I took advantage of the fair weather and clear sky Tuesday night to make an attempt at getting some pictures of the full moon with my new Nikon D90 and Meade ETX 90 telescope. Due to the scope’s enormous focal length – 1250mm – I am able to get some very clear, detailed shots of the moon – if I can keep the camera shake under control. Unfortunately, all of these images are blurry.

I used a timer to reduce shake; however, at the time I wasn’t aware of the ability to add a delay to the mirror. The D90 does not have the option to lock the mirror up prior to exposure, and even the little movement of the mirror can cause shake on such a large lens. Turning on the delay causes the camera to wait 1 second after the mirror moves before making the exposure.

The camera does not support non-cpu lenses, so I had to experiment with exposure time. There is no auto-focus either, so I’m left using the view finder and review screen to make fine adjustments. Next time I’ll be sure to use the delay feature, as well as enlarge the image on the LCD screen to check focus. That should help me capture a clear, detailed, and focused image of the moon.