I'm going to start imaging using just the camera and it's own (75mm-300mm) lens for the time being. given that it offers a wider FOV than my scope, it will be more forgiving of errors while learn AP. But I needed to figure out a way to mount my DSLR Canon 30D camera and lens to my scope.
I wanted something that would allow me to easily mount and remove the camera and I was going to buy a dovetail saddle and bar, but I'm cheap, yet creative.
I already had a spare finderscope shoe, and I thought since the camera and lens isn't as large nor as heavy as my scope, it should work as a mount. So I attached the finderscope shoe to the handle of my AR102.
Then I found a scrap steel bar at work that almost fit into the finderscope shoe. It was the perfect width and thickness, but I needed to use a bench grinder and angle the sides so it would slide in and out of the finderscope shoe. Mission accomplished.
But then I had to find a way to mount the camera to the steel bar. Easy enough to do as the camera body has a 1/4-20 threaded mounting hole. I drilled the hole with a countersink so the screw sits flush underneath.
I still had the issue of keeping the camera lined up square to the scope without the weight of the lens making the camera get misaligned during slews or odd angles. I initially thought I'd need scope rings to align the camera, but with the lens giving me a much wider FOV than the scope, I didn't need that kind of precision alignment. So I cut a piece of scrap PVC to fit under the lens as a cradle and then mounted it to the steel bar from underneath.
Below you can see how I mounted the finderscope shoe to the handle of my AR102 with the camera sitting next to the scope, and then the camera easily mounted into the dovetail. Holds perfect and allows me to easily mount it and remove it. And it cost me nothing but a little time (like less than a half hour total).
Edited by MarkMittlesteadt, 16 March 2017 - 10:00 AM.