In 2015, I sold my Nikon gear and started using the amazing Fujifilm X-T1 as my main camera. The smaller size, the great image quality and the pleasant handling convinced me to switch.

When I started getting into astrophotography, though, I couldn’t find a lot of examples of what these little cameras were capable of. There were of course numerous photographs of the Milky Way, but deep-sky astrophotography is still quite rare. And heavily dominated by Canon and Nikon cameras.

Therefore, I thought it could be inspiring to share some amazing photographs made with Fujifilm cameras. And perhaps motivate some Fuji users to give astrophotography a try!

Also, a big thank you to everyone who accepted to share their photographs and experience on this blog!

If you own a Fujifilm camera and would like to share your deep-sky photographs on this post, feel free to contact me!

Yusuke Satou (Japan)

For his astrophotography, Yusuke uses a full spectrum Canon EOS 6D, as well as an unmodified Fujifilm X-E2 camera. The wonderful pictures below were taken with the X-E2 mounted on a Takahashi TOA-150B refractor telescope.

As you can see, the X-E2 does a great job in capturing the red Ha regions of the Triangulum galaxy, as well as the outer gas in the Helix planetary nebula.

The Triangulum Galaxy (M33)
Courtesy of Yusuke Satou
Fujifilm X-E2
Helix Nebula
Courtesy of Yusuke Satou
Fujifilm X-E2
Orion’s nebula (M42)
Courtesy of Yusuke Satou
Fujifilm X-E2

Makoto Shindou (Japan)

Makoto is another Fujifilm user based in Japan. The results he gets from the his entry level cameras, the Fujifilm X-M1 and X-A1, are simply amazing! The widefield image of the Horsehead nebula, located in the constellation of Orion, is really impressive, with a lot of details in the dusty regions.

The Horsehead Nebula
Courtesy of Makoto Shindou
Fujifilm X-M1 & X-A1
IC348 & NGC1333 wide field
Courtesy of Makoto Shindou
Fujifilm X-M1 & X-A1

George Papanicolaou (Australia)

George is a very talented photographer, who also likes to photograph the night sky with his QHY CCD camera. His photograph of NGC 6188, a beautiful emission nebula, is gorgeous!

But George is also a Fujifilm GFX user, and naturally, he gave his camera a try at deep-sky imaging. The picture below is very impressive, as it consists of a single exposure of two beautiful nebulae, M8 and M20. The 50 megapixels allowed George to crop quite a lot, while retaining a lot of details.

As you can see on the 2nd picture, the large sensor of the Fujifilm GFX 50S produces some vignetting on the Takahashi 85. But it’s easy to correct in post production, for instance using flats.

The Trifid (Messier 20) and the Lagoon Nebulae (Messier 8)
Courtesy of George Papanicolaou (500px / Instagram / Flickr)
Takahashi FSQ-85ED and Fujifilm GFX 50S, cropped
1 min single exposure, ISO 6400
Wide field view of the Milky Way. At the center, the Trifid and the Lagoon nebulae
Courtesy of George Papanicolaou (500px / Instagram / Flickr)
Takahashi FSQ-85ED and Fujifilm GFX 50S, uncropped
1 min single exposure, ISO 6400

David, a.k.a. NeoObserver (USA)

David considers himself an amateur astrophotographer, and told me he does a lot of mistakes during imaging sessions. But he keeps improving and his pictures are definitely impressive!

Deep-sky astrophotography has a steep learning curve, and requires far more trial and error than conventional photography. But in the end, even though it sounds a bit cliché, what matters is the journey, rather than the destination.

I particularly like his photograph of Messier 82 (the Cigar Galaxy) and Messier 81 (Bode’s Galaxy) below. David used an X-T1, before upgrading to an X-T2, and also thinks that the Fuji’s response to Ha (red) is very good.

He shared an interesting tip: to avoid excessive heat in the sensor, David uses the battery grip of the X-T2, with the flip screen out. Good idea!

