Topics

Saturday flight

John Kovac KM6GKF
 

Hi all,

First, thanks again to everyone on this list for the amazing support on our previous flight.

This time, the payload was not stolen.

It was a very long flight because the balloon hung out for a long time at high altitude, thought maybe we had a slow leak that was gonna send us over the ocean.  Still not sure what happened there, but it did finally break just short of 114,000 feet. The DSLR died at about 4 and a half hours, but the GoPro3+ on a Sabient add-on battery pack ran for almost six hours, and got the landing on video for the first time ever for us.

Flickr (stills) and YouTube (video) links below.

Best,

John Kovac










Mark Conner N9XTN
 

Great photos, John!  Makes me think about wanting to risk a DSLR on a future flight.  What's your DSLR setup (camera and lens)?

73 de Mark N9XTN

On Wed, Jun 10, 2020 at 7:45 PM John Kovac KM6GKF <jkovac@...> wrote:
Hi all,

First, thanks again to everyone on this list for the amazing support on our previous flight.

This time, the payload was not stolen.

It was a very long flight because the balloon hung out for a long time at high altitude, thought maybe we had a slow leak that was gonna send us over the ocean.  Still not sure what happened there, but it did finally break just short of 114,000 feet. The DSLR died at about 4 and a half hours, but the GoPro3+ on a Sabient add-on battery pack ran for almost six hours, and got the landing on video for the first time ever for us.

Flickr (stills) and YouTube (video) links below.

Best,

John Kovac










John Kovac KM6GKF
 

Thanks Mark.

Setup up is cheap DSLR, Canon Rebel T7.  I was using a T2i that I bought for $100 on eBay but out last payload was stolen.  So I splurged and bought a new T7 (not T7i which has multiple advantages but costs way more.). It was $400 for a kit with a 50mm lens.  For the lens here I used Canon 10-18mm zoom, under $300 new.  The zoom is obviously useless for this application but as far as I know, there is no prime lens that wide for that cheap that fits a Canon EF mount.   Using a $20 intervalometer to trigger the shutter every 10 seconds.  I know there is program called Magic Lantern that people use instead of an intervalometer but the intervalometer is cheap, lightweight, and really easy to use.



On Jun 10, 2020, at 6:13 PM, Mark Conner N9XTN <mconner1@...> wrote:


Great photos, John!  Makes me think about wanting to risk a DSLR on a future flight.  What's your DSLR setup (camera and lens)?

73 de Mark N9XTN

On Wed, Jun 10, 2020 at 7:45 PM John Kovac KM6GKF <jkovac@...> wrote:
Hi all,

First, thanks again to everyone on this list for the amazing support on our previous flight.

This time, the payload was not stolen.

It was a very long flight because the balloon hung out for a long time at high altitude, thought maybe we had a slow leak that was gonna send us over the ocean.  Still not sure what happened there, but it did finally break just short of 114,000 feet. The DSLR died at about 4 and a half hours, but the GoPro3+ on a Sabient add-on battery pack ran for almost six hours, and got the landing on video for the first time ever for us.

Flickr (stills) and YouTube (video) links below.

Best,

John Kovac










Mark Conner N9XTN
 

Did you do a lot of color work to bring the detail out and cut the haze?  I've been using Canon point-and-shoot cameras with CHDK firmware and I get a lot of haze in many of my shots.  I have not invested much time or money in photo editing software, which I may need to do.  Part of the issue is flying in Great Plains summers when there is a boatload of moisture in the air - you guys probably have drier atmospheres most of the time.

I have a T4i that is several years old and have been thinking of getting a newer model, so a balloon cam might be a good use for the old one.

73 de Mark N9XTN


On Wed, Jun 10, 2020 at 8:35 PM John Kovac KM6GKF <jkovac@...> wrote:
Thanks Mark.

