Astrotracer Effectiveness?


davidstorm

Link Posted 16/08/2021 - 10:48
Hi All

Just a quick query from me, I was out the other night with my K-1, using the Astrotracer functionality for night shots. Exposures were between 30 and 50 seconds, on a sturdy tripod. I took one shot without the Astrotracer and one shot with it, for each composition. When reviewing the images on my PC the trails of the stars looked identical with or without the Astrotracer! Has anyone else noticed this, or has anyone got any observations on the effectiveness of the Astrotracer?

Before anyone asks, the precise calibration was successfully completed before taking the shots and my camera has no fault with the sensor shake reduction mechanism.

Kind Regards
David
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Nicola's Apartments, Kassiopi, Corfu

Some cameras, some lenses, some bits 'n' bobs
Last Edited by davidstorm on 16/08/2021 - 10:48

HarisF1

Link Posted 16/08/2021 - 11:40
I once had a similar problem and the issue was traced down to a faulty tripod head.

Also if you're using a manual lens the focal length setting needs to be accurate.

Which lens were you using?
All the gear with no idea
Last Edited by HarisF1 on 16/08/2021 - 11:42

davidstorm

Link Posted 16/08/2021 - 13:05
HarisF1 wrote:
I once had a similar problem and the issue was traced down to a faulty tripod head.

Also if you're using a manual lens the focal length setting needs to be accurate.

Which lens were you using?

Hi HarisF1

I was using the D FA 28-105 and also a Tamron 17-35, neither of which are manual lenses.

Regards
David
Flickr

Nicola's Apartments, Kassiopi, Corfu

Some cameras, some lenses, some bits 'n' bobs

JAK

Link Posted 16/08/2021 - 15:13
davidstorm wrote:
Before anyone asks, the precise calibration was successfully completed before taking the shots and my camera has no fault with the sensor shake reduction mechanism.

I take the shake reduction was turned off given the use of a tripod?
John K

HarisF1

Link Posted 16/08/2021 - 16:55
I think SR is automatically turned off, I've never actively changed the setting when doing astro.

I think the tripod head needs looking at. These lenses aren't really heavy but neither were the DA50 and Tak lenses that I noticed the issue with.
All the gear with no idea

davidstorm

Link Posted 16/08/2021 - 21:50
HarisF1 wrote:
I think SR is automatically turned off, I've never actively changed the setting when doing astro.

I think the tripod head needs looking at. These lenses aren't really heavy but neither were the DA50 and Tak lenses that I noticed the issue with.

The tripod head is rock solid, there is no movement in it at all. The issue wasn't being caused by deviation of the head as all elements of the image are sharp without the Astrotracer turned on. Also, there was no wind and the tripod legs were securely seated in the ground. It just seemed to me that the Astrotracer wasn't actually doing anything, the images with / without it were identical.

Cheers
David
Flickr

Nicola's Apartments, Kassiopi, Corfu

Some cameras, some lenses, some bits 'n' bobs

kea828

Link Posted 16/08/2021 - 22:31
HarisF1 wrote:
I think SR is automatically turned off, I've never actively changed the setting when doing astro.

As I understand it, the astrotracer makes use of the SR gismo to move the sensor gradually to eliminate star trails. Switching SR off might therefore cause the camera to behave as if there were no astro-tracer.

Another option would be to check the astrotracer batteries if it has been stored for a while.
Regards,
Kea828

1stEverPentax

Link Posted 16/08/2021 - 23:05
Have you looked at US site?

They did a review of built-in Astrotracer v external unit. This and subsequent 'chat' might give you some clues.

Darrel

Link Posted 17/08/2021 - 09:49
I've used my K3II's AstroTracer with a number of lenses, with varying degrees of success. DA*300 at 10 secs; DA*16-50 up to 120secs. Also with a DA12-24mm up to 240 secs. At wide angles, the images do show star streaks in the corners, which was something that the Sky at Night magazine noted in their review a couple of years ago. I always use the camera's 2sec delay function, which automatically turns off shake reduction.

davidwozhere

Link Posted 17/08/2021 - 23:58
That's a good point regarding the thing having to use the SR mechanism to do its job. Should it be turned on or off? (I've never used it).
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davidstorm

Link Posted 18/08/2021 - 12:49
Thanks for all the feedback so far, I'm not sure we have found the source of the issue, but some avenues are there to go down. I can confirm the following:

1. Astrotracer was definitely on and showing as operational, after performing the precise calibration

2. SR is automatically 'off' when using the 2 second delay, which is what I was using on the night, but I would have thought that Astrotracer ignores this?

3. The star streaks were across the entire frame, not just in the corners

Does anyone else have any ideas?

Kind Regards
David
Flickr

Nicola's Apartments, Kassiopi, Corfu

Some cameras, some lenses, some bits 'n' bobs

Darrel

Link Posted 18/08/2021 - 18:02
Hi David - you do need to have GPS on and be in Bulb mode. On my K3II, pressing the Green button then switches between normal bulb mode & Astrotracer, when the camera will display the maximum duration of exposure for the lens that you are using. Hope this helps, Darrel

ozaman

Link Posted 15/07/2022 - 07:51
davidstorm wrote:
Thanks for all the feedback so far, I'm not sure we have found the source of the issue, but some avenues are there to go down. I can confirm the following:

1. Astrotracer was definitely on and showing as operational, after performing the precise calibration

2. SR is automatically 'off' when using the 2 second delay, which is what I was using on the night, but I would have thought that Astrotracer ignores this?

3. The star streaks were across the entire frame, not just in the corners

Does anyone else have any ideas?

Kind Regards
David

Hi David,
I have the same problem. I have a k3ii with build in gps. I tried everything maybe 50 times. Calibrating, recalibrating, changing location. Doesn't matter if I use the tripod or directly puttin on the ground facing up. I use an external intervalometer to not shake the camera at all. Astro tracer is on, calibrated. Tried 1 minute exposure at 55mm. After that I am turning off the astrotracer with the green button and exposing for 60 second. Identical results and Identical star trails. I also realized that star trails normally should look like straight but both of pictures have identical arch looking weird star trails. Have you figured it out what was the problem.
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