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Old Feb 1, 2003, 3:50 PM   #1
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Default D100 for digiscoping

A friend of mine is offering to sell me is D100 at about 1/2 off. Yes, it works fine and all that.

What I wondered about is the difficulties in hooking this to a scope. I did a quick google search and saw this:
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The big issue is that without a CPU lens you lose metering on the D100. You'll have to run some exposure tests to get a rough idea of the effective aperture of the spotting scope/T-adapter combo. (I presume a spotting scope doesn't have a variable aperture like a camera lens)

Once you know the effective aperture, you'll need to estimate, use a light meter, or your N90s body to figure out the correct shutter speed.
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This sounds like it could be annoying enough that buying a used coolpix would be better (or not get the D100 and go for the CP4500. I just like the flexability the D100 offers.... and its closer to what I'm used to using.)

Thoughts? Ideas? Anyone tried this (or something like it)?
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Old Feb 14, 2003, 4:29 PM   #2
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Well, if I had the oppertunity to get a D100 for 1/2 price, I wouldn't hesitate. As you said the flexability alone is worth the little extra work to use this camera for digiscoping. Are you going to be birding, or doing more in the line of Astrophotography? If the latter, then hell yeah get the D100. This is just MHO, and I am fairly new to digiscoping, however, I have managed to put together a fairly nice combo for my needs using an Olympus C2500-L, a camera not recomended for digiscoping. I have also found that the wireless remote that came with this camera, has saved my but several times when I was too shaky to get a good shot. These are just my opinions....

Casey
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Old Feb 14, 2003, 4:56 PM   #3
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I'd use it mostly for birding.

I won't deny that the night sky is an amazing thing (especialy way up the east cost of the US near Canada. With no cities for 10+ miles you can read outside during full moons, clearly see the milky way, watch sat's fly by)

<eric's eye's glaze over and he remembers his last vacation up there. > Ah... Ya. Where was I?

I'd prefer to hook it to a spotting scope, but at those prices I might have to consider a telescope and use it for birding while I save money. Getting lenses capable of decent bird shots can put you back a bit.

Eric
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Old Feb 15, 2003, 11:19 PM   #4
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You can use any removable lens 35mm SLR with several of the spotting scopes, and with most of the better quality astro-type telescopes.

The down side is that you end up with a fixed focal length. This works fine if and only if the bird is at an amenable distance. For example, using the D100 with a Meade ETX-90 would get you an effective focal length of 1875mm. That's the fixed focal length of the Meade ETX-90 (1250mm) times 1.5 (the crop factor of the D100).

As long as the bird is at an amenable distance, the results can be excellent. Of course you must use the focus on the telescope and there is no electronics to feed information from the input to the sensor as on a regular lens. You have no control over aperture, but simply shoot wide open and must then have either a light meter or learn to estimate metering.

The same applies to 35mm adapters used with terrestrial spotting scopes, but some such as Swarovski, have a couple different adapters which give you a couple choices of F/Stop.

It takes a bit of practice to get both the focus, metering, and shutter speed correct, but it is possible to get reasonably good shots this way - but there is more "hit and miss" than when using an afocal (Nikon CP4500, etc - camera with its own lens) approach. With a Nikon CP series attached to the telescope, all metering, aperture, etc., is functional, plus you have an excellent range of zoom so that you can frame a bird from a good wide range of focal lengths.

If birding is really what you want to do, you will get better results over all with a CP4500 for digiscoping than a D100. On the other hand, the D100 is much more camera and can produce incredible images. But for digiscoping, it's not a preferred tool.

Lin
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Old Feb 16, 2003, 10:08 PM   #5
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Lin,

Thanks for the long and detailed post. You gave me all the info I was looking for (include one I hadn't asked, about adapters which could supply some info back to the camera!)

I had a feeling that it wouldn't work well, but I had to ask. Now I guess I'm going to have to made a tough decision $$$ wise.

Eric
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