Opticstar Planetary Imaging Kit

The most effective way to increase the focal length of a telescope.

  • For planetary and Lunar imaging
  • For 1.25-inch draw tubes
  • Includes 4 components
  • ED image amplifier
  • Long 1.25" drawtube to 1.25" nosepiece
  • Medium nosepiece extension tube
  • Short C/CS to 1.25" nosepiece
  • All-metal components
  • Doublet lens
  • Apochromatic ED glass
  • Fully Multi-Coated
  • UK warranty
Opticstar Planetary Imaging Kit
  • Product code: PIK1
  • Availability: In stock
  • Despatch: 2 business days
  • Retail Price: £ 43.95
Shipping rates
England & Wales
£ 6.00
Scotland Central & South
£ 6.00
Scotland North
£ 6.00
Northern Ireland
£ 6.00
UK islands (from)
£ 6.00
European Union (from)
£ 12.00
Worldwide (from)
£ 18.00


The most effective way to increase the focal length of a telescope while keeping aberrations to a minimum is by the use of a good quality apochromatic (ED) amplifier lens or similar.

The Opticstar Imaging Kit has been designed to offer maximum flexibility to the amateur planetary and Lunar imager. The Kit is compatible with all types of telescopes including Newtonians, catadioptrics and refractors. It is well-suited for use with both astronomical video cameras and DSLR cameras.

DSLR cameras will require a T-ring and T-thread to 1.25-inch nosepiece; these are not part of the Kit. Astronomical video cameras typically come with a filter threaded 1.25-inch 30mm long nosepiece but a short 15mm equivalent is supplied in the Imaging Kit that facilitates lower magnifications.






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Imaging kit

The kit consists of the following parts that can be assembled and used in a number of ways:

  • ED image amplifier.
  • Long 1.25-inch drawtube to 1.25-inch nosepiece (threaded for filters).
  • Medium nosepiece extension tube (threaded for filters, both sides).
  • Short C/CS to 1.25-inch nosepiece (threaded for filters).

The above parts will be referred in the rest of the text as: ED-amplifier, long-drawtube, medium-extension and short-nosepiece.

The Planetary Imaging Kit shown fitted on a planetary video CCD camera.

Using the Imaging Kit

The parts can be used with each other to produce a number of magnifications. The majority of the possible magnifications when taking into account the supplied parts and accessories that typically come with astronomical video cameras are as follows:

C-ring1 . used used used used . used used used
15mm short-nosepiece used used used . . . . . .
30mm short-nosepiece1 . . . used used . . . .
Medium-extension . . used used used . . used used
Long-drawtube . . . . . used used used used
Mounted 1.25-inch filter 2 . . . . used . . . used
ED-amplifier used used used used used used used used used
Magnification (approx) x1.7 x1.8 x2.3 x2.5 x2.65 x3.1 x3.2 x3.7 x3.85
1 Not included in the kit, usually bundled with astronomical video cameras. All Opticstar PL and PX planetary cameras include a C-ring and 30mm nosepiece that is filter threaded.
2 Optional accessory.

Imaging considerations

Imaging at high magnifications can be challenging and will depend on the type of camera, magnification, prevailing conditions and most important on one’s experience. Capturing good pictures of Moon features is not particularly difficult, capturing good images of the planets on the other hand is taxing and requires a lot of experience.

It is important to let optics to cool down prior to imaging, i.e. the telescope, image amplifiers, filters etc. Atmospheric conditions will dictate the maximum magnification for that particular night.

Focusing considerations

As magnifications increase the camera will need to move further away from the telescope’s focuser to reach focus. In some cases and at higher magnifications it is possible that there may not be enough focus travel for the camera to focus. In such cases standard 1.25-inch or 2-inch extension tubes can be used, these typically come in 30mm and 50mm lengths respectively. Telescopes that can be affected include short tube refractors, especially those designed to work with bino-viewers, and traditional Newtonians that have not been designed with imaging in mind. The Imaging Kit comes with a 115mm long extension part that will help to resolve most such issues. This part has been designed so as to extend beyond the end of the focuser which is desirable and in many cases necessary.

In addition the Imaging Kit has been designed as to allow the inclusion of standard 1.25-inch mounted astronomical filters in the optical path, filters can be stacked. Useful filters worth considering are IR-block filters. UV/IR block filters and light pollution filters among others.

Atmospheric considerations

Good atmospheric conditions are important and will have a rather noticeable effect on image quality. Low humidity, low levels of airborne dust, a luck of wind and good sky transparency are all very important factors. High humidity, air-borne dust and air turbulence will effectively reduce contrast and make focusing all but impossible.

Visual use

The ED-amplifier can also be combined with the long-drawtube to build a high quality 3x visual barlow, filters can be introduced in the light path as required.
Visual use.

General components reference chart

Please note that not all the components shown above are included in the kit.

Carries one year UK warranty.

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Opticstar Planetary Imaging Kit
Attribute Specification
Product Code (SKU) PIK1
Universal Product Code (UPC) n/a
Warranty 1 year UK warranty
Series barlows
Experience Level intermediate
Power Variable, 1.7x to 3.85x
Optical Elements 2
Optical Coatings Fully Multi-Coated
Optical Glass ED apochromatic
Construction All-metal
Barrel Size 1.25-inch (31.7mm)
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