Last updated: 31 December 2006

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

Subject:	Focal reducer use with ETX 125
Sent:	Sunday, December 31, 2006 10:07:24
From:	John M. Urbanchuk (
I am trying prime focus photography with my ETX-125 PE and a Canon 30D
DSLR.  My kids got me a Meade F/6.3 focal reducer and real cell adapter
for Christmas.  I understand that I also need a Meade #62 T-adapter so
that my T-ring will attach to the focal reducer.  My question is do you
know of any reason I can't use the focal reducer with the ETX-125?  When
I called about the additional adapter one of the guys at OPT indicated
that he thought there might be a back focus problem on the 125 but I
can't find any info about that.
Thanks for a great website and Happy New Year!
John M. Urbanchuk
Mike here: I haven't tried it but a search of the ETX site seems to indicate others have used one successfully.


Thanks, I'll let you know how it turns out, hopefully with a photo.


Subject:	Zhumell
Sent:	Saturday, December 30, 2006 19:53:44
From:	A&K Cifaretto (
I have an ETX-70AT and I wanted to get started in astrophotographyI have
a Nikon N60. I just purchased the Zhumell universal adapter. It did not
come with any instructions and I feel like a dim-wit, but I am not able
to figure out how to use it properly. Do you have any experience and/or
knowledge of the product? I can't seem to find anything on it.  I have
the Nikon camera adapter, as well as the Meade #64ST T-Adapter.   I
tried every which way to set it up and I just don't understand it. I
have flipped the mirror, focused in and out all the way and in between.
I am able to see clearly when I use ONLY the eyepiece, but when I put it
in the Zhummel, I get nothing more than a spot of light. My eye is too
far from the eyepiece. How can I see what I am trying to take a picture
of when the eyepiece is down inside the Zhumell? It doesn't stay up at
the top.  Do I need longer eye pieces? I'm not even sure there are any?
I have the Meade 5mm, 9mm, 18mm, 25mm and #124 Barlow lens all are

Also, I have had and still am having some trouble with alignment and
recalculating the drives. I notice through reading your site that many
others are having the same problem. I see that you have recommended more
than once, to reset to factory settings. I believe I did this once, but
will try again. I was just curious if you believe that this is more of a
problem to do being a novice or is it a Meade problem?

If you could help me out at all, I would really appreciate it!!!! Thank
Mike here: I'm not familiar with that brand but found some info at:
Which one do you have?
As to the alignment difficulties, you will have to tell me what you are doing and what is going wrong before I can help.


Wow. Thank you for getting back to me practically immediately! 

I checked that site, but can't find much in the way of 'How to for
Dummies'. :-)  This is the one that I have:

From the product description, it sounds like I am doing exactly what it
says, but there is no way that could be right!

As for the alignment issues, I'll get back to you when I can actually
tell you what I am doing (wrong). I haven't used the scope in a while.
So I am trying to get acquainted with it all again.

Thank you for your help. 

Mike here: As with this (and most) eyepiece projection camera adapters you have to center AND focus the object using the camera's viewfinder. That can be difficult if the object is faint. You might want to try it without an eyepiece first (doing what amounts to prime focus photography); this makes the telescope one long telephoto lens for the camera. This provides more light and less magnification to the camera (and your eye at the viewfinder). The only difficulty with this is that you might not be able to reach a focus at the camera's image plane depending on how long the adapter is but it is worth a try. Whether you use an eyepiece or not I suggest using the Moon for a target; nice and bright right now.
Subject:	Focal reducer for ETX125
Sent:	Sunday, November 26, 2006 06:19:39
From:	Yenal Ogmen (
I am planning to do Astrometry and Photometry with my ETX125 and DSI Pro
II. I think I will need focal reducer too. There is no anyplace in
Cyprus to buy any astronomy related staff. I have to purchase it from
Turkey and there is only Meade dealer there. Hence, I have to choose one
of the Meade's FRs. Which of these FRs shall I purchase? Do I need
anything other than FR itself to use it with DSI? (Like Visual Back

Any other comments about doing Astrometry and Photometry are
appreciated. Thank you.

Yenal men
  Green Island Observatory Homepage 
North Cyprus
Mike here: Unless Meade has a newer model of the focal reducers that are designed for the ETX, you will need a "SCT Accessory Adapter" to use it with the ETX. See the Accessory Reviews: Miscellaneous page for more info.
Subject:	ETX125 & Maxview
Sent:	Friday, November 24, 2006 08:51:55
From: (
Someone gave the Maxview DSLR. I read your review on it, but I am still
not sure how to use it? I cannot get a hold of scopetronix (I understand
the are having trouble).

...also I am trying to get a focal reducer for the ETX125PE..any good
recommendations? My goal is to capture the entire sun in one frame...
Hope you had a pleasant thanksgiving....
Mike here: Scopetronix has a focal reducer, as does Apogee (called a "Wide Field Adapter; you see my comments on the Shutan offered model on the Accessory Reviews: Showcase Products page). You might be able to find the Scopetronix one at some of their dealers. As to the MaxView, what don't you understand about its use? It goes into the eyepiece holder, you attach a camera (with its lens removed) via a T-Ring adapter, and then with or without an eyepiece, focus the image in the camera and take your exposure(s).


Does an eyepiece go into the MaxView?
Mike here: As I said, "with or without an eyepiece"; at least with the MaxView DSLR II that I have. With an eyepiece you can do eyepiece projection (for more magnification) or without an eyepiece you shoot at "prime focus" (the telescope becomes like a telephoto lens). Scopetronix has other MaxView products that include a 40mm eyepiece, so you can't do prime focus with those.


thanks for the reply!!

