ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY WITH THE SONY DIGITAL CAMERAS
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Last updated: 24 December 2003

This page documents Sony digital cameras comments, tips, and photos. Search the site for "Sony" for other items about the Sony digital cameras. Contributions welcome.

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Subject:	sony Mavica cd-200
Sent:	Sunday, September 23, 2001 7:57:04
From:	ryord@att.net (Rick Yord)
This is Rick Yord I have been an amature astronomer for many almost 25
years, I use your sight as a reference quite a bit. Thanks I have a
question for you. I just bought the new sony cd-200 mavica with 37mm
thread. I was wondering If there is anyway to do long bulb exposures
with it. Also what would you recommend as the best adabptor for thru the
occular photography thanks for a usfull and enjoyable site. Rick Yord
Mike here: I don't know how the Sony does "B" exposures. As to mounting the camera to the telescope, see the Accessory Reviews - Astrophotography page. If there is a 37mm ring for the Sony then the Scopetronix Digi-T System could work for you.

Subject:	From Another Newbie
Sent:	Sunday, December 30, 2001 9:18:48
From:	twopipers@home.com (george lilley)
Well as many others I received an ETX-70 for Christmas, and have almost
become a true night owl over the holidays.  After the expected pilot
errors I was able to master the alignment and the telescope performed
just as advertised.  I viewed a post on your page about through lens
photography and thought I'd share my novice results.  First after
aligning the ETX-70 my first victim was the Moon.  There was no problem
seeing that, it was almost blinding.  I attached my Sony FD Mavica w/
10X zoom digital camera to a second tripod and positioned the lens over
the eyepiece.  I then verified the focus on the camera's screen and
adjusted the telephoto on the camera to get the shot I wanted.  To
eliminate wobble by touching the camera, I used the timer on the camera
which allowed all the movement to stop.  I know my results are probably
not WebPages quality but I'm pretty happy with the results.  I have
attached two of the what I thought were the best shots.  I have ordered
the barlow 2X and 3X lenses to hopefully achieve a little more size to
Jupiter and Saturn.  I am also looking forward to getting a T-adapter to
attach my SLR, and reading everything I can about exposure timing and
film speed.  All I can say is thanks so much for your page, it helped my
choose my first Telescope and guess you can tell, I'm hooked.

George L. 
Centerville GA
See Our Band Web Page At: http://www.members.home.net/cfdpd/index.html
Moon

Moon


Subject:	Addition to Guest Astrophotography
Sent:	Friday, January 18, 2002 12:07:28
From:	sturnmeyer@adelphia.net (Scott Turnmeyer)
First of all, I want to thank you for such a great website. I have been
researching a telescope purchase over the past few months, and your site
has been invaluable in my information gathering. Attached is my first
astrophotography trial of the sun, taken as soon as I got everything
hooked up(I can't wait until tonight).

This picture was taken January 17, 2002 at 1:00pm EST. I am using an
ETX-105EC with a 40mm Super Plossl eyepiece and a Scopetronix Thread On
Solar Filter. The image was taken with a Sony Cybershot DCS-50 digital
camera using the Scopetronix EX-Pix Digital Camera Holder.
 
Thanks again for the great site.
 
Scott Turnmeyer
Sun

Subject:	Moon pictures 1/3
Sent:	Wednesday, January 30, 2002 4:29:19
From:	mikaelr@hotmail.com (Mikael R)
Used my ETX-90EC w/Meade 26mm eyepice and a Sony Cybershot 3.3 Megapixel
for these pictures. This is my first "real" pictures I've taken through
my ETX.
Moon

Moon

Moon


Subject:	my first astrophoto's
Sent:	Monday, February 18, 2002 13:33:36
From:	garyc183@comcast.net
I have always wanted to take photo's of the moon and sun etc.and already
had a digital camera.So I bought a digi-t from scopetronix (very easy to
use) and a solar filter from Orion and this afternoon I took my first
shot of the sun. The only trouble I had was focusing the telescope and
looking in the 1.8 in LCD on the camera. It's very hard to tell when the
picture is sharp. I had to unscrew the camera and look through the meade
25mm lens focus then put the camera back on. I think it will be easier
to see the LCD at night when I take photo's of the moon.  I used the
sony cybershot 1.3 megapixel camera.