Messier 82 (Cigar Galaxy) and Messier 81 (Bode’s Galaxy)
Courtesy of David (NeoObserver)
Fujifilm -T2

The Veil Nebula, a supernova remnant
Courtesy of David (NeoObserver)
4″ refractor telescope, Fujifilm X-T2
The majestic Eagle Nebula
Courtesy of David (NeoObserver)
Fujifilm X-T2
Milky Way wide field
Courtesy of David (NeoObserver)
Fujifilm X-T2

Anthony Turpaud (France)

Anthony lives in a small town in southeastern France, near the Alps, and has access to good dark skies (Bortle 3). With his Fujifilm X-T20, Anthony captured amazing pictures of the Milky Way!

Recently, Anthony started imaging deep-sky as well, using the Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer mount, before upgrading to the EQ6 Pro. He also started with standard lenses, like the XF 55-200mm, and the results are very good! The proof that you don’t need to have very expensive equipment to produce beautiful deep-sky photographs!

The Rosette Nebula
Courtesy of Anthony Turpaud
Fujifilm X-T20, XF 55-200mm
The Pleiades
Courtesy of Anthony Turpaud
Fujifilm X-T20, TS Optics 70ED refractor
The Triangulum Galaxy
Courtesy of Anthony Turpaud
Fujifilm X-T20, TS Optics 70ED refractor

Simeon Schmauß (Germany)

At just 18 years old, Simeon makes some very cool pictures of the night sky from the city of Nuremberg, in Germany. He recently traded his Panasonic Lumix G81 for a Fujifilm X-T1, and seems very happy with his new camera. As you can see below, even unmodified, the X-T1 is able to show the Ha areas of the Horsehead Nebula pretty well!

The Panasonic already seemed like a very capable astro camera, as you can see on his Instagram feed. The X-T1 adds a little more dynamic range and better low light performance, which is always useful in astrophotography. Simeon paired his X-T1 to a 8″ f/5 Newtonian reflector, mounted on a Sky-Watcher EQ5 mount.

The Horsehead Nebula, in Orion
Courtesy of Simeon Schmauß
Fujifilm X-T1, GSO 8″ f/5 Newtonian
M51, the Whirlpool Galaxy
Courtesy of Simeon Schmauß
Fujifilm X-T1, GSO 8″ f/5 Newtonian

My own pictures

I started astrophotography after I switched to Fujifilm, so I also have a couple pictures to show! I still consider myself a beginner, so the following pictures do not exhibit the best you can get out of these cameras. And when I see the marvelous pictures shown above, I still have a lot to learn!

But it might give you an idea of what you can achieve at the beginning of your astro-adventure!

Andromeda (M31) from Bavaria – X-T1 & Canon 300mm f/4L
The Orion Nebula (M42) from Munich – X-T1 & Canon 300mm f/4L + TC 1.4x
The Pleiades (M54) from Munich – X-A3 & TS-Optics 60ED f/6

Astrophotography with a Fujifilm camera: what can you expect?

It’s easy to find astrophotography examples with Canon, Nikon and Sony cameras. But not so with Fujifilm cameras. So, what can we expect from their cameras?

Well, after reading a lot of comments and reviews, on forums and blogs, here are a few reasons why I believe the Fujifilm X-Series cameras are a great choice for astrophotography — and sometimes a good alternative to the traditional DSLR.

Advantages of the Fujifilm X-Series cameras

Size & weight

My X-T1 weighs around 440g, which is really appreciable when used with a lightweight equatorial mount, like the iOptron SkyTracker/Skyguider or the Sky-Watcher StarAdventurer. These mounts have a limited payload, so every gram counts!

Some smaller models, like the X-T10/20 and X-E1/2/3 are even lighter. This makes astrophotography portable, and that’s very important, because dark skies are often remote places that you reach after a hike.

ISO performance

Fujifilm cameras have a good reputation when it comes to ISO performance. They use Sony’s IMX sensors, which are also used in very popular astrophotography cameras like ZWO, QHY or Altair.

However, good ISO performance isn’t a huge advantage in deep-sky astrophotography. Firstly, because the recommended ISO range is usually between 800 and 1600. And secondly, because the resulting noise can be eliminated by stacking and using dark frames.

Ha response

Another advantage is that the Fujifilm cameras have a good response to hydrogen alpha (Ha). This is particularly important in astrophotography, because objects like emission nebulae are emitting Ha (see the red nebulas in the pictures above).

