How to attach a Camcorder to a Telescope

After buying my Panasonic SD9 HD camcorder I was thinking if it could be used for astronomy. I wondered if I would have to take a trip to my local astronomy store to see if they had anything in stock to allow me to connect my camcorder to my LX200 telescope.

In the same way you use a Ring on an SLR camera with a T mount I thought there may be the same thing for my camcorder, I definitely did not want one of the metal contraptions that are used to attach compact digital cameras to telescopes (more commonly known as an Ultra Afocal Digital Camera Support).

37mm T-mount adaptor to attach camcorder to telescopeThe Panasonic SD9 camcorder has a 37mm thread. Luckily I took a chance and ordered an adaptor, and I am so happy to say it worked. It is a 37mm adaptor to a T-mount. Which means that you can connect it to the Meade T-adaptor or any other connections such as a focal reducer and then onto the telescope.

Camcorder with T-mount 37mm adaptor attachedThe SD9 camcorder allows you to screw in the 37mm adaptor directly to the front of the camcorder, as shown in this accompanying image, although there is only space for the adaptor to be threaded on for about two turns.

Although there is another way to connect the adaptor to the camcorder.

Camcorder Lens Cover Removed and Tmount adaptor attached directlyIf you unscrew the silver lens cover there is a deeper 37mm thread depth available underneath it, and the adaptor can be attached to this, as shown in the image. 

The only downside to doing this is that you must be careful to not damage the camcorder lens as there is no protection for it. 

With there being a chance of scratching the lens whilst out in the dark fumbling about, I have ordered an UV 37mm screw-in lens for the camcorder in order to protect the camcorders lens.

Now I just need to try and do some videoing with the camcorder attached to the telescope to see what I get.

Be Sociable, Share!

2 comments

  • Pete Kenny

    Hi, An eyepiece needs to be fitted or you’ll just be shooting the inside of your telescope tube!
    There are a number of ways of connecting the camcorder to an eyepiece but a 1 1/4″ eyepiece will probably be too small.
    Recommend William Optics DCL-52 2″, it has a thread which, with a step down ring, will fit your camcorder, you won’t be dissapointed with the results:
    Good Luck.

  • Michael Slack

    Anything out there for my Orion 120MM Skyview Pro? I have an equatorial mount by the way. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated! Thank you…Michael

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

3 + 3 =