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Old Aug 26, 2009, 4:42 PM   #11
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NewB: You might also wish to check out the Celestron line of spotting scopes - all of their refracting scopes are inexpensive and are photoadaptable - some even come with supplied adapters. Note that only those with non-zoom eyepieces are photoadaptable, the zoom models are not. Celestron has always had good quality optics, and perhaps the best value for the dollar. I have both a binocular and a compact 50mm scope, both with excellent optics, the equal of many times more expensive brands. For bird use I would avoid scopes with angled adapters which make it hard to find your subject quickly and also the reflecting models like those from Celestron and Meade ETX as they are primarily intended for astronomical use and may have narrower fields of view.

http://www.celestron.com/c3/category.php?CatID=30
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Old Aug 26, 2009, 4:45 PM   #12
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As I get older and poorer, I'd like to know which one of the cheaper spotting scopes is best - Because while I am one of the few people who shoots with these gadgets handheld, that would certainly not occur with the Meade...
Dave
Dave - I have just seen your Swarovski digiscoping photos in the wildlife forum - stick with what you have - you won't do better.
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Old Aug 28, 2009, 8:17 PM   #13
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Dave - I have just seen your Swarovski digiscoping photos in the wildlife forum - stick with what you have - you won't do better.
Thanks Penolta, but like all good things (including me) the Swarovski wont last forever. It's a damn expensive scope - Still thousands of dollars less than a lens, but a lot of bread. While there's not a thing wrong with it now, even after six years of use, it wont last forever...

One thing I'd like to point out about the Meade - Why would a narrow field of view be a disadvantage for a birder?

Dave
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Old Aug 28, 2009, 9:09 PM   #14
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Why would a narrow field of view be a disadvantage for a birder?
Dave
Because birds fly - fast - and often don't stay in one place long enough to find or keep in a small field. And without a straight scope (preferably with a peep sight) aiming quickly is nearly impossible.
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Old Aug 29, 2009, 9:33 AM   #15
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Because birds fly - fast - and often don't stay in one place long enough to find or keep in a small field. And without a straight scope (preferably with a peep sight) aiming quickly is nearly impossible.
This is true. But equally true is that the above is academic if you shoot with a tripod.

Dave
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Old Oct 1, 2009, 9:27 PM   #16
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Default Practical Digiscope

RebelXSi:

There has just been a new 80mm ED (Apo) scope come out that
has been reviewed as good, not the best, but good. It is the
80mm Revolation for only about $350. It has FPL-51 glass. I
have an Orion 80mm that has slightly better FPL-53 glass, which
is every bit as good as the more traditional and expensive crystal
fluorite. It is about $470 now. Three other companies also sell
this scope including SkyWatcher and Celestron. These are PURE
scopes that do not have the zoom and other optics that can cause
degradation of the image like the birding scopes.

I like the Baadar Hyperion eyepieces that digiscope very well and
have threaded tops for direct attachment to a camera such as the
Nikon P-6000, Lumix LX3, and the Canon A-590. Again, these
are Prime non zoom eyepieces which will work better than a
zoom. You could start with the 13mm. They cost about $119.
each.

Please, lay your large and heavy DSLR on the shelf. You will
pay far more to adapt it for digiscoping than a new 590 will
cost, $100, and it will still not be very satisfactory. The 590
is not great for auto focusing, but is easy to manual focus.
The other cameras auto-focus well but will be close to $500.
With digiscoping you can go to over 6,000 or 8,000 mm
equivalent focal length, or perhaps 8 times what you can get
with a DSLR.

See one of my posted shots earlier in this Forum,
Digiscoped Cardinal. Gene
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Old Oct 2, 2009, 12:47 PM   #17
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RebelXSi:


Please, lay your large and heavy DSLR on the shelf. You will
pay far more to adapt it for digiscoping than a new 590 will
cost, $100, and it will still not be very satisfactory. The 590
is not great for auto focusing, but is easy to manual focus.
The other cameras auto-focus well but will be close to $500.
With digiscoping you can go to over 6,000 or 8,000 mm
equivalent focal length, or perhaps 8 times what you can get
with a DSLR.
All things being equal, an SLR will beat a P&S for clarity and detail. My own personal suggestion is that even if someone doesn't own an SLR, when they pick a Scope, it should at least have the future capability to be directly attached to an SLR via the firm camera adapters. I wouldn't want to save a few bucks on a Scope, only to find that it cannot be directly hooked to an SLR.

You have a very nice shot of a Cardinal - Wonderful! But it would have been better shot with an SLR.

Dave
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Old Oct 2, 2009, 7:08 PM   #18
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Yes Dave, I understand your concern. My 80mm scope is an OTA,
or an Optical Tube Assy. This scope, my 6 inch Ritchey-Chretien
astrograph, and my 10 inch Dob. reflector telescope all have sturdy
two inch focusers. This takes a 2 inch O.D. tube. I do not know
if there is a standard commercial DSLR to 2 inch focuser adapter
available, but there should be since this is common.

My first attempts at telescopic photography was with an Oly. DSLR
and I had no trouble attaching to my scopes. M-42 adapters to screw
thread lenses are readily available for perhaps all cameras, even in
confirmation focus configuration. These are handy in that there is a
lot of metal into which to drill and tap threads. Thin wall 2 inch tubing
is also available, which I silver soldered to a brass collar. The brass
collar was then attached by screws to the M-42 adapter. Should be
no problem for the home work shop.
Thanks, Dave. Gene
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