Camera Adapters

There are three basic methods of taking astrophotography with your home film or digital camera:

Afocal Astrophotography is the simplest method of taking astrophotographs. The camera looks into the eyepiece of the telescope. Holding the camera above the eyepiece is possible, although tricky - you have to aim the camera straight down the eyepiece barrel and adjust its angle properly to see the image, then get the camera to focus properly etc. Even pushing the shutter button can cause the camera to "miss" or "blurr" the image.

A better idea is when the camera is attached to the telescope using a camera mounting bracket and just "looks into the eyepiece". An alternate method is to attach the eyepiece directly to the threads of the built in camera lens. This requires two things; your camera must have suitable threads and your eyepiece must have an eyecup which is removable. Removing the eyecup leaves a convenient “groove” into which the adapter may lock onto.

Piggyback Astrophotography is the simplest method of taking long exposure, wide angle astrophotographs. The camera does not look through the telescope. Instead, the camera is attached to the telescope using a camera mounting bracket and just "goes along for the ride" so that it stays pointed at the area of the sky you want to capture. The camera uses its own lens.

Prime Focus Astrophotography is a method of using your telescope as a large telephoto lens. You need a prime focus adapter for your telescope, and a camera attachment adapter for your camera. The latter is often referred to as a "T-Ring" and is made specifically for your brand of camera. When your telescope is set up, properly aligned, and tracking, remove the eyepiece from the telescope, remove your camera lens (put it safely away in a dust proof container), and attach the camera body to the prime focus adapter using the T-ring. Tighten any screws that hold the adapter, T-ring, and camera in place to avoid camera movement.

Eyepiece Projection Astrophotography is the most difficult type of astrophotography since it results in the highest power view, and therefore any slight deviations from perfect tracking can ruin an image. In this case, the camera does look through the telescope - and at very high power. You need adapters to connect the camera to the scope as well as being able to hold an eyepiece in the optical path. Accurate Polar alignment, precise tracking, and proper focus are absolutely necessary. Even so, guiding the telescope with an eyepiece is probably necessary for any long duration exposures.

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1.25 Inch Camera Adapters
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Afocal Camera Adapters
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