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3rdEye Feb 11, 2003 12:32 PM

I was just wondering if someone can tell me what digiscoping actually is? From looking at a couple of the threads here it looks like it is the combination of a telescope and digital camera. Is my assumption correct? If so what kind of quality can you actually get from this method? I am just curious cause I am currently looking at getting a 2x tele photos lense for my digicam but wish I couldn't get some thing with a little more range on it.

Thanks in advance,

checklg Feb 12, 2003 6:48 AM

You're quite right. It is simply a digital camera connected to a telescope via a well engineered adapter. Because of the combination, i.e. taking a photo through the eyepiece of a telescope, you can get a very large effective focal length. In terms of quality have a look at -

The Teal were perched out on the trunk of a flooded tree and were at a range of about 30 yards. I think that this shot illustrates some of the colour and sharpness that you can get but also illustrates an issue (depending on your set-up) - vignetting.

It allows amateurs to get results that would require hugely expensive (and heavy) telephoto set-ups. As it is I can go bird watching and use my telescope normaly, then if I see a photo opportunity pop the camera on.

3rdEye Feb 12, 2003 9:44 PM

Thanks for the excellent example. The quality of the image is very impressive. I am seriously thinking about getting one now. but I don't know if there will be an adapter for my camera. I have a Sony DSC-F717. Do you know if I can find an adapter for it?

Thanks for you example. I also liked your other wildlife photos.


checklg Feb 13, 2003 6:41 AM


I'm glad you liked the photos ! Looking at the type of adapter I use (EagleEye), the adapters come with either a 37mm or 28mm screw thread that attaches to a camera just like a screw thread filter would. So is your camera has this type of screw thread then you're of to a good start. The other end goes over the eyepiece of the telescope and EagleEye support a considerable range of scopes. Have a look at -

You should note that I don't have any direct experience of using your type of camera for Digiscoping, so I can't advise on overall suitability or settings. I would suggest that you seek some more specific advice on this forum before spending any money.


Dj-Hoffman Feb 13, 2003 8:17 AM

This site might be of help when attempting to connect your 717 to a scope.

The second link above shows some adapters that connect to some of the most widely used scopes for digiscoping. I think the most common eyepiece used for the Sony is the MaxView40. My link below might also help explain how the cameras and scopes connect, as well as show some more samples to see the quality. Keep in mind that I'm very new to digiscoping!

Good Luck,

Lin Evans Feb 15, 2003 11:32 PM

Hi Ramon,

I don't want to dampen your enthusiam for digiscoping, but the DSC-F717 is really not amenable for terestrial digiscoping. The very qualities which make you camera such a great digital tool, prevent if from doing well with this type photography.

To digiscope, the camera must actually shoot through an eyepiece on the telescope. Specialized eyepieces are made which will connect larger lens cameras such as yours to a telescope, but even the largest of these such as the ScopeTronix Max 40 will not prevent vignetting (black areas surrounding the image) especially in the corners. The camera must be zoomed into full 2x digital zoom to get even a useable terrestrial center to crop.

It will work for astro-photography (moon, stars, planets., etc.) because the vignetting is lost to the blackness of space. But when digiscoping for birds, etc., you really need some room to frame.

Very small lens cameras such as the Nikon CP4500 work very well for this type photography. With the proper eyepiece, they allow a great deal of vignette free zoom. Rather than spend your money for peripherals and not be satisfied with the results, it would be better to save and buy one of the CP series Nikons to do this with. The CP950, 990, 995, 4500, etc., all work very well.

Here are two images using the Nikon CP990. The first (starling) was taken at a focal length of 5989mm and the second (robin) at about 2300mm.


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