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Pentax K1 Night Photography

Pentax K1 Night Photography

Tuesday October 18, 2016

I recently spent a night under the stars giving the Pentax K1 a solid workout, and here are some of the results. I used the Pentax D-FA 24-70 and for my ultra-wide angle needs, the Samyang 14mm 2.8 which is known as a very capable lens for night sky photography – especially for the cost ($500).

pentax k1 night photography

My camp for the night under a stunning Tasmanian night sky. Composite of 2 images, one exposed for the stars and one for the tent.

Pentax of course have a lot of lenses from the pre-digital days, but currently the only wide angle digital option (ie D-FA) lens is the brand new 15-30mm 2.8. I am interested in this lens but the lack of filter thread makes it a little less attractive for landscapes. Will have to wait and see what D-FA primes are on the horizon. Anyway, I digress – back to the night sky results :)

Pentax K1 Night Photography

Shot 1: Pentax DFA 24-70mm. ISO 1250, 150 seconds (with Astro Tracer) at f2.8.

Pentax K1 ISO 1250 150s with Astro Tracer. DFA 24-70 f2.8

Pentax K1 ISO 1250 150s with Astro Tracer. DFA 24-70 f2.8

Pentax K1 ISO 1250 150s with Astro Tracer. DFA 24-70 f2.8

Pentax K1 ISO 1250 150s with Astro Tracer. DFA 24-70 f2.8. Top image: Top left corner; Middle image: Centre; Bottom image: Bottom right. NOTE: No noise reduction applied at all.

Shot 2: Samyang 14 mm. ISO 6400, 40 seconds (with Astro Tracer) at f2.8.

Pentax K1 night photography

Pentax K1 ISO 6400 40s with Astro Tracer. Samyang 14mm f2.8

Pentax K1 Night Sky Photography Samyang 14mm 2.8

Pentax K1 ISO 6400 40s with Astro Tracer. Samyang 14mm f2.8. Top image: Top left corner; Middle image: Centre; Bottom image: Bottom right. NOTE: No noise reduction applied at all.

Shot 3: Tamron 70-200mm. ISO 25600, 30 seconds (with Astro Tracer) at f4.

Pentax K1 Astro Tracer Magellanic Cloud

Pentax K1 ISO 25600 30s with Astro Tracer. Tamron 70-200mm at f4

Pentax K1 Astro Tracer Magellanic Cloud

Pentax K1 ISO 25600 30s with Astro Tracer. Tamron 70-200mm f4. Top image: Top left corner; Middle image: Centre; Bottom image: Bottom right. NOTE: No noise reduction applied at all.

It was great to be out under the stars and the K1 was great to use. The results are rather exciting, and shine even nicer with some noise reduction applied. In addition, the night light LEDs are a novel addition (they make changing lenses and finding the shutter cable socket very simple in the dark!)

pentax-k1-iso800-595s-f2.8

Pentax K1 Night Photography: 10 minute bulb exposure, ISO 800.

The tilting screen has very quickly become a fundamental part of my shooting – eg the magellanic cloud shot above had the camera pointing a fair way up, and the flippy screen made focusing and viewing the results very simple. I will keep posting new images and results in the months ahead!

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