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Last updated: 30 November 2010

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

Subject:	Good D7000 Info!
Sent:	Monday, November 29, 2010 14:44:31
From:	The Ostroffs (
Been following your site for a while now. Very good stuff and I just
read your write-up on the D7000. I bought one as well and have been
imaging with it for the last month or so, now. I am not a brilliant
astrophotographer, but have been very happy with the results.You can see
work done to date here:

Keep up the good work on your site!


Subject:	Nikon D7000
Sent:	Friday, November 26, 2010 21:31:56
From:	Marty C (
I just wanted to say thanks for posting your experiences with D7000 &
I am in same boat as you were, trying to use a Nikon D70 to do the job.
I have been looking at getting a D7000 but wondered about long exposure
noise and hot spot on the imaging chip.
From your tests I can see that the dreaded purple burn out area of the
D70 CCD does not exist on the D7000 CMOS.
The other item that Nikon has a bad rep for astrophotography is star
eating. (median filter of camera eliminating stars)
Was wondering if you has tested the D7000 for this, to see if it has
same problem as D70.

Also was curious if having smaller pixels has any impact on the light
sensitivity? or grainyness of image.
D70 is 6 MB vs D7000 at 16.2MB but both have pretty much the same sized
imaging chip, thus surface area per pixel will be less.
Thinking this may lead to sharper images but require longer exposure or
higher ISO to get same light capture.
I may be wrong, but thinking this may be kind of like high ISO vs low
ISO film.
Marty Cogswell
Mike here: The D7000 DSLR is amazing astro camera. So far, I've noted experienced all the bad things that occurred with the D70 DSLR, like the purple heat-generated sensor noise. And at the higher ISO settings on the D7000, there seems to be less noise and "graininess" than I expected. I haven't experienced any "star eating"; in fact, based on the images I captured Friday night (posted on my Cassiopeia Observatory site today), this isn't a problem at all. As to needing longer exposures, in fact, I think it is just the opposite. I can capture more in shorter exposures by using higher ISO settings than were available on the D70. I continued to be very impressed with the D7000.
Subject:	Astrophotography Neat Thingy!
Sent:	Sunday, November 14, 2010 17:45:28
From:	Steve Baker (
Saw where you received a new Nikon D7000 camera, and was doing some
testing.  Great camera, I personally own a D5000, and absolutely love
it, including the "flip out" screen on the back.  I'm just starting in
the astrophotography field, and, being winter here in Utah, will have to
shelve the 8" scope until spring to seriously attack the skies again.

However, I have found one neat little accessory, that will greatly help
in multiple images, time exposures, and anything having to do with
making the camera "fire" remotely, and without vibration.  It's called a
"PHOTTIX® NIKOS Digital Timer Remote, and it will do single timed
exposures, interval exposures, and timed interval exposures, as well as
simple remote shutter release.  It plugs into a port on the side of the
camera, (mine's by the USB port), and the times that I've used it, it is
totally fascinating.  The company website is:
remote.html, and they have them for around 60 Euros.  However, I got
mine from E-bay for around $50, and as far as I'm concerned, it's a
great little investment.

Hope ya find this interesting.

Subject:	thanks and little d70 ap question
Sent:	Monday, October 18, 2010 15:40:34
From:	John (
Thank you for the excellent help and advice for our Meade ETX equipment. 

On the D70 DSO shots, is the camera using the LX200 optics, or something
else?  Did you subtract "darks" from some shots?

The shots are very good.

Mike here: I don't do "darks", nor do I usually "stack" multiple images. As to the optics used, that depends on which images you are referring to. Some are taken piggyback with a 18-70mm or 70-300mm lens. Some are taken at prime focus of the 8" LX200-ACF, sometimes with the addition of a focal reducer or a 2X or 3X telenegative lens. I usually try to remember to state on the "Cassiopeia Observatory" Reports page how the image was taken.
Subject:	Nikon D70
Sent:	Monday, September 20, 2010 17:20:23
From:	Louis Sanford (
I'm new at shooting thru the telescope. I'm having a problem when I set
the camera on Bulb I can not change the shutter speed. I'm trying to
shoot the moon at 400 or 800. I have a remote and I also used the timer.
But, it always shoot at a slow speed. I have pushed the ISO button on
the back of the camera but the shutter still shoots a a slower speed
even after making changes. This makes my picture over exposed. Can you
tell me what I need to do on my Nikon D70 or what I'm doing wrong.

Your help will be Deeply appreciated and will stop so much frustration.
Mike here: First, at the Bulb setting, the first press of the remote button OPENS the shutter and starts the exposure. The second press of the remote CLOSES the shutter and ends the exposure. Depending on the moon's phase and how you are imaging, that can result in overexposure, as you've seen. When the moon is very bright, ISO of 200 and a shutter speed in the 100s of a second may be more appropriate. If you are imaging at high magnifications, you may need higher ISO settings and then need to use the "hat trick" method.


How do you change the shutter speed in Bulb?
Mike here: Bulb is one setting (manually open and close). Select one of the other settings for timed exposures.


I really appreciate you helping me. What other setting can I use? When I
tried other settings no image displayed on my viewer. I thought that
only Bulb could be used when using a telescope? This is a real education
for me.

