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Vortex Razor HD Digiscoping Adapter

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/05/2010 at 13:53
Bitterroot Bulls View Drop Down
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Vortex Razor HD Digiscoping adapter:
 
Vortex makes a dedicated digiscoping adapter for the Razor HD spotting scope that provides a sturdy mount for affixing cameras that accept threaded filters/accessories to the Razor HD spotting scope.
 
Here it is:
 
The adapter includes several different threaded adapters from 30mm to 58mm.  To mount your camera you remove the eyepiece, affix the receiving adapter to the eyepiece, and remount the eyepiece.  The cutouts on the receiving adapter allow full use of the zoom ring, and the receiving adapter can be left on the scope at all times for normal viewing.
 
 
You then simply screw the quick release portion of the adapter to corresponding threaded adapter, and onto your camera's filter threads:
 
 
 
Then you are set:
 
 
So how does it work?
 
Pretty good.  The connection is super solid, and lightning quick going from observation to photography.  The results I've gotten so far are pretty good.  I have attached my DSLR, HD camcorder, and the above point-and-shoot camera with good results.
 
Vortex was not the first with this type of adapter set-up.  Swarovski and Kowa both have a similar adapter.  The advantages of the Vortex are several:  First, you can use the excellent Razor HD85 scope.  Second, like the scope, the Vortex adapter costs about 1/2 as much of the others, and is of similar quality.  Third, the cutouts allow you to use the zoom ring without removing the adapter.
 
There are downsides to the adapter.  It requires either a camera with filter threads, or an adapter that provides filter threads.  My Canon point-and-shoot has an optional filter adapter that surrounds the lens (see above photos).  I can mount my DSLR and camcorder to the adapter directly.  Unfortunately, threaded adapters are becoming less and less common on point-and-shoot cameras.
 
Overall, the Vortex Razor HD Digiscoping Adapter is an easy to use, and effective setup when you have the proper camera.
 
I would like to see a couple of accesories for the adapter.  First, a shorter receiver for the 30x WA eyepiece.  Second a universal adapter for point and shoots that mounts via the tripod socket on the bottom of the camera, similar to the earlier Vortex adapter (MK-1) used with the Skyline series spotting scopes.
 
I will post a few photos and videos taken with the adapter later.
 
Digiscoping adds a new dimension to optics use for hunters, shooters, birders, photographers, and other optics nuts.  Give it a try!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/05/2010 at 17:29
Bitterroot Bulls View Drop Down
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A few notes about digiscoping cameras:
 
Compact point-and-shoot cameras are the best all-around option.  They utilize contrast-detection autofocus, so they will autofocus right through the scope.  They usually have a video function that allows for high-quality telephoto videography.  Some even support HD video.  The best digiscoping cameras will have a MAXIMUM telephoto power of 3x to 5x (optical zoom only).  Super-zoom cameras are not ideal as they vignette (dark edges, "tunnel vision") heavily through the scope.  Compact point-and-shoot cameras are the least expensive option to get into digiscoping.
 
Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) cameras also produce good results, but in most cases are restricted to manual focus.  They also require the use of a proper focal length lens (50mm - 80mm seems to work well with little vignetting.
 
Others have found the newer "mirrorless" DSLRs have proven to be more than capable when paired with an internal focusing lens.  The filter threads on an internal focusing lens won't rotate and mirrorless designs utilize contrast autofocus, enabling autofocus.  They also support HD video in most cases.  I have yet to try this option, as it is pretty expensive to get into.
 
Camcorders work well, but you need to go well into the zoom to reduce vignetting.  My Samsung HD camcorder has a maximum optical zoom of 10x, and vignettes until about 9x.  The results are still pretty good, but focal lengths (magnification) start to get astronomical so even tiny vibrations tend to jostle the image.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/05/2010 at 20:09
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Here is a video:
 
 
 
Sorry, I couldn't get the "embed" to work.


Edited by Bitterroot Bulls - July/05/2010 at 20:10
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/09/2010 at 16:38
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I posted a video in the "general hunting" section of my recent backpack bowhunt for big mountain muleys. ALL of the footage was taken using this adapter and my Vortex Razor HD. Check it out!
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