This Losmandy DVCM2 piggyback system is precision-machined of aluminum and anodized black for long life. It can be used to support a 35mm or DSLR camera and lens for taking a long exposure photo. While the factory description of the DVCM2 claims that it offers three-axis camera orientation, this is not strictly accurate if you consider the three axes to be the normal roll, pitch, and yaw.
The Losmandy DVCM2 has a 360° camera rotation (yaw) and a +/- 45° camera tilt (pitch), but does not have a true roll capability (to quickly swing the camera 90° from a landscape to a portrait orientation, for example). What the DVCM2 has instead (in addition to the 360° rotation and tilt) is a complete piggyback unit rotation.
With a simple two-axis adapter, rotating the camera to aim at a subject away from the scope’s optical axis and tilting it up or down to frame the object will cause the camera image to rotate in relation to the horizon (producing the unintended optical equivalent of roll). This may not correctly frame the object you’re trying to photograph. The Losmandy DVCM2’s ability to rotate both the piggyback assembly and the camera on the piggyback, as well as tilt the camera, allows you to cancel out much of the optical roll. The procedure is easier done than described. It is not a perfect solution to the lack of a true roll ability, but it allows the camera platform to be supported on two sides by 3/8” thick aluminum. These assure that even the heaviest camera/lens load will be held firmly, with no image-blurring flexure during the exposure.
The base of the Losmandy DVCM2 has dual slots that fit both the wider Losmandy “D-plate” accessory dovetail plates and narrower Vixen-style dovetail rails. A quick release knob lets you position the DVCM2 at any point along the length of the dovetail for balancing purposes and lock it securely in place, with no tools needed. Two knobs lock in the up/down tilt of the camera support for extra security when using a camera with a long telephoto lens. The Losmandy DVCM2 weighs 2.7 lbs. When installed on a Losmandy-style dovetail plate the height from the top of the dovetail plate to the top of the camera mount is 3.95” when the camera mount is parallel to the surface of the telescope optical tube. When similarly installed on a Vixen-style dovetail the height from the top of the dovetail plate to the top of the camera mount is 3.65”.
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