Setup up is cheap DSLR, Canon Rebel T7.  I was using a T2i that I bought for $100 on eBay but out last payload was stolen.  So I splurged and bought a new T7 (not T7i which has multiple advantages but costs way more.). It was $400 for a kit with a 50mm lens.  For the lens here I used Canon 10-18mm zoom, under $300 new.  The zoom is obviously useless for this application but as far as I know, there is no prime lens that wide for that cheap that fits a Canon EF mount.   Using a $20 intervalometer to trigger the shutter every 10 seconds.  I know there is program called Magic Lantern that people use instead of an intervalometer but the intervalometer is cheap, lightweight, and really easy to use.



On Jun 10, 2020, at 6:13 PM, Mark Conner N9XTN <mconner1@...> wrote:


Great photos, John!  Makes me think about wanting to risk a DSLR on a future flight.  What's your DSLR setup (camera and lens)?

73 de Mark N9XTN

On Wed, Jun 10, 2020 at 7:45 PM John Kovac KM6GKF <jkovac@...> wrote:
Hi all,

First, thanks again to everyone on this list for the amazing support on our previous flight.

This time, the payload was not stolen.

It was a very long flight because the balloon hung out for a long time at high altitude, thought maybe we had a slow leak that was gonna send us over the ocean.  Still not sure what happened there, but it did finally break just short of 114,000 feet. The DSLR died at about 4 and a half hours, but the GoPro3+ on a Sabient add-on battery pack ran for almost six hours, and got the landing on video for the first time ever for us.

Flickr (stills) and YouTube (video) links below.

Best,

John Kovac










John Kovac KM6GKF
 

T4i would be awesome.  

I’m shooting in RAW format, so not editing the photos is not an option, plus the files are huge, but it’s worth it in my opinion.  Not doing much with color, but the Dehaze filter in Adobe Lightroom is amazing.  It brings out detail really well. Also making heavy use of the Texture filter.  On some of the images between the clouds I also used a Linear Gradient, which allows you to edit the parts of a horizon-split shot separately.

Lightroom CC is a significant monthly fee, and the support sucks, but it’s still the best choice for my needs.  Works well with RAW, intuitive controls, really powerful. 



On Jun 10, 2020, at 8:22 PM, Mark Conner N9XTN <mconner1@...> wrote:


Did you do a lot of color work to bring the detail out and cut the haze?  I've been using Canon point-and-shoot cameras with CHDK firmware and I get a lot of haze in many of my shots.  I have not invested much time or money in photo editing software, which I may need to do.  Part of the issue is flying in Great Plains summers when there is a boatload of moisture in the air - you guys probably have drier atmospheres most of the time.

I have a T4i that is several years old and have been thinking of getting a newer model, so a balloon cam might be a good use for the old one.

73 de Mark N9XTN


On Wed, Jun 10, 2020 at 8:35 PM John Kovac KM6GKF <jkovac@...> wrote:
Thanks Mark.

Setup up is cheap DSLR, Canon Rebel T7.  I was using a T2i that I bought for $100 on eBay but out last payload was stolen.  So I splurged and bought a new T7 (not T7i which has multiple advantages but costs way more.). It was $400 for a kit with a 50mm lens.  For the lens here I used Canon 10-18mm zoom, under $300 new.  The zoom is obviously useless for this application but as far as I know, there is no prime lens that wide for that cheap that fits a Canon EF mount.   Using a $20 intervalometer to trigger the shutter every 10 seconds.  I know there is program called Magic Lantern that people use instead of an intervalometer but the intervalometer is cheap, lightweight, and really easy to use.



On Jun 10, 2020, at 6:13 PM, Mark Conner N9XTN <mconner1@...> wrote:


Great photos, John!  Makes me think about wanting to risk a DSLR on a future flight.  What's your DSLR setup (camera and lens)?

73 de Mark N9XTN

On Wed, Jun 10, 2020 at 7:45 PM John Kovac KM6GKF <jkovac@...> wrote:
Hi all,

First, thanks again to everyone on this list for the amazing support on our previous flight.

