Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: [1]   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: Digiscoping  (Read 9375 times)
Bobby
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 16


« on: February 13, 2006, 06:31:00 PM »
ReplyReply

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi out there
I am new to this and I am looking for a very good scope to take photos with a Canon 20D

I think I will buy one of the following scopes with attatchments.
Kowa TSN-823
Zeiss 85T
Swarovski ATS80HD


I am leaning towards the Kowa since I could use the TSNDai camara adaptor that would use my lens to take a photo of the image from the eye piece.

Any ideas for a top of the line scope for taking pics?

bobby37@cox.net
Logged
Anon E. Mouse
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 197


WWW
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2006, 07:11:02 PM »
ReplyReply

What magnifications are you trying to achieve? Placing a camera up to an eyepiece is called afocal coupling. This is not a substitute for a telephoto lens. Optically it is inferior, but likewise it gives higher magnifications.

You may want to look at astronomical telescopes as there will be less optics in the path - spotting scopes use built-in erecting prisms. With an astro scope, you can use it at prime focus (like a lens and you can add teleconverters), afocally, or with eyepiece projection (which is similar to the afocal method, but does not use the camera lens).

High-end astro scope manufacturers include:

Takahashi
Astro Physics
Borg
TMB
TEC
TeleVue

These are all refractor manufacturers. There are also catadioptiric scopes from manufacturers like Questar and Intes Micro.

If you want a spotting scope, I would also consider Pentax.
Logged
samirkharusi
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 196


WWW
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2006, 02:20:47 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Any ideas for a top of the line scope for taking pics?

bobby37@cox.net
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Really top of the line scopes, Takahashi, Pentax, Astrophysics and similar tend to cost about the same as a similar aperture Canon supertele. By aperture I am referring to the diameter of the front lens. So a 6" scope by Takahashi or Astrophysics typically costs $7000 to $12000, while a Canon 600mm/4L IS costs only $7000 (because they are produced in enormous numbers). Obviously, considering that you get autofocus, IS and no hassle of adapters or correctors to get a flat field, the lens makes better sense. If you are looking for high magnification but lousy focal ratio (eg you are willing to work at f16 or f22) and you are willing to settle for the much lower image quality then digiscoping may indeed make sense. Often birders are satisfied with a record, rather than A3 prints. Sometimes vendors like Scopetronix offer excellent-value packages, including scope, suitable eyepiece, adapter and even a digicam. That removes most of the hassle, not to be under-estimated, to get a system to produce reasonable results. I'd suggest contacting them [a href=\"http://www.scopetronix.com/]Scopetronix[/url]
Logged

Bored? Peruse my website: Samir's Home
Lin Evans
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 269


WWW
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2006, 11:20:10 PM »
ReplyReply

Hi Bobby,

I do a good bit of this with a variety of both fixed lens digicams and dSLR's. I really don't think you will be satisfied with any afocal solution (shooting through an eyepiece) with your dSLR.

Typically to shoot through an eyepiece you need a relatively tiny lens. The very best digiscoping candidates have traditionally been the little CP series Nikons. Personally I use the CP950, CP990 and CP4500. With the 4500 it's possible to get decent shots at up to 6000mm with good light. But to use a scope for your dSLR you are "MUCH" better off either using an inexpensive astro type (I recommend the Meade ETX-90, etc.) or using a specialized and dedicated front end (lens) to connect to your camera with a spotting scope.

Personally I use two different arrangements for this. With my dSLR's I use either the Meade ETX-90 which has a camera port, or the Swarovski ST-80 HD with Swarovski's own proprietary front end.

For the Meade you simply purchase the Meade "T" adapter and use a standard Canon "T" connector. You mount the Canon "T" connector to the camera, mount the Meade "T" adapter to the camera port on the Meade and this gives you a fixed focal length ot 1250mm at F 13.8. With the 1.6x reduced FOV on your 20D the "effective" focal length will be 2000mm. You will loose autofocus and you use the scope's focus adjustment to do all focusing. With good light and a sturdy tripod you can get quite nice frames but I also suggest using mirror lockup (the 20D has this) and a Canon remote release. First press locks up the mirror, second press trips the shutter. You need to experiment a bit to get optimal results, but the mirror removes the possibility of chromatic aberration and you can actually achieve excellent results with practice. A side benefit is that the Meade will focus as close as 8 feet so you can actually shoot the equivalence of macro's this way. I have a few samples if you're interested in seeing them.

