strength, though that’s not necessary.
I drilled and tapped holes for two ¼- 20 nylon
screws to hold the scope’s eyepiece in the PVC
coupling. This can also be done by hacksawing a
slot in the coupling axially (lengthwise), and then
tightening it around the eyepiece with an adjustable
Just for looks, I painted my couplings with Krylon
plastic bonding spray paint, but it’s not necessary.
2. Mount the coupling to
The coupling attaches to a piece of aluminum flat
stock, ¾"× 5" for the Canon and 1"× 5" for the HP.
Most any hardware store carries these.
Attach the coupling to the flat stock with two #6-32
flathead screws, lock washers, and nuts. Locate these
screws at the edges of the coupling, because you’ll
need to countersink the coupling to accommodate
each screw’s head and clear the eyepiece.
Put spacers on these screws as needed to center
the camera’s lens on your scope’s eyepiece. For
the Canon, I got lucky: a ¼" spacer worked fine.
For the HP, a stack of washers did the job.
3. Mount the camera to the bracket.
Bolt the camera to the flat stock with a ¼- 20 thumb
screw, screwed into the camera’s standard ¼- 20
mounting thread. Generally, this mount is offset
from the axis of the camera’s lens, so you’ll need to
measure accurately to get the assembly to line up.
Also, you must measure the bracket length
accurately to accommodate the camera’s lens
when it’s fully extended (not just in zoom mode,
when its lens is retracted farther in). This allows
the camera to be turned on and off while mounted,
with no interference.
4. Shoot through your scope.
Tighten the nylon screws or hose clamp to secure
your camera on your scope’s eyepiece. Power up
the camera and shoot away.
(Of course, since the microscope is fixed, a
tripod can also be used to hold the camera — put
the microscope near the corner of a table and the
tripod as close as possible.)
Peter Torrione is a retired aerospace/defense electronics
systems engineer. Since retirement, he doesn’t know how
he ever had the time to go to work.
Fig. A: Telescope mount parts for Canon PowerShot
SD1100 IS. Fig. B: Canon mounted to microscope.
Fig. C: Canon mounted to telescope. Fig. D: Microscope photo of fly leg taken by HP Photosmart
M425 (which also took moon photo, previous page).
122 Make: Volume 20