Last updated: 7 August 2008
Subject:	First Photo Night for ETX-125PE
Sent:	Sunday, August 3, 2008 14:01:18
From:	Steve Hollar (
I took the new ETX-125PE out last night for my first photo shoot.
Starting off, I attempted a Polar Alignment. It was a dismal failure. I
believe my success with the ETX-60/70s was in having less magnification,
so, errors were not as noticeable. Also, I managed to get more confused.
It is amazing how some web sites can be wrong. If you Google "drift
method" and check the first two sites, one says if the south star drifts
North, you are pointing too far East, the other one says you are
pointing too far West. That has got to drive beginners nuts.

I think the biggest problem lies in the Meade 884 tripod. It has no
means for fine adjustments. Why they did that is beyond comprehension.
Actually, I know it was to keep the cost down. I do have one of those
modifications to the Latitude Control Arm that uses a long bolt. It
works pretty good. The problem is adjusting to the South alignment star.
The idea of having to literally pivot the entire scope and tripod is
hardly a fine adjustment. I would call it an almost impossible
adjustment with higher magnification. I'll keep working on it though. I
went back to Alt/Az last night.

The second problem I had was finding Deep Sky objects with the DSI. I
could see them fine in the eyepiece, but, they would not be centered on
the computer screen with the DSI. Trying to slew around while watching
the screen and the exposure set to a few seconds to make the object
visible is almost an exercise in futility. Just another thing I'll have
to keep working at. Having a larger, more powerful scope makes it a
whole new ball game.

In the mean time, I've included this photo of Jupiter that I did last
night. Not too shabby for a first attempt.

I used the Meade LPI and Envisage. My problems in the past was seeing
nothing but a washed out white disk. It looked like I was going to have
the same problem here. What I discovered was after doing an Auto
Contrast, I clicked that off. I left the Black Slider alone at 2. The
number for the White Slider was down around 225. Using the number box, I
started adjusting it upward and was amazed to see the washout
disappearing and details immerging on the computer screen. This was
while the images were being taken.

Hopefully these tidbits will be helpful to others.

This ended up as a result of 276 images run through Envisage again at
85%. 163 images were used. A bit of post processing using a program
called Photo Studio resulted in this image.

Steve Hollar
Lake Elsinore, CA 


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