How to Turn Your Old Camera Lenses Into a Telescope

Written by tracy morris
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There really isn't much difference between a telescope and a camera lens. A telescope is just a lens used to enlarge objects over a greater distance. And while you camera's zoom may not be large enough to see across galaxies, it works great when you want to see across your backyard or your child's little league field. So before you spend money on a new telescope for field spotting or to see the craters on the moon, consider modifying that old lens that is collecting dust in your closet first.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 300- to 400-mm Zoom lens with a built-in tripod mount
  • Camera tripod
  • Lens protector
  • Drill
  • Silicone glue
  • 1 1/2-inch PVC pipe adaptor
  • 2-inch square of shirt box cardboard
  • Lightweight telescope eyepiece

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  1. 1

    Attach the lens to the tripod.

  2. 2

    Drill a hole in the centre of the lens protector.

  3. 3

    Attach a PVC adaptor to the lens protector by inserting it into the hole and then gluing it in place using silicone glue. Wait for the glue to dry before beginning the next step.

  4. 4

    Line the centre of the PVC adaptor with shirt box cardboard. You have now made a push adaptor into which you can insert the eyepiece.

  5. 5

    Insert the eyepiece into the adaptor, and place the adaptor on the end of the lens. To look through your homemade telescope, point it in the direction you want to look and focus as you would if you were focusing your lens to take a photograph.

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