with Scopetronix adapter
and telescope eyepiece
I use this setup for photographing objects through my telescope. Let me
describe what you are looking at.
The camera is a Sony DSC-P93, 5.1 megapixel digital camera.
- This photo shows the camera fully assembled with adapters and an
eyepiece attached. With this configuration, the eyepiece barrel (the
silver part of the eyepeice in the bottom right corner of the photo) slides
into the eyepiece mount of the scope's focuser.
- On the front of this camera, around the lens, is a plastic ring that
twists off to reveal a bayonet mount so accessories can be mounted onto the camera.
The details of mounts vary from camera to camera. You need a
"Digital-T" adapter made to fit your camera. I purchased a "Digital-T" adapter from
UPDATE: As of late 2015,
Scopetronix is no longer in business and I have found no other source for
the adapters for this camera. I did find one T-ring adapter for sale
on eBay from a source in China. I used this small digital camera
instead of my big Canon EOS digital camera because this small camera is
lightweight. If I mount a heavy digital SLR camera onto my telescope,
the added weight pulls the scope tube down to horizontal.
The photo below shows the camera, eyepiece, and adapters disassembled.
Here's a description of the system -- read from left to right -- from the camera
to the right:
- First is the camera. The ring covering the bayonet mount has been
- To the right of the camera is a large greyish-silver device -- this is
the T-ring adapter made specifically for this camera. The end
closest to the camera twists into the bayonet mount. The end of this
adapter that is away from the camera has fine threads.
- Moving to the right is a thin black ring lying flat. This as
a step ring -- one end screws into the threads in the T-ring adapter,
the other end accepts the threads on the Digi-T eyepiece ring.
- The next item to the right is an eyepiece with a Digi-T eyepiece ring
attached. Move down to the next photos to see how the Digi-T
eyepiece ring attaches to an eyepiece.
Here is a series of photos that show how to attach the Digi-T eyepiece
ring to an eyepiece.
First, here's an eyepiece in normal configuration -- on the right end is the
eyepiece barrel that slides into the telescope's focuser. On the left end
is the rubber eyecup -- you look through this end of the eyepiece.
The rubber cup can be pulled off easily. Removing the rubber eyecup
does not damage anything -- you can pull it off and slip it back on with no
problem. Here's what the eyepiece looks like with the rubber eyecup
Note the end of the eyepiece where the rubber eyecup was removed -- there's a
lip around the plastic housing with a groove where the rubber eyecup seats.
The Digi-T eyepiece ring is a metal ring with threads and three tiny
setscrews. Check out the next photo.
The Digi-T eyepiece ring slips over the lip where the rubber eyepiece
cup normally is mounted. The three setscrews are set around the Digi-T
eyepiece ring and they are tightened down against the eyepiece using the
supplied hex wrench, as shown here. Note the threads in the Digi-T
eyepiece ring -- those threads then screw into the adapter ring shown
And here, again, is the photo of the system assembled -- just slide the
eyepiece into the scope as normal -- except that there's now a camera attached
to the eyepiece. I purchased three Digi-T eyepiece rings and put
one one each of three eyepieces -- 40mm, 26mm, and 12.6mm -- this gives me a
variety of magnifications.
To use the camera with the adapter:
- Turn the camera on. Turn the flash OFF.
- Go to your telescope and insert this eyepiece into the scope as you do
any other eyepiece.
- Now, instead of looking through an eyepiece with your eye, you look at
the LCD screen on the back of the camera and it shows you what you are
seeing through the scope.
- I focus the camera on infinity and focus the scope while watching the
LCD screen. When the object you want to photograph is in focus on the
LCD screen, press the camera's button to take the picture.
Let me warn you of two points:
- This is a VERY simple method of astrophotography and it
takes some "fiddling" with it to get decent photos.
- You WILL NOT get big, splashy, colorful photos that take your breath
away. You will get only simply photos, most of which are not usable.
Here are some of my lessons learned.
- Half your photos will be useless -- out of focus; when you pushed the
camera button you bumped the scope and the photo is jiggly; the object
you're photographing is too small.
- Most of these cameras have an automatic-off feature -- if you don't
shoot within a few minutes of turning it on, the camera automatically turns
itself off -- just when you want to take a photo.
- I have tried focusing the scope by looking through an eyepiece as
normal, then, quickly pulling out the eyepiece, slapping the camera into the
scope, and shooting -- sometimes it works.
- Try different eyepieces with the adapter -- you'll get different
- You can try photographing nebulae and other faint fuzzy objects but
don't expect to see anything on the finished product -- just too faint and
- Your best objects are the moon (which you can shoot through all
its phases); Saturn (especially when the rings are turned toward
you); Jupiter (especially when it's near opposition; try to get as
many of the Galilean moons as possible arrayed around Jupiter); Venus
(especially when it's in a crescent phase). I have not tried taking
photos of clustered objects as the Pleiades or the Beehive Cluster -- should
work if you use a wide-angle eyepiece to get the whole cluster in the field
- When buying a camera, if possible, get one with a remote control -- that
way, you can trip the camera without touching it thus avoiding "bumping" the
scope and making it jiggle, which results in a ruined photo.
- Don't get discouraged -- after several failures you'll get a photo you
can be proud of.
- Remember: You will NOT get photos like those from the Hubble or
photos like those made by other people who are using CCD imagers, tracking
mounts for their scopes, and stacking software to process the photos.
If you think you'd like to try this simple method of astrophotography, I
recommend you FIRST check the Scopetronix
website or catalog to see which cameras their adapters fit, THEN, go shopping
for a camera.