Sunday, May 23, 2010

Digiscoping brainstorm!

What if, instead of using a spotting scope for digiscoping, you used a monocular? Admittedly, the zoom capabilities would be lessened; for instance, if you used a 10x25 monocular, you wouldn't get the same zoom capacity as if you used a typical zoom setting of between 20 and 30x (the lower end of a spotting scope's ability, as recommended by digiscoping god Mike McDowell). Still, it might be a viable (not to mention low-cost) alternative to the big spotting scopes.

Oh wait... what about mounting to a tripod? Perhaps there is something that could be done to join the monocular--or WAIT! the camera!--to the tripod! Of course!

I love thinking out loud on my bloggy because everyone offers great advice! So please feel free to offer some advice.

The monoculars I'm considering. Note the large eyepiece lens on the cheaper one--critical for alignment of camera lens for digiscoping.

The digiscoping adapter I'm considering.

What do you think?


John said...

I haven't heard of anyone doing that, but I imagine the results would be similar to digibinning, except with a steadier camera if you're using a tripod. The main thing I would worry about would be getting a bright enough image with such a small objective lens. (I've run into that issue when I try to take documentation photos through my binoculars.) To that end, it might be better to use the larger objective (36mm) or smaller magnification (8x rather than 10x).

dguzman said...

John--thanks for your thoughts! I forgot about the RBI (Relative Brightness Index) considerations with such a small objective. My spotting scope, a cheapie Meade Condor, has a big objective (80mm) but the eyepiece is so small that it's almost impossible to line up the camera with any kind of "sweet spot" -- plus there aren't any reliable adapters for a Meade connecting to a Kodak camera. Frustration! But I may try switching cameras; mine is showing signs of age. Thanks again!

dguzman said...

Although, John, I think I might buy the monocular anyway, because I think it would be more portable than my big old Leupold bins with the bin-harness on them. I feel like when I'm driving, I can yank the car over and grab for a monocular more quickly than the bins. But--who knows. Do you have any experience with a monocular in birding?

John said...

No, I haven't used a monocular. Actually, I don't own a spotting scope, either.

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