Last updated: 24 December 2003
This page documents Nikon digital camera models comments, tips, and photos. Search the site for "coolpix" for other items about the Nikon digital cameras. Contributions welcome.
Go to the 2001-2002 Nikon Coolpix Astrophotography Page.
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Subject: Registax/Saturn Sent: Sunday, January 5, 2003 13:49:07 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (divenuts) This my first attempt using Registax stacking software. It is a composite of 20 (1/2sec/ f8.8)photos taken with my ETX-125, Nikon 995 CooPix. Clear humid night in light polluted skies. Have you had a chance to try regiStax yet? Clear skies, Chuck Callaghan 28.017N 82.772W
Subject: Astrophotography Sent: Thursday, January 9, 2003 0:14:39 From: GeeMackay@aol.com First of all, all the best for the New Year. This is my first e-mail to you and I would like to say what a great site you have, I can't seem to stay away from it since I came across it. I'm sending a couple of pictures I took with my Nikon Coolpix 4300 and would be delighted if you could post them on your site. Both were taken through my ETX 70 . Both images aren't processed in any way , only cropped. Jupiter with 3x Barlow and 9mm eyepiece, the CP 4300 was connected with the Digi-T adapter,1/15sec , f/4.4, ISO 400 Orion Nebula with 25mm eyepiece , Digi-t adapter, 8 sec , f/2.8, ISO 400. I have one question for you . With my ETX 70 , when I take a photo through it, around stars etc, they always have red, green and blue ghosting around them. I think I have it when I only look through my scope aswell , it just shows up more in a photo. You can see it with the Orion image. Is this normal for the ETX 70 or do I have something wrong with the optics in the telescope? I'm pretty sure the images are focused alright. The scope is only three months old you see and it is my first one so I'm a beginner and not to sure about some things yet . thanks, clear skies Gordon Mackay Hamilton , Scotland
Subject: Nikon 995 Sent: Wednesday, January 22, 2003 15:39:36 From: email@example.com (divenuts) Here is a photo I took 12:50 AM 1/16/03. I caught the GRS and the shadows of Io and Ganymede on the surface. If you look closely you can also see the moon Io (I think) to the lower right of Jupiter. I used an ETX-125 with a Televue 8x24 zoom eyepiece set at about 12mm. My CoolPix 995 was set at 1/8 sec f/8.6.....5 images stacked in Registax and touched up in Photoshop. I might have had a little better image if I had not reduced the file size as much as I did. I'm expecting a Digisnap 2000 camera remote (tomorrow) that will greatly improve my current technique of using the timer. Clear skies, Chuck Callaghan Dunedin, Fl (Tampa Bay) GO BUC'S!!!!!!!!!!!! NFC CHAMPIONS!
Subject: etx-125 with nikon 5700 Sent: Saturday, February 1, 2003 6:48:13 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (mike coco) The nikon 5700 needs lots of light to work well. I currently have a etx-70at that limits me because of low light gathering. Is the 125 a good choice to use for both astro and land (wildlife such as birds, etc.) If anyone is using this same set up I would love some input. thanks, mikeMike here: Certainly the ETX-125 has more light-gathering power than the ETX-70 but it also has a longer focal length. But you can see many examples of photography (terrestrial and celestial) on the astrophotography related pages on my ETX Site.
Subject: Nikon D100 SLR moon pic Sent: Tuesday, February 4, 2003 23:17:09 From: TCAPLIS@cs.com My daughter got a Nikon D100 SLR digital camera for Christmas. I bought the T-adapter and hung it on my etx-90ec one night. I only had a jerry rigged cable release which still made the whole setup shake a little with each push but it produced some pretty good pics (enhanced with adobe photoshop). I am attaching one pic, the file is fiarly large so it could take a while to download. If you don't have broadband, let me know and I will send as a smaller file. Might have to think about getting one of these for myself. With the 1GB micro drive, it can take about 600 pics like this one. Thanks for the great website. Tom Caplis
Subject: nice moon shot from 2/5/03 Sent: Sunday, February 9, 2003 3:25:11 From: email@example.com (mark mathosian) Here's a nice moon shot that shows good detail. Shot with a Nikon 995 and Meade ETX90. Sharpened one notch with Adobe Photoshop. Camera setting as follows: Manual, infinity, self-timer for 10 seconds. Mark
Subject: etx 125 and nikon coolpix 995 Sent: Sunday, February 9, 2003 15:43:42 From: firstname.lastname@example.org Hi, I first want to say is that your website is great. I've learned alot of valuable information about my etx 125 from your site. I don't know if you could answer my question but if you can't perhaps you can foward this to someone who would know. The question is this. When I have my etx 125 with my coolpix 995 attached to it. (I haven't bought the adapter yet) I would like to be able to see on my laptop what is going through the digital camera and control it also through my laptop. Do you know if software exists for this? Any help is appriciated. thanks Jon GermanoMike here: There are several shareware and commercial software applications that will let you control the Autostar, and hence the ETX. And I think you can control/view the Coolpix using Nikon's software and the USB cable but haven't I tried that.