Mike here: Set to the Manual (M) setting on the dial; you can then use all the shutter speeds. One thing you do have to watch out for when using slower shutter settings is image blurring due to the camera's mirror movement. This is especially a problem with the ETX unless you have a very stable mounting. Keeping the tripod legs set to no extension helps reduce vibrations. At faster shutter speeds, the vibration problem is less.


You are right. I put it on manual and did several test at different
speeds and it worked. You are Da Man.

Subject:	Nikon camera control program
Sent:	Monday, August 30, 2010 20:56:39
From:	Zsolt Farag (
there is a Nikon camera control program for Windows, making it possible
to create time lapse photos, etc. for various types of Nikon dslr-s. I
think it might help Jimmy Devito. The programs website is

Kind Regards:

Zsolt Farago

Subject:	Nikon D3000 for Astrophotography
Sent:	Friday, August 27, 2010 12:37:09
From:	Jim Beston (
Although I have done some pleasing Astrophotography with Meade's LPI and
DSI II. I am considering purchasing a DSLR. I believe the advantage of
this would be to allow me to take much wider field photos than I can
obtain at present (even with a focal reducer.) Hopefully the photos
would be of better quality than I can obtain with the Meade cameras.

One problem I perceive is that I can only see me doing this in Alt/AZ
as, having a walking disability, my 10" LX200GPS is just about
manageable as is and the extra weight (and cost) of the wedge are

I am thinking of choosing the Nikon D3000 (which comes with a 18-55 mm
VR Lens Kit) as it's price seems reasonable as, I suppose, an entry
level DSLR. What I don't know is whether this is a wise choice for
Astrophotography and if it is possible to use it in other than the Polar
mode - I suspect that the elevation of my 'scope would be somewhat
limited. Presumably I would not be able to use the Meade Envisage
software with a DSLR.

I would be grateful for any advice from yourself or you readers.

Kindest Regards
Mike here: I have been using a Nikon D70 DSLR for astrophotography since 2005. Works pretty good (see my Cassiopeia Observatory web site for some LX200 examples). You can always do lots of short exposures and stack them. That avoids the "field rotation" problem with long exposures in Alt/Az. I recommend getting a wireless remote (if there is one for the D3000). You will also need likely want some sort of focus assistance (mask or Stiletto Focuser; see the Accessory Reviews: Astrophotography page, as well as the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page). And of course, you'll likely want to use the "Hat Trick Method" (article on the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page).


Thanks for your rapid reply Mike.

I have a "mask" and I'm aware of the Hat Trick method. I don't know what
the D70 has been replaced with nowadays but I will see if the D3000 is
close to it in spec. and if a wireless remote is available.

Thanks again

Mike here: The D70 was replaced with the D70s, D80, and then the D90. Rumors have it that the D90 will be replaced next month by the D7000. (I do wish Nikon would use some logic with their model numbers. Their current lineup has no logic at all in their numbering scheme.)


Maybe it's inscrutable!

I have just picked up the following link from my "ComputerActive" - A
rather fine PC magazine we get here in the UK, I thought you might like
to view it - if you haven't seen it before:

I think it is rather neat!


Subject:	nikon d90
Sent:	Wednesday, June 16, 2010 21:06:13
From:	Jimmy Devito (
I took this picture at cherry springs in PA with a 30 shutter speed on
my d90. I caught a shooting star.  I want to buy a lot more things for
my D90 like the ability to take a picture every 30 seconds without me
pressing the button. Is there a timer I can buy for this?  Also I want
to record the sky with my video camera but the night vision never works
well. Is there something else I can use to film the sky at night?  Thank



Mike here: You might want to look at "My Nikon D70 DSLR" on the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page. I discuss some accessories I use with my D70 DSLR. I don't have a timer but I believe they exist. Or could you "tether" your camera to a computer and use the computer to control the camera. If you don't tether, I do recommend using the wireless remote (mentioned on that page) to avoid having to touch the camera to start/stop exposures.
Subject:	Nikon DSLR and Astrophoto Noob question
Sent:	Wednesday, June 16, 2010 11:44:06
From:	John Luciano (
Great website. Has kept me coming back for years.

I am trying to advance from viewing stars to photographing them. I think
I have all the correct toys, but I don't think I have the correct

This is a quick list of my assets.

ETX 90EC with field tripod
Meade 26mm eyepiece
Nikon D5000
Nikon t-adaptor
Meade #64 adaptor
Meade Basic Camera adaptor
Autostar 497
Serial to USB connection

With the camera correctly connected to the scope using the basic camera
adaptor, I do not get an image to focus unless I take a shot.

Since this particular camera has Live View, shouldn't I be able to see
the image on the viewscreen?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Mike here: While learning to do astrophotography with a camera, I recommend using the moon. It makes an easy target to focus on. And you can get some great images very easily. With live view, you should be able to easily seen the moon on the display. Couple of points: 1. When you attach the camera at the rear port, you essentially have a very long telephoto lens for the camera. 2. When you use the Basic Camera Adapter with an eyepiece, you have a lot of magnification and much a dimmer object to try to focus on. Also, keep in mind that tracking is not quite precise enough (with many telescopes, not just the ETX) to do long duration exposures without trailing becoming a problem. You can do short exposures and then "stack" them to make for effective longer exposures. There is a lot of information on astrophotography on the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page.

Go to the 2009 Nikon DSLR Discussion page.

Go to the 2008 Nikon DSLR Discussion page.

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.

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