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Old Wednesday 18th February 2009, 16:14   #26
Neil
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The first 3 images I posted in this thread were from jpegs, although I had taken Raw + Jpeg. I finally got around to processing the RAW images and here are the same three birds again. Neil.
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Old Wednesday 18th February 2009, 16:16   #27
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I tested the Panasonic adapter today . The Olympus 25/2.8 Pancake lens won't Auto Focus with it. I guess I'll have to wait for Panasonic or Olympus to release a short prime for the G1. Neil.
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Old Wednesday 18th February 2009, 16:47   #28
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Neil,

The last one is a work of art. Great composition, super sharp and the focus is right on.

This G1 will be tempting for the astro scope gang Personnaly, I will wait for Version 2 and the availability of longer lenses. However, your results and the 2.0 crop factor are quite tempting...

Regards and congradulations !
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Old Wednesday 18th February 2009, 18:44   #29
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I don't think I will ever be tempted when the adapters to get it onto an astro scope cost a couple of hundred $$$. Hopefully the other big names will bring out mirrorless cameras with standard lens mounts.

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Old Wednesday 18th February 2009, 21:18   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil View Post
I tested the Panasonic adapter today . The Olympus 25/2.8 Pancake lens won't Auto Focus with it. I guess I'll have to wait for Panasonic or Olympus to release a short prime for the G1. Neil.
That's bad news Neil! I am interested in getting a short prime for my Olympus E-510, to try digiscoping with it, but I can only order from shops that source their stock direct from the Olympus importers in the UK, so no chance of trying one first.

Before I got the E-510, I had an E-420 with the pancake lens, but returned it within a week as I wanted the IS. I did try the pancake through my ATS80, and it did work, but with a little vignetting as I remember. The other problem was how to connect it to my DCA adapter.

I might be wrong, but doesn't the central barrel of the pancake rotate when focussing? perhaps my mind is playing tricks on me! I would be interested to know if you've tried any of the other primes such as the 50 F2 Macro. This lens is on my wish list next (for general insect photography), and it would be pure luck if it worked through the 20-60 zoom (or even the 30x wide). The only other lens I've got to work at all is the 40-150 kit lens @40mm, but the lens isn't really bright enough to get fast enough shutter speeds in the dull UK winter. Attachment to the DCA is also problematic, but probably possible with stepping rings.

I am extremely impressed by your results with the new G1, and might eventually be interested in getting one when the prices drop a little, but the compatability with my Olympus lenses (no autofocus) would put me off going down this route. Any insights you could offer about digiscoping with my E-510 would be gratefully received. I am really only interested in getting top notch results that would beat my Fuji F31fd in terms of image quality. The 50 F2 has the optical quality I'm after, but if only it would work....

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Old Wednesday 18th February 2009, 23:52   #31
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...........I am extremely impressed by your results with the new G1, and might eventually be interested in getting one when the prices drop a little, but the compatability with my Olympus lenses (no autofocus) would put me off going down this route. Any insights you could offer about digiscoping with my E-510 would be gratefully received. I am really only interested in getting top notch results that would beat my Fuji F31fd in terms of image quality. The 50 F2 has the optical quality I'm after, but if only it would work....

Steve
I'm glad I didn't buy the Olympus 50/2.0 Macro until I'm sure that it will Auto Focus. It's also very expensive (US$550). I will want a 35 mm and/or 50 mm lens for this camera though at some point.
I use the 25/2.8 Pancake lens on the E420 , but you're right , you can't screw the DCA into it's 43 mm thread and still get AF . I set it up on my balance bar so the lens is not physically attached to the DCA. I do need Liveview though for accurate focusing in manual .
Have a look at the thread -
http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=116135
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Old Thursday 19th February 2009, 23:45   #32
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Thanks Neil, I think I'll ponder on this one for a while longer yet.

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Old Friday 20th February 2009, 10:18   #33
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Here is the setup for the G1 on the Swarovski scope using the Swarovski DCA adapter.
Neil
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Old Friday 20th February 2009, 11:27   #34
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That set-up looks really neat and I must say I'm impressed with the lack of colour fringing in your images, Neil, especially around the black/white areas such as the wagtail. This is going to be a popular choice with digiscopers, I'd think.
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Old Friday 20th February 2009, 14:09   #35
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I found some nice results of the G1, but unfortunately the language is in japanese:

http://dc.watch.impress.co.jp/cda/re.../02/10111.html

http://dc.watch.impress.co.jp/cda/re.../04/10123.html

Some photos are also made with the Canon G10 and the Pentax K20D

Micha
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Old Monday 2nd March 2009, 15:11   #36
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Out on the mudflats today in dull, overcast light which I thought would be a good test for the G1. I shot at iso 400/800/1250 with 800 being the most common. Had some luck with Marshsands in flight when I got a series of 7 frames and there were sharp birds in 4 of them. The Yellow Wagtail cooperated and was about 15 meters but the others were around 50 - 120 meters. Neil.

