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Pentax camera power & software questions for newbie

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#1 John the Space Traveler

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Posted 28 February 2024 - 08:46 PM

My friend is somewhat new to landscape astro-imaging with a DSLR and I'm trying to help him have an easier time.  I've searched online and the forums but I'm not finding exactly what I'm looking for, so I apologize if I overlooked something and this is redundant.

The answers I've found elsewhere seem a bit dated.  You guys are the best source so here goes:

 

He owns Pentax KF and Pentax KS-2 cameras. 

  1. He would like to know if he can power his cameras directly from his battery bank, and if so, how?
     
  2. Is there any control software he can download (free if possible) to control his cameras from a computer or tablet?  Astro specific software is preferred.
     
  3. I get the impression that Pentax has neglected the astronomy market, and the market has reciprocated, so it appears his options are limited.  True?

BTW: I wish CL had brand specific sub-sections to narrow our searches, instead of this general purpose-only area.  Oh well! lol

 

Thanks, y'all!


Edited by John the Space Traveler, 28 February 2024 - 08:48 PM.


#2 DeepSky Di

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Posted 28 February 2024 - 08:59 PM

My friend is somewhat new to landscape astro-imaging with a DSLR and I'm trying to help him have an easier time.  I've searched online and the forums but I'm not finding exactly what I'm looking for, so I apologize if I overlooked something and this is redundant.

The answers I've found elsewhere seem a bit dated.  You guys are the best source so here goes:

 

He owns Pentax KF and Pentax KS-2 cameras. 

  1. He would like to know if he can power his cameras directly from his battery bank, and if so, how?
     
  2. Is there any control software he can download (free if possible) to control his cameras from a computer or tablet?  Astro specific software is preferred.
     
  3. I get the impression that Pentax has neglected the astronomy market, and the market has reciprocated, so it appears his options are limited.  True?

BTW: I wish CL had brand specific sub-sections to narrow our searches, instead of this general purpose-only area.  Oh well! lol

 

Thanks, y'all!

Sorry, I can't help with the Pentax specifics. However, in Google, type site:cloudynights.com and then your search terms to search CN.


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#3 unimatrix0

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Posted 28 February 2024 - 09:33 PM

My friend is somewhat new to landscape astro-imaging with a DSLR and I'm trying to help him have an easier time.  I've searched online and the forums but I'm not finding exactly what I'm looking for, so I apologize if I overlooked something and this is redundant.

The answers I've found elsewhere seem a bit dated.  You guys are the best source so here goes:

 

He owns Pentax KF and Pentax KS-2 cameras. 

  1. He would like to know if he can power his cameras directly from his battery bank, and if so, how?
     
  2. Is there any control software he can download (free if possible) to control his cameras from a computer or tablet?  Astro specific software is preferred.
     
  3. I get the impression that Pentax has neglected the astronomy market, and the market has reciprocated, so it appears his options are limited.  True?

BTW: I wish CL had brand specific sub-sections to narrow our searches, instead of this general purpose-only area.  Oh well! lol

 

Thanks, y'all!

I have a Pentax K70 which is not much different so I can answer your question- unless someone proves me wrong about this and significant changes regarding tethering was implemented-  (I don't think so)

 

1. Buy a dummy battery , but it has its own power brick. You can plug that in the power supply 

2. No. There is a free wifi connecting app, which I have tried for about 10 minutes and gave up. Camera has to have the wifi on and the laptop must connect to that wifi and not your home network. Can't remember the name, it was years ago when i tried. Took 1 minute to download 1 image, so I don't have the patience for that if I'm taking 100s of subs. 

3. See the answers for the above why that is. Pentax refused to supply a tethering option,  Ekos /Kstars can do it if Linux or Mac Os used, but it's buggy at best (can't change ISO, can't change many other things, and plenty of disconnections and 10 -15 second image downloads between subs.  Trying to do something like polar alignment would be a nightmare, and even imaging, you're wasting half of the time troubleshooting and not imaging. 

 

Your best bet with the Pentax is manually set it up to image with from a star tracker. Set the built in intervalometer to whatever you'd like (ISO , subs length etc) and there you go. Best used for nightscape and landscape imaging if you ask me. 

 

Also the K70 version which has the same sensor I believe, has an awful red amp glow on the bottom of the frame that I couldn't get rid of when the last time I tried for DSO imaging.  It could do it, but I went to hell and back to get this one image with it. 

 

You can also try searching "AscomDSLR" which is a custom driver, but it didn't work for me and I tried for hours. It almost bricked the camera. 


Edited by unimatrix0, 28 February 2024 - 09:37 PM.

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#4 John the Space Traveler

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Posted 28 February 2024 - 09:51 PM

Sorry, I can't help with the Pentax specifics. However, in Google, type site:cloudynights.com and then your search terms to search CN.

Darn!  I can't believe I forgot about that option!  Thanks.



#5 John the Space Traveler

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Posted 28 February 2024 - 09:57 PM

I have a Pentax K70 which is not much different so I can answer your question- unless someone proves me wrong about this and significant changes regarding tethering was implemented-  (I don't think so)

 

1. Buy a dummy battery , but it has its own power brick. You can plug that in the power supply 

2. No. There is a free wifi connecting app, which I have tried for about 10 minutes and gave up. Camera has to have the wifi on and the laptop must connect to that wifi and not your home network. Can't remember the name, it was years ago when i tried. Took 1 minute to download 1 image, so I don't have the patience for that if I'm taking 100s of subs. 

3. See the answers for the above why that is. Pentax refused to supply a tethering option,  Ekos /Kstars can do it if Linux or Mac Os used, but it's buggy at best (can't change ISO, can't change many other things, and plenty of disconnections and 10 -15 second image downloads between subs.  Trying to do something like polar alignment would be a nightmare, and even imaging, you're wasting half of the time troubleshooting and not imaging. 

 

Your best bet with the Pentax is manually set it up to image with from a star tracker. Set the built in intervalometer to whatever you'd like (ISO , subs length etc) and there you go. Best used for nightscape and landscape imaging if you ask me. 

 

Also the K70 version which has the same sensor I believe, has an awful red amp glow on the bottom of the frame that I couldn't get rid of when the last time I tried for DSO imaging.  It could do it, but I went to hell and back to get this one image with it. 

 

You can also try searching "AscomDSLR" which is a custom driver, but it didn't work for me and I tried for hours. It almost bricked the camera. 

Thanks.  I'll pass that on.  I think he should just sell his Pentax stuff and get a DSLR system that's ASCOM supported.



#6 unimatrix0

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Posted 29 February 2024 - 08:12 AM

Thanks.  I'll pass that on.  I think he should just sell his Pentax stuff and get a DSLR system that's ASCOM supported.

Canon or Nikon. I recommend Canon it is the most compatible with nearly all imaging software. I'm using a Nikon right now.


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