Like most people I was keen to try a few photographs through the ETX70 and I done a bit of research regarding this. At that point of time it was difficult to obtain the Meade #64ST photo adapter which screws on the photo port, however I decided on this particular adapter for other reasons which are outlined below.
THE MEADE 07361 Variable-Projection Camera Adapter (1.25")
The #64ST T-adapter on the photo port with camera attached only allows the scope to move vertically to 45º which is fairly restricting. This adapter goes in the normal eyepiece position which doesn't restrict movement in this way.
Like the #64ST the 07361 can be used for prime focus photography by removing the 1.25" barrel and threading it onto T-ring and camera. If you experience problems focusing the image ad a 2x barlow.
This adapter has the advantage of Variable eyepiece projection - shooting through any eyepiece placed inside - this can really zoom in to get some amazing lunar photos.
The standard 1.25" fitting enables me to use this on any other scope I get later on.
The 1.25" fitting also enables a barlow to be fitted before the adapter.
Price-wise this was only a little bit more than the #64ST adapter, but more readily available.
There are some disadvantages however - you cannot flip the mirror and view through an eyepiece unless you have a #933 45º erecting prism on the photo tube - a minor thing since you do have through the lens viewing on an SLR anyway. When doing full projections with the tube way open it definately disturbs the centre of balance of the scope and can make the motors struggle if you are not careful.
The picture at right shows the adapter on the scope. Notice the cable release on the camera too (essential!). It should be fairly obvious from this pic that you should use common sense when using this set up. It has worked well for me - especially lunar close ups which are short exposure (max of a few seconds) - I definately would not leave the scope unattended for hours on end leaving the motor trying to track with the weight of the camera assembly pulling on it from some obsure angle. When using without projection (just the barrel on the t-mount) it is alot more stable and the camera sits just above the eyepiece holder.
Ok what can you expect (approx) -
Full Moon - No Projection - 2 x barlow moon measures 45mm on standard print. (200asa 1/500).
Full Moon - 25mm eyepiece projection - 2 x barlow moon measures 80mm on standard print (200asa 1/250). This is not at full projection but fits the standard frame nicely - at maximum projection with the 25mm eyepiece the moon is 136mm and the moon bleeds of the side of the standard 6x4 print.
With the 9mm eyepiece and 2 x barlow you get right in there and exposures of a few seconds are required - with my old SLR focusing is difficult at this magnification but the pictures are well worth the trouble - you no longer measure the moons diameter but craters. I was amazed with the ETX70's performance here!
This image was taken with the ETX70AT with a 2x barlow, no projection and shows the size of the moon on a standard 6x4 print.
1/500 second on 200asa film
The image was taken with the ETX70AT in alt/az mode, Pentax K1000 with cable release
This image was taken with the ETX70AT, standard Meade 9mm eyepiece, 2x barlow and maximum projection using the Meade 07361 Variable Projection Camera Adapter.
Size is as it appears on a standard 6x4 print.
200asa film 2 seconds exposure
The image was taken with the ETX70AT in alt/az mode, Pentax K1000 with cable release.
The great thing with the 07361 as opposed to the #64ST you can take shots anywhere in between these two pics using just the supplied eyepieces by changing eyepiece and adjusting the projection. Using a 3 times barlow allows larger projection.To view further details including prices of camera adapters for the ETX70 and other scopes try the Photography section of the accessories list
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