Panasonic Lumix G1 plus Swarovski STS80HD scope and Sw30x eyepiece and DCA adapter

Mai Po Nature Reserve,
Hong Kong,
China.
March 2009
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Old Wednesday 4th March 2009, 16:34   #37
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Neil, can I ask if you're getting significantly faster shutter speeds with this camera than you did with the Olympus E-420? Also, more generally, do you think micro 4/3 might be inherently more suitable for digiscoping than 4/3 proper? I tried it with the E-520 but found it way more bother than it was worth and soon rushed back to my old Fuji F30.

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Old Wednesday 4th March 2009, 23:07   #38
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Neil, can I ask if you're getting significantly faster shutter speeds with this camera than you did with the Olympus E-420? Also, more generally, do you think micro 4/3 might be inherently more suitable for digiscoping than 4/3 proper? I tried it with the E-520 but found it way more bother than it was worth and soon rushed back to my old Fuji F30.

David
The speed is similar between the E420 and the G1. No noise up to iso 400 and only a little at iso800 so shutter speeds are similarly fast. The implementation of LiveView is better in the G1. The main difference is the Electronic Viewfinder. This enables Auto Focus using the viewfinder or the LCD screen. The AF is very fast too, much faster than the E420 (LiveView AF only on the LCD). It's very similar to the speed on my Nikon D90 with the 500/4 ( 730 mm in Crop Mode). I'm shooting the G1 at wide a lot which is equivalent to 840 mm.
Now the GH1 is out with HD video and with a longer kit lens.
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Old Thursday 5th March 2009, 06:50   #39
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Thanks Neil. Sounds interesting but I think I'll wait and see what Olympus comes up with before going down the m4/3 road.
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Old Thursday 5th March 2009, 15:58   #40
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A few more from the wetlands on Monday on an overcast day. Neil.
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Old Monday 9th March 2009, 17:04   #41
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Digiscoping with a Panasonic G1 and Pentax spotting scopes

I have in the past been frustrated in finding a digiscope setup for my otherwise superb Pentax scopes. The problem has been in part the lack of a solid adapter like those for Swarovski, Leica, Zeiss, etc. The Panasonic G1 seems to be a large part of the solution for me.

My experiments involved Pentax PF -80ED-A and PF-65ED-A scopes with both the 20-60mm Pentax SMC eyepiece (8-24mm) and the Pentax SMC XW14 wide-angle eyepiece.

1) The G1 using the 14-45 kit lens works well with the SMC XW14 eyepiece. From the 18-50mm range, there is no vignetting. Zoom more than that, and vignetting becomes a problem. You need to remove any filters you may have on the G1. When I first tried it, I had a UV filter on the G1. This caused the camera to be too far from the eyepiece and caused major vignetting problems. When I removed the filter, the G1 lens can rest right up against the rubber guard on the eyepiece, and vignetting problems are eliminated for about 1/2 the zoom range.

2) The G1 does NOT work well with 20-60X eyepiece. The vignetting is terrible at all focal lengths.

3) The G1 works with the SMC XW14 eyepiece because the latter has a huge diameter, approximately the same size as the G1 lens. The G1 would probably NOT work on scopes with much smaller diameter eyepieces, e.g. Nikon Fieldscopes.

4) The choice between the two models of Pentax scopes is a matter of personal preference. The 80ED lets in more light, but also significantly increases the magnification making "camera shake" much more of a problem to deal with. The 65ED lets in slightly less light, but has so much to commend it in lower price, much smaller size, and less motion to stabilize. NOTE that the 65ED comes standard with smaller diameter and lower quality XF eyepieces, which I am confident will NOT work with the G1. The XW series of eyepieces are options and are the ones you want.

5) Attaching the G1 to the telescope. The quality of any digiscoped photos is a direct function of (a) how closely aligned and square you can get the camera to the scope eyepiece, and (b) how well you are able to eliminate camera movement. Swarovski, Zeiss, and Leica have great adaptors to quickly mount and unmount a digiscoping camera to the scope. Pentax only recently released a swing-arm adapter that seems too flimsy for a camera as heavy as the G1. For testing, I simply hand-held the camera to the eyepiece. This worked far better than expected, because the rubber eyepiece rim fits nicely up against the black border around the G1 lens. A fear I usually have that the eyepiece will scratch the camera lens is dealt with beautifully -- it is nearly impossible if you are careful. I even left the lens hood on. Because I was pressing the lens up against the eyepiece rubber guard, it was easy to establish the correct distance from the scope and square the camera to the scope.

MOTION - hand-holding the camera against the eyepiece imposes undesirable motion on the whole setup, and remember in digiscoping all motion is vastly magnified compared to what the camera's IS can deal with. In an ideal world, the camera would be held there by a hands-free adapter and the shutter triggered by a remote release to minimize motion, but my world is less than ideal. (Note: in answer to a previous comment, the G1 does have a remote shutter release jack and the wired release is about $25.) My "solution" was to set the shutter on rapid fire and shoot off a burst of photos. Any motion caused by my pressing the shutter would have ended before the 2d or 3rd shot. You shoot a LOT of shots, but I find one has to do that always in digiscoping since the keeper percentage is always going to be low.

