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Digiscope or 400 mm + 2x on M 4/3?
  
 
mmurph
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Digiscope or 400 mm + 2x on M 4/3?


Hi folks,

B&H had a Kowa 601 sighting scope on sale with the 20-60x eyepiece for $400, so I bought one.

I can also buy a $140 adapter to attach my Panasonic GX8 or GX85 on the end vis a compression mount using the cheapish eyepiece. Or use a "filter adapter' to attach the body with a lens.

I don't want to spend another $500 for the Kowa digiscoping eyepiece, plus adapters, etc. Which only gets me to an equivalent 680-1000 mm. Or buy a $2,000 Kowa scope and an $800 better eyepiece for it that allows a higher magnification with higher quality and a Kowa designed connection.

+++

Now I am thinking it might not be worth the hassle and cost for the quality I get? Manual focus, a very low effective aperture, chromatic aberrations, vignetting and similar.

I was planning on buying a Canon 400 mm 5.6. I already have the Canon 1.4x and 2x III extenders. The 400x 2x = 800 mm x 2 M 4/3 multiples = an effective 1600 mm. I could also go with a higher quality lens like the Canon 400 4.0 do version I, or even an older Canon or Sigma 500 4.0 / 4.5, to get to an effective 2000 mm.

Possibly with manual focus, but that is what I would have with the digiscope, along with a similar slow effective aperture. Plus I have all of the learning curve and special bits for the digiscope, I have to haul essentially another"kit" to use it, and the net cost would probably be more than the depreciation on even a $2,000 older Canon or Sigma lens.

I will attach a table that gives the effective focal length with the $2,000 Kowa 883 scope plus eyepiece. The cheaper 601 would have a similar effective focal length, but lower quality with a cheapish eyepiece and a bit more of a kludge of an adapter.

I can't get the file to load on my phone. Here is the link:







Basically, at 20x magnification it is a 1000 mm F/ 12.4 equivalent

At 60x magnification, it is a 2450 F/ 27.8 equivalent.

Manual focus, with some vignetting and aberrations the way that I would attach it at the end of the cheapish eyepiece. This is a "compression adapter" for Nikon, but similar for M 4/3:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1007579-REG/novagrade_ua_00ni_01_nikon_camera_universal_adapter.html

(I would not be using a "T" adapter directly to the body, because then I lose the eyepiece magnification of 20x-60x. Although I bought Celestron 2x adapter and a T Adapter for a direct connection too, for about $50.

+++

Without using the 20-60x eyepiece, and with the $500 Kowa digiscoping eyepiece for the 601 instead, the effective focal length is only 680-1000.)

I am thinking this may not be worth the hassle and learning curve if I am only willing to spend about $600 total on digiscoping?

(I know this isn't a perfect fit for this forum, but I have been looking at the Canon lenses on M 4/3 like many here as an alternative.)


+++

Here is the scope at B&H:


https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/276098-REG/Kowa_TSN_601_TSN_601_2_4_60mm_Spotting_Scope.html

There is a Kowa PDF here with the connection options. The 601 is more limited:

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://www.bestspottingscopereviews.com/documents/Kowa-digiscoping.pdf&ved=0ahUKEwjIx7DZx5zRAhUESiYKHc62DpYQFggeMAI&usg=AFQjCNGhxwZmcHyHAo6ZfY5lzUOrLUCukw

Here is the Kowa blog with some articles with their high end kit . I am not really willing to pay $3,000 for a digiscope right now, I'd rather invest in a better pure camera/ lend solution:

http://www.kowaproducts.com/DigiscopeBlog/

+++

Cheers & Happy New Year. I'll loop back later and try to fix the image uploads from my laptop. I have to get the year end bills paid.

Best,
Michael



Dec 30, 2016 at 06:29 PM
DamC.Licks
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Digiscope or 400 mm + 2x on M 4/3?


Hi Michael.
There are limits as to how much magnification you can use. When you start getting over 600-700mm, things get really rough. Plus the problems with air become worse and worse.
I have had quite a bit of experience with shooting through astro telescopes, 600mm, sometimes with 1.4x TC attached. See here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/42162009@N04/albums/72157635228747166
https://www.flickr.com/photos/42162009@N04/albums/72157642895533553
I have also used a Canon 400/5.6 on my E-M1 almost exclusively in the last year.
Brilliant combination, even before I got the Metabones adapter.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/42162009@N04/albums/72157659863679710
and here
https://www.flickr.com/photos/42162009@N04/albums/72157673719653075

I have not seen much really good stuff from the typical digiscoping route. Scopes are the way to go, or the Canon 400. You can do a LOT with a SkyWatcher 80/600 for maybe $400 max. All you need is a T adapter and about 80mm of extension and you are good to go.



Dec 30, 2016 at 08:57 PM
mmurph
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Digiscope or 400 mm + 2x on M 4/3?


Thanks so much for sharing your experience!