Subject: saturn photo Sent: Thursday, February 13, 2003 21:36:33 From: email@example.com Hello my name is Jeremy and I am 14 years old .I wanted to know if you would place my photo on your planet astrophotography page.It isn't as good as the other photos but i. like it.I took it with a Nikon Coolpix 990 attached to my telescope with the digi t.I love your site I think I'm on it about 15 times a day keep up the good work. The specs, 1/4 second at ISO 400 full optical zoom on a 25mm eyepiece.
Subject: ETX-125/CP995 Sent: Wednesday, February 19, 2003 16:22:47 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (divenuts) The first is with no zoom, the second with full optical zoom and the third is with full optical and digital zoom. It makes quite of difference and had some success with the stacking in each of the zoom modes. I found the differences interesting, especially playing around with stacking and changing some settings in Photoshop. I kept the files small to save loading time. Thanks as always for the work you put in your website, Chuck Callaghan, Dunedin, Fl
Subject: ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY WITH THE NIKON DIGITAL CAMERAS Sent: Monday, February 24, 2003 15:18:44 From: email@example.com (Jonathan Silverlight) First, of course, congratulations on the site. It puts mine to shame but as I use a Coolpix 995 may I link to your site? You'll find me at www.merseia.fsnet.co.uk. A couple of comments you might want to put on the Nikon pages. Has anyone successfully used the control software at http://www.digital-camera.dk/ with a Coolpix 995? I get a "Critical Error" "The camera is not responding" even though it works perfectly with Nikon View. I use my 995 with the camera mounting from BC&F Astro Engineering http://www.astro-engineering.com/ - the mounts are shown at http://www.hfo.org.uk/Camera%20Mountings/digitalcameramou.html and here's my own picture showing how it grips an eyepiece and has a bolt with a padded support for the camera.
And finally, here's a picture I took last year with a stationary 10 inch f/4.3 Newtonian and a 20mm Erfle eyepiece
Subject: Resending Moon pictures Sent: Tuesday, March 18, 2003 20:20:14 From: MULL3RD@aol.com These pictures are my first attempt at astrophotography. They were taken on Fri. 14 March 2003 in Chicago IL. at approx 11:30pm. They were taken using an ETX 90EC with a ORION Expanse 9mm eyepiece. The camera used was a Nikon COOLPIX 4500. The pictures were touched up once using the smart task button in picture it! (thats about all I can do) Hope you will post them on your website. Sincerely Walt Mulloy--Chicago , IL.
Subject: M42 first attempt Sent: Monday, April 14, 2003 06:52:50 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Jonathan Demery) This is my first attempt at astrophotograhy using my ETX70at. details: camera= Nikon Coolpix 4500 eypiece meade S3000 plossl 25mm exposure 14.81 secs at f2.6 Hand held!!!!!!!!!!!!! (must get an adapter and remote release!!!!!!!!!!) ISO 800 with noise reduction. Photograph taken in North Wales UK - seeing conditions were not very good and there was moderate light pollution. The success of this photograph and seeing websites like yours has inspired me to get some adabters to experiment more. Keep up the good work with the website. Jonathan Demery
Subject: first successfully detailed sun pic!!! Sent: Thursday, April 24, 2003 16:45:11 From: email@example.com (CVL) I love your site! I just made some ETX modifications today that really make a difference! Attached is the sun taken earlier this week with a Nikon 4500 digital camera. Taken afocally with Scopetronix 14mm eyepiece, ETX-90RA, and baader solar filter. All AUTO camera settings. Two best images out of 14 stacked and processed in Registax. Keep up the good work! Best, John Bowers
Subject: nikon coolpix 775 Sent: Tuesday, April 29, 2003 11:12:26 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (pcm) First thing I would like to say is thank-u for a great web page .I am very new and also a new owner of a Meade etx 125.I do have a question on Astrophotography.I own a Nikon Coolpix 775.I understand Scopetronix has the set-up for the 775.Have u seen any pic shot with the 775?Most people seem tobe using a higher end Nikon. Thanks again for the page. Peter Muchmore Houston TXMike here: I don't recall any Coolpix 775 shots but you should be able to get good results with it on some objects.