                                                          Gary Copestake
Sun

Subject:	FULL MOON Picture 2/28/02 Audley Yung
Sent:	Thursday, February 28, 2002 21:03:05
From:	goldeni245@hotmail.com (Audley Yung)
Hey, I love your website.  I just bought an ETX 70mm.  Check out this
picture, I used a Sony 3.3 mp camera with a 9mm lense.
Moon

Subject:	Updates ETX70AT
Sent:	Thursday, April 25, 2002 20:28:40
From:	ed.fides.carlos@comcast.net (Carlos Family)
I figured out how to use my Sony P3 digital camera.  My first photo of
Jupiter was just a smudge of colors.  The rest were unusable because my
hand were really shaking and when I click on the camera as expected it
would move.  I tried on the new moon(+couple of days) but it was too
bright. Recently, I read about some techniques from your site about
using the self timer.  I tried it the other night with the filters, it
worked.  I was finally able to get a good picture of the moon and
pictures of Jupiter  (see attached).  It was windy and I think there was
a lot of atmospheric turbulence because it still had glare even with the
filters.  Either that or it's the autofocus.  I could not figure out how
to do that with my camera (until today).    I know it's very amatuerish
but hey I'm not a photographer either.  It is fun though.

By the way my setup was my Sony P3 was mounted on a Vanguard tripod. 
The tripod was behind the scope tripod and adjusted to fit the camera
lens right on top of the eyepiece.

Regards
Ed
Moon

Jupiter and moons


Subject:	picture of moon
Sent:	Tuesday, July 30, 2002 2:07:54
From:	CF57UK1@aol.com
here is my first picture of the moon well good one any way. taken with a
sony digital camera. dsc p50 i am having a bit of trouble have you any
tips.
thanks 
christopher uk 
Moon
Mike here: Try zooming in the camera lens or using the macro mode, if the camera supports either of these modes. That will reduce the vignetting and enlarge the image. Also, getting the camera lens as close to the eyepiece as possible will help reduce the vignetting.
Subject:	Astro Photos
Sent:	Monday, September 2, 2002 01:57:44
From:	michael@bigtopmusicinc.com (Michael)
I just bought a ScopeTronix Digi-T for my ETX-70 and Sony P50 digital
camera, and I would like you to help me share my first attempts at
astrophotography with the rest of the people who visit your site.

Please publish the following website:

http://www.bigtoprocks.com/AstroPix.htm

Hope everyone enjoys my pictures, and takes a minute or two to check out
the rest of my site.

Thanks,

Michael Harman

ps: Love your website; I have learned soooooo much visiting your site!

Subject:	Photos of Moon and Saturn
Sent:	Tuesday, October 29, 2002 0:41:42
From:	liquid@mediaone.gr (Dimitris Rakopoulos)
Congradulations on your work on this excellent site. It is always fun to
read and a great resource for information regarding the ETX.

I have attached the first images I took using my ETX90EC with a
Scopetronix Digi-T Adapter for a Sony DSC-S70. All images are taken
using the Meade Super Plossl 40mm eyepiece.
 
Best regards. Keep up the perfect work.
Dimitris Rakopoulos
liquid@mediaone.gr
Moon
Focal Length: 21mm, F-Number: F/2,4, Exposure Time 1/30sec., ISO Speed: ISO-100, Matering Mode: Spot, Exposure Program: Normal

Saturn
Focal Length: 16mm, F-Number: F/2,4, Exposure Time 1/30sec., ISO Speed: ISO-282, Matering Mode: Spot, Exposure Program: Normal


Subject:	moon pic
Sent:	Monday, November 18, 2002 16:13:58
From:	robbie_harris@hotmail.com (Robbie Harris)
my first pics of the moon just holding the camera to the eyepiece.
Moon

Subject:	Checking out Jupiter.
Sent:	Wednesday, December 25, 2002 16:31:20
From:	willyh@cox-internet.com (William Hernandez)
Today I was outside and I noticed a big bright star that was toward the
east.  I thought it was Saturn, but then I checked my astronomy software
and found it to be Jupiter.  I got my scope and checked it out, and it
came out to be the big planet.  I got my digital camera and tried to
take a couple of pictures of it.  Some of the shots were not to good,
but I got one good picture that would seem decent for me to share with
you and the rest of the people out there.  I think you can tell that it
is Jupiter, but the only thing that you could not see correctly or
clearly is the moons of Jupiter.  I was using my 9x lens and my 2x
Barlow lens to see the planet.  Let me know if you can tell what it
could be.  In my opinion, I could tell the red bands that go around the
planet.
 
