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  • HELP! Digiscoping

    Has anyone had any experience of digiscoping with the E- 620 or E-30?
    If so what kit do you recommend ?

  • #2
    Re: Digiscoping

    Hi forester
    I don't have an e620 or e30 but have tried digiscoping with both compacts and my e510. To be honest I haven't had a lot of success and have virtually given up in favour of my e510 + Sigma 50-500 but that may be just me
    Having said that I know a number of birders who get quite good results, particularly with compacts. The Opticron website ;
    www.opticron.co.uk has usefull information which may be of help, particularly the current product guide pages 44/45 in the pdf downloads. I use an Opticron ES80 scope with SDL eyepiece and you will see that this gives ( at minimum magnification of 20X ) an equivalent focal length of 1370mm ( ie 2740mm on 4/3rds ) and f12.5! In order to take a shot you need to focus the scope by looking through the eyepiece in the normal way then fit the camera/adapter to the eyepiece, set the camera up in manual mode and if the bird hasn't moved, take the shot. No birds in flight then It's a bit easier with a compact as you still use the camera's own lens and autofocus. Given that my scope + eyepiece + DSLR adapter costs nearly as much as a 50-500, is bigger than a 50- 500 and probably weighs a bit more it seemed a no-contest to me.
    Sorry if this sounds negative, others on here may have had better experiences or just be better at it than me.

    regards
    Peter

    she looked at me and said "It's official. I hate your camera. It's just so amazing and perfect I want one!"

    E-M10 MK II, E-M5, E-PL1, E-PM2, mZ 12-50, mZ 14-42mm EZ, mZ 17mm f 1.8, mZ 25mm f1.8, mZ 45mm f1.8, mZ 75-300mm II.
    OM1n, OM 50mm f1.8.
    Oly Viewer3, Dxo Pro 11. FastStone.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Digiscoping

      Peter

      Where do you tend to go to shoot birds

      Thanks

      Originally posted by PETERBIRDER View Post
      Hi forester
      I don't have an e620 or e30 but have tried digiscoping with both compacts and my e510. To be honest I haven't had a lot of success and have virtually given up in favour of my e510 + Sigma 50-500 but that may be just me
      Having said that I know a number of birders who get quite good results, particularly with compacts. The Opticron website ;
      www.opticron.co.uk has usefull information which may be of help, particularly the current product guide pages 44/45 in the pdf downloads. I use an Opticron ES80 scope with SDL eyepiece and you will see that this gives ( at minimum magnification of 20X ) an equivalent focal length of 1370mm ( ie 2740mm on 4/3rds ) and f12.5! In order to take a shot you need to focus the scope by looking through the eyepiece in the normal way then fit the camera/adapter to the eyepiece, set the camera up in manual mode and if the bird hasn't moved, take the shot. No birds in flight then It's a bit easier with a compact as you still use the camera's own lens and autofocus. Given that my scope + eyepiece + DSLR adapter costs nearly as much as a 50-500, is bigger than a 50- 500 and probably weighs a bit more it seemed a no-contest to me.
      Sorry if this sounds negative, others on here may have had better experiences or just be better at it than me.

      regards
      Phil

      EM1-GH3-EPL5
      Panny 12/35...35/100...20/1.7
      Oly 14/150...45/1.8...60 Macro

      http://www.flickr.com/photos/27983273@N04/

      http://deckitout.smugmug.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Digiscoping

        Originally posted by deckitout View Post
        Peter

        Where do you tend to go to shoot birds

        Thanks
        Hi deckitout

        At the moment I mainly shoot at Abberton reservoir near Colchester where I am a Volunteer at the Essex Wildlife Trust Visitor Centre. As well as the EWT Centre and nature reseve there are two causeways which cross the resevoir and you can get good shots from the roadside on them. This time of year is excellent as we get thousands of wintering wildfowl. At the moment we have quite a lot of goldeneye, a few smew, grey herons, occasional little egrets, an occasional bittern, lots of canada geese and greylags and all the usual ducks ( mallard, wigeon, teal etc ). I officially work on the fist and third saturday of each month but I am usually around most Saturdays and Wednesdays/tuesdays (semi retired ). Call in and see us sometime, you'll be very welcome. Another good spot is at Mistley on the river Stour when the tide is right you can get lots of close ups of black tailed godwits from the roadside.

        regards
        Peter

        she looked at me and said "It's official. I hate your camera. It's just so amazing and perfect I want one!"

