Digital Camera Adapter - Application and Instructions

Image: Digital Camera Adapter Image: Digital Camera Action Shot
Image: Digital Camera Adapter Labeled Image: Digital Camera Action Shot


Image: Digital Camera Adapter Outline


Generic Operating Instructions

C-Mount Connection

Any place you have a C-Mount image, you can attach the camera. In the case of a microscope or video zoom system, it is better to stay with 1x coupling adapters or higher, to minimize the illumination vignetting and/or pupil mismatch.

Separate the two halves (loosen the lower thumb screw) and thread the lower half onto the C-Mount.

If you want to check focus, put the upper half back onto the lower half. This is an eyepiece, so you can look into the output and judge focus. If you need glasses for distance, use them for correct setting of focus.

If you are coupling to a zoom system (6000, 12X, etc.), adjust it so there is no vignetting in the image, before putting on the camera.

If the camera does not have a female 37mm thread, you must get the appropriate couplers/adapters from a shop on the Internet. Refer to procedure below.

Thread the upper half of the Navitar adapter into the camera and then slide it into the lower half. Rotate it as desired and lock into position.

Turn on the camera and set it to the infinity position (infinity position usually has a mountain icon).

Set the camera to "monitor" so you can see focus. If the camera has a real time auxiliary port to a monitor, it will be much easier to judge focus.

Leave the Navitar camera adapter at the bottom of its travel, and the camera set to the lowest zoom setting.

If vignetting (darkening of the image corners) is present, adjust the setting of the camera adapter and the zoom on the digital camera to eliminate the vignetting. Ideally you want to do this and end up with as much residual camera zoom as possible.

Set the color matching properties on the camera to correspond with the illumination being used. This will take some experimenting as cameras react differently and illumination systems sometimes change color temperatures when adjusted.

Set the camera to "timed" exposure so that the vibrations, from actuating the expose button, have time to settle out before the shutter engages.

Microscope Eyepiece

The Navitar digital camera adapter only works with scopes having 30mm eyepiece ports. A number of older scopes have smaller ports. In the interest of performance and cost, we cannot reduce our diameters. However, if something larger that 30mm is involved, a diameter adapter can be made.

The principle is the same as with the C-Mount. You set up the scope, and when you are happy with the normal eyepiece image, you pull out the scope eyepiece and insert the combination camera/camera adapter.

Setting for minimum vignetting is the same procedure.


Digital Camera Adaptation Info

The following is an attempt to simplify the connecting of digital cameras (and camcorders) to such items as video zoom lenses and microscopes. The biggest problem faced by end-users is finding a means of providing the female M37 x O.75 thread required by the Navitar Camera Adapter.

Navitar offers a camera adapter (1-16081), which provides the intermediate link between the digital equipment and the various lens systems. On the lower end it will thread onto any C-Mount image port, or by removing a lower coupler, it will drop into any 30mm Eyepiece port. On the upper end, a male M37 x 0.75 thread is used to connect to the digital equipment.

Your mission is to somehow provide a mating female M37 x 0.75 thread on your digital equipment.

First an anatomy lesson. Most digital cameras come with zoom lenses that will extend several mm's beyond the camera face at certain zoom settings. Some (few) zoom lenses have female mounting threads, built into the zoom lens, for attaching filters. In this case the filter travels with the lens. Initially, little thought was given to such things as mounting threads, because it was more of a consumer product. But the consumer took the product into the labs and tried to "hang it" onto their optical equipment. An after-market industry quickly developed to offer conversion lens adapters to these consumers. Soon the camera makers themselves started offering connection mechanisms on their higher end models.

Your first goal is to search for the potential of putting a filter on the digital equipment (the Navitar camera adapter will go in the same place as the filter). If the filter thread is on the end of the zoom lens, it's easy. More likely you will search for the existence of a conversion lens adapter that provides a filter mounting thread far enough away from the face of the camera, such that the zoom lens will not impact the filter in its maximum extension.

Once you locate a means of adding a filter and the filter's mounting thread, it is a simple matter to procure a step-up / step-down ring to produce the desired female M37 x 0.75 thread.

If your camera is a really low end model, it is possible there will not have been any attempt to adopt it to filter threads. Likewise, if it has just been released, and the original manufacturer did not provide a means, the after-market may not have yet caught up with it.

The following is one search sequence which should determine the existence, and specification for, a filter thread capability. (Note: the sites mentioned are not all-inclusive and come and go with the usual internet frequency. When all else fails, put your camera into a search engine.)

  1. Check the back of the instruction manual for a recommendation for adding filters.
  2. Go to the camera manufacture's web site (Nikon.com, etc.) and look for accessory recommendations for your camera or call the hot line number in the manual.
  3. Go to tiffen.com
    • Digital camera lenses
    • Digital camera accessories
    • Click on your camera manufacturer
    • Look for filter thread. If "none", look at "lens mount" and thread size.
  4. Go to dcprodirect.com
    • Lenses, filters and adapter mounts
    • Click on your camera manufacturer
    • Scroll down to your camera. It will say if a special adapter mount is required for filters, and if you must buy if from the original camera manufacturer. It will also give you the filter thread size. If you wish to confirm this, click on "my camera", and check the thread size of the filters offered.
  5. Go to bugeyedigital.com
    • Lens adapters
    • Your camera manufacturer
    • Scroll down looking for an adapter for your camera
  6. Go to www.google.com
    • Search for your camera maker model and "conversion lens adapters"
    • If one exists, and you have the patience to wade thru all the information, it should be there. Most likely, if you haven't found it before this, it doesn't exist.

Now that you have the filter thread size, you must procure a ring to convert this to M37 x 0.75 thread. Some camera / adapter combinations already end with this thread, if so you are finished.

If you are not so lucky:

Note: you will be looking for a step up/step down ring that ends in 37mm. If the camera filter thread is larger, then you will be "stepping down", and the reverse applies. Most rings do not make large jumps in sizes, so you may need to procure 2 rings if you are starting with a very large camera thread.

  1. Go to photofilter.com
    • Digital accessories
    • Step rings (use this list if you are stepping up)
    • Step down rings (use this list going down)
  2. Alternatively, go to jessops.com
    • Accessories
    • Lens Accessories
    • Step up/step down rings
    • "Show all", scroll to find correct ring (or pair of rings)


Image: Digital Camera Adapter Outline