Sincerely, 
William
Jupiter

Mike here: Yep, that is Jupiter. The moons may or may not have been visible. On the Astronomy Links page there is a link to a site that shows the positions of the moons.

And:

I used my ETX-70 Meade scope with the 9mm and 2x barlow lens.  My camera
is a Sony Mavica digital camera.  It was kind of hard to get the camera
focused and stable to take the shots even when I had to point it through
the eye piece.  I'll be grateful if you can recomend or suggest a good
affordable camera that would be good to take pictures with.

William
Mike here: Most any digital camera can take good shots of brighter objects. But it does help to have one that has a manual mode vs fully automatic. Look through the eyepiece and focus the image to your eye. Set the camera lens to infinity. Take the shot. Keep in mind that an automatic exposure setting will see a lot of black and so likely overexpose the image (unless shooting the Moon at higher magnifications). Zooming the camera lens helps to get the camera lens closer to the eyepiece (to reduce vignetting). If the camera has a "macro mode" that can help as well. However, the downside of this is camera movement if you are handholding it. Check the Accessory Reviews - Astrophotography page for some adapter ideas.
Subject:	Sony Moon
Sent:	Sunday, January 12, 2003 12:23:52
From:	sellick@oregontrail.net (Allen)
First of all I love your site a wealth of information thank you. Here is
my first attempt at Astrophotography with my ETX-125 I got last week. I
used a Sony DSC-F1 and held it up to the 26mm SP eyepiece. I hope to get
better and send in some more.
Allen Sellick
Moon

Subject:	Moon Photo
Sent:	Tuesday, January 21, 2003 12:43:27
From:	jlramos@televisa.com.mx (Ramos Mateos Jose Leonardo)
I found your page about astronomy and I believe it is great, specially
because it has useful information about Meades ETX-125 telescopes and
astrophotography.

I believe your page is a kind of tutorial to me because I just bought a
telescope (ETX-125) a few months ago and now I am starting to experiment
astrophotography. Your comments and advices have been great!. Attached
you will find one of my first digital photos of the moon. It was taken
on January 20, 2003 in Mexico city.

I used a SONY Cybet-shot 3.2 Megapixels and processed the picture (in
size mainly) with a Corel-Photo Paint.

The moon is a very attractive target and I would like to share this
material with you and astronomers of the world. If you consider it
interesting I would appreciate you to show it in your page.

Best Regards and Gracias!

Leonardo Ramos
Moon

Subject:	Meade DS 2130 and Sony dsc-P51
Sent:	Tuesday, January 21, 2003 14:27:43
From:	timothy.jacobs@fljack.ang.af.mil (Jacobs, Timothy, M., SSgt, SEADS/DOCE)
Just to give you an example to show people that nothing is impossible. 
I made several calls and did a lot of research on interfacing my Meade
DS 2130 to my Sony DSC-P51 digital camera.  Sony said that since the P51
and later did not contain the 37mm thread that a telescope could not not
interface. So I looked at some pictures of some adapters and came up
with my own.  It is a prototype but seems to work fine.  Here are a
couple of shots that I took. Thanks for the great site.

Tim Jacobs
Moon

Moon

Jupiter


Subject:	moon shot
Sent:	Sunday, February 9, 2003 20:57:45
From:	kinglet@cet.com (Mike Forster)
First time submitting to you. Excellent web site! This was taken with a
ETX 90 RA, drive was on, inexpensive brand X  25mm Plossl , with a brand
X 2x Barlow. A Sony MVD 100 1.2 meg Digital camera. Image was reduced in
Photo Adobe and I used the unsharpen feature in Adobe.
Moon

Subject:	moon shot
Sent:	Sunday, February 9, 2003 21:34:33
From:	kinglet@cet.com (Mike Forster)
Shot this Feb. 9 2003. Brand X 30mm plossl and a Sony Mavica 100 1.2 meg
camera at about 1.5x zoom. Image went to Adobe and I used the unsharpen
feature. I used a brand X digital camera holder/adaptor.  ETX-90RA.
Moon

Subject:	moon picture
Sent:	Wednesday, March 19, 2003 11:18:37
From:	williansouza@yahoo.com (Willian)
you can see the same image at my website:

www.geocities.com/williansouza/lua-etx.jpg

Moon
regards, Willian Obs: I use home made adapter to get pictures with my sony dsc p-30 and etx90, I will send you some pictures of this adapter....

