How to Connect DSLR to Telescope: Complete Guide [3 Methods]

Have you ever wanted to see the moon up close? Or maybe take some awesome photos of a comet or other deep sky object? The great way to do that is by connecting your DSLR camera to a telescope and taking some really cool photos.

The process is not too difficult and can be accomplished fairly quickly. This article will describe how to connect a DSLR camera to a telescope for observing astrophotography.

How to Connect a DSLR to Telescope : 3 Methods

Below is a list of several ways in which you can connect your DSLR camera to your telescope.

Method 01: Using a DSLR T-Ring Adapter

Using a DSLR T-Ring Adapter

The first method of connecting a DSLR to a telescope for astrophotography uses a DSLR T-ring adapter. The steps are as follows:

Step 1: Acquire T-Ring Adapter

A T-ring adapter is required in order to connect your DSLR camera to a telescope. The camera adapter attaches to the end of the lens and then to your telescope. Make sure you have the proper T-ring adapter for your camera and telescope.

Step 2: Mount Your Telescope

Once you have the equipment that you'll need, place your telescope on a tripod and then make sure it's secure and steady. Always take care when working with any kind of telescope equipment to avoid accidents.

Step 03: Attach the T-ring Mount

As the next step, attach your T-mount to your telescope for deep sky astrophotography. The adapter will fit on any digital single-lens reflex camera and stay put very securely so there is no need for concern about it falling off or moving around.

Step 04: Attach the Camera

Once the T-mount is in place on your telescope, you are ready to attach your camera. Make sure that all the lenses and settings on your camera match up to those of your astronomical telescope. You may need to make some adjustments to work correctly, but it is pretty simple even if you are not an expert.

Step 5: Test It Out

Once you have everything set up, take a few test shots to ensure that your camera is correctly installed. You can experiment with taking photos of different scales, objects, and distances by changing your field flattener lens settings. This will allow you to find the perfect angle for what you are looking to capture.

Method 02: Using a DSLR Dovetail Plate

Using a DSLR Dovetail Plate

A second option to connect DSLR to a telescope is to use a dovetail plate. This is similar to the T-ring method, but instead of just screwing on your camera's built-in T-Ring mount, you need an L-bracket with two plates on it, one for the camera and one for the dovetail.

The dovetail plate attaches to the telescope mount and the bracket attaches to your camera body. The two attach together with screws and a few rubber stops.

Method 03: Using a Telescope Focus Shift Adapter

Using a telescope focus shift adapter, the camera and the telescope remain fixed together. The telescope does not move as you take your photo, but rather only the camera's lens focuses as usual.

This allows astrophotography with very long exposure times without any blurring caused by the Earth's rotation. This is especially helpful when taking photos of the Milky Way or even distant galaxies.

What to Consider When Connecting a DSLR to a Telescope?

Here are some things that you should consider when trying to connect your DSLR camera to a telescope.

Consider the Lens

When connecting a DSLR camera to a telescope, make sure that all of the lenses match up with each other for it to work properly. You may need to make some adjustments by changing the lenses on your Canon DSLR so they fit onto the telescope.

This is the only way that your camera and telescope will communicate with each other, so you must follow these steps carefully.


Ensure that the tripod on your telescope is sturdy. You must follow, so it doesn't slip or move while trying to take photos. A steady tripod will ensure stability for your camera so you can get great shots every time. This will allow you to get the clearest possible shots.


When connecting a digital single-lens reflex camera to a telescope, you want to make sure that your exposure is long enough so you can make the best, most explicit photos.

The exposure length on your camera depends on how bright or dark it is where you are taking the picture. This will determine how long of exposure you need.

ISO Sensitivity

ISO Sensitivity

When connecting your digital single-lens reflex camera to a telescope, you may want to consider making the settings on the ISO sensitivity higher.

To do this, go into your camera's menu and find where you can set up various ISO sensitivities. Higher ISO sensitivity settings mean that the device will be more sensitive to light, allowing for better photographs.

Reasons to Connect a DSLR to a Telescope

Here are some reasons that people may want to connect their DSLR camera to a telescope.

