sayer.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 04-14-2018, 02:10 AM  
Software support for Pentax needed!
Posted By k5astro
Replies: 33
Views: 3,484
Yes, I have two of them - three if you count the one that failed on the second night. They are great and easy to use but tethering is required for some more advanced features like remote focusing and plate-solving (to tell the software exactly where a telescope is pointing).

Trust me, I have investigated this issue for the last two years. Although there is PK-tether, its appears to be unsupported now and only works on windows. There are Linux apps that use enthusiast developed software (GPhoto2) but they struggle keep abreast of new camera releases. I am now using Linux based apps just because they do support the K-5 - I had to help them to do that in fact.

My point is that Pentax is kind of doing things old school and losing a lot of potential sales. Only now with the KP have to they started to think connectivity. My other point is that other manufacturers have realized huge market gain by providing software support and working with other companies to support their products. I can see as we speak ZWO overtaking established CCD camera vendors for this very reason. And it only took a year or two.

---------- Post added 04-14-18 at 05:14 AM ----------



Yes, I explained that they could have developed an ASCOM driver and an INDI driver and by doing this Pentaxes would be immediately supported by most of the 3rd party astrophotography applications.

The built in interval control for some reason only goes to 30 seconds. Why this limitation is beyond me. I see no good reason for it and it renders the feature useless for astrophotography.

---------- Post added 04-14-18 at 05:26 AM ----------



The astronomy and astrophotography business is quite big. It ridiculous how the DSLR has exploded into astrophotography and boosted interest. If Pentax had been on their toes, they would have enjoyed a good market share of that.

---------- Post added 04-14-18 at 05:31 AM ----------



I hope that the chance of them responding to traffic on this website is higher than responding to a email from a nobody.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 04-13-2018, 12:19 PM  
Software support for Pentax needed!
Posted By k5astro
Replies: 33
Views: 3,484
I suppose i should remove all the exclamation marks in my post. Maybe then it wonít sound like a rant and some people would actually read it before reacting.

There was mention of astrotracer. Imaging the amount of development for that. I would imagine it would dwarf the cost of writing the software drivers I was talking about - and the target is the same, Astrophotography. I would wager that more would have been gained with investment is software.

Still astrotracer is a nice feature that helps the new astrophotographer get into the hobby. And they will probably continue with Pentax after that. But then they will need further software support.

A simple tethering app that can do time lapse or interval control would do for starters. But as I said they donít even need to do that. Just write a couple of drivers that 3rd parties out there can use.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 04-13-2018, 04:23 AM  
Software support for Pentax needed!
Posted By k5astro
Replies: 33
Views: 3,484
I wish I could put a bug in the ear of Pentax that would incessantly tell them to deliver software support. All they have is a very lame K-1 plugin for Lightroom - pitiful.

For example, ZWO makes astrophotography CCD cameras. They range anywhere from $200 to over $2000 - body only. One thing I noticed is that a lot of people are switching to this maker. Why? Because they have software support and their stuff works with Wndows, Mac and Linux. Why? Because they took the trouble to port all their software to all these platforms. Why? because they want to sell there stuff!!!!!

Why is Pentax so delinquent in this regard. Not only have ZWO released drivers for their cameras but they've included 3rd party applications with their products. There's a real synergy going on with ZWO's efforts. They pay 3rd party software developers to support their product, distribute 3rd party software and both businesses grow.

Pentax could grow its business significantly by following this paradigm. Why do most new astrophotographers buy Canon? Because virtually all applications have support for it.

Get off your butts Pentax!!! The Pentax K-5 is probably the best DSLR one can find for Astrophotography, but few use it because there's no software support! I'm not even talking about applications. If only they would write drivers so 3rd party applications could include it as a supported device. For example, if they wrote an ASCOM driver for windows and an INDI driver for MacOS and Linux. They would instantly be supported by most of the astrophotography applications out there. Damn - they could pay me and I'll write the damn software for them! I even attempted it at one point but gave up because they don't even publish an API!

Why is China the economic and industrial powerhouse that it is. Because they work their asses off. Get your ass in gear Pentax!
Forum: Pentax K-5 04-12-2018, 03:59 PM  
K-5 For Astrophotography
Posted By k5astro
Replies: 1,095
Views: 274,178
Thanks @geo444.

By the way, you can get Pentax and other sensor data here: Sensorgen - digital camera sensor data
Forum: Pentax K-5 04-06-2018, 04:23 AM  
K-5 For Astrophotography
Posted By k5astro
Replies: 1,095
Views: 274,178
Yeah GPS sync is not trivial. I looked into it enough to decide it wasn't worth my effort. Since I bring my laptop to control a stellarmate, I setup sites on Kstars on my laptop and I don't drive far enough to change the timezone so basically the time is taken from my offline laptop and the location is the one I set in Kstars.
Forum: Pentax K-5 04-05-2018, 04:10 AM  
K-5 For Astrophotography
Posted By k5astro
Replies: 1,095
Views: 274,178
Set the USB setting to MSC (Mass Storage Class). The way I understand it, the INDI driver talks to GPhotolib2 which talks to the camera. But yes, there is nothing else to buy or install. It will start up as a Wifi hot spot and you connect to it using the address stellarmate.local.

I'm not sure if I explained this, but the most common use of stellarmate is to install Kstars on your laptop - I have a Mac - and connect to stellarmate via Ekos, part of Kstars. Kstars is a comprehensive program like Sequence Generator Pro (but free!) so you should follow the setup wizard and not change any settings until you've used it and know what you doing. However, simplest thing to do is just connect to stellarmate via VNC and use it that way - a little slow in response but workable.
Forum: Pentax K-5 03-28-2018, 02:18 PM  
K-5 For Astrophotography
Posted By k5astro
Replies: 1,095
Views: 274,178
Yes. K5 can be controlled by kstars. I have been doing so for quite a few months now.

There were two issues that were resolved with working with GPhoto2 and stellarmate/kstars developers.

1) recognize the model
2) mounting issue in Linux

So the caveat is that you must control via Linux OS, stellarmate for example

I know it wonít work with Mac because of mounting/device capture issues. It may work with windows but I donít know.
Forum: Pentax K-5 03-27-2018, 05:31 AM  
K-5 For Astrophotography
Posted By k5astro
Replies: 1,095
Views: 274,178
Iíll give it a try but for some time now GPHOTO2 has supported the k5. Its part of Kstars for astrophotography toolset. Now Iím trying to get them to fix the k3 operation.
Forum: General Photography 03-23-2018, 03:33 AM  
Photography while paragliding?
Posted By k5astro
Replies: 9
Views: 619
I think you should worry about yourself. Its quite distracting to do photography or video while doing such things. Instead of concentrating on what you're doing, you are thinking about your camera and putting yourself at risk. I would only go as far as a mounted camera like a GoPro that is on the whole time. You can maybe take frames from a 4K video. Even with this kind of setup, your attention to flying will be diminished because you are thinking about the shot.
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