This is my third of four flashlight builds, but the first one to be usable The first one was more an act of desperation for lathe projects than a real build, and the second, while technically bright enough to be useful, was aesthetically disappointing. Regardless, the third build is both bright enough to be usable(almost too bright), and something I'm proud to carry around.
I've always wanted to try terrestrial night photography with an actively cooled CCD imager and a regular SLR lens. The combination of a regular(wide to an astrophotographer) field of view with the incredible noise characteristics of a professional imager seems quite appealing. I recently acquired an SBIG ST-2000XCM CCD Imager for astrophotography, so this dream is only one adapter away from reality. At only 2 megapixels, the resolution might be a tad low, but the light collection and low dark current are way beyond any dSLR, even the low noise Pentax K-5. SBIG makes an adapter for their ST-2000 taper to fit Nikon and Canon lenses, but not for Pentax. I could purchase the SBIG to Canon adapter and use a Canon to Pentax bayonet adapter, but that would increase the flange distance and prevent me from focusing on infinity; rendering the setup totally useless for outdoor photography. Instead I machined my own adapter to go directly from the SBIG Taper to the Pentax K-Mount, properly spacing the lens according to Pentax's flange distance specification.
Front and back views of the completed adapter. The first step was a rough Solidworks design.
To fit a Vixen GP-2 mount with GOTO electronics from Vixen directly costs $999, twice what the mount itself costs. To buy just the motors with no control electronics is $430, only slightly less than what the mount costs. This was partially the motivation for adding our own off the shelf stepper motors, as well as the opportunity to design all control electronics and software to gain a deeper understand of how GOTO, tracking and autoguiding systems work.