I will look through all that you have shared. I'll also look at the SkyWatcher. I did buy a T adapter and the Celestron connector, but it won't get me very far with just the scope and no eyepiece.

+++

I have been planning on buying the 400 5.6, or possibly another Canon 100-400 V1. I just sold one a few months ago!

Or maybe something more exotic, like the 400 4.0 DO. I have to balance the budget first and sell a few more things to fund anything new.

There really is a lot of synergy between Canon and mirrorless systems! I sense another decision point approaching about Nikon and wildlife photography/ long lenses.

+++

I also have a Sigma 150-600 Contemporary in a Nikon mount. I really wish that was a Canon mount so that I could try it on the GX8!

It is a 900 mm effective focal length on the Nikon D7200. It would be 1200 mm on the GX8. I could also try it with the 1.4x = 1680 and 2x = 2400, likely with manual focus.

I guess I can try a cheap $15 Nikon adapter to M 4/3, and use manual focus. That is all I would get with the digiscope anyway.

+++

Anything that involves putting a lens on the M 4/3 sensor is going to be way better than a smartphone, or a point & shoot, on the digiscope. Plus now that there are the 2000 mm super-zoom bridge cameras, that is also probably a better choice than the phone or P&S on digiscope.

So many different ways to engineer this I think I get myself confused!

+++

This was a bit of an impulse purchase, because it was toward the end of the 2 days sale. I only started to research and think through all of the details after I purchased it. I went back 4 hours later, thinking about cancelling it, and it had already shipped!

I will see if I return it, play with it a bit, or try to sell it on here for my actual cost. (It seemed like a good discount compared to the usual selling price.)

Thanks for helping with my poor, aching brain.

Happy New Year!



Dec 30, 2016 at 10:27 PM
Apochromat
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Digiscope or 400 mm + 2x on M 4/3?


I'd try the digiscope. Sometimes if they are decent scopes they produce good results. You might also benefit from it being a zoom. The Kowa is ED as well, so no colour issues.



Dec 31, 2016 at 03:54 AM
Imagemaster
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Digiscope or 400 mm + 2x on M 4/3?


Return the Kowa. Do not waste any more money on something you will get extremely frustrated with.

Try a less expensive and easier route with a Metabones adapter and the Canon 400 f5.6.



Dec 31, 2016 at 05:13 AM
 

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DamC.Licks
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Digiscope or 400 mm + 2x on M 4/3?


The GX8 can be attached directly to a scope. No need for an eyepiece.


Dec 31, 2016 at 11:55 AM
mmurph
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Digiscope or 400 mm + 2x on M 4/3?


Imagemaster wrote:
Try a less expensive and easier route with a Metabones adapter and the Canon 400 f5.6.


That is what I had been planning. I already have the Kipon adapter, as well as a Canon 1.4xIII and 2xIII. Even if I have to go to manual focus with the 2x, it should still be better quality than the digiscope I think? Especially for video, much easier to focus and track.

+++

Tony, I saw you sold your Canon 100-400 II. Did you get a chance to try that on M 4/3 before you sold it? What were the results like? Quality, size, weight, ease of use?

Thanks. I appreciate any feedback. I know you are going through this exact same process right now.

Happy New Year!




Dec 31, 2016 at 11:51 PM
Imagemaster
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Digiscope or 400 mm + 2x on M 4/3?


mmurph wrote:
That is what I had been planning. I already have the Kipon adapter, as well as a Canon 1.4xIII and 2xIII. Even if I have to go to manual focus with the 2x, it should still be better quality than the digiscope I think? Especially for video, much easier to focus and track.

+++

Tony, I saw you sold your Canon 100-400 II. Did you get a chance to try that on M 4/3 before you sold it? What were the results like? Quality, size, weight, ease of use?

Thanks. I appreciate any feedback. I know you are going through this
...Show more

Mike, I did try the Metabones on the zoom, but for some reason it had problems auto-focusing, where with the 400 f5.6 the AF was snappy and accurate. Could not get AF on the Hummer shot below, so used MF. Seems the prime prefers distant subjects better.

Don't think I will go through the hassle of using adapters with the larger, heavier Canon lenses, and instead opt for 4/3 lenses. Perhaps Oly will expand their current lens offerings sooner than later. Absurd that they have nothing in the 400mm or longer range in either primes or zooms. Also absurd that their TC's works with so few of their lenses.





  E-M1MarkII    Metabones 400/5.6 lens    400mm    f/6.3    1/2000s    3200 ISO    -0.3 EV  




Jan 01, 2017 at 07:03 PM
kosin
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Digiscope or 400 mm + 2x on M 4/3?


I don't have any personal experience with any combo but when people ask me about digiscoping, I always refer them to Kevin Bolton. He is my hero when it comes to digiscoping I had a chance to talk to him personally and he is very knowledgable person. Take a moment and scroll through his blog: http://jerseydigiscoping.blogspot.com and I just found a video of him showing his technique: https://youtu.be/vuuDEx6smUk


Jan 07, 2017 at 03:25 AM







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