        E-M10 MK II, E-M5, E-PL1, E-PM2, mZ 12-50, mZ 14-42mm EZ, mZ 17mm f 1.8, mZ 25mm f1.8, mZ 45mm f1.8, mZ 75-300mm II.
        OM1n, OM 50mm f1.8.
        Oly Viewer3, Dxo Pro 11. FastStone.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Digiscoping

          Originally posted by PETERBIRDER View Post
          Hi forester
          I don't have an e620 or e30 but have tried digiscoping with both compacts and my e510. To be honest I haven't had a lot of success and have virtually given up in favour of my e510 + Sigma 50-500 but that may be just me
          Having said that I know a number of birders who get quite good results, particularly with compacts. The Opticron website ;
          www.opticron.co.uk has usefull information which may be of help, particularly the current product guide pages 44/45 in the pdf downloads. I use an Opticron ES80 scope with SDL eyepiece and you will see that this gives ( at minimum magnification of 20X ) an equivalent focal length of 1370mm ( ie 2740mm on 4/3rds ) and f12.5! In order to take a shot you need to focus the scope by looking through the eyepiece in the normal way then fit the camera/adapter to the eyepiece, set the camera up in manual mode and if the bird hasn't moved, take the shot. No birds in flight then It's a bit easier with a compact as you still use the camera's own lens and autofocus. Given that my scope + eyepiece + DSLR adapter costs nearly as much as a 50-500, is bigger than a 50- 500 and probably weighs a bit more it seemed a no-contest to me.
          Sorry if this sounds negative, others on here may have had better experiences or just be better at it than me.

          regards
          Thanks Peter,
          I did have a Sigma "Bigma" with my Canon kit, heavy or what?
          but I suppose that is about the only way to do it, photographing birds that is.
          I will just have to concentrate on macro and landscapes, or get very close to the birds.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Digiscoping

            Many thanks

            I know the area and travel through on my Motorcycle regularly, when the weather is warmer I'll pop in and say hello


            Originally posted by PETERBIRDER View Post
            Hi deckitout

            At the moment I mainly shoot at Abberton reservoir near Colchester where I am a Volunteer at the Essex Wildlife Trust Visitor Centre. As well as the EWT Centre and nature reseve there are two causeways which cross the resevoir and you can get good shots from the roadside on them. This time of year is excellent as we get thousands of wintering wildfowl. At the moment we have quite a lot of goldeneye, a few smew, grey herons, occasional little egrets, an occasional bittern, lots of canada geese and greylags and all the usual ducks ( mallard, wigeon, teal etc ). I officially work on the fist and third saturday of each month but I am usually around most Saturdays and Wednesdays/tuesdays (semi retired ). Call in and see us sometime, you'll be very welcome. Another good spot is at Mistley on the river Stour when the tide is right you can get lots of close ups of black tailed godwits from the roadside.

            regards
            Phil

            EM1-GH3-EPL5
            Panny 12/35...35/100...20/1.7
            Oly 14/150...45/1.8...60 Macro

            http://www.flickr.com/photos/27983273@N04/

            http://deckitout.smugmug.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Digiscoping

              I've done a fair amount of digiscoping over the last 3-4 years with my Swarovski Scope. I've had no luck using my E-510 with the scope. Not the camera's fault, but in my view the Olympus lenses don't work well with my scope's eyepiece.

              I've had far more success using my Fuji F31fd as it works better with the eyepiece of the scope. I have tried the Olympus kit lenses, and the 35mm macro but without success.

              The current Panasonic G-1 (soon to be superseded?) works well as its kit lens seems well suited and screws directly to Swarovski's DCA adapter (Digital camera adapter).

              There is a very long-running thread on this camera for digiscoping here:

              http://www.birdforum.net/forumdispla...er=desc&page=2

              Lots of other useful information too on scopes, suitable cameras etc.

              Cheers,

              Steve



              Originally posted by forester View Post
              Has anyone had any experience of digiscoping with the E- 620 or E-30?
              If so what kit do you recommend ?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Digiscoping

                Originally posted by sclifton View Post
                I've done a fair amount of digiscoping over the last 3-4 years with my Swarovski Scope. I've had no luck using my E-510 with the scope. Not the camera's fault, but in my view the Olympus lenses don't work well with my scope's eyepiece.

                I've had far more success using my Fuji F31fd as it works better with the eyepiece of the scope. I have tried the Olympus kit lenses, and the 35mm macro but without success.

                The current Panasonic G-1 (soon to be superseded?) works well as its kit lens seems well suited and screws directly to Swarovski's DCA adapter (Digital camera adapter).

                There is a very long-running thread on this camera for digiscoping here:

                http://www.birdforum.net/forumdispla...er=desc&page=2

                Lots of other useful information too on scopes, suitable cameras etc.

