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Old Jan 24, 2004, 3:32 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 1,141
Default Digiscoping the Canon dSLR's - 10D, 1D, 1DS

I used to do a good bit of digiscoping with my D30, but lately have not had the "bug". A few days ago I decided to dig out my Swarovski ST-80 HD spotting scope and test the newer Canon dSLR's with it.

Swarovski makes two adapters which give focal lengths of 800mm and 1100mm with their spotting scopes which have a base of 460mm fixed focal length. The Swarovski spotting scopes are among the very best - if not "the" best for digiscoping in general. The HD models are APO low dispersion lenses, they are waterproof to a depth of over 10 feet and nitrogen filled. The Swarovski adapter is attached to any SLR by means of a standard "T" connector, and replaced the Swarovski eyepiece to make a very nice package.

Below is a picture of the Swarovski with my 1D mounted. Below that are three links for those who want to see the originals. I only have the 800mm adapter (costs about $460) - the 1100mm adapter is less expensive. This adapter gives a fixed F10 rating so one must adjust ISO and "tinker" a bit to get the best results. Once you figure out what works, the scope makes a very good lens with zero chromatic aberration and can be a great birding lens for reasonably good light conditions.

Well - how did they do? In my opinion, the 10D was the best with the 1.6x reduced field of view yielding an effective focal length of 1280mm. The 1D was next in performance yielding an effective focal length of 1040mm. Neither the 10D nor 1D had significant vignetting.

The 1DS was a bit disappointing as it yielded the native 800mm and had visible vignetting. I suspect folks with the 10D and 1D will find this a very useful and reasonably inexpensive alternative to an expensive lens. Yes, you give up autofocus, but the scope is quite easy to focus. I suggest using remote release and a good sturdy tripod.


Links below:

Size from about 1.5 to 4.2 meg - recommend fast connect...


50mm 100% crop reference shot from 1DS

Last edited by Lin Evans; Feb 1, 2015 at 2:32 PM.
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Old Jan 26, 2004, 6:43 AM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 659

Interesting stuff Lin. Very clean edges, but a bit of sky noise. I've got a Leica adaptor on order for my APO Televid 77 and it'll be interesting to compare the results from my D100.

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