I am new to photography but I have done a lot of microscopy (confocal, light, etc...). I am familiar with optics and image processing.

I want to set-up a telescope at home and maybe in the future a simple microscope. For this purpose I want to have a camera with tethering function (I suppose this is the terminology) to control it with a computer. Therefore, RAW will be important to edit images like long time-lapse. I also want to able to mount this camera on my telescope or my microscope. However, I am not familiar with the terminology or standards available on the market.

Additionally, I would also like to use my camera to photograph a mountain or a insect (macro), friends etc... I suppose this depends on the lens.

One luxury would also be to catch IR or UV but I don't think with my budget this will be possible.

What would be the standards, features I should look for in such a device/gear? Do you have any suggestions I should be aware of, before starting to spend money?

  • \$\begingroup\$ photo.stackexchange.com/questions/40084/… partially replies to the question \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 9:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks a lot. I have gone through many answers but this one I missed. So I will need something, where I can at least remove IR-filter. Raspberry PI camera has a version without IR-filter. But I suppose it is not the best camera chip. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 9:31

2 Answers 2


The majority of all digital cameras come with computer tethering now.

In terms of telescopes there are many adapters on the market which allow you to mount your camera to a telescope.

You might also be interested in more specialised camera bodies like the Canon EOS 60Da which is intended to be used in conjunction with astrophotography. Does the Canon 60Da offer significant advantage over 60D with infrared filter for astrophotography? gives you some details of the differences between a 60D and a 60Da

Using your camera with a microscope is a very similar process to above you just need to buy the correct adapter for your camera and microscope.

Adapters for Telescopes and Microscopes are fairly inexpensive. However the telescopes and Microscopes themselves can be rather expensive.

Macro and General purpose photography would be more dependant on the lens. Something like a 50mm f2.5 Macro might be a good all round lens for you. Or you could invest in some extension tubes. For photographing something like a mountain you might be better off with your standard 18-55mm kit lens.

To capture true UV (ultraviolet) photography you unfortunately need very specialised (and expensive) equipment! The closest you can get to this kind of photography is using Blacklight's, like these: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Portable-violet-light-torch-Blacklight/dp/B000JU0MQS However this isn't true UV photography.

With IR (infared) photography you can buy filters for your lenses such as: Hoya R72 RM90. http://www.hoyafilter.com/hoya/products/specialeffectsfilters/infraredr72rm90/ please be aware though that modern DSLRs are designed to be less sensitive to the IR spectrum. So you might be better choosing an older model camera or having your camera converted to IR wavelengths. http://www.lifepixel.com/tutorials/infrared-diy-tutorials . There is also lots of DIY tutorials in how to do this yourself!


Just about any DSLR will suffice by todays standards. For what its worth both Nikon and Cannon make a full set of lenses that will cover everything except for you Microscope and Telescope photography. When it comes to your telescopes adapters are pretty easy to come buy I have one for my D3300 that connects it to a 500mm refracting lens(very similar to this one) (that has a telescope mount). For shooting stars my only requirement is that I have full control over exposure time which all DSLRs I have ever touched do have. You can get a remote to make triggering easier. I have never triggered it from my computer but I have seen it done by others on similar DSLR's.

As for shooting in the UV/IR spectrum that will be tough with a consumer camera as many are made to filter just this out. It should also be noted that lots of modern DSLR's have filters over the sensor (in the camera body) that may filter UV. This may prevent you from ever capturing it easily.


I have been working on a fair amount of astro photography recently using mainly the Nikon 50mm 1.2 lens and a D3300. I have found 2 main issues.

  1. Ambient light from surrounding sources. This is mainly a result of where I am but its tough to get far enough away from light with out either going on a camping trip and climbing a mountain or taking a very long drive.

  2. Star trails can be fun but if you want to run really long exposures at low ISO you will need to build/buy yourself a tracking mount I have not gotten one yet but I am looking into building one.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the answer. I chose the other answer, since it addressed more topics and more in detail. My reputation isn't enough to upvote your answer, sadly. I will look more in detail to those adapters and try to relate to my problem. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 20, 2015 at 21:57

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