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Dslr camera and reflector telescope

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Dslr camera and reflector telescope

Is it possible to use my dslr camera with my reflector telescope?

Kindest regards, 

Garion 

Peter Anderson's picture
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Joined: 21/11/2015 - 23:34
Using A DSLR

The answer is a resounding YES.  It depends what you want to do with it and I go back to the film days well over half a century ago. You can take 'happy snaps' through the eyepiece of bright objects but in this case mobile phone cameras where the lens size is comparable in size to the exit pupil of eyepieces, are likely more efficient. If happy snapping, get as close as possible without bumping the eyepiece, but expect that you won't get a full frame, just like in the attached Moon image using this method.

Now, if you remove both camera lens and eyepiece, with luck you can achieve prime focus and this is where it really gets interesting because you will be using the main mirror of the telescope as your lens. If your telescope can track your target - even for only around 30 seconds, by cranking up to say 2000ISO you can get passable deep sky images, but beware that the optics need to be properly adjusted.  I have included an image with a 6" F5 telescope of the Eta Carina area and you can see how the focus falls away on one side due to poor alignment.

Now I could rabbit on at length, but the question is what you specifically want to do with it so I will leave my comments there. (If you wish, you could visit my account site and check out more images. Virtually all are DSLR images.)

Peter Anderson's picture
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Robin Leadbeater's picture
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Mount

Hi Garion,

DSLR are very popular for astrophotography and it is possible to produce some stunning deep sky images with a DSLR used at prime focus (eg using a T ring and eyepiece adapter in place of the lens and mounting the camera in place of the eyepiece)

eg this website picked at random from the many out there

http://ried-sternwarte.de/dslr-galerie.html

You ask if it will work with your reflector and there are two potential issues that you will need to check with your particular setup.

If you plan to use it at prime focus, you will need to check that you can reach focus. (This can be a problem with Newtonians and DSLR as you might not be able to wind the focuser in far enough to place the camera sensor at the telescope focal plane)  You can add a Barlow lens to get round this but this increases the focal length, making the stability and tracking capability of the mount more critical. 

You will need to test the stability of your mount and how well it will track. You might struggle with your Meade Polaris 130MD with its EQ3 mount and simple motor drive,  but the best way to find out is to try it.  

Cheers

Robin

Robin Leadbeater's picture
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DSLR with Star Analyser

And of course you can also use your DSLR with your Star Analyser to do some simple spectroscopy that you asked about

https://britastro.org/node/16809

There are some tips on how to do this on Christian Buil's page here

http://www.astrosurf.com/buil/staranalyser/obs.htm

(Don't worry about the wedge prism or focal reducer he uses there, just screw the Star Analyser on the front of the nosepiece adapter)

Robin