Society for Popular Astronomy

Attaching a DSLR to reflector scop
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Author:  drbooda [ Sat Mar 14, 2015 12:02 am ]
Post subject:  Attaching a DSLR to reflector scop

Hi. I have an Orion Skyline xt10 classic. I bought a t-piece and adapter and was unsuccessful acquiring a focus when I attached my DSLR to it. Information on the web suggest using a barlow to change the effective focal length and allow for the image to be in focus for the camera. I went to the Orion home site and spoke with a technician who told me I CAN NOT do this with my current telescope. Please help me. Do I buy a barlow? Do I have to return the telescope if I desire to be able to take decent pictures? I have used my cell phone and got very nice moon images, but I want pictures of the planets as well. Any help would be great.

Author:  Brian [ Mon Mar 16, 2015 7:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Attaching a DSLR to reflector scop

Hi Rich, welcome!

I can't guarantee this will work, but have a look at your focuser. If I'm correct it comes fitted with both a 2inch and 1.25 inch eyepiece adapter. The 1.25inch will probably be screwed into the 2inch, which screws into the focuser barrel. To get your camera as close as possible to the focal point of the mirror you may need to remove both these adapters and then attach your camera directly to the focuser barrel using the correct screw-in ring, which should be available from your astro-dealer.

If that isn't possible, then yes a barlow can be used to move the focal point out far enough for the camera to get access. Another alternative is to use an eyepiece to project an image onto the camera sensor. It's possible to buy eyepieces which are threaded at the top to allow cameras to be attached for this purpose.

I see on the web that your 'scope is a dobsonian, which is a "push-to" (undriven) mounting. You will find planetary imaging a challenge with that mounting because you will need to use the optics at quite long focal lengths in order to get a big enough image onto the camera sensor. It's usual to do planetary imaging at f20-f30 focal ratio, which really requires a reliable drive to follow the target. Maybe that's what your dealer was thinking of when you were advised you can't use this 'scope for imaging. If you want to do long exposure imaging then the drive requirements are even more rigorous.

Hope the helps a bit,


Author:  drbooda [ Mon Apr 13, 2015 1:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Attaching a DSLR to reflector scop

Thank you so much Brian. I am going to buy a Celestron Ultima duo eyepiece and give that a go.
Take care,

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