Milburn Piggyback Camera Rail

Milburn Piggyback Camera Rail

I am an Astrophotographer. I prefer to use my Canon 10D digital cameras for imaging, and I like to piggyback my cameras so I can make use of my very fast, expensive lenses for my Canon EOS system. I originally started out with the standard Meade Piggyback mounts, which worked fine in some instances, however, having the camera sitting that far back on the OTA made it impossible to use wide-angle lenses without having the OTA tube appearing in the bottom of the frame, and also it added a great deal of weight far back to the rear of the OTA which meant large weights to the front of the OTA to balance it out.

Enter the Milburn Piggyback Rail. I received the rail in the mail and I was immediately impressed with the fit and finish of this rail. It was polished aluminum and it was beautiful, no doubt about it. It looks like it would weigh quite a bit, but it is deceptively light. It fit perfectly on my Meade 8" LX200 Classic OTA. A testament to the fine quality control and milling capabilities of the Milburn system. I took the Camera mount, which in this case has a Bogen Model 3232 head, and slid it onto the dovetail rail. That is when I noticed the first thing I would change. The Piggyback camera base that slides onto the dovetail rail has 2 set screws that secure the sliding base to the rail. This is fine with a static setup, but my system changes frequently, so I replaced the set screws with knobs so I could do a quick repositioning of the base when needed. That made things much better. I am now able to move the camera forward and back on the OTA for the best angle and best weight distribution.

That brought up a second issue. The Bogen 3232 head is rather tall, and it lifts the camera system high off the OTA, requiring more weight out from the tube to balance the OTA. A 3D system will do this well, but having the piggybacked camera closer to the OTA would be a definite plus. I have already started looking for a better photo head to replace the Bogen 3232 so my cameras will not stand so proud of the OTA. If anyone knows of a low profile tripod head, feel free to let me know.

Please do not misunderstand me. The Milburn Dovetail Rail with the Piggyback Camera mount is the BEST!!! I have ever used. It is beautiful, solid, and worth every penny of the investment. I am looking at how to make it better from a photographers viewpoint. Ken has a wonderful product here, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to LX200 Classic owners as a Piggyback Camera Mount, or with tubes as a guide scope rail. I hope to soon get one for my 10" scope as well. It, like the 8" rail, will be permanently attached to my scope.


Mike Overacker