Focusing seems such a simple thing, just turn the knob until the image is sharp. What could be simpler than that?

Well if focusing is so easy why do all modern cameras, whether they be the camera in your phone or a digital SLR, have autofocus? Yet even with these marvel of modern camera technology, how many times does the photo look sharp in the camera but when you get it home and pop it up on your computer its blurry? Perhaps the light level was a bit too low? Were you hands shaking while you were shooting the picture? Was the subject of the photo moving? Were you using a telephoto lens?

Now just imagine trying to get it all correct in the dark for eye and camera with the ultimate telephoto lens. In other words; little light, high magnification, shaky hands, shaky telescope, spinning earth... what could possibly go wrong? In the following tutorial, we walk through all the disparate aspects of focusing, for both eye and camera, manual and autofocusing, to make it easier, faster, sharper.

Auto Focus Hardware
DC Focus Motors & Controllers

Motorize your focuser with a powerful 12V DC motor driven by our nFOCUS controller for fine focusing without vibration more...

STEPPER Focus Motors & Controllers

For computer controlled auto focus, motorize your focuser with our 0.10 degree resolution stepper motor and usb_nSTEP computerized interface more...

Focusing & Imaging Software
Autofocusing requires 3 suites of software, although some vendors combine these and other observatory functions.


A consortium of software developers and hardware manufacturers devoted to vendor-independent plug-and-play more...

ASCOM Yahoo Group

Autofocus Software

FocusMax aids astronomers in the difficult task of focusing CCD-based telescopes more...

FocusMax Yahoo Group

Imaging Software

Sequence Generator Pro
Sequence Generator Pro is a powerful image capture application that supports SBIG, QSI, Canon EOS and ASCOM cameras more...

Sequence Generator Pro Yahoo Group

Nebulosity is designed to be a powerful, but simple to use capture and processing application for Windows and MAC OS X. A huge array of cameras are supported for image capture and processing more...

Nebulosity Yahoo Group

MaxIm DL
Complete observatory integration. Controls your camera, autoguider, filter wheels, focusers, camera rotator, telescope mount, and dome. ASCOM compliant more...

MaxIm DL Yahoo Group