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 (email@example.com) 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 www.freewebs.com/seeker372011/ ..if you like it, would you consider adding the site to your links page? Regards Narayan
Subject: LPI vs ToUcam Sent: Tuesday, October 25, 2005 17:09:29 From: D Haines (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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: http://www.cloudynights.com/documents/meadelpi2.pdf
Subject: ccd cameras Sent: Sunday, October 23, 2005 17:06:11 From: shirley m feickert (email@example.com) 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 JimMike 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: User721401@aol.com (User721401@aol.com) 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...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.
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
Thank you for your timely response.... Dan
Subject: Meade DSI or SAC 4 II Sent: Tuesday, October 18, 2005 13:44:59 From: Lee R (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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 UKMike 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 (email@example.com) 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 ETX-125PE. 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. Regards, HMike 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 autoguider. Thanks for your reply! Regards, HMike 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 ETX-125PE? Thanks, HMike 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. :) Regards, H
Subject: your M31 with Nikon D70 Sent: Wednesday, October 12, 2005 03:23:39 From: Dieter.Wolf@DNSint.com (Dieter.Wolf@DNSint.com) 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 too...plus fitting sky) Dieter (Munich, Germany)
Subject: Astrophotography: What is this? Sent: Monday, October 10, 2005 11:01:51 From: SpiritHDMC@aol.com (SpiritHDMC@aol.com) 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. Thanks, Rick AndersonMike 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 From: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 Tom
Subject: Astro Engineering AC325 eyepiece projection adapter Sent: Wednesday, September 28, 2005 11:37:41 From: Dave Chappell (email@example.com) 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 ChappellMike here: I'm not familiar with this adapter.
Subject: ETX90 & DSI Sent: Wednesday, September 14, 2005 11:13:05 From: beckers.t (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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 NetherlandsMike 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 (email@example.com) 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 SpainMike here: There is the Shutan Wide Field Adapter (see the Accessory Reviews: Showcase Products page) and the ScopeTronix Field Doubler. And:
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 device. Best regards from Spain Enrique SistachAnd some info on the SAC focal reducer:
From: Stuart Kendall & Melanie Duggan (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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, Stuart.
Subject: Etx Barlow and and olympus E20. Sent: Friday, September 9, 2005 20:46:49 From: Christan (Dovecraft@lmi.net) 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 ChristanMike 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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