Last updated: 7 November 2008

This page documents Nikon D70 and other Nikon DSLR camera comments, tips, and photos. Search the site for "nikon dslr" for other items about the Nikon DSLR cameras. Contributions welcome.

Subject:	M57 with Nikon D80
Sent:	Wednesday, November 5, 2008 22:24:01
From:	Amanda Melquist (
if you'd like to post a pic next go-around, here's an image I took a
few weeks back of M57 from Minneapolis, MN (seven 30s exposures at
ISO1600 with ETX105 prime focus on a D80 - RegistaxV4, processed using
PhotoShopPro v7).   Origionally after stacking the images, I was left
dissapointed with the small aqua ring.  But after reading some articals
about split-color processing, I took another shot at the post-processing
of the image.  I split the final stacked image into RGB layers and
adjusted each individually to match the color ranges I've seen in better
photos.  No localized modifications were made to the below image. 
Although no center star is decernable, I was still happy to see that a
105mm scope (and granted some serious color level adjustments) would
show this level of detail from an otherwise so/so image.  It shows a
number of features in common with much higher res images out on the net.
 I do see mostly blue-green in the orig image, but there was definately
some red/yellow around the edge which I enhanced and the black clipping
(to get a black sky backgroun) left just a tad of blue left in the
center of the image.

-Jason Melquist


Mike here: Very impressive for a Nikon D80 DSLR.

End of today's update
Subject:	camera setting with etx and Nikon D70s
Sent:	Tuesday, July 22, 2008 18:29:44
From:	Bill & Joyce (
I have a ETX 90 with the appropriate adapters to attach my D70s nikon. 
I have been using my nikon 995 and 4300 set up as a spotting scope with
good results.  My problem is with the Nikon D70s.  I have it set to
manual focus and the M shooting setting but I am missing something as it
does not work. I get no picture.  I know its something dumb that I am
over looking.  Any help or advice you can give will be greatly
Bill Plechaty
Mike here: Are you doing afocal or prime focus photography? What objects? You might want to look through my Nikon D70 pages on the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page.

End of 24 July update
Subject:	Piggybacking the D70 
Sent:	Saturday, April 12, 2008 13:01:49
From: (
Congrats on the retirement and move...

I am slowly settling into my new place and had a thought.  I have an
older ETX125 and the newer PE model.  If I wanted to piggy back my D70
to the older model, do I need to do an alignment on it?  All I am
trying to do is take some long exposures with a 200mm lens of the Orion
Nebula. I am thinking about polar mounting the older ETX and just using
it to track while the D70 is mounted to it and taking several

The other question; What is the best way to figure out how much counter
weight is needed for the above setup?

Thank you for your amazing site and sharing your knowledge with all.

Arlington Heights, IL
Mike here: You don't need to precisely align the camera to the telescope optics. In fact, you can point the camera in one direction and the telescope in another, within reason. I've done long duration exposures with my ETX-90RA (polar mounted) with the D70 piggybacked; you can see more on this on the "My Nikon D70 DSLR" on the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page. As to counterweight, the best way is trial and error.


Thanks for the info...


End of 13 April update
Subject:	Do you use the autofocus for piggyback Astrophotography?
Sent:	Thursday, January 24, 2008 14:28:53
From:	Sweitzer, Eric (
Hi Mike, sorry to hear about the theft, I am looking to get into
Astrophotography, I have an LXD-75 8"SC and I am looking to get a Nikon
D-40 digital camera to use with it. I am very interested in piggyback
astrophotography and the camera includes a 18-55mm lenses by Nikon. I
am looking to purchase a longer telephoto Lenses with it, but according
to the manufacturer only the Nikon lenses work with auto focus on this
camera and I was looking at an aftermarket 70-300mm Lenses.

So I guess my question is in piggyback Astrophotography do you
autofocus or manual focus?

Thank you for all your work in this field

Eric S Sweitzer
Mike here: The Nikon (and perhaps other cameras as well) use a "sharpness" determination to figure out the infocus setting for its autofocus lens. However, faint points of light like stars do not provide sufficient data for the camera's computer to accurately determine infocus. So the lens focus motor either runs back and forth or just won't run at all. The solution is to focus manually, which is what I do. I pick a bright star and turn the focus ring until the image in the viewfinder is at its smallest and brightness. The "Stiletto Focuser" (which I reviewed on my LXD Site) can be used with a camera lens to determine proper focus.

End of 26 January update
Subject:	ETX-125 EC > Replacement parts. Flood Damage
Sent:	Wednesday, January 9, 2008 04:24:02
From: (
Let me give you a quick rundown of the issue. I am a 67 year old
disable handicap that was caught up in the Katrina flood in Mobile,
AL. I lost all the accessories for my ETX-125 EC except 45 erecting
prism, one 7-20 mm eyepiece and the scope. (Even lost a brand new
color CCD too +  LapTop) Scope, elec focus and EC unit still works.
I am trying to slowly get back to where I can do some observing.

I need some information: I want to mount a Nikon D80 DSLR to the
1.25" 45 erecting prism, due to having a rigid neck and back I
cannot get into position to view otherwise. This camera body has a
fair weight to it (about 16.5 oz.) so I thought all the mounts
should be screw together. I need some of your expertise on this.
Make, part #'s supplier,  the like. Prime focus to start with I
guess. I was given the following part # by Meade but have no idea
what it looks like. Part # 17356. I know their "T Mount" number is
07378 for it, but a "T-mount is a T-mount. Do you have any other
suggestions for what I'm trying to do.  You're the genius at this

Also, I want to use a 12V Gel-Cell battery to drive the scope but
cannot find out what the 12VDC plug size is that fits the scope. OR
whether the center pin is + or - ..

I hate to have to pay $25-30 just to get a cord with a plug on it
and then cut off 20 feet of cord when RadioShack has every plug
known to man for $6ea. Just ordered a new AutoStar 497 to replace
the "wet" one. Money a little tight and We still have to eat first.

Mike, I'm sorry to hear about your theft. I know it made you sick
when you found out about it. Things like this really make you feel
violated. I will certainly be on the lookout here. Doubt any of it
got to the SouthEast though.

Mike here: Check out my Nikon D70 page on the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page for all the info you need for connecting and using the D80 with your ETX. See the Power Supplies section on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page for info on connecting external power sources.

Go to the October-November 2007 Nikon DSLR Discussion page.

Go to the February-September 2007 Nikon DSLR Discussion page.

Go to the 2006 Nikon D70 Discussion page.

Go to the 2005 Nikon D70 Discussion page.

Go to my Nikon D70 Astrophotography page.

Go back to the Astrophotography Page.

Go back to my ETX Home Page.

Copyright ©2008 Michael L. Weasner /
Submittal Copyright © 2008 by the Submitter