A good response means a better transmittance in these wavelengths, and also more accurate colors, resulting in a better image in the end. It can also be an alternative to modding the camera, even though it is certainly not as effective.

Sensor size & magnification

In my opinion, APS-C cameras offer a good compromise between price, performance and field of view, and sit nicely between Micro 4/3 and Full Frame cameras.

For a given number of megapixels, it’s true that a full frame sensor will gather more light than an APS-C sensor (2x the surface), but at the cost of a wider field of view, for a given focal length.

In deep-sky astrophotography, a narrower field of view can be useful, because most targets are quite small. Besides, a crop sensor only uses the central portion of the image circle, which provides better optical performance than the corners.

When paired with an equatorial mount, and using techniques like autoguiding and stacking, the advantage of a bigger sensor becomes negligible.

Lens compatibility

Fujifilm X-Series cameras are rather new in the market, so the lens lineup is still significantly smaller than other brands. However, like most mirrorless cameras, you can mount barely any lens every made with an adapter.

Interestingly, camera lenses can be excellent in daylight photography, and very poor in astrophotography. The least imperfection can have huge consequences on your photographs. Most of the problems come from the fact that stars are sources of color fringing, astigmatism and coma.

There are some very good lenses from the film era that can be used for astrophotography, such as the Pentax Super Takumar 200mm f/4. These lenses are often very cheap and relatively lightweight, which is perfect for a beginner!

Rokinon/Samyang also has a very good reputation when it comes to astrophotography. They mainly produce manual lenses, with very good performance, even wide open. The Samyang 135mm f/2 is probably the most popular lens in the astrophotography community, due to it’s stellar performance and wide aperture.

Drawbacks of the Fujifilm X-Series cameras


One of the main issue Fujifilm users are facing, is the compatibility of the RAW files with the existing software. The fact that the cameras use a different type of sensor, called X-Trans, also means that the demosaicing algorithms are different than with a Bayer sensor.

For instance, you cannot use the RAW files directly in DeepSkyStacker. If you do, the final picture will show an ugly grid pattern. As a workaround, you can convert your RAW files to TIF (or DNG) beforehand. It’s an extra step, but it works fine!

Closed system

Unlike Canon and Nikon cameras, it’s not possible to tweak the software inside your Fujifilm camera. Canon users can use the famous BackyardEOS (also available on Nikon cameras), that extends the features of the camera, especially for astrophotography.

However, that’s definitely not a show stopper, as you can see with the wonderful images above. Not all Canon and Nikon photographers use this software anyway, and it’s more like a helpful hand, rather than a must-have tool.

Do you own a Fujifilm camera too?
Feel free to share your experience in the comments!

Deep-sky astrophotography with a Fujifilm camera
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21 thoughts on “Deep-sky astrophotography with a Fujifilm camera

  • 11th April 2019 at 19:37

    It’s a misconception that APS C sensors achieve greater magnification, or reach, for a given focal length lens, compared with full frame. They don’t. They merely crop a smaller area from the image circle produced by the lens, and thus have a narrower angle of view.

    • 29th April 2019 at 12:36

      Hey Michael,
      You’re right, thank you for the clarification! I updated this paragraph, the wording was indeed poorly chosen.

    • 3rd May 2019 at 21:42

      This is incorrect, and it is not a misconception. APS-C sensors do achieve higher (effective) magnification, because they have a much higher pixel density than full frame sensors. What this means is that a photo taken with an apsc sensor will have higher resolution than a photo taken with a full frame sensor that has been cropped to the same size. The exception to this would be comparing an apsc sensor to a cropped image from a high resolution sensor such as the sony A7R series, which have similar pixel density to current gen apsc sensors. Bonus fact: this is also why you don’t want to use full frame lenses on a crop sensor camera without checking the resolving power of the lens. Top end full frame lenses can resolve the smaller pixels of an apsc sensor, but lower end ones may not be able to.

