Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Eclipse Hardware and Software Changes

Last night I needed to test some behavior of the tethering solutions for the cameras to check responsiveness and the duration required for bracketing.  I'm glad that I did this effort because it was quickly apparent that the open-source software for the Pentax cameras is not stable enough to rely on it for the project.

I tried:
  • PK Tether:
    Freezing and unstable when several pictures were in the queue and changing settings on the fly
  • PK Triggercord:
    Was never able to get it running properly because of GTK theme issues
  • Gphoto2:
    Was able to install on Windows, but unable to control the camera via CLI

My fallback method was to install the original tethering software that was developed for the Pentax K10D.  Glad that I have a few of these bodies still functioning!

This changes the selected cameras to the K1 with the 400mm EDIF lens and the K10D with the 300mm lens.  I will continue to use the K5IIs bodies to shoot video and people scenes leading up to and during the eclipse.

The current lens configuration weighs 28 lbs -- right at the limit for the GM8.  I'm going to use this mount because I'm limited for space in the vehicle rather than switch to the G11.

I checked the images from the glass solar filters and was disappointed by the softness.  I've become spoiled by viewing the sun with the Herschel Wedge.  On advice by Anthony DLC, I'm going to cut the Baader film for the cameras and will retire the glass filters eventually.