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Old Thursday 29th November 2012, 18:21   #1
JGobeil
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Micro Four-Thirds

Hi,

After a few years inactivity, I guess I'll give digiscoping another try. It's nice to see that many of my friends from back then are still on line.

I quit because the AF-Confirm-Chip was not very effective with my Canon 50D and I had to focus manually most of the time - unfortunately, manual focusing is very difficult for someone wearing progressive glasses. My percentage of keepers was too low to make it worth while.

I will shortly buy a M43 camera, most likely a Olympus OM-D E-M5 or a Panasonic GH3, or maybe a G5.

I figure that live view in the electronic viewfinder, a somewhat smaller sensor and lighter weight will make my life easier.

I know that many of you are using M43 cameras and I would appreciate reading your comments and suggestions.

I also have a specific question: Is focus confirmation possible ? If so, how is it done and is it effective ? I have searched for AF-Confirm-Chips and didn't find any.

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Old Thursday 29th November 2012, 18:47   #2
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Originally Posted by JGobeil View Post

I also have a specific question: Is focus confirmation possible ? If so, how is it done and is it effective ? I have searched for AF-Confirm-Chips and didn't find any.

Regards
Jules
When you mention AF-confirm chip, I must assume that with "digiscoping" you mean with a "astroscope" or with a spotting scope BUT not shooting through an eyepiece? (I've seen more and more adapters to shoot through a spotting scope, with a dslr without the eyepiece).

IF it is with an astroscope type, then maybe I can answer: I haven't seen AF-confirm chip adapters for micro four thirds, but I haven't looked for them either. However, I use an Olympus EM-5 with an astroscope - AND have a AF-confirm chip... :-)

That is because it's an adapter for Olympus OM-mount to regular Four Thirds mount (with af-chip) This one goes into yet another adapter - a four thirds to MICRO four thirds mount adapter.

If it is effective? Well, I rely less and less on it, since I now can magnify the image and get focus more reliably. I found that to be working better for me. Yes, I loose some shots, but then again, with manual focus I am used to that ;-)
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Old Thursday 29th November 2012, 20:17   #3
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When you mention AF-confirm chip, I must assume that with "digiscoping" you mean with a "astroscope" or with a spotting scope BUT not shooting through an eyepiece?
Thanks for your reply Cango. I'm sorry if I was not clear. Since we are in the "Astro" telescopes section, I assumed no description was necessary. Yes, I have an Asto scope that I plan to use with the needed spacers to reach focus and maybe a barlow for more reach.

I found the chip. It's called "Dandelion" and seems similar to the one I have to go with my Canon 50D. I hope it is more reliable...

I'd like to avoid manual focusing as much as possible. I find it very difficult on the small camera screen. Of course, since the GH3 has WiFi, I could use the larger screen of my phone (4.8") or even carry a 10" tablet... but I'm afraid I don't have enough hands to do this :-)
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Old Thursday 29th November 2012, 21:00   #4
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Thanks for your reply Cango. I'm sorry if I was not clear. Since we are in the "Astro" telescopes section, I assumed no description was necessary.
Sorry, my bad! Replied before I saw in which forum the question was in...

There are several "dandelions"type of adapters so I assume some must be good. Maybe Tord will join in - he has an af confirm chip as well (and uses Olympus), and could tell about his experiences with it.
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Old Friday 30th November 2012, 11:01   #5
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Welcome back Jules, good to see you in the forum again.

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Old Friday 30th November 2012, 15:33   #6
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sorry i can't help, as myself are trying to understand more on how and what do i need to start digiscoping with my Olympus E5 or the m4/3, i find the discussion very informative so i did some search and i found this link.

http://oly43club.ru/forum/index.php?showtopic=351

but i could not find this Dandelion in amazon.
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Old Friday 30th November 2012, 16:14   #7
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Jules,

The very nice, bright electronic view finder on the Panasonic G-series cameras coupled with a function where you can place a movable rectangle over any point on the bird and get a magnified view (all through the viewfinder) makes manual focusing much, much easier. I have used my GH1 with my Celestron C80ED astro scope at prime focus and the results were very good. I can't find those shots now, but I'll try to get some more as soon as we get on Christmas break from school.

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Old Friday 30th November 2012, 17:54   #8
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Hello Paul. I've seen that you are still active with your great pictures and sound advice. I look forward to some great exchanges with you.

Ammadoux, thanks for the link. Unfortunately, the English is not that great and the programming method is difficult to understand. However I will surely try it since it is not expensive.

Rick, you are right. Some features of the G series are quite interesting for digiscoping and I'm eager to experiment with the new toy. I'm still waiting for comprehensive reviews of a production GH3 to decide which camera I will purchase.

If I can't use the astro scope to my liking, I can always revert to conventional digiscoping with my Pentax scope, M43 seems to work quite well and it allows auto focus.
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Old Saturday 1st December 2012, 16:31   #9
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It seems there are a number of different "dandelion" like chips, all with different program procedures. Some only store exif data and work fine without any programming, some have micro-focus adjustment. A bit confusing. I have one that I found all but useless on my scope, and remounted it to use with an old Olympus 300mm lens. It works, but not enough of a help to be any real value to me. But there are others who find them very helpful. Bit of a crap shoot.
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Old Sunday 2nd December 2012, 13:37   #10
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Humm... that makes it nice ! I guess it's like a lot of those photo accessories on eBay like cable and radio releases, flashes, etc... Some are junk and not worth buying while some are good value and work well. The problem is to find out which is which.

