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  • How good is Pentax for Astrophotography?

    We have seen how Pentax K100D is loved when comes to astrophoto. Coupled with skillful hands & patience, they produce out of the world images.

    What about the newer models? Do they still hold the juice to impress?

    Share your best shots here. Bring us to the stars with Pentax power.

    Note: this thread is opened to all Pentax models. Can also share details as to your setup, setting and post processing + where was it taken.
    Last edited by wtay0001; 21-03-2011, 08:50 PM.

  • #2
    Re: How good is Pentax for Astrophotography?

    Yes, Pentax DSLR can perform very well in astrophotography. For an example:





    Both photos were created using K5 + CZ 300mm with 2x teleconverter.

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    • #3
      Re: How good is Pentax for Astrophotography?

      Goodness! They have gone beyond the moon. Interesting to see even the Sun is in the picture.

      Kamayok3,
      Can share with the team the special gears and setup you need to do that.
      Last edited by wtay0001; 21-03-2011, 08:02 PM.

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      • #4
        Re: How good is Pentax for Astrophotography?

        Actually for Solar astrophotography, we cannot simply use our normal ND filter to point to the sun and capture it. It is very dangerous.

        We need to use a special solar filter that can reduces the intensity of sunlight by 99.999% (neutral density 5.0). Normally this kind of filter comes in 2 types, Glass type and Film type. What i have is film type and I have to make the filter myself.

        http://www.baader-planetarium.com/so...fi_start_e.htm

        Thanks.

        P/S: This is the setup I used when the longest Total Solar Eclipse in China 2009.
        Attached Files
        Last edited by kamayok3; 21-03-2011, 08:08 PM.

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        • #5
          Re: How good is Pentax for Astrophotography?

          I remember besides fongky and me, someone in Pentax group also got this special filter. Hope he can see this and post his Sun photograph as well.

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          • #6
            Re: How good is Pentax for Astrophotography?

            Pentax film bodies are quite sought after by astrophotographers around the world. The tradition is now extended to digital bodies, from DL to K5. Here are some samples, all photos are not cropped.


            This one was taken 2 days ago by attaching K100D to Meade SN6 telescope and 2X barlow (focal length about 1400mm):



            This one is also attached to Meade SN6 with 3x barlow (focal length about 2100mm). Well, I didn't play with DOF here The blurring effect on top was atmospheric effect.



            This photo of Jupiter was taken with eyepiece projection using 9.7mm eyepiece with a 2X barlow on my Meade SN6 with focal length of 10m. The blue hue around Jupiter is the artifact of the eyepiece. Well, if I can afford Pentax eyepiece, then I shouldn't have this problem Yes, Pentax makes eyepieces and they are very expensive. By the way, look carefully to find one of the Jovian moons on the right. A lot of people are doing planetary photography but any SLR will do too.



            Well, astrophotography is not limited to using telescope to achieve large magnification. As demonstrated by guru such as Kamayok3 who can make do with simple equipment for some stunning shots. There are also a lot of fun of doing time-lapse and wide-field using just lenses.

            Since K100D does not have time-lapse capability, this is achieve by taking multiple shots and then digitally combine into a single photo. The shutter release was controlled by a computer.



            I went to Australia to attend my graduation with my family in 2009. I was not as crazy as some of my classmates that brought along their telescopes weighting 70kg all the way from Holland. I went only with my K100D and Saunder brought his K200D. We were staying at a place near Portland that the farthest street light is 7km away. Wow! Paradise. Unfortunately, the cold weather (14 C) killed all the batteries (camera and notebook). Nevertheless, I managed to get one.



            Well, amateur astrophotographers are not related to the vampire as the Cullen family. We do sleep and enjoy the Sun. This is the rare event of Mercury transit (Mercury passes in front of the Sun). It was taken using the same type of filter used by Kamayok3. This photo was also published by CNN in their website on 8th November 2006 (this event actually happened on the 9th in Malaysia and 8th in US)



            If you run out of subject to shoot, try look up. There may be something interest you.