Subject: Great Site!!! Sent: Thursday, May 1, 2003 19:46:29 From: email@example.com (Michael COURNOYER) I purchased a ETX 105 in December I had a problem with the scope it wouldn't go past 70 degrees, I needed 90 Deg. in order to get a Polar Alignment. They updated my Autostar while they repaired the Scope. Now it works excellent, right on, great investment. I have 2 other telescopes one a German 127 mm 5" Cassegrain. Enclosed is a few images taken with my Nikon 885.
Subject: Moon photos Sent: Monday, May 12, 2003 11:40:18 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (divenuts) I have enclosed two photos of the Moon taken 5/10/03. ETX-125,CP995 and 40mm eyepiece. The full size photo has no zoom and the close up is half optical zoom. Getting a little practice before Thursdays Lunar ecipse. Thanks, Chuck Callaghan Dunedin,Fl
Click for full size image
Subject: moon photo - for Coolpix 995 page Sent: Tuesday, June 10, 2003 12:16:24 From: email@example.com (Kyle Barger) I am enjoying using my new ETX-90RA, which I received this past Friday. I also have a Nikon Coolpix 995, and I am looking forward to attempting some photographs of Jupiter with it. I'm looking all over the place for Coolpix 995 astrophotography resources... I've decided I don't want to drag a laptop out to the telescope to use a webcam. Here is my first attempt at photography through the ETX-90, a shot of the waxing gibbous moon taken from my back yard in suburban Philadelphia on the night of June 9, 2003. This image is a mosaic of two 1/60 sec exposures (to get the upper and lower half) and was taken with the Coolpix 995 attached to a Scopetronix 14mm wide angle eyepiece/digital camera adapter in the ETX-90. I used Picture Window Pro software for processing (stitching the two images together, correction for chromatic aberration, some sharpening, and a little contrast increase).
Subject: Moon Sent: Friday, June 13, 2003 13:31:06 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (AYTAC) Meade ETX-90 with 26 mm eyepiece and Nikon Coolpix 4300 Date : 08.May.2003 Turkey-Istanbul AYTAC AKINCI
Subject: Moon Picture Sent: Saturday, June 28, 2003 14:51:34 From: email@example.com (AYTAC) Meade ETX-90 with 26 mm eyepiece and Nikon Coolpix 4300 Turkey-Istanbul AYTAC AKINCI
Subject: Photo of Sun Sent: Monday, July 21, 2003 05:18:35 From: Scott.A.Nicolson@btopenworld.com (Scott) Please see attatched photo of sun taken on the 18 July. Thought it might be alright for sun photos or just photos. Taken using an ETX 70AT Nikon 4500 coolpix with1/209.8 F/3 Have been trying to get Mars also but with no real luck yet getting the Mars taken with coolpix at 1sec F/5.1 Any help on getting Mars would be a real help Scott
Mike here: Mars is a challenge. It is low in the sky, meaning its image is easily disturbed by our atmosphere. That makes focusing a challenge. Keep at it.