Subject:	astrophotgraphy question
Sent:	Tuesday, November 21, 2006 18:15:25
From:	steve harper (
just a quick question regarding taking photos with my etx125 and a
cannon eos xti camera. on your site under photography, clay says for
prime focus photog. using a etx125,  here is what he said that i dont

"In prime focus photography, the telescope (say an f/15 ETX) becomes the
CAMERA LENS; with the standard camera lens removed with the ETX 125 for
example, and the camera attached at the rear of the telescope you have
essentially a 1,900mm telephoto lens! "

my question i guess is what is a "f/15 etx" dont quite understand how my
etx 125 without a lens on my new camera works. any help?

thanks as usual
steve harper
Mike here: If your camera has a removable lens and you mount it at the prime focus of the ETX-125, you are using the telescope just like a 1900mm telephoto lens. That is what Dr. Clay is saying. His comment about a "f/15 ETX" is just referring to the approximate "speed" of the ETX system.


prime focus as in mounting the camera using the ring adapter and
flipping the mirror lever? and yes the camera does have the removable
lens. the people at opt sold it to me and threw in a electronic eyepiece
for me to try out.
thanks again
Mike here: "Prime focus" as in not using an eyepiece. You can mount the camera at either the rear port or the at the eyepiece port with the proper adapters. You will probably have better balance at the eyepiece port using a 1.25" prime focus adapter and T-Ring for your camera. For an example of this, see my comments on the "Prime Focus T-Adapter" on the Accessory Reviews: Astrophotography page. (Note that Scopetronix products may not be currently available at some dealers.)


thanks for the quick respones mike! i will be down by opt next week and
will stop in and look around. sorry i was unable to be at the star
party, i was out of town. boy was i pissed when the dates conflicted. i
really wanted to be down there
maybe next one!!!

Subject:	Photography with ETX-90PE and ETX-125PE
Sent:	Wednesday, November 8, 2006 09:00:40
From:	charlottedzujna (
We're researching these two telescopes and one of our questions is:  Is
there a way to take photos with a digital camera of the images we see or
some way of connecting to the computer to download images?  Thanks for
any information.
Mike here: See the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page for TONS of information on this topic. As to connecting the camera to the computer, most digital cameras come with a USB cable to do that.
Subject:	hello Mike
Sent:	Wednesday, November 1, 2006 05:39:46
From:	Adam Jephson (
Sorry to send you this e-mail, but do you know where I can get some
answers to problems associated with Meade DSIs and the image processing

I took some terrestrial shots on red, blue & green, but when I open or
try to process them using the processing software, they come out very
dark, as if the colours are inverted. Opening the images in Autostar
Envisage they look great, like good black & white images.
Any ideas?
Many thanks
Adam Jephson
South Africa
Mike here: First, please read the Email Etiquette item on the ETX Site Home Page; your email was originally classified as SPAM and deleted UNREAD. Have you tried adjusting the "levels" in your image processing software? For more on image processing, you might for some of the information on the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page, including the reviews, helpful.
Subject:	Need idea on choosing CCD for ETX125
Sent:	Wednesday, October 25, 2006 01:17:24
From:	Yenal Ogmen (
I would like to purchase a CCD camera for my ETX125. Since I am living
in such a country where there is no any astronomical shops to purchase
anything, I have to order them from the closest dealer from another
country and this makes the price double. Hence, I have to choose the
cheapest CCD available, which appears to be Meade DSI.

My aim is to do Astrometry and Photometry. However I read that these can
be done with NABG CCD chip where DSI is ABG, not NABG. On the other
hand, Ron Wodaski says in his book, it is not impossible to do these
with ABG camera but you should be careful not to have pixels saturated
more than 50% in order to achieve accurate measurements. My question is
do you think that I can do Astrometry and Photometry without having big
trouble with ETX and DSI? or I really have to consider NABG camera?

Thank you.

Yenal men
  Green Island Observatory Homepage 
North Cyprus
Mike here: With the software controls for the DSI models I suspect you should be OK with a DSI model. If you need a fast response time to changing events then I don't know if the DSI will be able to handle that.
Subject:	adapter
Sent:	Friday, October 13, 2006 20:18:47
From:	Gerald Jenny (
First I would like to say a Great Big Thanks for your site

My question is I have just purchsed a 6.3 focal reducer for my DSI and
it is to big it is 2.00 inches in Dia is there a adaptor that I can get
to make it fit on my ETX 125 as you know it is only 1.25" and the DSI is
1.25" any help would be greatley needed thanks Jerry
Gerald Jenny
Mike here: There is a "SCT Accessory Adapter"; see the Accessory Reviews: Miscellaneous page. Besides the weight problem mentioned there you might also have a focus problem if the DSI is positioned outside of the focus range of the ETX. Also, if the focal reducer requires 2" eyepieces then you will also need a 2" to 1.25" adapter, which could compound the focus problem.

Return to the top of this page.

Go to the July-September 2006 Astrophotography - Tips page.

Go to the April-June 2006 Astrophotography - Tips page.

Go to the January-March 2006 Astrophotography - Tips page.

Go to the November-December 2005 Astrophotography - Tips page.

Go to the September-October 2005 Astrophotography - Tips page.

Go to the July-August 2005 Astrophotography - Tips page.

Go to the May-June 2005 Astrophotography - Tips page.

Go to the March-April 2005 Astrophotography - Tips page.

Go to the January-February 2005 Astrophotography - Tips page.

Go to the October-December 2004 Astrophotography - Tips page.

Go to the July-September 2004 Astrophotography - Tips page.

Go to the April-June 2004 Astrophotography - Tips page.

Go to the January-March 2004 Astrophotography - Tips page.

Go to the 2003 Astrophotography - Tips page.

Go back to the Astrophotography Page.

Go back to my ETX Home Page.

Copyright ©2006 Michael L. Weasner /
Submittal Copyright © 2006 by the Submitter