                Cheers,

                Steve

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Digiscoping

                  Do you already have a scope? If not have you set yourself a budget?

                  By all means ask at Slimbridge about digiscoping, but you are likely to get equally good or better advice about particular combinations on Birdforum.

                  The problem with digiscoping is that there is no right or wrong way to do it. But it helps and saves a lot of time if you know what other people have found that works for them with each scope/camera combination.

                  Best of luck,

                  Steve

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Digiscoping

                    Originally posted by sclifton View Post
                    I've done a fair amount of digiscoping over the last 3-4 years with my Swarovski Scope. I've had no luck using my E-510 with the scope. Not the camera's fault, but in my view the Olympus lenses don't work well with my scope's eyepiece.

                    I've had far more success using my Fuji F31fd as it works better with the eyepiece of the scope. I have tried the Olympus kit lenses, and the 35mm macro but without success.

                    The current Panasonic G-1 (soon to be superseded?) works well as its kit lens seems well suited and screws directly to Swarovski's DCA adapter (Digital camera adapter).

                    There is a very long-running thread on this camera for digiscoping here:

                    http://www.birdforum.net/forumdispla...er=desc&page=2

                    Lots of other useful information too on scopes, suitable cameras etc.

                    Cheers,

                    Steve
                    Peter

                    she looked at me and said "It's official. I hate your camera. It's just so amazing and perfect I want one!"

                    E-M10 MK II, E-M5, E-PL1, E-PM2, mZ 12-50, mZ 14-42mm EZ, mZ 17mm f 1.8, mZ 25mm f1.8, mZ 45mm f1.8, mZ 75-300mm II.
                    OM1n, OM 50mm f1.8.
                    Oly Viewer3, Dxo Pro 11. FastStone.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Digiscoping

                      I found this rather interesting - thanks for posting.

                      Do you think Micro Four Thirds, with the shorter flange back distance would be beneficial?

                      Ian
                      Last edited by Ian; 9th February 2010, 09:15 PM.
                      Founder and editor of:
                      Olympus UK E-System User Group (http://e-group.uk.net)
                      Four Thirds User (http://fourthirds-user.com)
                      Digital Photography Now (http://dpnow.com)
                      Olympus camera, lens, and accessory hire (http://e-group.uk.net/hire)

                      Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
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                      sigpic

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Digiscoping

                        Here are a couple of sites you might find helpful:=

                        http://www.digiscoping.lynandmalc.co.uk/

                        http://www.bird-watching.co.uk/myequipment.htm
                        David


                        Flickr

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Digiscoping

                          Originally posted by Ian View Post
                          I found this rather interesting - thanks for posting.

                          Do you think Micro Four Thirds, with the shorter flange back distance would be beneficial?

                          Ian
                          Thanks for your positive response Ian, I was afraid that as a newbie to the group I had gone a bit OTT.

                          I believe that MFT's shorter flange back distance should help if you use the camera body without lens as per the Opticron setup I quoted. The critical factor is the eyerelief characteristic of the eyepiece ( the distance from the scope eyepiece over which the image can be viewed ). This varies quite a lot between different eyepieces and some are marketed as Long Eye Relief for spectacle users whose pupils are further from the eyepiece lens. The eyepiece I use has an eyerelief which varies from 22-27mm over the zoom range. Since the eyepiece projects a circular image this affects the degree of vignetting. Of course the SSWF dust buster pioneered by Olly is important when using the camera without a "proper" lens.

                          regards
                          Peter

                          she looked at me and said "It's official. I hate your camera. It's just so amazing and perfect I want one!"

                          E-M10 MK II, E-M5, E-PL1, E-PM2, mZ 12-50, mZ 14-42mm EZ, mZ 17mm f 1.8, mZ 25mm f1.8, mZ 45mm f1.8, mZ 75-300mm II.
                          OM1n, OM 50mm f1.8.
                          Oly Viewer3, Dxo Pro 11. FastStone.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Digiscoping

                            Hi,

                            I saw this thread (quite old by now) and would like to share my experience. There are two branches within what is referred to as "digiscoping". I will quickly walkthrough and describe the methods used. Some of the discussion is related to the E-system, some not but I thought it could be of interest.

                            Compact camera
                            The branch followed by most people is a setup with a compact camera attached to the eyepiece on the scope by the means of bracket. The camera is positioned so that the picture as seen through the eyepiece is projected on the camera sensor through the camera lens.