Subject: Mars focus Sent: Saturday, July 26, 2003 01:12:36 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (ROBERT Derouin) I'm a little down after my second official Mars-shoot!I observed/photographed Mars this morning(Between 2:30-3:35 am.).My digital images didn't come out as well as last week!I'm bummed!!!My focus seems to be worse than last time.The seeing was fair,not that bad though!Atmosphere was humid. Focusing seems an impossible task!I definitely need to use the self-timer on my Nikon Coolpix 885,Setting the manual focus to infinity,and having the camera keep it there,cannot be done with this model Nikon.So who knows where the cameras focus is 'going' during my exposures of 1/8 and 1/15 secs.(ASA 200 setting). I DID wear my glasses and view the image thru the eyepiece during focusing,seemed ok.I definitely use the self-timer (10 secs) because it vibrates like crazy after letting go of the camera!!(NO way to attach a cable release,don't think I can get an electronic cable release!).I WILL try again!!!Too excited to give up!I'm going back out there again,tomorrow!!NOT MUCH SLEEP THIS WEEKEND!!!!! Can you give me any other advice,would a small monitor?TV help.You know,a much bigger image to view while focusing?? Thank you in advance for any Weasner-Words of wisdom you could pass on! Bob Derouin,Johnston,RI (at a humid 4:00 am) P.S. I know the meniscus lens didn't dew up,using a dew shield!!Mike here: See the article "Focus Aid, Autostar Aligning Aid" on the Telescope Tech Tips page for a tip on making a focus aid. I haven't made one myself yet but plan to. You can also buy one, known as a "Kwik Focus". I have the Coolpix 995 which does allow setting to INFinity and has an electronic self-timer. I also use the electronic release cable. One tip on focusing: remember that the image is smallest when in focus. So with patience (and steady skies) you can get the image in focus. Adding a separate monitor if the camera allows that can help.
why am I not getting the contrast in surface features like all the other astrophotos that adorn your great site???My etx125 does not have UHTC.And I know I'm not dewing up!!Mike here: Do you mean visually or photographically? In either case, contrast will be affected by the brightness of Mars. Using a Moon filter (or even sunglasses) can help if you don't have filters. Also, keep in mind that many of the photographs that have been posted are stacked images.
Subject: Lunar pics Sent: Wednesday, August 6, 2003 20:30:39 From: email@example.com (ROBERT Derouin) Well,I've been at it again!It seems the Nikon Coolpix 885 has a mind of its own when it comes to focusing while attached to a Scopetronix digi-t adapter and an eyepiece!!!Here are three lunar images....Plato,Copernicus,and Clavius.THEY WERE ALL TAKEN WITH THE Meade 125ETX and a Meade 12.5 series 4000 plossl eyepiece.Full 3x camera zoom employed to reduce vignetting.You cannot shut-off the auto-focus without losing the self-timer.I really found that I need the self-timer.The lens is still trying to decide where to stop and rest up until the exposure is made.I seem to think even while the exposure is being made,the image/lens is still trying to focus.Oh,yeah,there was some turbulence.Exposure times were around 1/4 and 1/8 of a second!!Does anyone out there know if there is a coble release of any kind made specifically for the Nikon Coolpix 885??? Thanks again,Mike!Hope you can use these photos!!!
Mike here: I use the Nikon remote release cable with my Coolpix 995. I don't know if it works on the 885. The Nikon MC-EU1 remote cord does work with the Coolpix 800 (according to the manual).
Here is a picture of Copernicus on the terminator.It was taken with the Meade 125etx and a 12.5mm Meade plossl,a Scopetronix digi-t adapter and a Nikon Coolpix 885 with 3x zoom.
Subject: Nikon note/photo site Sent: Sunday, August 17, 2003 14:03:46 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (ROBERT Derouin) I just wanted to let you and other Nikon digital camera astrophotographers know that there is an electronic cable release available for Nikon Coolpix 880,885,and 990 cameras.It is the Nikon MC-EU1.I found it for about $86.00 at a web-based retailer called "A Matter of Fax"!(www.amatteroffax.com).Searches found this to be the best price around....RITZ Camera has it for close to $130.00.All prices include shipping chgs. I ordered one,it took a few days to get here,and is fun and easy to use.
Yeah,I did a little research with my MSN search engine,and checked several sites!!It is a great little 'gadget'!!Hey Mike!, do you think long exposures of 1/4,1/8,&1/15 sec will cause blurry images due to turbulent seeing conditions?? Does the 'red'fringe around my Mars disk mean bad focus or maybe bad optics??I've been using an Orion 7.5mm HighLight plossl. Bob D.Mike here: "Long" exposures can cause blurry images due to atmospheric turbulence. Keeping the exposures as short as the object, magnification (remember, you are also magnifying the turbulence), and seeing will allow is best. A fringe could be due to a slightly out of focus image or even dirty optics.