1. To getting Better Quality Photos

Telescopes allow us to better look at planetary objects because they're great for higher magnification views. Compared with your astrophotography camera lens, a telescope lens will be able to bring planetary objects up close into focus so you can see more detail in the photos. By connecting a DSLR to a telescope, you can obtain a perfect focal length.

2. To Take Photos in Long Exposures

Taking planetary images is no easy task, but with a telescope and SLR camera attached, it's like you've already got half of your tripod setup done for you.

You can use a motor drive to capture planetary objects as they orbit the night sky. This can help you capture fast-moving planetary objects that might otherwise be difficult to do without using a refractor telescope.

3. To Take Photos in Short Exposures

The moon is not the only celestial object you should set your sights on, and there are dozens of other cool things to photograph. Stars are also exciting because they're points of light and can make for some very artistic photos.

Some of these planetary bodies might be too dim to pick out with the naked eye, but that doesn't mean you can't get a nice photo of them.

4. To Get Photos of Objects that are Further Away

A telescope is a great tool for picking out dimmer planetary imaging that might be too far away to view without an astronomical instrument. In the same way that telescopes can help planetary images, it's also helpful for viewing distant galaxies and nebulae.

You won't be able to see detail in the objects like you would with planetary imaging, but at least you'll see something. A telescope gives you the ability to take longer exposures of things that are further away because it essentially acts like binoculars.

5. To Get Photos in Low Light Conditions

To Get Photos in Low Light Conditions

Planets, stars, and other deep sky objects all emit their own light so you can take photos of them with a DSLR at night. This might not seem like an important factor, but it's actually pretty nice to be able to capture images of these items in low light conditions such as at dawn or during twilight.

If the moon is out then you won't need that much exposure time if you want to capture details on the surface of the moon.

Additional Tips

Here are some helpful tips to remember when connecting your DSLR camera to a telescope.

1. Make sure that you connect your DSLR firmly to the spotting scope because if it's not, then it might wobble with every movement of the telescope, which can cause blurriness in your photos. You will need to be able to adjust it in the right way so that it's secure.

2. When you're connecting your digital single-lens reflex camera to a reflector telescope, you must make sure that you have the correct T-adapter for your particular model of DSLR. Your photos will come out blurry if the adapter doesn't fit properly.

If you plan on using your DSLR much in the future, you should probably buy an extra T-ring so that it's easy to switch back and forth when photographing with different telescopes (just make sure you keep track of which one goes with which telescope).

3. You will get higher-quality images by taking long exposures. You can do this by selecting bulb mode on your DSLR and then connecting it to a telescope. By using the telescope for magnification, you'll be able to capture much more detail in your photos which will make them that much better.

4. Make sure your camera is on manual. Because you'll be using the telescope as a lens for your DSLR, make sure that you set your camera to manual mode before connecting it.

If not, then there's a chance that the automatic settings will cause blurriness in your photos. Manual mode will ensure that the camera and telescope are working together properly.

5. If your camera is hooked up to a telescope, then it will be subject to all of the light that comes from the telescope itself. This means that you should set your ISO as low as it can go or even switch it off altogether. You can always brighten dark photos later with photo editing software such as Photoshop.


Here are some frequently asked questions that you might find helpful.

1. What Magnification Do You Need to See Planets?

What Magnification do You Need to See Planets

A telescope with a magnification of at least 180x is recommended to see the planet. You'll need about 380 magnification to see the world alone with a higher resolution.

2. Is Any Camera Good for Astrophotography?

No, you need a specific digital single-lens reflex camera that is capable of doing astrophotography. It should have a good high ISO mode and manual exposure settings.

3. Does My DSLR Need to Be Modified for Astrophotography?

You don't need to modify your digital camera to take great astrophotos. If you want to take photos of deep-sky objects with your DSLR, then you'll need to use a telescope as well. You can connect your digital single-lens reflex camera to a telescope and do astrophotography.

4. Are Megapixels Important for Astrophotography?

Megapixels are important for astrophotography because you need to be able to get higher resolution images.


A telescope is a powerful tool for astrophotography. It allows you to see the skies in an entirely new way and capture celestial objects that are otherwise invisible to the naked eye. Connecting your DSLR camera, or any kind of camera, to your telescope opens up a whole new world of possibilities. Having read this article, we hope you are now able to easily connect your DSLR to a telescope.