Moon Shots Using Eyepiece Projection




About: I'm an aerospace engineer by trade but am interested in astronomy, robotics, CNC machines, Arduinos, you name it.

Step 1: Eyepiece Projection

Eyepiece Projection is the technique of placing a camera in front of the telescope eyepiece where your eye usually goes.

When using even a small telescope and a bright object such as the moon, you can simply hold a digital camera up to the eyepiece and snap pictures. 

Be sure to turn off your camera's flash.

Hold the camera up to the eyepiece and slightly press the camera's snapshot button.  Partially pressing this button usually will allow the camera to auto focus.  When the camera is set, take the picture.  Using this technique you take many pictures and only keep the one out of ten that are good.

You may also make a simple camera holder that positions the camera near the eyepiece.  Several options exist for doing this.  Most cameras have a 1/4 inch 20 threads per inch mounting hole normally used to attach the camera to a tripod.  You can construct a holder that attaches to the camera using this mounting hole and attached to either the eyepiece or to the body of the telescope.  Which one you use may depend on the weight of your camera.  Remember that when you use the camera's zoom option, that the camera lens may protrude away from the camera body.  Make sure that you allow for enough clearance between the eyepiece and the camera lens when the camera is mounted.


Step 2: Sample Moon Pictures

Here are a few Moon pictures I've taken using this technique.



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    10 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    I don't think this method is called eyepiece projection. It's afocal photography. For eyepiece projection you need a camera with lens removed (DSLR or webcam).

    1 reply

    6 years ago on Introduction

    Nice photos maewert, I was able to get similar results with a point and shoot camera attached to an old Tasco telescope. I made an instructable of the adapter that I created and used to attach the camera to the telescope. Have you had any luck getting good shots of Jupiter or Saturn?

    2 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Nice instructable there reloadx.  I've played with a camera mount, but in the end I held the camera since I needed too many degrees of adjustments to get it right.  Not only did I need to position the camera in the X, Y, and Z dimensions but I also needed to adjust the angles as well to get it 'just right'. 

    I do have some Jupiter shots about on par with the ones you show in your 'ible.  With a small scope to bring out the moons I tend to over expose Jupiter itself and lose the nice banding.  I've seen some nice post-processing techniques including stacking and sharpening which gives beautiful results - but it is more of an art than a science.  I have not seen the red spot with my own eyes/own scope yet :-(.

    I have tried Saturn but the results were a little disappointing.  The rings showed up but without much detail.  A large scope on a good mount with a camera with good manual settings giving the operator more control sounds like a good formula to get decent pictures but I have not yet achieved it.

    Best Wishes!


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks maewert, unfortunately I haven't been able to see the red spot either. :(
    With the telescope, I can see Jupiter and four moons, but I haven't been able to get clear photos. I have played with the settings on my camera, but I can't get the results I want. I haven't tried to photograph Saturn yet, It seems it would be even more difficult. I will try another camera and I'll try to adjust it manually. Thanks again maewert, if I get good results, I'll post some pics and let you now.


    6 years ago on Step 2

    The picture in which you forgot to turn of the flash looks like you're looking out the window of a spaceship. Very cool. Thanks for the tip!

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Step 2

    It sure does! OK, you caught me. I really did take that one from my spaceship. I fooled all of the earthlings except you :-)

    Best Wishes, Mark


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Absolutely gorgeous pictures.
    I was able to do something similar (with poorer results) with my iPhone + TeleStar DS-114. I'm going to try again using a good digital camera.

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you for the kind words. The best pictures come from my C14 so the larger the better. Also, of course only maybe one picture in twenty turns out any good.

    Best Wishes