Subject: coolpix5000/etx90: compatible? Sent: Wednesday, August 27, 2003 07:36:01 From: LiscumM@missouri.edu (Mannie Liscum) Do you know if a Nikon Coolpix 5000 can be adapted to use with a ETX90? Any adapters out there that work? Any compatible with the stock eyepieces? Help!!! -- Cheers, MannieMike here: Check Scopetronix for adapters for their Digi-T System. Lacking that you can use the Universal adapter (see the Accessory Reviews - Astrophotography page on the ETX Site for both).
Subject: Your ETX site is very helpful... Sent: Sunday, September 28, 2003 19:51:30 From: email@example.com (Steve Anderson) This year I started experimenting with astrophotography on my ETX-125. After a bad film experience, I have changed to digital, acquiring a Nikon D100, and have had pretty good results (in my mind) from the very first image. It may be less challenging than using film, but the good results are worth the sacrifice... I am very happy with my first attempt to capture M57! I hate attaching large files to e-mails, and have included links to pages with my images. You may use any you find worth posting, or you may link to my site. When I get more organized I will certainly link to your site. Thanks for being out there. www.starqst.com/astro/030912.html www.starqst.com/astro/030920.html Steve Anderson
Subject: Mars 10-15-03 Sent: Saturday, October 18, 2003 20:40:59 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (divenuts) I read on your website that some folks don't think Mars is viewable. I took some this photo 10/15/03 and captured a pleasing view of Mars with a very small summer icecap. I used an ETX-125,CP 995,12mm eyepiece at 1/30 sec@ f/5.1 It is a stack of 50 photos using ImagesPlus, Registax and touch-up in Photoshop. I reduced the size a bit too muchl, but it still turned out decent. Thanks for looking, Chuck Callaghan Tampa Bay area,Fl
Subject: ETX-125 Picture of Mars Sent: Friday, October 24, 2003 22:29:54 From: Lrv64@aol.com Just thought I should share this you. On October 4th I took this picture of Mars after having had the scope for only two days. The Autostar guided the scope exactly to where Mars was! I had some initial problems on the first day, but I seem to have worked those out.... Rubber banding----creep after beep----whatever you call it. I virtually eliminated it after training drives, home position (ALT-AZ) and two star alignment. I told scope to "go to" Mars, it did, but when I pressed the button to center Mars I noticed it drifted back and past the originating point, so I pressed 9 for high speed, did some movement back and forth, (both UP/DOWN and SIDE TO SIDE) then reset to 3 and my rubber banding appears to have disappeared. I still have the "rubber banding" but once I go through the speed settings mentioned it seems to go away, especially after a few hours of slewing across the sky. This is the second Meade scope I have owned and the fourth over all.... AND the best by far. Great little scope with a BIG eye! These are the specs for the shot: Orion Zoom lens (7-21) Scopetronics Digi-T Systems for Digital Cameras Nikon Coolpix 995 DSCN0526.JPG CAMERA : E995V1.6 METERING : SPOT MODE : M SHUTTER : 1/30sec APERTURE : F5.8 EXP +/- : 0.0 FOCAL LENGTH : f31.0mm(X1.0) IMG ADJUST : STANDARD SENSITIVITY : ISO100 WHITEBAL : AUTO SHARPNESS : NORMAL DATE : 10.04.2003 20:13 QUALITY : UXGA FINE SATURATION : 0 FOCUS AREA : CENTER Luis Villa Nogales AZ
Mike here: The continued rubberbanding is odd. Have you updated to the recent 3.0Ed or 3.0Ee version?
I will be updating as soon as I get the correct cables....
