Last updated on
4/11/
2006

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Direct Digicam-to-Eyepiece Photography
[Long Exposures] [Direct Adapter] [Projection Adapter] [Clamp-On Adapter]

The direct mounting option is available to you if your digicam lens has filter threads or if you can get an adapter for your digicam that will hold a threaded filter in front of the lens (Tiffen made such adapters for several types of digicams that lack filter threads.)

Two vendors sell eyepieces that include threads at the top of the eyepiece, that allow you to directly mount digicams with non-removable lenses.  Scopetronix sells a “MaxView 40” eyepiece (shown here on the left), which is a 40mm eyepiece that includes a "T" thread. You then purchase a step ring to mate the T-thread to the filter thread of your camera. The MaxView 40 sells for $130, plus the cost of the T-thread adapter to mate to the filter thread of your digicam.

A similar system is sold by William Optics.  Their “DCL- 4337” is a 40mm eyepiece (shown here on the right) with both 43mm and 37mm threads at the top (manufacturers of good digicams commonly use one of these two thread diameters for filter threads). The DCL-4337 sells for $120.

Note that it is no accident that both of these eyepieces are “wide-field” 40mm EPs - a wide-field EP reduces the chance of vignetting with your scope/camera combination.

If you want to use an eyepiece you already own, you may be able to use an adapter that clamps to the top of the eyepiece and holds your digicam.  This type of adapter has set-screws that allow you to securely mount it to the top of your eyepiece (with the rubber eyeguard removed).  The top of the adapter itself is threaded in various diameters depending on which adapter you purchase, so you can match its thread diameter to that of your digicam’s filter thread.  If you can get the diameters and thread dimensions to work out for your eyepiece and digicam, the result is that you can directly mount your digicam to the top of an eyepiece.

Ideally you want to use a large-diameter scope eyepiece with your digicam (unless your digicam’s lens has a very small diameter).  Televue sells a line of large-diameter digicam-to-eyepiece adapters intended to fit some of their Plössl, Panoptic, and Nagler eyepieces.  These adapters will also fit some other larger-diameter eyepieces such as Orion (Vixen) Lanthanum Superwide EPs. The requirement here is that the eyepiece have a “straight” barrel at the top. I.e. Televue Radians or Pentax eyepieces with a decreasing-diameter barrel diameter can’t use this adapter (although Televue does sell a similar adapter specifically for Radian eyepieces) - see the Eyepiece Projection Adapter page for options on these.

MaxviewDSLRThe Scopetronix Digi-T adapter (shown in the photo above) allows you to mount a digicam directly to a 1.25” eyepiece, and there is a wide variety of 1.25” eyepieces that will work with this adapter. Scopetronix also sells a “MaxviewDSLR” adapter (shown in the photo on the right) that will mount large (2”) eyepieces to a digital SLR camera body.

Other vendors selling similar adapters include: Digital Astronomy, LensPlus (adapters for 2” eyepieces as well as 1.25” EPs), CKC Power; and Photosolve.

The adapters described above, offer you the best potential for taking good astrophotographs with a digicam.


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