Digiscoping is becoming increasingly popular nowadays as people try to combine the function of powerful telescopes with advanced digital photographic technology. We have been frequently asked on how to connect a certain type of digital SLR cameras to a particular telescope model. This technical note is prepared to address some of the common aspects regarding digiscoping using DSLR cameras.
There are basically two methods to connect a DSLR camera to a telescope. The first method is to attach the SLR body without the camera lens directly to the scope using a DSLR camera adaptor. In this way the scope can effectively become a telephoto lens of the camera. Traditionally, this is achieved by using two separate components, a T-adaptor and a T-ring (also known as T2 mount). The T-ring is connected to the DSLR camera in place of the camera lens, and the camera is then connected to the scope’s eyepiece holder through the T-adaptor. There are different types of T-rings for different types of DSLR cameras, but the T-adaptor is designed to fit a range of T-rings. For those who are new to digiscoping, there can be confusions as to what type of T-rings should be purchased to fit a DSLR camera, and what T-adaptor can then fit the T-ring and the telescope.
More recently, a new type of
DSLR camera adaptors has become available, which combines the T-ring and T-adaptor into one component. Such an adaptor is available for those widely used camera brands such as Canon and Nikon. A major advantage of these new adaptors is that they can fit a wider range of products (eg. the Canon adaptor can fit almost all Canon SLR cameras with up to 135mm lens and almost all types of telescopes with a standard 1.25” eyepiece holder), and you only need one of them for digiscoping.
The second method of connecting a digital camera to scopes is to use a
universal camera adaptor. These adaptors enable you to attach a digital camera (including both SLR and non-SLR cameras) to a scope’s eyepiece. You do not need to remove the camera’s lens in this case, but the image quality is often not as good as using the first method.