Last updated: 20 October 2007


In March 2005, I purchased a Nikon D70 Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) camera. I decided to go with the D70 for its general digital photography capabilities as well as its use as a camera for astrophotography. On these pages I will report on my use of the D70 DSLR for astrophotography. I have divided up the reports into the following sections, which will be updated as I gain more experience and obtain more examples.

I also purchased a Nikon ML-L3 Wireless Remote Control, which provides a shutter release function without touching the camera or using the self-timer. Unlike other remote releases which attach to the camera via a cable, having the wireless remote means that I don't have to worry about another cable dangling from the telescope/camera system. The wireless remote works well with two caveats pertinent to astrophotography: it is necessary to put the camera not only in manual "M" mode for long exposures but the "lens" setting on the camera body needs to be set for manual "M" as well (even though the lens has been removed). Otherwise the shutter will not release since the camera detects an underexposure. With the wireless remote there are two useful modes: a two-second delay and a no-delay function. I found that the no-delay worked best for me. When I saw that the image through the DSLR viewfinder was correct I pressed the wireless remote button and the image would be captured.

One thing about the remote that I learned when doing photos at the telescope is that it is easily dropped! I managed to drop it several times (to my concrete patio); fortunately it was not damaged. With its small size and no cord it is easy to drop it while setting up the camera and getting the image "just right". It would have been nice if the wireless remote had a small hole in it to run a string through. Lacking that, I put it in a small plastic bag, punched a hole along one edge of the bag, and hooked it onto a lanyard. Now I no longer have to worry about dropping it since it hangs around my neck!

During my research before deciding to get the D70 I came across the following web pages. You may find these useful as well.

Nikon D70 Digital Single-Lens Reflex (SLR) Camera Astroimaging

Technical Photography with the Nikon D70

Nikon D70 RAW modes test

Nikon D70 Manual Focus Aids

While my D70 doesn't seem to exhibit a focusing problem, I include these for reference:

D70 Backfocus Problem

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Copyright ©2005, 2007 Michael L. Weasner / etx@me.com
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