Physics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for active researchers, academics and students of physics. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm new to astronomy and I don't have a great deal of cash to spend. I currently have a 3" reflector telescope which I've had great fun with. I also have a Pentax DSLR which I've been using to take long exposure photos of various constellations (+ brighter deep sky objects such as the Orion nebula).

I've managed to take some surprisingly good photos of the moon and jupiter's moons combining my mobile phone with my telescope (which requires a very steady hand and alot of patience) but I'd really like a better way of taking photos. I'm wondering whether I should investigate getting an SLR mount to attach my Pentax to my scope, or whether to go for one of these webcam eyepeiece attachments. Any advice?

share|cite|improve this question
up vote 4 down vote accepted

If you already have a DSLR then a T-mount is pretty cheap and will give you steadier photos. The first issue you may hit is that you can only do short exposures unless you have a motorized mount.

I use a lens mount adapter on my Pentax K-x to attach a 1.25" barlow ( and it works quit well for me.

But I also have a friend to does wonderful stuff using a Canon 20x zoom (non SLR) connected to a motorized mount.

One of the tricks to learn is image stacking. Registax ( for Windows does a very good job and is free. There are other apps for MacOS. This lets you combine multiple exposures to cancel out noise and to enhance your images.

share|cite|improve this answer

Without investing in a better telescope first I think a DIY webcam type setup or an entry level astrocam targeted at planetary use would probably be the best choice. A 3" reflector is unlikely to have a mount capable of tracking smoothly enough for long exposure; and the larger weight of a DSLR will cause more problems due to the asymmetric load that will result from the placement of the focuser on a Newtonian scope. A wobbly mount doesn't matter much when you're taking large numbers of very short exposures (like video).

Alternately, you might be able to use your phones camera directly for this if you can find a tripod adapter for it and combine it with an adapter using a tripod screw to mount a point and shoot camera behind your eyepiece.

share|cite|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.