Celestron Piggyback for Celestron SCT telescopes only


Availability: More on the way

This Celestron piggyback bracket lets you mount your 35mm or digital camera on top of a Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope for wide-field deep space photography . . .
Our Product #: 5905
Celestron Product #: 93609

Product Description

This Celestron piggyback mount is a handy accessory for all observers interested in wide-field deep-sky astrophotography. This lightweight mount allows you to attach your 35mm, DSLR, or point and shoot digital camera, with its normal lens attached, to the rear cell of all Celestron SCT telescopes. You can then take moderately long exposure wide-field constellation photos while your scope tracks across the sky to follow the motion of the stars.

Mounting holes in the base of the piggyback allow it to be installed in pre-drilled threaded holes in the rear cell of any of the above scopes, using the supplied mounting hardware. Because of the larger radius of curvature of the 9.25" to 14" optical tubes, there will be a slight gap between the rear cell and the center of the underside of the piggyback. This does not affect performance and is of no consequence if the piggyback mounting screws are threaded firmly in place.

The camera platform of the piggyback has a standard 1/4"-20 thread bolt with a hand-tighten knob in the platform to hold your camera in place. The camera can be pivoted from side to side to keep the telescope barrel out of the field of view of a wide-angle camera lens, but cannot tilt up and down.

The piggyback can be left in place permanently. If the piggyback is removed, however, the short screws that sealed the rear cell (that were saved when the piggyback was installed) should be used to reseal the mounting holes on the rear cell. Do not use the mounting screws that came with the piggyback to reseal the rear cell holes! These screws are long enough to potentially obstruct the movement of the telescope's primary mirror and possibly chip it. Damage caused by using incorrect length screws to reseal the rear cell holes is not covered by warranty.

Exposure times with a digital camera will be limited by the build-up of thermal noise within the camera's electronics, so some experimentation will be needed to see how long an exposure you can take before the image begins to get noisy and show excessive grain. The amount of light pollution in your area may also limit your exposure times.

Generally, with the normal lens on a camera, and the scope tracking in an altazimuth mode, exposure times will be limited to a maximum of five minutes or so for good full-frame images. After that, assuming your digital camera image has not become excessively noisy, the stars at the corners of the image will start to turn into short curved streaks because of the field rotation inherent in an altazimuth mount.

The field rotation and star trails can be eliminated with the NexStar 5SE by using the equatorial wedge built into the scope's tripod to convert the scope to equatorial tracking. The NexStar 6SE and 8SE and all other Celestron SCTs require the addition of optional equatorial wedge to be used in an equatorial tracking mode. In all cases, noise build-up in a digital camera would still limit your exposure times.

The unique design of the piggyback also allows you to fit a Celestron Star Pointer red dot finder on top of the piggyback as shown in the feature image below. This lets you accurately navigate your telescope and conduct astrophotography at the same time.

Tech Details

Warranty 1 year


Review by:
I mounted an AT60 on a C8 with this and though it isn't a permanent solution, it works well. I adjust the scope to match my finder on the C8 and can easily use it for both. It's nice to have a reasonably sturdy platform for wide field imaging as well. (Posted on 10/17/2019)
Review by:
Sturdy plastic construction with a rubber pad to hold the camera steady. This mount allows you to take wide field photos piggybacked on a SCT. Make sure your mount is sufficient for steady tracking with both the weight of your SCT and the camera. With a wide field, short lens, tracking doesn't need to be perfect though. (Posted on 10/7/2019)
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