Subject: difference between 2 Nikon digicams Sent: Saturday, November 1, 2003 18:13:01 From: email@example.com (ROBERT Derouin) I would like to pose a question to all the Nikon digital astrophotographers out there!......Are there any important differences between the Nikon Coolpix 885(which I own) and the new Nikon 4300.I know the megapixel count is different,but is it basically the same camera body,that can accept the same Nikon electronic cable release and the same Scopetronics digital adapters for afocal astrophotography?????I'm thinking of upgrading to a Nikon Coolpix 4300(4 megapixel) before they become last year's model and become discontinued!?? Bob Derouin,Johnston,RI
Subject: Nikon Coolpix 5000 with Orion XT-10 Dobsonian & Wide F Sent: Thursday, November 13, 2003 11:03:48 From: JOHN2570@aol.com Here are some recent pictures with my new Nikon Coolpix 5000. The wide field shots were done with a stationary mount. I chose to do 8-second exposures and stack them in Registax2. The eastern sky with m45 and Andromeda are four 8-second stacked images. The Cygnus region is just four 8-second stacked exposures. Anything over 30-seconds on a stationary mount will start to show signs of trailing, so I didn't attempt a 1 minute bulb exposure. If its possible to do a single 30 second exposure I will try that, but have not figured that out yet. I'd also like to try experiments with dark frames vs. using the Nikon noise reduction. All these images were done with noise reduction on. I managed to make a eyepiece mount out of PVC fittings which worked out pretty well. I just need to get some set screw holes drilled and it should be ready. It's just a 2" to 1.25" adapter. It puts the Nikon lense a bit over 1/2 and inch from the telescope lense. I will give it a try on the next clear night and upload the pictures to my web site. John Nikon settings for wide field images: Manual mode Focus - Infinity ISO - 800 Aperture - wide open Exposure - 8 second exposures Nikon settings for m45: same as wide field images except 1 second exposure through a 40mm lense (afocal) Nikon settings for Jupiter: 1/4 second exposure ISO - 400 http://hometown.aol.com/JOHN2570/11-12-2003.html
Subject: Coolpix 4300 Sent: Wednesday, November 19, 2003 20:00:47 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (ROBERT Derouin) The Nikon Coolpix 4300 is practically identical (in physical characteristics) to the Coolpix 885.It will fit electronic cable releases and Scopetronix eyepiece adapters for digital astrophotography as well!!You may want to post this note in the Nikon category,perhaps as a footnote to my previously posed question!!! Bob Derouin,Johnston,RI
Subject: a different shot Sent: Monday, November 24, 2003 21:21:27 From: email@example.com (ROBERT Derouin) Attached you'll find a shot of M-42 in Orion.It was taken with aMeade ETX 125,a new Nikon Coolpix 4300 digital camera (w/3x optical zoom),a Meade 26mm plossl.It's a one minute bulb exposure.I really didn't know what to expect,but am pleased it turned out the way it did!!!Maybe you can display it somewhere...like the Nikon astrophotography section ,or something!!! Thanks Mike!!Keep up the great work!!! Bob Derouin,Johnston,RI
Subject: moon shot from Madrid Sent: Saturday, November 29, 2003 16:37:22 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (VICTOR BERTOL - PARTICULAR -) Here's a moon shot for you from Madrid. I take 28/11/03 with a ETX-90 and Nikon Coolpix 995 using eyepiece projection". I used a willians optics eyespiece 28 DCL and 1/250 seg - 400 ASA. Thanks.
Subject: My astrophotos Sent: Thursday, December 11, 2003 07:57:53 From: email@example.com (Tommy Lim) These are all my photos taken from Kota Kinabalu,Sabah.Malaysia I took it from my backyard by simply using nikon CP4500 in bulb mode and exposure for 10-25min. Hope all of you will like it..... But now the problem is cooling system in Nikon CP4500. Anyone knows the techniques to get rid from the noise? Any comments? Regards, Tommy LKW Malaysia
Mike here: The Coolpix 995 has a Noise Reduction mode; does the 4500? It is only partially effective. One tip that can help reduce the noise; turn off the LCD display. The heat generated while it is on is one source of the noise.
Subject: coolpix 990 Sent: Monday, December 22, 2003 03:16:27 From: "Jeff Elmore" (firstname.lastname@example.org) I have a Celestron 9.25'' and am trying to take picturs of Saturn with my Coolpix 990. I viewed your Saturn photo's from your 8'' and i would like to know your focusing method. Since are cameras are alike it may be easier.I just can't get a good focus. I focus the telescope to my eye then i attach my camera with the Digi-t and place it on set to infinite i have may pictures of Saturn but i just can't get it. i know a C9.25 can do better than that and its perfectly collimatedMike here: I've noticed that even with the lens set to INFinity, focusing the eyepiece to my eye doesn't give as sharp a focus as it should. You should make a Hartmann Mask (details on the Helpful Information - Astrophotography page). Alternatively, I've found that using the digital zoom (on bright objects) can help when focusing; unless you want to keep the extreme zoom for the shot, don't forget to unzoom.
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