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 Post subject: Attaching SLR camera to EQ mount
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:42 pm 
I attempted to piggy-back my SLR camera onto my scope using the mounting screw on the tube rings but I couldn't tighten it enough to get a stable connection. Of course, being polar-aligned meant that the camera ended up at all sorts of angles as I moved the scope around. When the camera was on the side (portrait mode), gravity took over and the camera started to twist on the mount as the weight of the lens pulled it downwards.

Is there a way to mount the camera that means it can always be tilted to landscape mode regardless of the direction I'm pointing in?


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 Post subject: Re: Attaching SLR camera to EQ mount
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:42 am 
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I've not seen your mounting screw, but if it's the same design as the ones I used to have, it will consist of a 1/4" Whitworth threaded screw protruding up through the tube-ring and a large threaded circular flange which screws onto this.
Carefully thread your camera onto the screw a two or three turns (but not so far that it fouls the bottom of the thread in the camera body), and then screw the flange upwards until it tightens onto the camera's base-plate. If you get any rotation now, it must be that the screw isn't tight in the tube-ring (so you'll need to remove the camera, undo the ring and tighten it from the inside).

When the camera is fitted, it's "landscape" axis should be aligned with your mount's RA axis, so all your astro subjects should be oriented with North at the top, but if you prefer to have South at the top you can simply rotate the image in your post-processing.

Or if you perfer to mount your camera without the 'scope, then it's easy to make a little bracket to fit into the EQ5 dovetail - in fact I had one of these in my for sale box at our Astro-jumble last week!


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 Post subject: Re: Attaching SLR camera to EQ mount
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 6:04 pm 
It's exactly as you described. The screw seemed to be a bit loose. I've tightened it and it seems to be holding the camera OK.

I'd prefer something more like a conventional camera tripod mounting with a quick release lever to take the camera on and off rather than mounting the camera on the rings. I assume you sold the bracket you have? Would this have fitted an EQ3?


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 Post subject: Re: Attaching SLR camera to EQ mount
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 6:36 am 
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I can't remember if your EQ3 has the same "dovetail" fitting as an EQ5, but there's a picture of the bracket attached to a Pentax 35mm camera here:
http://www.boltonastro.org.uk/Forums/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=30
I've still got it and will bring it along on Tuesday, so bring your mount and we'll see if it fits.


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 Post subject: Re: Attaching SLR camera to EQ mount
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:01 pm 
I finally got around to buying a T-ring for my camera yesterday and tried a few shots after the meeting by attaching the camera to a Barlow lens.

Since my EOS 400D doesn't display have the live image display, it was a bit tricky trying to focus through the small viewfinder display. However, I did get some shots of Jupiter's moons as well as our own Moon.

I did have a problem balancing the scope though. Even with both weights at the far end of the bar, it still wasn't quite balanced and I had to to rely on the clutches on the mount to stop it moving. I'm using a Skywatcher Explorer 150P on an EQ3-2 mount. I suppose I'm on the limit of what this mount is capable of. I suspect also that there may have been some camera shake caused by the mirror flipping up. I think it is possible to lock the mirror up, so I might give this a try next time.


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 Post subject: Re: Attaching SLR camera to EQ mount
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 4:12 pm 
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AWalmsley wrote:
I did have a problem balancing the scope though. Even with both weights at the far end of the bar, it still wasn't quite balanced

Well Antony, you can always add improvised extra counter-weights to your balance arm with gaffer-tape. At the Kelling Heath star-party, we often see tent-peg mallets and even bottles of water used as such, by campers who forgot that vital component of their German Equatorial Mounts!


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