Subject:	Jupiter & wooden tripod
Sent:	Sunday, April 27, 2003 07:05:14
From:	williansouza@yahoo.com (Willian)
See the attached pictures...
Now, I use a home made wooden tripod...

Regards,

Willian Souza - Brasil

=====
Willian Souza
williansouza@yahoo.com
http://www.geocities.com/williansouza
Jupiter

ETX


Subject:	Moon Photo
Sent:	Friday, May 16, 2003 21:38:27
From:	Andrew.Averna@delta.com (Averna, Andrew)
Took my first steps in astro photos two nights ago. Been using my ETX
for about a year now (it's a 125) and just got the Scopetronix Max View
40 to attach my SONY DSC-F717 to the scope. Came out pretty good for a
first attempt and thought I'd shoot it your way.
Andrew Averna 
AMT/250 LGA
Moon
Click for full size image

Subject:	My first shot of the moon!
Sent:	Sunday, June 22, 2003 23:29:43
From:	dcklee@shaw.ca (Dez Lee)
Thnks to your help and tips, I've purchased a Maxview40 for my Sony
F505V and used my ETX 90RA for this shot.  It was shot with macro mode
and through a 2x Barlow as well.  Phot was enhanced by taking the colour
out and making B&W as well as tweaking the unsharp mask in PS.  Image
was also flipped horizontally for proper orientation.  Looking forawrd
to trying some deep sky and piggy back.  Thank again!  Wicked Site!

Dez Lee
Head Coach
Jing Wo Martial Arts of Canada
Phone: 560-9656
Web: www.jingwo.com
Moon
Click for full-size image

Subject:	Moon Astrophoto
Sent:	Friday, July 11, 2003 21:18:20
From:	nickroy@mchsi.com
I've been a fan of your site for a while, ever since I bought my ETX-
60.  I now have an ETX-105, with which I took my very first shot of the
moon. I am fairly sure this is Democritus.  Camera was mounted to a
Meade 26mm super plossl eyepiece with a Scopetronix Digi-T for the
Sony DSC-P50, at 1/30 second.  It's two shots stacked up in Registax. 
Mediocre seeing, at 10:15 p.m. on July 11th 2003.

I have some issues with vignetting, so I think I need an eyepiece with
either less eye relief or a shorter focal length or both.  Let me know
what your suggestions are.  The camera was cranked down to full
telephoto.  I wish these cheap digicams had more manual settings.

Anyway, I thought this might make a decent addition to your guest
astrophotography section.  Thanks!

-Nick Roy
Moon
Mike here: You need to get the eyepiece focal plane and the camera lens closer to each other. That would mean either zooming the lens (which you did) or using an eyepiece with a longer eye relief.

And:

I think I am going to invest in the Max View 40 from them.  Looks like
the answer to my eye relief problem.

Subject:	LX-90 First Light
Sent:	Wednesday, August 6, 2003 12:54:30
From:	"Michael" (michael@bigtopmusicinc.com)
Want to share with you my first attempt at photography with my new
LX-90, since you've been such a help to me in the past.  It's a single
shot of Mars (the best out of about 2 dozen pix taken), but pretty
impressive, if you ask me.  Your site seems appropriate, since the LX-90
and LXD-55 8" share virtually identical OTA's.  Please post my website
address for your readers to see Mars through the LX-90, along with my
past ETX-70 pictures:

http://www.bigtoprocks.com/AstroPix.htm

Thank you,

Michael Harman

Subject:	Sony F717
Sent:	Sunday, November 16, 2003 20:13:12
From:	david98498@earthlink.net (David Schinkel)
I am about to receive a Sony F717 from a friend of mine who is upgrading
to the new Sony camera.  I would like to use it with my new ETX 125.  My
questions are as follows:

Is the camera too large to use with this telescope?  I am planning to
purchase a Scopetronic Maxview 40 coupler.

Will I connect it to the normal eyepiece coupler or is there a 2 inch
diagonal that you can connect to the back where you would normally
connect a 35mm camera? If so, I could then use the Maxview II?

With the F717 being so large, will it affect shooting photos near the
zenith? Will this camera be suitable to use piggyback with 30 second or
less multiple exposures and then use software to process?