The second method is to use the Swarovski's dedicated front end which is actually a lens which also mounts to your camera via the Canon "T" connector and replaces the eyepiece in the Swarovski. This comes in two "flavors" - 800mm (plus your 1.6x FOV crop) and 1100 mm. Of course you loose atofocus and again must use the scope to do your focusing. The 800mm version gives you F10 and the 1100mm gives you about F14.

http://www.swoptics.co.uk/view.asp?KEY=1441

http://www.buytelescopes.com/product.asp?t=103&pid=1858&m=

There is, of course a large difference in the costs of doing it these two different ways. My Swarovski cost me about $1600 with a 20-60 eyepiece and my 800 mm adapter was almost $400. The adapters I linked to above are less expensive (they have come down with increasing demand).

You can sometimes find a great older model Meade ETX-90 for around $200 and the Meade adapter will set you back about $50 and an erecting prisim another $40 or so. So you can be digiscoping with the Meade for a total investment of around $300-$400 and for the Swarovski for probably $1800 or so.

The major difference is the ruggedness of the Swarovski. It's waterproof to something like nine feet, has nitrogen filled lens barrel so no fogging up in inclement weather or temperature changes and can take a lick. The Meade, like any mirror type scope is much more fragile. From an optics perspective it's really a wash in my experience. They each have excellent optics.

Let me know if you want links to sample shots with each and I'll dig them up.

Lin
Logged

Lin
matt4626
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 187


« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2006, 02:39:25 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
Hi Bobby,

I do a good bit of this with a variety of both fixed lens digicams and dSLR's. I really don't think you will be satisfied with any afocal solution (shooting through an eyepiece) with your dSLR.

Typically to shoot through an eyepiece you need a relatively tiny lens. The very best digiscoping candidates have traditionally been the little CP series Nikons. Personally I use the CP950, CP990 and CP4500. With the 4500 it's possible to get decent shots at up to 6000mm with good light. But to use a scope for your dSLR you are "MUCH" better off either using an inexpensive astro type (I recommend the Meade ETX-90, etc.) or using a specialized and dedicated front end (lens) to connect to your camera with a spotting scope.

Personally I use two different arrangements for this. With my dSLR's I use either the Meade ETX-90 which has a camera port, or the Swarovski ST-80 HD with Swarovski's own proprietary front end.

For the Meade you simply purchase the Meade "T" adapter and use a standard Canon "T" connector. You mount the Canon "T" connector to the camera, mount the Meade "T" adapter to the camera port on the Meade and this gives you a fixed focal length ot 1250mm at F 13.8. With the 1.6x reduced FOV on your 20D the "effective" focal length will be 2000mm. You will loose autofocus and you use the scope's focus adjustment to do all focusing. With good light and a sturdy tripod you can get quite nice frames but I also suggest using mirror lockup (the 20D has this) and a Canon remote release. First press locks up the mirror, second press trips the shutter. You need to experiment a bit to get optimal results, but the mirror removes the possibility of chromatic aberration and you can actually achieve excellent results with practice. A side benefit is that the Meade will focus as close as 8 feet so you can actually shoot the equivalence of macro's this way. I have a few samples if you're interested in seeing them.

The second method is to use the Swarovski's dedicated front end which is actually a lens which also mounts to your camera via the Canon "T" connector and replaces the eyepiece in the Swarovski. This comes in two "flavors" - 800mm (plus your 1.6x FOV crop) and 1100 mm. Of course you loose atofocus and again must use the scope to do your focusing. The 800mm version gives you F10 and the 1100mm gives you about F14.

http://www.swoptics.co.uk/view.asp?KEY=1441

http://www.buytelescopes.com/product.asp?t=103&pid=1858&m=

There is, of course a large difference in the costs of doing it these two different ways. My Swarovski cost me about $1600 with a 20-60 eyepiece and my 800 mm adapter was almost $400. The adapters I linked to above are less expensive (they have come down with increasing demand).

