Last updated: 31 October 2005

This page documents astrophotography comments, tips, and photos. Contributions welcome. Be certain to see the other articles on the main Astrophotography page.

Subject:	a new website dedicated to Imaging with the ETX 70
Sent:	Friday, October 28, 2005 19:30:32
From:	N Mukkavilli (
I know you are going to be away this weekend but I just wanted to let
you know that I have posted nearly 50 images taken with an ETX70 and an
Atik 1C on a newly created site at

..if you like it, would you consider adding the site to your links page?



Subject:	LPI vs ToUcam
Sent:	Tuesday, October 25, 2005 17:09:29
From:	D Haines (
I saw someone asking about a comparison between LPI and ToUcam.  I
recalled seeing one when I was doing research on the ToUcam.  Here is
the link:

Subject:	ccd cameras
Sent:	Sunday, October 23, 2005 17:06:11
From:	shirley m feickert (
I am a big run a round from many people, On choice of CCD camera to buy.

All I want to do is take shots of deep sky . Using my Meade 10f10 scope

Do You know where I can the facts, Some don't like Imaging Eyepieces,
Some the BIG $ one are the etc.
stress out Jim
Mike here: Well, have you considered the Meade DSI or a Sonfest SAC imager or a modified webcam? See the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page for more on these and other imagers.
Subject:	ETX-125
Sent:	Tuesday, October 18, 2005 22:03:54
From: (
I have several questions (hope you do not mind).....
1.  What is the recommended way of cleaning the ETX125PE w/ UTHC lens?
It appears some critter may have hit the lens and "splattered"..

2. Is there a good way of knowing when the LPI is focused....I updated
the software and the magic eye focuser does not appear to work like it
did before. But I am getting better results with this version..

3. I have attached some pics of Mars and M45 just wondering what you
think and if I am on the right track to get a "clear" picture of Mars...


photo 5. Is there a review or comparison on the LPI vs the Philips TouCam? Thanks for everything, without your site I would be lost and have a ton of expensive equipment I would deem useless... The files "Mars 10-2005" and "mars 10 18" and "pleiades m45" are files I attempted to edit using Registax and Paint Shop Pro v 8. I am not familiar at all with regisax so I am not sure what I did... I appreciate any and all feed back...Thank you for your time and effort... Dan Cohen Chicago
Mike here: See the article "Cleaning Optics" on the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page. Focusing is a challenge; the software can help but so can just looking at the image on the screen. You might also try using a "Hartmann Mask" (see the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page). The Pleiades will be a challenge with the LPI but Mars is a good first shot. Don't recall a comparison review.


Thank you for your timely response....

Subject:	Meade DSI or SAC 4 II
Sent:	Tuesday, October 18, 2005 13:44:59
From:	Lee R (
I wish to image planets and deep sky objects. I own an etx 125, my
question is which imager would you recommend between the meade DSI and
the SAC 4 II ? They both are similarly priced which one is the better of
the 2 ?? I'm all ready to go with all the accessories i just need the
camera now. Wishing you all the clear skies possible from, Lee Ricketts
Dover Kent UK
Mike here: Both can do the job but the software that comes with the DSI is pretty amazing for what it can do (once you learn how to use it). But keep in mind that currently the DSI only supports Windows whereas I believe there are alternative solutions for the SAC imagers.
Subject:	ETX-125PE, DSI and Canon EOS-350D setup question
Sent:	Tuesday, October 18, 2005 13:22:24
From:	Humayun Qureshi (
Firstly, thank you for an informative web site.  Brilliant!

I'm new to astrophotography or to telescopes in general.  I've been
meaning to purchase a telescope for years and finally have ordered an

I would like to use the telescope to take astrophotographs, and was
wondering whether the following scenario is possible:

Meade DSI connected in eyepiece as per the norm and my Canon EOS-350D
digital SLR plugged into the Cassegrain focus with a T-ring and adapter?

Would this setup allow me to take some kind of astrophotographs?

I'm also investing in a Series IV 'Stiletto' hardware focuser from
Stellar International to assist with focus.

I guess if that doesn't work, I'll have to look at a piggyback setup, as
I have a range of lenses.

I've tried looking on the web for a second hand SBIG ST-4, but no-one is
selling or parting with them.  It's a pity they don't make them anymore,
and the newer STV series is out of my budget for the time being.

