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  #1  
Old 08-01-2012, 10:14 PM
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zardos123 (Brad)
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pentax astro tracking

been thinking about one of these for a while, these are the best results i,ve seen. anyone using one?

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=39284452

regards brad
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  #2  
Old 09-01-2012, 03:37 AM
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Peter Langdown (peterl) had one at IISAC2011. He posted some results in the IISAC2011 thread.
It looked like a great bit of gear. Very handy.

Last edited by iceman; 09-01-2012 at 09:20 AM.
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  #3  
Old 09-01-2012, 09:14 AM
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jjjnettie (Jeanette)
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I was amazed at Peter's. It puts astrophotography into everyones reach.
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  #4  
Old 09-01-2012, 09:22 AM
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What mount did he have his camera on??
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  #5  
Old 09-01-2012, 09:26 AM
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A static tripod!
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  #6  
Old 09-01-2012, 09:34 AM
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renormalised (Carl)
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No barn door type tracking mount attached to the tripod?? Or any other sort of screw type driven tracking head?? Just the camera attached to the tripod....
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  #7  
Old 09-01-2012, 09:43 AM
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That's right. Amazing huh.
The length of exposure you can get all depends on the size of your lens. A 10-22 lens will get you around 8min before trailing, a 300mm maybe a minute. I haven't done the math, so that's just approx.
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  #8  
Old 09-01-2012, 09:44 AM
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Very interesting. Here is another link with some info.

http://www.dpreview.com/news/2011/7/8/pentaxastroreport
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  #9  
Old 09-01-2012, 09:46 AM
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This is a fantastic idea - perfect for "everyday" photographers dabbling with astrophotography, and for occasional shooting like with the recent comet chasing. If the specs/results are to be believed (e.g. 2-3 mins tracking even up to 200 mm focal length, depending upon declination), I think this would give portable mounts like the Astrotrac some stiff competition.

Carl - the "mount" is inside the camera itself... their system physically moves the image sensor (i.e. the feature normally used for image stabilisation) to track the stars. There's a little add-on unit that contains a GPS, magnetometer, and compass so that the camera can figure out the coordinates of what it's pointing at. Very neat!
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  #10  
Old 09-01-2012, 09:55 AM
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So, everyone is going to rush out and buy Pentax K5's or better

Pity the in built picture stabilisation feature is a Pentax thing and not common to all camera makes.
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  #11  
Old 09-01-2012, 10:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renormalised View Post
So, everyone is going to rush out and buy Pentax K5's or better

Pity the in built picture stabilisation feature is a Pentax thing and not common to all camera makes.

Sony Alpha's also have the IS in the body... I wonder if Sony will come out with a module as well
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  #12  
Old 09-01-2012, 12:08 PM
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erick (Eric)
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What about the story that K5 production has ceased?

I see I can buy the body for $911 from Hong Kong plus shipping.

Locally, the GPS Unit is $233 at one online place I have looked.

Tempting.
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  #13  
Old 09-01-2012, 11:39 PM
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I have Pentax gear and run a K5, my question is would it still function if you actually had it on a tracking mount rather than a fixed tripod.

What method of determining how far to shift the sensor, is it using pure calculations from location and camera direction and inclination.
Or is it more like the auto guide systems we see where it detects light path over pixels and adjusts accordingly?

If it's the later it could still be used on a mount and give longer exposures without the need for auto guiding.

Nico.
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  #14  
Old 10-01-2012, 01:16 AM
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This link lets you see the replies more easily.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...hread=39284452

As far as I understand it, Pentax has an anti-shake system to remove blur from hand held camera shots. Unlike other DSLR vendors that put the anti-shake motors etc. inside the lens, the Pentax moves the CCD sensor inside the camera to eliminate the shake.

What they appear to have done is utilised that moveable sensor technology and coupled it with a GPS unit to allow the sensor to move to track the movement of the stars for long exposures on a normal static tripod without getting star trails. Brilliant!

Good on Pentax for doing something directly for the astro community.
This holds so much promise. I wonder if the system could be extended to effectively be an active optics system if you have it on an equatorial mount, and have the sensor move to iron out the errors in your mount.

Another discussion here:
http://www.astronomyforum.net/astron...gps1-unit.html
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  #15  
Old 10-01-2012, 01:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nico13 View Post
I have Pentax gear and run a K5, my question is would it still function if you actually had it on a tracking mount rather than a fixed tripod.

What method of determining how far to shift the sensor, is it using pure calculations from location and camera direction and inclination.
Or is it more like the auto guide systems we see where it detects light path over pixels and adjusts accordingly?

If it's the later it could still be used on a mount and give longer exposures without the need for auto guiding.

Nico.
No, it can't be used with a tracking mount unfortunately.

Also, anyone coveting one should read the last post here:
http://www.astronomyforum.net/astron...s1-unit-4.html

I'm very hopeful for this technology in the future, could be something incorporated into future cameras with better results at long focal lengths.
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  #16  
Old 10-01-2012, 06:10 AM
jamiep (Jamie)
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Big Dave - from melbourne used one for this shot ... see his thread...

http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/s...ad.php?t=84594

Jamie
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  #17  
Old 10-01-2012, 07:47 AM
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My Konica Minolta 7D Dynax has the stabilisation built in to the body rather than the lens. This is the basis for the SONY Alpha's camera range. SONY bought the KM camera business about 4-5 years ago I think.

Good as it means I can get the capability with any compatible mount lens but they don't have that clever feature for sure. Although I did find it had a really cool intervalometer feature built in. 240 frames with delays up to 1 hour between. Needs an external Power supply obviously for that time but could be useful.
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  #18  
Old 10-01-2012, 09:49 AM
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What about the story that K5 production has ceased?

I see I can buy the body for $911 from Hong Kong plus shipping.

Locally, the GPS Unit is $233 at one online place I have looked.

Tempting.

eric, pentax only have two dslr production lines one for k-r and one for the k-5.....so at the end of a line they produce product for the next six months ,then begin retooling for the next model they generally have an 18month product cycle expect the reports of a new model in the next month or two, hopefully ricoh having just bought pentax from hoya will maintain pentax's habit of making all new models backwards compatible, in fact there is likely to be a big improvement in the implementation of this software if there past behaviour is repeated. It will have to be a big improvment to make me upgrade from the k-5, after 5 or 6 dslr bodies this one ticks all the boxes and is a keeper, there is talk they will put the 24mp sony sensor in to replace the current 16mp if that is the only major change then i,ll stick with the k-5, 16mp is plenty for the stuff i do. there are rumours that they will release a firmware update after the new body to tweek the gps unit
regards brad
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  #19  
Old 10-01-2012, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poita View Post
I'm very hopeful for this technology in the future, could be something incorporated into future cameras with better results at long focal lengths.
Aside from Canon's obvious R&D investment in stabilisation built into the lens, they've claimed that in-body stabilisation at long focal lengths isn't nearly as effective.

I think that in-body stabilisation would be really great for the prime lenses that are unlikely to have IS built-in anytime soon (e.g. the wide angle and standard tele f/1.2 and f/1.4), not to mention the astro tracking feature.

I hope more DSLR manufacturers pick up on the astro features... mass production = better prices for all of us
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  #20  
Old 10-01-2012, 11:15 AM
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zardos123 (Brad)
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I think your right the in lens stabilisation is a little bit more effective about one stop (thinking about slow shutter speeds hand held) cannon/nikon will do about a 4 stop improvement, with pentax you can only get 3.5 to 4 on short lengths over 200mm its more like 2 to 3 however the trade off is any lens ever made that fits is stabilised makes old classic's and ebay bargains a lot more versatile
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