      • 28th July 2019 at 16:51

        Hello, I’m not sure to understand you. I have a Fuji X-T20 with 24MpX (APS-C). My friend has a Nikon D810, a 36Mpx full frame. We have same density of pixels… I’m pretty sure that with a 450mm lens, he will obtain the same result I obtain with a 300mm…

        • 21st August 2021 at 01:02


          3,600,000 / (36*24)
          ≈ 4166 pixels / mm^2

          2,400,000 / (23.6*15.6)
          ≈ 6518 pixels / mm^2

          You have much higher pixel density.

  • 26th May 2019 at 16:15

    I’m so glad that I found this sight! I have 4 Fuji cameras and a lot of telescopes as well. Thanks for the encouragement.

  • 27th November 2019 at 04:26

    This site is very inspiring. I’m just starting out in deep sky astrophotograply. I’m using a X-T2 and I have a 70mm refractor. But I’m having trouble with focusing and my images turned out soft or blurry. What i did was I magnified the view while in manual mode, but there was a lot of noise.
    I tried with a bahtinov mask and i couldn’t make out the spikes either.

    Could anyone share how you focus on the stars with Fuji X cams? Thanks!

  • 3rd December 2019 at 14:43

    Cracking work and a cracking read.
    Very well done. :)

  • 23rd July 2020 at 11:05

    Hello, this was a very interesting read. I am a beginner to AP, but am not new to photography and know how to shoot in manual mode, and am interested in getting a Fujifilm as an upgrade to a basic Canon 550 EOS DSLR to shoot wide-field nightscapes of the milky way, and then progress to something like deeper space objects using a star tracker mount.

    Is there a particular Fuji camera model you would recommend and a good wide field starting lens?

  • 24th September 2020 at 00:14

    Hello, thanks for creating the post. As a X-T2 user, I’m more than happy to see how Fuji cameras are capable of doing in the realm of astrophotography. Just a bit of update, DeepSkyStacker now supports X-Trans RAW file format.

  • 26th October 2020 at 03:47

    Are any of these people using Trackers? If so, what make and model?

    I have a XT2 and XH1 with a lot of lens. Have a 200-400 with 1.4x.


    • 23rd December 2020 at 13:30

      Hi Myron! Yes some of them most likely do. I also took the couple pictures I showed with a tracker. The usual suspects are the iOptron SkyGuider Pro and the Sky-Watcher SkyAdventurer. These mounts are good to get started and pair well with a standard camera and lens < 200mm. However keep in mind these mounts have their limits, and when you reach the ~300-400mm focal length, these issues will get more difficult to deal with... First of these issues is that, the longer the focal length, the more magnification you'll have of course, but the more difficult it is to aim at a target that you can't see on your screen (unless it's a very bright object like Orion or the Andromeda galaxy). That's where real motorized equatorial mounts start to make sense, because they can "go to" any target without the need to aim manually, like with camera trackers.

  • 8th December 2020 at 23:31

    As a FUJI-X camera owner, i’m gathering information on how to link a Fuji case (namely XT-2 and XT-20) to a telescope. I’m tackling connection with a TSA-120 refractor from takahashi.
    Without the focal reducer, I think it’s not that difficult : T2 adapter on the fuji case, and then many possibilities : either T2 to 2″ adapter plugging the eyepiece carrier or M72 to T2 adapter.
    Things are less obvious behind the reducer, for which one has to achieve a stringent 62,5 mm backfocus. The taka 72 to 54 adapter takes 6,5mm of it, whereas a T2 to Fuji adapter takes 55 mm. Maybe I should use a spacer on the 42 front thread to “steal” 1mm, but I think it’s a bit unsafe as regards remaining thread length.
    Any feedback from people sharing stringent backfocus constraint with fuji cases would be highly appreciated.

    • 11th March 2021 at 23:31

      I’ve used my Fuji XT-1 with a 130mm reflector, the eyepiece is smaller 1 1/4 iirc. Had some issues with long back focus but solved as follows:
      Xt1 > M42 adapter > M42 to T2 adapter > Barlow lens tube with lens removed.

      I’m not sure of the distance but this gives me sufficient travel on the focus control.

      Also had success taking shots through an eyepiece, that gave a larger image in the shot but with less resolution.

      Hope this helps!


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