Mike here: Yes, you can do that (I believe the EOS has removable lenses, correct?). You will just need a T-Ring for the Canon and the appropriate Prime Focus adapter for the ETX. However, keep in mind that at some orientations the camera will likely hit the mount and prevent the ETX from pointing where you want it to point.


Yes, the EOS series allows you to exchange lenses.

I should also have clarified that I would like to use the DSI as an

Thanks for your reply!

Mike here: If you had planned to use both at the same time you will have a problem. The flip mirror is an "either/or" thing; it either directs light up to the DSI or straight through to the Canon. So you can't use the DSI for autoguiding while imaging with the Canon.


Is there any workable solution around this?

Perhaps a finderscope with the DSI and camera on the Cassegrain focus?

If that is a solution, what type of finderscope would be best for the

Mike here: Well, yes and not likely. If you attach a high power "guidescope" at then use the DSI with that, you could then use the Canon at Prime Focus. Several people have attached an ETX-90 to a larger telescope for just that purpose. But that won't work with an ETX-125 (attaching an ETX-90). You could try an "off axis guider"; it splits off some light to a guide eyepiece, which could possibly be the DSI. Don't know if focusing will be a problem however.


I thought about the off-axis guider.  I didn't know how that worked, but
that's excellent that it lets off a little light to the guide piece.

I will take this all step-by-step.  I don't want to purchase expensive
equipment to find out that I can't really use it properly.

Thanks for all your help.  I appreciate it.  :)


Subject:	your M31 with Nikon D70
Sent:	Wednesday, October 12, 2005 03:23:39
From: (
I saw the M31 with your Nikon D70 - a great shot!

Hope you don't mind but I ran - the cropped JPEG! - through Giotto and
NeatImage because I think it reveals even more details in the outer
parts of the spiral arms, the dark lanes and M32 and M101. Would have
needed prework (masking) on the stars... Of course it much depends on
the kind of monitor/LCD you use and the way you personally like/dislike
it, but have a look...


Enjoy your DSLR (wish I had one fitting sky)
Dieter (Munich, Germany)

Subject:	Astrophotography:  What is this?
Sent:	Monday, October 10, 2005 11:01:51
From: (
I was attempting to take a photo of Saturn on September 19, 2005.  This
was my first attempt at Astrophotography.  Saturn was to rise at 3:45 AM
that Monday morning.  I was using a DSX-125 and a small digital camera
at 3MPixels.  I'd purchased the generic digital camera adapter from
Scopetronics.  I was using a 25MM eyepiece attached to the camera.  At
approximately 4:00 AM, I thought that Saturn may be high enough to see -
so, I selected Saturn on the Autostar and away we went.  When I got
Saturn in the eyepiece I was quite impressed.  After viewing for a few
minutes, I rushed to my truck and grabbed the digital camera setup.  I
looked through the 26 MM eyepiece of the telescope to ensure that Saturn
was still in the center - it was.  I removed the eyepiece and put the
camera in place.  I could not see anything in the small 1.5 inch LCD
screen of the camera but I pulled off a couple of shots anyway.  I
removed the camera and replaced with a 32 MM eyepiece - no Saturn.  So I
moved around a bit and got it back in place.  Placed the camera back in
carefully (with the camera on this time) and saw a bright "dot" on the
screen that moved towards the bottom of the screen when I seated the
camera.  So, I manually slewed downward to see the object come back into
the LCD screen, got it centered, and snapped away again.

Upon getting home around 5:40 AM, I loaded the pictures into the
computer.  The first two pictures were very dark and nothing could
really be seen.  The first image had 3 small "dots" closely together.  I
thought that it may be a bad image of Saturn.  I loaded the final images
and got some pretty good shots of Saturn and thus discarded the first
two images.  While cleaning my hard drive the other day, I came across
the first two images again.  I thought that I would try to see what I
could get out of them.  The second image was darkness with a few pin
pricks of light - possibly stars?  I just trashed it.  The first image
showed three dots - upon lightening and adjusting the contrast, an
object started to come forth.  It's a rather large photo and the object
was very small.  I zoomed in a bit using the software.  This is an
actual object, I thought to myself.  What is it?  I have no idea.  So, I
thought that I would send it to you guys to see if anyone had any ideas.
 Is it perhaps a satilyte?  A UFO?