I left the camera on autofocus. I would focus on the subject in the scope with the scope focusing, then hold the G1 up to the lens and let AF work. I found it nearly impossible to use manual focus in this setup.

Here are a few samples.

a cormorant at 250+ yards (near the far shore in the center on the rock-like object): at 28mm and
digiscoped with Pentax PF-80ED-A scope :

Some Willets at 28mm and
one of those Willets digiscoped with the Pentax PF-65-A scope:

Finally, a Spotted Sandpiper that seemed to want its picture taken:

The digiscoped photos were taken in RAW at full 12MP resolution. I then cropped them down so I was only using 40-50% of the photo (the willet as cropped was 2514x1885, the sandpiper 2167x1525). Remember that you are not going to get the same resolution from this setup as your normal shot, so you want to minimize cropping and try to fill the frame as much as possible at the time you take the shot.

The digiscoped shots needed a lot of post-processing. Out of the camera, they seemed low contrast and somewhat soft. The Pentax scopes are very sharp and high contrast; it may just be that the light is passing through a lot of layers of glass by the time it reaches the sensor.

I did my PP in Lightroom 2.3. I adjusted the black point, increased the "clarity" substantially, and cranked the sharpening up as much as it would go. The results were very encouraging IMO -- much better contrast and minimal artifacts. I then downsized the photos to 800x600 pixels for posting to the web.

I look forward to any suggestions and experiences others have.
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Old Monday 9th March 2009, 18:40   #42
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Jim, cannot access your buttons to photos with the G1 and Pentax scope,,??

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Old Monday 9th March 2009, 18:59   #43
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Jim,
I can't open the links either. Can you attach the photos rather than the links.
The Pentax eyepieces have a screw thread. Why not screw the lens with step up adapter onto it? Neil.
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Old Tuesday 10th March 2009, 01:52   #44
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Samples - Panasonic G1 & Pentax spotting scopes

Sorry about the bad links to my samples. For what it's worth, they worked for me!

I have deleted the samples from my PC, but I had posted them to dpreview.com and you should be able to see them at this link.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=31221156
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Old Tuesday 10th March 2009, 07:47   #45
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Very nice pictures; but for the price the G1 would be the digiscoping camera of choice now I think. With new inproved versions on the horizon perhaps there will be some price drops.
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Old Tuesday 10th March 2009, 08:20   #46
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The beauty of the Pentax scope is you have an endless supply of eyepieces to choose from. I got hold of a friends Pentax PF80EDa for a day last summer to experiment with and found that for digiscoping my Baader Hyperion eyepiece produced better results than the Pentax XW eyepiece. Your shots show similar issues with the XW that we had. I'd do like Neil said and screw the G1 lens directly onto the thread of the XW eyepiece. The Baader Hyperion's are threaded also.

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Old Tuesday 10th March 2009, 13:42   #47
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Thanks for the tip on the Baader Hyperion eyepiece. As for attaching the camera by screwing it to the eyepiece using a step-up adapter, no doubt this would give a much better attachment. The trade-off is that this approach (1) makes switching from normal scoping to digiscoping much slower, (2) increases wear and tear on the eyepiece screw threads, and (3) would seem to increase the risk of scratching either the eyepiece or the camera lens, though this increased risk may be small. To date, my priority has been on speed of switching and minimal risk of scratching anything.

As for price, I got my G1 w/ 14-45mm lens from a reputable camera dealer Canada (on eBay) for $550. The official price for new version with video, the GH1, hasn't been set yet, but word on the street is that it probably will be significantly higher. That is one drawback of the G1 compared to other digiscoping cameras - the lack of video capability.
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Old Tuesday 10th March 2009, 15:35   #48
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Jim, guess if the video portion is important then it is a need,, have owned many P&S cameras that had the video option on board and interestingly have never used it or even attempted to,, certainly never been a buy or no buy maker for me,,

going to revisit that option and see if any interest are generated and what the quality of the video really is,, I shoot a lot of grandkids sport events with my main camera and a touch of video could be a worthy item for some of the families to have of their kids,,

thanks

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Old Tuesday 10th March 2009, 20:32   #49
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Unhappy Kowa 883+ x20-60 zoom + G1

I was able to try the G1 up against my 883 and zoom today. The vignetting was so bad I have decided against buying one.

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Old Tuesday 10th March 2009, 23:42   #50
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I was able to try the G1 up against my 883 and zoom today. The vignetting was so bad I have decided against buying one.

Dave
Dave,
Yes. You either need a fixed eyepiece on the scope or a fixed lens on the camera to get the best out of the G1. Neil.
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