Phone adapters for telescopes – handy little gizmos

Phone adapters for telescopes allow you to position your phone at the back of a telescope, microscope or binoculars. They allow adjustments so you can take photos or video without that irritating vignetting or having to carefully hold the phone in place. Optics Central have phone adapters for telescopes by saxon, Carson and Celestron.

International Observe the Moon was a few weeks ago now, and we were happy to see so many people coming past and having a look at the moon. One of the most popular things we saw was people using their own mobile phones to take photos so they could show their friends.

To do it, you’ll need a phone adapter. These are now sold by most telescope brands such as Celestron, Carson and saxon.

Phone adapters for telescopes clamp onto the telescope eyepiece and hold your phone so that the lens of the phone camera is right behind the eyepiece where your eye would normally be. We’ll use the saxon Scopepix Smartphone Adapter as an example here. This adapter has two parts, one attaches to your phone and the other attaches to your telescope.

First, put your phone into the phone clamp and tighten by adjusting the screw. (Tip: make sure the clamp isn’t going to press any buttons on the side of the phone.)

Next, adjust the arm to the telescope clamp so you can see the phone’s lens through the hole in the back of the clamp and tighten the screw that holds the telescope clamp to the phone clamp.

saxon Scopepix Smartphone Adapter

Now, you’re ready to attach the phone adapter to the back of the telescope. Hold the round part of the telescope clamp over the eyepiece of the scope. Close the jaws of the telescope clamp by rotating the outside of the round part. (Tip: open and close the jaws of the telescope adapter a couple of times before trying to put it on the scope) Turn the phone on and preview the photo. You’ll see the magnified image on the phone. You will probably have to pinch the screen a bit to zoom in. Focus the photo by adjusting the focus on the telescope.

saxon Scopepix Smartphone Adapter on a telescope

Now you have the phone connected and adjusted, simply take a photo in the normal way. (Tip: pressing the button is going to shake the scope a bit and blur your photo. Use the timer delay on the camera to stop this.)

Hooray! You’ve taken a phone pic through a telescope!

Where to buy

Optics Central’s best-selling phone adapters are: the saxon, Carson and Celestron models.

Generally, phone adapters are universal which makes them suitable for use with most binoculars, spotting scopes and even microscopes.

Models

The saxon Scopepix Smartphone Adapter is our simplest adapter. It adjusts to grab your phone on its left and right sides, and clamps to the telescope (or binoculars or microscope) by twisting the round cap. It’s the pick of the bunch here, as well as the cheapest, and suitable for most smart phone sizes.

saxon Scopepix Smartphone Adapter

The Carson Hookupz 2.0 Universal Smartphone Adapter is a bit more complicated, but is easier to attach to the telescope as it has four self-centring clamps that ensure the lens is held in the correct position. Again, it clamps the sides of the phone so you need to make sure buttons on the side are clear.

Carson Hookupz 2.0 Universal Smartphone Adapter

The Celestron NeXYZ Universal Smartphone Adapter is the heaviest and most adjustable of the three, but we found that in order to make it stay on the scope we had to turn it upside down. The photos were all good, though.

Celestron NeXYZ Universal Smartphone Adapter

Bottom line

If you can see it through a telescope, binoculars or a microscope, you can probably photograph it with your phone. Phone adapters hold your phone to the telescope and, with some adjustments you can be taking photos or video in minutes. Optics Central has a number you can select from.

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