Piggyback astrophotography is the logical first step for beginning photographers. The camera is not mounted on the tripod but on the tube of the telescope. A big advantage of using a piggyback camera mount is that you are able to use much longer shutter times. This, in turn, enables you to take pictures of very detailed observations and dim objects.
In order to create a solid base for your photographic success, you need a stable foundation. You will achieve this with our camera mounts. Camera mounts (‘Piggybacks’) are very easy to install on the tube assembly of your telescope. Now the perfect picture is only a small step away!
When you are going to photograph with this technique, you need to take into account a few conditions.
You will need a telescope with tracking motor and parallactic (equatorial) mount
After you have fixed the camera, you will need to do an accurate polar alignment
A sharp result depends on the length of the (telephoto) lens and the duration of the shutter time. The bigger the lens and the longer the shutter time, the more precision is required.
Setting up the installation
Make sure there is a correct polar alignment; when you do not have the necessary equipment, this may be a time-consuming job
Manual alignment (with the naked eye) only works with shutter times of up to two minutes. Longer shutter times absolutely require more precision
The telescope delivery will often include a manual providing detailed information about the correct polar alignment. Have you set up everything? Then make sure you do not nudge the tripod
Also, take into account the extra weight of your camera which tampers with the balance of your telescope. To counter this, it is best to fix the camera mount on the spot where the tube is attached to the tripod. This way, you retain the balance. You can optionally place counterweights on one side to restore the balance. This is important, as otherwise your tracking motor may get damaged.
The camera does not need to be aligned with the telescope. It is important, however, to polar align the telescope.