With the telescope polar mounted will any of the above questions have
additional issues to consider?

Thank you very much for your assistance.

Dave
Mike here: If this digital camera has a fixed lens and if it accepts screw-on filters, you should be able to get a T-Ring for it, possibly from Scopetronix, to match the Maxview. As to a 2" diagonal, probably not worth the expense; you'd get a lot of vignetting. If the camera is heavy you should probably consider a counterweight; see the Helpful Information - Astrophotograpy page.
Subject:	ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY-SONY: F-717 with MEADE ETX-125EC
Sent:	Wednesday, November 19, 2003 02:40:49
From:	Dieter.Wolf@DNSint.com
To:	david98498@earthlink.net
Hi David,

I do not own a SONY F-717 or F-828 but I know these cameras so I can NOT
encourage you to use it with any screw-on filter / -adpater - they are
too heavy! They are very large too so you would get problems with the
base of the telescope at higher declinations. But it will be a good
piggy-back device (high resolution, large, good quality zoom lens) and
of course you can stack and process the pictures of this camera with
appropriate software.

Sorry to disencourage you - it's an excellent digital camera but not an
easy ETX-attachable device.

Dieter Wolf (Munich, Germany)

Subject: Saturn w/ETX125 and SONY DSC-F717 digital camera
From: daspork@nyc.rr.com
Date: Wed, 17 Dec 2003 11:44:00 -0500
Been focusing on tripod mounted sky photos lately but we had a nice
clear and not too cold night in NYC last week and I decided to take a
shot at planetary photos with the ETX. Used a Scopetronix MaxView 40
w/58mm T-ring to couple it to the camera (Sony DSC-F717)  mounted on the
ETX in place of the visual eyepiece. Following image isn't the largest I
got but has the best clarity  - it's raw from the camera and not
modified in any way other than cropping down from it's original, much
larger, size.

Saturn
Next project is to learn how to take and stack multiple images! Thanks for looking and listening - Andrew Averna Flushing, NY On a side note I find this camera easy to use with the ETX even though I read some comments that it wasn't that good for such use. If you couple it with the MaxView it keeps the camera out of the way for most elevations of the scope in AltAz alignment; never tried it in polar. Also the camera body swivels so when the telescope is at larger elevations you can rotate the body rather than have to stoop down and bend your neck to see the LCD (similar to what you can do with the Nikon Coolpix). As with most digital cameras it's not made for astrophotography so there are limitations and adjustments to be made, but altogether I find it pretty easy to use and I like the results so far. Happy Holidays!


Start of today's update

Subject: ETX and Digital Camera adaptors
From: "Rob Loizzi" (rob_loizzi@hotmail.com)
Date: Mon, 22 Dec 2003 22:16:03 +0000
I am researching telescopes for a purchase next year.  I believe I'll
buy the ETX-125.  I own a Sony S85 digital camera.  After reading info
on your site regarding an adapter, I visited the ScopeTronix site
looking for the item discussed which was a generic digital camera
adaptor.  However, I instead found a wizard which asked what camera I
have and then showed me an adaptor specific to my camera for 2 or 3
hundred dollars.  My questions are these: 1. Does the generic adampter,
which I believe holds the camera against the eyepiece and I assume is
much cheaper, still for sale?  Could you provide a link to the actual
page.  2.  Is the adaptor they showed me a much better option (It screws
into the eyepiece or scope) and if so why? 3. My digital camera is only
capable of an 8 second exposure or less.  Should I not buy the expensive
adaptor because the camera won't be capable of taking good pictures
anyway (because exposure times need to be longer) or are longer exposure
times only needed for film cameras?  
Thanks, Rob Loizzi
Bolingbrok, IL
Mike here: I don't know which adapter you found that costs that much. Check out their Digi-T System (reviewed on the Accessory Reviews - Astrophotography page on my ETX Site). All you would then need is a T-Ring that attaches to your Sony camera lens like a filter. You could also check out their MaxView System, which includes an eyepiece. Lastly, you could use bracket type adapters but personally I don't recommend them (see that review page for more info). You'll be able to take photos of brighter objects (Moon, Sun, planets, M42, etc.) and with "image stacking" might get some good shots of fainter objects.

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Submittal Copyright © 2001-3 by the Submitter
URL = http://www.weasner.com/etx/astrophotography/sony.html