This time, the payload was not stolen.

It was a very long flight because the balloon hung out for a long time at high altitude, thought maybe we had a slow leak that was gonna send us over the ocean.  Still not sure what happened there, but it did finally break just short of 114,000 feet. The DSLR died at about 4 and a half hours, but the GoPro3+ on a Sabient add-on battery pack ran for almost six hours, and got the landing on video for the first time ever for us.

Flickr (stills) and YouTube (video) links below.

Best,

John Kovac










Mark Conner N9XTN
 

Thanks John.  I'll try RAW again on my next flight with the Canon point and shoot.  Lightroom is probably too big a leap in cost for me - do you have another software package to recommend?  The extent of my photo editing experience has been Paint Shop Pro and Google's Picasa.

- Mark

On Wed, Jun 10, 2020 at 10:57 PM John Kovac KM6GKF <jkovac@...> wrote:
T4i would be awesome.  

I’m shooting in RAW format, so not editing the photos is not an option, plus the files are huge, but it’s worth it in my opinion.  Not doing much with color, but the Dehaze filter in Adobe Lightroom is amazing.  It brings out detail really well. Also making heavy use of the Texture filter.  On some of the images between the clouds I also used a Linear Gradient, which allows you to edit the parts of a horizon-split shot separately.

Lightroom CC is a significant monthly fee, and the support sucks, but it’s still the best choice for my needs.  Works well with RAW, intuitive controls, really powerful. 



On Jun 10, 2020, at 8:22 PM, Mark Conner N9XTN <mconner1@...> wrote:


Did you do a lot of color work to bring the detail out and cut the haze?  I've been using Canon point-and-shoot cameras with CHDK firmware and I get a lot of haze in many of my shots.  I have not invested much time or money in photo editing software, which I may need to do.  Part of the issue is flying in Great Plains summers when there is a boatload of moisture in the air - you guys probably have drier atmospheres most of the time.

I have a T4i that is several years old and have been thinking of getting a newer model, so a balloon cam might be a good use for the old one.

73 de Mark N9XTN


On Wed, Jun 10, 2020 at 8:35 PM John Kovac KM6GKF <jkovac@...> wrote:
Thanks Mark.

Setup up is cheap DSLR, Canon Rebel T7.  I was using a T2i that I bought for $100 on eBay but out last payload was stolen.  So I splurged and bought a new T7 (not T7i which has multiple advantages but costs way more.). It was $400 for a kit with a 50mm lens.  For the lens here I used Canon 10-18mm zoom, under $300 new.  The zoom is obviously useless for this application but as far as I know, there is no prime lens that wide for that cheap that fits a Canon EF mount.   Using a $20 intervalometer to trigger the shutter every 10 seconds.  I know there is program called Magic Lantern that people use instead of an intervalometer but the intervalometer is cheap, lightweight, and really easy to use.



On Jun 10, 2020, at 6:13 PM, Mark Conner N9XTN <mconner1@...> wrote:


Great photos, John!  Makes me think about wanting to risk a DSLR on a future flight.  What's your DSLR setup (camera and lens)?

73 de Mark N9XTN

On Wed, Jun 10, 2020 at 7:45 PM John Kovac KM6GKF <jkovac@...> wrote:
Hi all,

First, thanks again to everyone on this list for the amazing support on our previous flight.

This time, the payload was not stolen.

It was a very long flight because the balloon hung out for a long time at high altitude, thought maybe we had a slow leak that was gonna send us over the ocean.  Still not sure what happened there, but it did finally break just short of 114,000 feet. The DSLR died at about 4 and a half hours, but the GoPro3+ on a Sabient add-on battery pack ran for almost six hours, and got the landing on video for the first time ever for us.

Flickr (stills) and YouTube (video) links below.

Best,

John Kovac