The only alterations done to the photograph was adjustments to
brightness, gamma, and contrast.  Nothing has been added or taken away. 
Please, post my Email address and I welcome any responses.  If anyone is
interested, I'll send the original - unaltered photo, for comparison.
Rick Anderson

Mike here: Could be almost anything, from out-of-focus stars to light reflections.
Subject:	c/cs mount
Sent:	Sunday, October 2, 2005 07:39:59
I bought an etx90 meade telescope.
I would like to connect an Watec video camera on it. This camera has an
cs mount.

I think it is possible to connect this camera to the etx photo port, but
I don't know how.
Could you help me ?
Thank you

Subject:	Astro Engineering AC325 eyepiece projection adapter
Sent:	Wednesday, September 28, 2005 11:37:41
From:	Dave Chappell (
Having alignment problems with the AC325 adapter connected to a Canon
EOS 300D on my ETX125. Can't get alignment, seems loose. There is a
groove around the barrel of the adapter that seems to interfere with the
locating screw. Any ideas or have I bought the wrong adapter?
Thanks for your help and great site.
Dave Chappell
Mike here: I'm not familiar with this adapter.
Subject:	ETX90 & DSI
Sent:	Wednesday, September 14, 2005 11:13:05
From:	beckers.t (
Today I checked your site, looks great, and lots of information!

Maybe you can advise me?
I'm planning to do deepsky-photography in the near future, but I'm
wondering what scope to buy. I want a portable little scope with good
optics and possibilities for photographing. Especially a scope for
travelling tgo dark sites. At the moment I also have an 8" Dobsonian
telescope, which serves me very well. But, this one's a bit difficult to
transport. So, I'm planning to buy a travelling scope as well, a little
friend for pointing a camera at a real dark sky!

On your site I saw many pictures of people who work with the ETX-series.
Is the ETX good enough for shooting pics? I know it has a long f-ratio,
so it's good for planets, but deepsky? Should I need a focal-reducer? Is
that expensive?

And can you tell me if the ETX can handle long exposures?

What's your opinion about the Meade DSI ? According to the october 2005
article in Sky&Telescope it's good value for money. Maybe I should get
myself a ETX with a DSI, and i'd be ready to shoot pictures right away
(after a lot of learning and making mistakes, of course!).

A last question: is it possible to order a ETX in the States and having
it shipped to the Netherlands?

I hoped you'd be able to advise me, anyway, thanks for reading en good
luck with your amazing website!

clear skies,

Gian Kerstges
Maastricht, The Netherlands
Mike here: As you saw from the photos on the Site, the ETX is "good enough" for some types of astrophotography. Can you do better? Yes, just get an LX200GPS. But for the price and performance, the ETX can do amazing things. You just need patience and practice and good equipment. And as seen on the ETX Site, the DSI can do really great astrophotography. A focal reducer will help; cost varies. Long exposures are more difficult since the ETX is not designed for that. But if you polar mount and set up the Autostar for PEC you can do some things. As to shipping overseas, that is generally a problem. But there are several dealers in Europe that should be able to help you (see the Astronomy Links page for some).
Subject:	focal reducer for ETX-125
Sent:	Sunday, September 11, 2005 03:11:22
From:	enrique (
Could you tell me a focal reducer for my ETX-125.?

I have a lot of problems with DSI camera in my ETX-125. it seems to me
that the magnification is too much and find objects is really difficult.

The field of vue with DSI is some 9x6 arc.minute and a lot of deep objet
are larger than that.

Thank you very much for your wanderfull page!

Enrique Sistach

From Spain
Mike here: There is the Shutan Wide Field Adapter (see the Accessory Reviews: Showcase Products page) and the ScopeTronix Field Doubler.

Tanks a lot for your quick response. I will follow your advise and buy
the WIDE FIELD ADAPTER of SHUTAN, and I will report you about this

Best regards from Spain

Enrique Sistach

And some info on the SAC focal reducer:
From:	Stuart Kendall & Melanie Duggan (
I have had a chance to use the SAC focal reducer. I find that it does
not seem to improve my FOV significantly  when used visually with my
40mm eyepiece. There is a marked difference with the 26mm eyepiece
though contrast does seem to be reduced.  The off-centre
distortion/aberration is very noticeable. I have not been able to test
it with my toucam as of yet.

Kind regards,


Subject:	Etx Barlow and and olympus E20.
Sent:	Friday, September 9, 2005 20:46:49
From:	Christan (
Hi I am having a heck of a time with the size of the the E20 and putting
undo tension on the tele parts  please help Peace Christan
Mike here: The ETX locks were not designed to handle a lot of weight. However, adding a counterweight system can help; see the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page for lots of tips on counterweights.

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