            Fongky
            http://www.flickr.com/photos/fongky

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            • #7
              Re: How good is Pentax for Astrophotography?

              Wow, great photos from Fongky. Thanks again for sharing. That super moon is the good one.

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              • #8
                Re: How good is Pentax for Astrophotography?

                amazing..
                thanks for sharing
                love it

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                • #9
                  Re: How good is Pentax for Astrophotography?

                  Fongky and Kamayok3,

                  Thanks for showing us all the wonderful work!

                  Could you kindly explain to us what is it in Pentax cameras that make people go after them for astro-photography?

                  Thanks.

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                  • #10
                    Re: How good is Pentax for Astrophotography?

                    Originally posted by chanhh View Post
                    Fongky and Kamayok3,

                    Thanks for showing us all the wonderful work!

                    Could you kindly explain to us what is it in Pentax cameras that make people go after them for astro-photography?

                    Thanks.
                    Hi Chan,

                    Actually my opinion is there is nothing special in Pentax DSLR for astrophotography. So as other brands of DSLR...... What make us so special in astrophotography is the knowledge on how to setup and create an astrophoto.

                    Astrophotography is just another special type of photography which we need more time and effort to create a good astrophoto. It always depends on the weather, environment and other factors.

                    Please correct me if I am wrong.

                    Thanks.
                    Last edited by kamayok3; 22-03-2011, 10:01 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Re: How good is Pentax for Astrophotography?

                      I still missed the time when I used K100DS to capture astrophotos.....













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                      • #12
                        Re: How good is Pentax for Astrophotography?

                        Originally posted by kamayok3 View Post
                        Hi Chan,
                        Astrophotography is just another special type of photography which we need more time and effort to create a good astrophoto. It always depends on the weather, environment and other factors.
                        Guru Tommy had spoken. Well said.

                        The historical reasons behind the popularity of Pentax in film astrophotography are compatibility and simplicity. The Pentax with a few camera makers such as Practica started screw-mount SLRs in the mid-70ís where screw mounts adapter to focusers were eagerly adopted by telescope makers. When Pentax started with K-mount, the K-mount to M42 adapters were immediately available. The same reason most books about film astrophotography use Pentax as the de-facto SLR in their introductions.

                        Fongky

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                        • #13
                          Re: How good is Pentax for Astrophotography?

                          Amazing!

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                          • #14
                            Re: How good is Pentax for Astrophotography?

                            Since I used K10D, K-x, and K-5, I found that Pentax DSLR is very capable in astrophotography, especially the AWB, able to bring out the colors of the stars easily.

                            Shot with K10D, Gold Coast Australia, K50mm, F1.2, 20 sec, ISO200, AWB.
                            Click image for larger version

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                            Shot with K10D, Gold Coast Australia, DA14mm, F10, 40 minutes, ISO100, AWB.
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                            We saw tons of sunset, have you seen moonset? This is the 1st time me & wifey witness a moonset.
                            Shot with K10D, Gold Coast Australia, Sigma 70-300mm @ 300mm, F7.1, ISO200, 10sec, AWB. Re-shot the moon with correct exposure and do the HDR in photoshop to bring out the details.
                            Click image for larger version

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                            Shot with K10D, Western Australia, DA14mm, AWB. combine two shots for this HDR.
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                            Shot with Fonky's telescope, fantastic details!!
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                            Shot with K-x, Mt. Batur, Bali, DA15mm, F4, ISO3200, 30sec, AWB.
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                            Shot with K-x, Mt. Batur, Bali, DA15mm, F4, ISO3200, 30sec, AWB.
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                            My own fantasy of moon.... combine moon shot from Fonky's telescope & night seascape from Kapalai Island.
                            Click image for larger version

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                            Last edited by TakeHuat; 29-03-2011, 06:00 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Re: How good is Pentax for Astrophotography?

                              The last shot....love the effect, it's like the moon within hand reach + essence of SciFi feel.

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