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Spotting scope for SLR camera?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/29/2007 at 19:28
charliez View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


Joined: April/22/2006
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 5

I'm looking at starting digi-scoping with my Nikon D100 camera.

 

Q's:

1. What do I need? (Spotting Scope is obvious, but there are all sorts of adapters, and I've no idea what the correct pieces are)

2. Is there a difference between getting an adapter that replaces the eyepiece vs. one that attaches to the eyepiece?

3. I'm thinking of a price up to $1500.-

 

Thanks!

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2007 at 11:24
lucznik View Drop Down
Optics Master
Optics Master


Joined: November/27/2004
Location: United States
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Points: 1436

1.  You will need:

 

a. Nikon Fieldscope Digital SLR Adapter (FSA-L1.) This adapter usually can be found for around $300.  This replaces the eyepiece of the Nikon Fieldscope and connects your DSLR directly to the scope.  You get about a 1500mm (35mm-format equivelant) focal length when using the 82mm Fieldscope (and somewhat less for the smaller scopes.)  

 

b. Nikon Fieldscope Spotting Scope.  For the best pictures you will want to ensure that the scope has ED glass and that it has the largest objective lens you are willing to manage.

  • The 25-75x82 ED Fieldscope will provide the best image quality.  It costs $1300
  • The 20-60x60 ED Fieldscope will still provide good quality images and costs $1200.  You only save $100 from the larger scope so, unless size/weight are real issues, you are probably better off with the bigger scope.
  • The 20-45x60 ED "Tactical" Fieldscope runs right at $1000.  This is a new scope and I don't know much about it so; you should make sure it will work before taking the plunge.  I assume it will but, just make sure first.  (Actually, assuming it will work and if you must limit yourself to a 60mm objective lens, this would likely be my choice as it costs less than the other 60mm Fieldscope, presumably because of the lesser magnification of the eyepiece - which will have no effect on your digiscoping efforts as it won't be used at all.)
  • The 13-30x50 ED Fieldsope cost $700 and will work but, results will be poorer (because of the limited size of the objective lens) and use of this scope with the adapter and DSLR are often discouraged because it creates a faily unbalanced overall package. (The scope isn't heavy enough to support the weight of the camera+adapter but perhaps too heavy for the camera to be able to support the scope+adapter.)
  • Of course, it is possible to do digiscoping with spotting scopes not equiped with ED glass.  Image quality will be a bit poorer with a slight increase in color fringing and a decrease in clarity/resolution but, it may or may not be enough for you to care about or even notice.   The non-ED 20-60x60 Fieldscope costs $800.
  • Along that same vein, you could purchase the Fieldscope body alone ($470) and then buy the eyepiece you prefer seperately.

c.  A sturdy tripod and a cable or infrared release for the camera. (You may already have these.)

 

2. Yes there is a difference. You would be unlikely to find a unit that allows for the use of the spotter's eyepiece with your DSLR.  Such mounts are generally designed for use with "point and shoot" style cameras.

 

3. Assuming you already have the items in "c" above, even the "highest end" option listed will cost you about $1600, which is pretty close to your stated budget range.  Any of the smaller scopes would put either at or below your stated $1500 limit.



Edited by lucznik
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/02/2007 at 01:55
charliez View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


Joined: April/22/2006
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 5
Hi lucznik, many thanks for the info!
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