Photography with the Questar Telescope
Gregory Gross

Photography with the Questar Telescope

Table of Contents

  1. Problems to Overcome
  2. Coupling Gear
  3. Film Cameras
  4. Digital Cameras

Telescopes give us the ability to see things we can’t detect with the naked eye. They open up new avenues of discovery, and photographs give us the ability to share those discoveries with others.

From the very beginning of its production run in the mid-1950s, the Questar telescope included features for photography. Lawrence Braymer, who designed and manufactured the Questar and who was an avid amateur photographer himself, firmly embraced the idea of telescopic photography. Even in his earliest designs, he made several accommodations for attaching a camera body directly to the Questar.

My 1962 Questar with Praktina FX camera body
My 1962 Questar with Praktina FX camera body.

Not long after I became a Questar owner, I wanted to start taking pictures through my telescope. For years I had been using a simple point-and-shoot camera. Whenever I tried recording what I saw in a photograph, the only thing I could do was point the camera into the eyepiece and try for my best image. Increasingly frustrated with this approach, I upgraded to a digital camera with a removable lens. Along the way, I also rediscovered a love for film photography. Being able to attach the camera directly to the telescope indeed proved to be a game changer. It improved the quality of images I got through my telescope, and it propelled me into becoming a far more serious practitioner of photography in general.

Much of what I present in the following sections appeared in an earlier form in discussion threads entitled “Mirrorless Canon Camera with the Questar” and “Lunar Photography with a Questar and Film” on the Questar discussion forum on Cloudy Nights.

Next: Problems to Overcome