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Old Feb 22, 2005, 12:12 AM   #1
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I am interested in knowing if anyone has tried a Cabela's Big Sky (USA) spotting scope on a Canon Digital Rebel.I was comparing the featuresat this link: http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...mp;_DAV=search. This scope in waterproof and has fully multicoated lens and has something called "Extra-low dispersion" glass elements ("ED"). I don't know if this is a good price or if I could find something comparable for a lower cost or even if the ED is worth the extra cost. I would really like something that can be used in the elements without being adversely affected. Also, how do you protect the camera if the weather turns bad? Thanks for your help.
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Old Feb 25, 2005, 12:37 PM   #2
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I know nothing!:shock:

Still, I couldn't find the numbers for the the amount of light that comes in, (65mm?, 80mm?, 85mm?) nor the numbers for the camera adapter (800mm? 1100mm?)

ED is just fine, and does what the man says, however better scopes come with HD, which improves color and eliminates color aberations....

Dave
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Old Feb 28, 2005, 5:06 AM   #3
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:?First off I have no first hand experience with this particular scope/camera setup. However gleaning info from the site you posted it would appear the the scope is a 20 X 60 zoom with a 66mm objective, no focal length given. The 66mm objective is a fair light gather. However to utilize the camera you also need the adapter @ $17 US and the tube @$35 US and you must also buy their fixed eyepiece @ $70 US which fixes the magnification at 25X for that particular model scope. Which may or may not be sufficient for you needs. The straight thru configuration of the scope dictates you will have to have a sufficiently tall tripod/monopod or hunker down accordingly to permit eye level viewing. Check to see if "waterproof" also means "fogproof". "Fogproof" is a must in inclement weather or just being able to go from warm to cold to warm. You'll have to cover your Rebel in inclement weather or move up to a sealed camera body. The ED glass won't get you National Geographic quality, but wil probably do you proud. I'd look around for a "Fogproof" scope with 1.25" interchangeable eyepieces so you can vary your magnification. Not knowing your level of expertise I'd recommend visiting http://www.scopetronix.com/or similar sites and reading up on the different digiscoping configurations. There's a wealth of info there even if you don't buy there. Goodluck.


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Old Feb 28, 2005, 7:22 AM   #4
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I actually have no experience using this arrangement and just recently purchased the Digital Rebel. I have a limited budget and realize that good, high powered telephoto lens can be very expensive. Is it possible to get to National Geographic quality as you mention with a spotting scope? Also, does a spotting scope give you any reasonable DOF? I do know that fully multicoated lens are better than multicoatedor fully coated. Please forgive my total ignorance but what does HD stand for (mentioned in the previous post)? The main reason I purchased the Rebel was for birdwatching/wildlife photography. I also purchased a 75-300 mm lens when I bought the camera and am considering buying a 2x extender. Would the money for the extender be better applied toward the purchase of a scope? Thanks for your help.
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Old Feb 28, 2005, 10:33 AM   #5
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Didn't know you had 75-300. Personally I'd try out the 75-300 and the converter a bit. Depending on your zoom model everything is automatic. When digiscoping everything is manual as there's no interface. You must focus the scope using the viewfinder on the camera which may or may not be problematic. Check out Moose Petersen's guide to photographing wading birds. here .http://www.moosepeterson.com/phototips/wadingbirds.html

He uses up to 1800mm glass. Now that's beyond most of our means, but he's a pro. Also check out his guide to getting close here. http://www.moosepeterson.com/phototi...tingclose.html

Check out his whole site. It's a treasure trove of photographic info.

Also do a google on portable blinds/hides so you can get closer with your curremt zoom.

And don't apoloigize for inexperience. We all started from zero.

I've seen some extremely good shots taken while digiscoping. That said I've never heard of a pro using one regularly. However I have a feeling I might now.
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Old Mar 2, 2005, 10:30 PM   #6
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Thanks for your input. I called Cabela's and was able to speak with a product specialist who seemed to have a good understanding of the different scopes. The Big Sky w/ED is a good scope but it is not in the same league as the Swarovski HD scopes which one would expect with the higher price for the Swarovski .

I also spoke with Canon and found out that when using the 2x extender with a 75-300 mm lens, the AF will not work since the f-stop would exceed f/8.
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Old Mar 5, 2005, 2:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
"........ Is it possible to get to National Geographic quality as you mention with a spotting scope? Also, does a spotting scope give you any reasonable DOF? I do know that fully multicoated lens are better than multicoatedor fully coated. Please forgive my total ignorance but what does HD stand for (mentioned in the previous post)? The main reason I purchased the Rebel was for birdwatching/wildlife photography..........
Actually, it's quite possible to get "National Geographic quality" with a spotting scope and a digicam, but less likely with a spotting scope and a DSLR. I say less "likely" rather than impossible because with good luck and all elements cooperating, it is "possible" to get extremely good results with a dSLR and spotting scope. Let me explain in a bit more detail.

The disadvantage of a spotting scope and dSLR is primarily that you usually loose most of your electronic advantage which you still enjoy when using a fixed lens digicam afocal (shooting through the eyepiece) with a spotting scope. This means that with a dSLR or film SLR you will be "guesstimating" the exposure, setting focus manually and limited to the field of view as if you were using a prime lens. With the fixed lens digicam you are simply capturing the view through the eyepiece of the telescope as if you were actually capturing a frame without the telescope in that the autofocus, exposure, white balance, etc., are still enjoying the very real benefits of full electronic sensing.

With the dSLR or SLR the telescope simply becomes a very "dumb" lens. Dumb in the sense that the lens has no way of communicating with the camera's electronics. The aperture is fixed by the telescope's design, but you must decide on other relevant issues to get an optimal exposure. If your eyes are not as good as the camera's native autofocus you will likely get a soft exposure. Because the SLR type camera is larger and heavier and has a mirror you will need to take additional precautions about tripod stability, mirror lockup, remote release, etc. With a good digicam, you have light weight, nearly vibration free shutter action, full electronics and enough zoom control to properly frame the subject.

Remember, digiscoping is actually designed for still subjects. You simply can't shoot flying birds, hopping birds, etc., with any reliability with a digiscoping setup. What you "can do" is get incredibly sharp and usable frames at what would be considered ridiculous focal lengths to a non digiscoping educated photographer. I routinely shoot at around 6000mm with excellent results. With my very best telephoto lens, a 1.7x crop factor and 1.4x tele converter using my Sigma SD10, or the same and a 1.6x crop factor with one of my Canon dSLR's the best I can expect is about 1904mm effective (Sigma) or 1792mm effective (Canon). To get even remotely close to average digiscoping ranges of 2500 to 3500mm considering the resolution differences between my dSLR's and 4 megapixel Nikon CP4500 I would need a $100,000 Canon 1200mm F5.6 lens, about $1000 worth of tripod and head and a pack mule to carry these. Even with this lens and a 1.4x converter (the 2x is just too soft) I would still be at only 2688mm effective, but I "could" get some impressive bird shots if I could hold the rig still enough.

Bottom line is that something like a $200 Mead ETX-90 and a $400 (ebay current price) Nikon CP 990, an inexpensive HarborTronics Digisnap 2000 remote release and an inexpensive PhotoSolve Xtend-a-View can produce shots like these:

Lin

Starling at 5989mm


Robin at 2300mm
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Old Apr 15, 2005, 8:28 PM   #8
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Hi:

For the price of the cabelas scope you could buy a Kowa which is actually used for connecting cameras by a lot of digiscoping people.

A just purchased a new Nikon 4500 with a 5 year Mack warranty for $329 including shipping.










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