                            What camera to use?
                            There are many cameras around and to guide in what camera to use the general consensus is that cameras with moderate zoom (3X) are best suited for digiscoping. Also the camera lens and aperture need to be small enough to avoid vignetting. The cameras regarded as particularly well suited for this application are as of today (July 2011) include the Canon S95, Nikon P7000, Panasonic Lumix G1. All of these cameras have good performance and high quality optics. I am unfortunately not updated regarding what Olympus compact camera is best suited.

                            Eyepiece
                            To ease digiscoping, most scope manufacturers include so called "digiscoping eypieces" in their product portfolio. Such eyepieces have a wider pupil to help avoid vignetting and have moderate magnification (~30X) which is sufficient for most situations.

                            The camera zoom will help in achieving an even higher degree of magnification. With a 3X zoom your setup could deliver 90X magnification at most. However sharpness will decline as zoom increases and as a rule of thumb magnifications above more than half zoom will result in softer pictures.

                            To give an idea I have translated magnification level to corresponding focal length on 4/3 lenses
                            30X: ~650 mm
                            60X: ~1200 mm
                            90X: ~2000 mm

                            Bracket
                            There exists several approaches. Slide-on brackets and swinging brackets are the most common. There exists home made brackets, generic from third party, customized/fitting one scope only... My experience is that a swinging bracket is best suited since it allows to smoothly alternate application areas between the primary (watching) and secondary (photography). I use the Baaded Microstage II bracket and can recommend it.

                            Techniques
                            Composition and focusing is done through the eyepiece. Next, the camera is deployed into shooting position (a swinging bracket helps as you may understand) and lastly the picture is taken. A remote control or timer helps in eliminating shake blur. Some people would use live view (magnified) useful to help focusing, I personnally don't think it helps. Any exposure mode could be used as long as you have control of exposure speed and can control exposure compensation you are OK.

                            Pros
                            Scope can still be used for its primary purpose - watching
                            Easy to focus through eyepiece
                            Bright image, fast setup
                            Little extra weight

                            Cons
                            Drives costs (high quality compact camera, DS eyepiece). Bracket can be kept cheap, though.
                            Bokeh not great, impossible to achieve beautifully blurred backgrounds

                            DSLR
                            This is the other branch, where a DSLR body is mounted on the spotting scope and a specially designed DSLR adapter replaces the eyepiece. The adapter projects the image onto the DSLR sensor. Since the sensor is larger the drawback is that the image is darker. The spotting scope is in principle used as a super telephoto lens. The focal length and F-number varies between models, expect something in the magnitude 1200 mm and F-number 12.

                            Eyepiece
                            The eyepiece is replaced by the adapter, watching needs to be done through the DSLR viewfinder.

                            Bracket
                            No need for extra bracket, the setup is self-contained

                            Camera
                            Any DSLR will work, provided you find an adapter ring allowing that connects the body to the DSLR adapter. I have been using the E620 and E520 with excellent results. A lightweight DSLR body will help in keeping the setup balanced, the Olympus bodies I have been using are nice in this aspect.

                            Techniques
                            Composition and focusing need to be done through the viewfinder. At F/12, focusing can be a real challenge in particular if light is poor and/or subject has no contrasting features to focus on. The DOF is so shallow that the keeper rate will be low until you have gained experience and dexterity. Remote control or timer can help in eliminating shake blur. Some people advocate using mirror lock, I have not experienced issues with mirror shake myself. AV and manual exposure modes are the only modes you can use. I personnally use AV mode and also play with ISO settings to keep shutter speed short enough.

                            Pros
                            • Capable of producing superb, pin sharp results when focus is right
                            • Nice bokeh
                            • No need for extra camera


                            Cons
                            • Fixed focal length (maybe not a real issue)
                            • DSLR adapter drives costs
                            • Dark viewfinder, hard to focus
                            • Scope no longer useful for watching

                            Prerequisites, general
                            • A prerequisite for achieving good results is a scope with high quality optics, ED glass. An entry level scope will produce disappointing results.
                            • Most spotting scopes are intentionally angled to provide relief when watching. This is however a disadvantage when digiscoping since finding the subject before it is gone is more difficult due to need to compensate from angle, you learn with time but still it takes some skills.
                            • A sturdy heavy duty tripod is a must, can be replaced by a bean bag for shooting from ground level or when a tripod cannot be deployed. I use a regular tripod head but I guess a gimbal head and custom made plate would be even better to achieve perfect balance.


                            Samples
                            Below are links to samples of pictures taken with DSLR that I have previously shared on this forum

                            Pied Avocet, also showing the scope + DSLR setup

                            Great Crested Grebe

                            Hope some of you find this information useful, and sorry for bothering with long post.
                            Tord

                            My Gallery on 500px

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