Monday, April 30, 2007

Homemade adaptor for Fuji F30 and Zeiss 85T*Fl

I wanted to share my homemade digiscoping adaptor in case anyone is looking to fit their camera to scope in a cheap manner. I made mine to fit the F30 to my Zeiss 85T*Fl and 20-60X zoom eyepiece, but I believe the setup can be modified to fit any camera to any scope. My setup makes use of a 2.5" pesto jar lid and nylon hose clamps to support and center the camera over the eyepiece lens. The jar lid has a diameter and rim nubs such that it fits snugly over the zoom eyepiece and will support the adaptor and camera for both hand-held and hands-free (using self-timer or the camera in movie-mode) operation. A hole is cut in the center of the lid to center the 1 1/16" outer lens barrel of the F30 to the eyepiece. The hole should be drilled dead center in the lid and just wide enough to easily slide over the outer lens barrel of the camera but not over the inner lens barrel of the camera's zoom lens. I used a Dremmel tool to polish the hole and widen it just enough to slide easily over the camera lens barrel.I use several nylon hose clamps (5/16" thick) as both support and spacers for the camera. The first two clamps are closed around the outer lens barrel of the camera just enough for a snug (but not tight) fit. The clamps should be able to slide freely up and down the lens barrel. Note: if too tight it can pull off the outer shutter cap on the F30 that protects the lens shutters. These clamps are then super-glued to each other. At a total thickness of about 5/8" they provide enough space between the eyepiece lens and the camera lens (~3/16") for a sharp focus on the eyepiece lens when camera and eyepiece are at their lowest zoom settings.The next nylon clamp should be closed down to fit around the inner lens barrel of the camera. This clamp needed (in my case) to be sanded down to a thickness of about 3/16" so that, when combined with a second clamp of same diameter (but 5/16” thickness), gave a spacer thickness of ~8/16” or 1/2”. Super-glue these two clamps together. I then put the lid over the zoom eyepiece, and carefully* super-glued the first set of clamps to the lid using the camera to align them with the hole in the lid. After these clamps have dried, I then super-glued the second set of clamps to the first (again using the camera to align). The assembled adaptor is now complete. In order for the F30 to rest comfortably inside the adaptor without freely rotating, I put a thin strip of Velcro (male side) along the inside rim of the outside clamp. This now allows a snug enough fit so that the camera can be zoomed in and out, but will not rotate when the self-timer or movie mode is used.For a camera viewfinder hood, I use a jewelers loop wrapped in electrical tape. Along the bottom I put strips of male velcro so that it will attach to the thin strips of female velcro along the outside edge of the camera viewfinder. In sunny weather, the loop attaches easily to the camera and I get a magnified image of the screen for fine focusing.

I think this setup can be modified to fit other cameras to other scopes, assuming one can find a lid that forms a tight fit over the eyepiece. Since I prefer to hand-hold the camera, this setup allows me to push the adaptor onto the eyepiece and simply slide the camera in and start shooting using good long-lens techniques. * - When I mean careful, I mean CAREFUL. Do not get epoxy or super glue on the camera or eyepieces. I put just a dab on the nylon clamp, carefully slid the clamp over the camera lens, then slid the camera into the lid hole and thus tacking down the clamp to the lid. After it dries, go back and glue it more securely (camera far away at this point) using a quick-form epoxy or cement.Good luck, and keep shooting! (apologies for the long-windedness… again….)

Images can be found at if the hyperlinks don’t work.

Jerry Jourdan

1 comment:

Laurent said...


Thanks for your fantastic blog. I have a similar camera with no thread and was only concern about "forcing" the inner lens of the camera into the hose clamp. If you zoom back and forth, I am slightly afraid I am going to ruin the motor.

Also, do you think this would be also good for a straight scope? I might need something stronger to maintain the camera for the straight position