You can sometimes find a great older model Meade ETX-90 for around $200 and the Meade adapter will set you back about $50 and an erecting prisim another $40 or so. So you can be digiscoping with the Meade for a total investment of around $300-$400 and for the Swarovski for probably $1800 or so.

The major difference is the ruggedness of the Swarovski. It's waterproof to something like nine feet, has nitrogen filled lens barrel so no fogging up in inclement weather or temperature changes and can take a lick. The Meade, like any mirror type scope is much more fragile. From an optics perspective it's really a wash in my experience. They each have excellent optics.

Let me know if you want links to sample shots with each and I'll dig them up.

Lin
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=58456\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Logged
Kenneth Sky
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 421


WWW
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2006, 03:28:12 PM »
ReplyReply

Stick with the Swarovski or my personal favourite, the Zeiss and get a small P&S digicam with the adapter from Scopetronix. Birds don't come to you, you have to hike out to where they are. Every 100 yards hauling and the equipment "doubles in weight". Remember you need a tripod as well. If it's warm it's usuall humid. If it's cold, you're encumbered with heavy clothes. You want equipment that is rugged (forget astronomical telescopes). The shots with the above setup I got of the Resplendant Quetzal in Costa Rica in poor light would satisfy most peoples' needs.
Logged
Kenneth Sky
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 421


WWW
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2006, 03:31:21 PM »
ReplyReply

PS - I tried taking the same shot with my K-M 7D and 300mm (450 mm effective) F2.8 and it stunk!! All that lugging of equipment!! Ugh
Logged
Lin Evans
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 269


WWW
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2006, 12:14:36 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote
Stick with the Swarovski or my personal favourite, the Zeiss and get a small P&S digicam with the adapter from Scopetronix. Birds don't come to you, you have to hike out to where they are. Every 100 yards hauling and the equipment "doubles in weight". Remember you need a tripod as well. If it's warm it's usuall humid. If it's cold, you're encumbered with heavy clothes. You want equipment that is rugged (forget astronomical telescopes). The shots with the above setup I got of the Resplendant Quetzal in Costa Rica in poor light would satisfy most peoples' needs.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=58637\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

There's a place in digiscoping for both the astronomical telescope and spotting scope. Depending on where you live there may be plenty of birds which "come to you"  LOL....  

If you are into rugged territory, bad weather, etc., then a ruggedized spotting scope may be very well be the best choice. If you live in Malaysia, the tropics or other places where beautiful birds frequent the trees and forests near you, a scope like the Meade ETX-90 or an equivalen Celestron offer equal image quality at 1/8 th the cost. An added advantage of the ETX-90 is its ability to shoot very close-in. It will focus to less than 8 feet compared to about 19 for the Swarovski. This allows one to shoot some insects and butterflies which are otherwise not possible to get close enough to with conventionsl equipment. I tried for years to get shots of tiny "Painted Ladies" (butterfly) and could never get close enough to get decent shots with any of my dSLR's and long lenses. I couldn't get decent shots with the detail I wanted with my Swarovski but managed to do it with ease with the Meade ETX-90 and my Canon D30.

I've used both for digiscoping for many years years and my Meade ETX-90 is in as good shape as my Swarovski ST-80 HD. So one shouldn't automatically discount these as excellent digiscoping tools.

Best regards,

Lin
« Last Edit: February 21, 2006, 12:21:21 AM by Lin Evans » Logged

Lin
1IRISHBOY
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 86


WWW
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2006, 11:27:31 PM »
ReplyReply

I must agree. I am a bird photographer and bang for the buck run a Canon 20D/ 1-4L IS (EFL 160mm - 640mm) that easily gives me super B exibition quality at f/8. My lens and camera cost around $3000 is light, compact and fast with AF to pull off a shot. Geese Eagles and Hawks come out of nowhere fast. A Canon 500mm f/4 would give you an EFL of 800mm fixed for around $5500.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2006, 11:30:20 PM by 1IRISHBOY » Logged
Scott_H
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 331


« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2006, 06:00:55 AM »
ReplyReply

Pentax makes a scope with an 80 mm objective that is around $1k.  It is supposed to be a pretty good scope.  Maybe not quite as good as a Leica or a Swarovski, but a lot less money.
Logged

Pages: [1]   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad