Picture of Make simple digital telescope
Build your own high range telescope, using Webcam, PVC pipes and a scrap camera lens.

1. Lens (Long focal length)
2. Webcam CCD circuit
3. 50mm camera lens
4. 60/50mm (Diameter) PVC pipe and joints

1. 20/25mm (Diameter) PVC pipe/Joints
2. Nut & bolts
3. Mount

1. At first select a long  focal length lens, better to use compound lens to avoid chromatic aberration. Here I used high range binocular lens, focal length is 180mm.

2. Next pick a 50mm SLR camera lens ( I have used 50mm SMC Pentax-A) and remove all the lens elements from it and keep only aperture mechanism, this is used as aperture to control the light.

3. Fix the selected lens in front of the camera lens hood, this will act as fine tune focusing (Secondary focusing). And fix about 4 inches length 50mm pipe at rear. (if u have Pantax-A lens, it fits inside 50mm pipe)

4. Take 50mm pipe joint and scratch its inner surface (to increase its inner diameter, about 2mm) so that 50mm pipe moves freely forward and backward , this is act as primary focusing.

5. Take a 60mm pipe , fix its joint at the rear end and fix the 50mm joint  inside at other end. The length of the 60mm pipe you should keep according to the focal length of lens that you have selected.

6. Cut a 60mm dia foam sheet ( or similar material) and fix webcam circuit , its ccd sensor should be at the centre of foam sheet. Make the ccd area maximum dark , perpendicularly about an 35mm from ccd make 2-3mm hole, this act as secondary aperture.

 (Checkout construction schematic, step -10)

Step 1: 50mm Pantax-A lens

Picture of 50mm Pantax-A lens
50mm lens hood with aperture after remove all the lens element.
LuckyB25 months ago

Nobody has asked yet. What sort of images can we expect from something like this? Does anyone have any example pictures?

I bought several little ccd cameras from deal extreme at a very low price and glued the guts of one inside an old Pentax camera body with a 55mm lens on it. The little ccd was placed where the film passes into the focal area. I used a dremel type tool to make a slot for the cords to come out and attached them to the appropriate power and video/audio cables. It works so very great. This progect has me interested in making a telescope with some other great lenses I have and use with another little ccd camera. These tiny ccd cameras are great for this and all are under $15!
crishrx (author)  superdave54813 years ago
Its great and one of feasible technique for digital telescope, and i think you removed shutter mechanism right? share your project here. My present project is using above same technique. I want to convert my classic Nikon FM2 into digital.
dchurch243 years ago
That's really good. It's inspired me to have a go with my old Practica.
martzsam3 years ago
I made something like this a few years back with an old telephoto, a nasty logitech webcam, and a garlic salt lid. Fun!
Suizezem3 years ago

Great one and made me wanna do something like it. I found a Tele-Auto 6.3/400 mm lens but as I know nothing about lenses would a thing like this work? Or would it be better to buy something thats called like: Sigma 70-300 mm F4-5,6 DL Macro Super?

Im have not worked anything with camera lenses before so any input would be great =)

Thanks for a good one!
crishrx (author)  Suizezem3 years ago
Thank you Suiz...

Well, with 400mm lens u can do easily, no need to de-assemble it. You need to provide a dark area for CCD (Tube-B) and a lens mount (Tube-A).

The following schematic will help you, checkout...
schematic 2.jpg
Big thanks =) I got the dark thing and I think your schematics over ratio is really good and gives a good understanding, when understanding it, over all. Im gonna actually buy my self a Logitech C910 HD webcam, after trying out with some discarded friends cams.

What I did not understand with this lens I was looking on was the 6.3/400 (and differense on a 70-300) but maybe that dont mean anything else than its just a 400 mm but I would guess its better than a 300.

As I been looking for telescopes to connect with computer none has by my meaning met any of the range and quality you actually can gain by doing it by your self.

Big thanks =)
crishrx (author)  Suizezem3 years ago
Good morning :-)
You have to play with light adjustment, with aperture. At day time larger F number will give good result. I hv checked with my 28-105mm Nikon lens, i captured in the morning around 7.30-8.00, sun. so image has come little dull. :-)
yokostar3 years ago
WOW!! Thanks!
rimar20003 years ago
There is no specified focal length. The longer, augment and difficulties increase.

That's all I can say. Good luck!
where can you get that kind of webcam? and for how much?
crishrx (author)  extremeseeker3 years ago
if u use high resolution webcam circuit u wil get clear image . any webcam u can use.
cool! any idea where to get the camera lens
crishrx (author)  extremeseeker3 years ago
any scrap SLR camera lens, better to use 50mm lens, we just need aperture from it to control the light.
rimar20003 years ago
WOW! This is really awesome.

I suggest you make an equatorial mounting (it is easy), so you can use it for look planets, stellar cloud, etc.
crishrx (author)  rimar20003 years ago
ya it was difficult to point out moon at night without proper mount.
thank u...
and one more thing to watch moon surface how much focal length (lens) is required?