It would be nice if some users that have bought those confirm chips would let us know where they purchased it, with comments about their quality, usefulness and details about what they do.

Thanks for your comment.
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Old Sunday 2nd December 2012, 14:36   #11
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Old Sunday 2nd December 2012, 17:47   #12
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Thanks Daniel. Interesting read but unfortunately not very convincing... Considering the cost, it is probably worth trying anyway.

I'm only interested in the focus confirmation. Of course, focus must be accurate so the focus adjustment is also mandatory.

I don't really care about the other values. Anyway, those change regularly if you use a barlow, a TC or extenders.
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Old Sunday 2nd December 2012, 18:04   #13
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Panasonic GF1 Digiscoping

I am new to digiscoping. I have a Panasonic GF1 and a Leica 77 with a 0 -60 zoom lens. Where do I find ( buy that is ) a gadget that wil join the camera to the scope? Any recomendations would be good as I am totally in the dark
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Old Sunday 2nd December 2012, 19:01   #14
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Originally Posted by funkycockatoo View Post
I am new to digiscoping. I have a Panasonic GF1 and a Leica 77 with a 0 -60 zoom lens. Where do I find ( buy that is ) a gadget that wil join the camera to the scope? Any recomendations would be good as I am totally in the dark
Humm... all the required basic info is available on Birdforum. The idea is to do some searching. Not only will you find your answers but you will also learn your way through digiscoping. If you can't find your answers, then you ask.

You are in the wrong forum considering your Leica spotting scope. This forum is for users that do not use a lens nor an eyepiece to connect a camera to an "Astro" type scope.

What you are looking for is the forum for users that connect their camera and lens to a spotting scope with an eyepiece like your Leica and 60X zoom eyepiece. This forum is here:
http://www.birdforum.net/forumdisplay.php?f=243

Welcome to the club. I wish you fun and success.
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Old Monday 3rd December 2012, 09:29   #15
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Jules,
If you get one, I would recommend you get one that allows micro-focus adjustment. The one I have works OK on the 300mm OM telephoto I have, and I will try it with my newly acquired Nikkor 400mm/5.6 as a walk around bird lens, but it did not perform so well on the scope. The one Tord bought seems to be better.
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Old Monday 3rd December 2012, 13:42   #16
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Jules,
If you get one, I would recommend you get one that allows micro-focus adjustment. The one I have works OK on the 300mm OM telephoto I have, and I will try it with my newly acquired Nikkor 400mm/5.6 as a walk around bird lens, but it did not perform so well on the scope. The one Tord bought seems to be better.
Yes, IMO, micro-focus is mandatory.
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Old Monday 3rd December 2012, 16:50   #17
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Jules, putting things shortly, unfortunately focus confirmation (and trap focus) is useless with M4/3 for now.
Dandelions for M4/3 are also very scarce, I think they were discontinued. That said I tried it myself with a chip from an old broken lens.

The good news is AF confirmation does work, it even only allows the camera to fire only if the image is in focus. The bad news is with the way CDAF behaves, the camera is fooled very easily and nowhere near reliable. It will allow the camera to fire even with completely OOF images.

If you really want to use AF confirmation and trap focus you need a phase detect AF. But even then not all cameras will work very well with it, Iím changing systems right now because the new Nikon donít work as well with trap focus as my older bodies.

For now, to use with the scope my next bet will be focus peaking, that really seem like the best feature yet for manual focus, at least on paper, but I hope to try it myself sometime next week.
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Old Monday 3rd December 2012, 17:49   #18
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What about 4/3 chip and a 4/3->m4/3 adapter? Same story?
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Old Monday 3rd December 2012, 18:27   #19
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I would think so, this limitation comes from the CDAF system and the way it works, there's no turnaround to that.
Maybe in the future when they start adding phase detect on sensor, but for now I'd say skip it
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Old Monday 3rd December 2012, 19:26   #20
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Jules,
Sony has a wonderful feature they call FOCUS PEAKING in their cameras ( have it in the NEX 7 and RX100 ). In DMF Mode with Focus Peaking ON the points in focus show up as highlight in a color ( white/yellow/?) so as you turn the focus wheel you see the areas in focus move across the screen. When your subject is Highlighted and you push the shutter you also get a steady Green square and a beep to confirm.
I have it switched on all the time in my Sony cameras.
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Old Monday 3rd December 2012, 19:40   #21
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IMHO, the SLTs are even better than a NEX to use with the scope, they have peaking and in-body stabilization. Ok, IBIS on a tripod may not be that useful, but on a monopod or even handheld sometimes it can be of great use and a welcome addition.
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Old Monday 3rd December 2012, 22:38   #22
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Jules,
Sony has a wonderful feature they call FOCUS PEAKING in their cameras ( have it in the NEX 7 and RX100 ). In DMF Mode with Focus Peaking ON the points in focus show up as highlight in a color ( white/yellow/?) so as you turn the focus wheel you see the areas in focus move across the screen. When your subject is Highlighted and you push the shutter you also get a steady Green square and a beep to confirm.
I have it switched on all the time in my Sony cameras.
Neil.
Hello Neil,

Thanks for the info. It is indeed quite interesting and should really facillitate manual focusing.

I have pretty well chosen the MFT camera I will get: The Oly OM-D. It does not have focus peaking but I have seen rumors it will be included in the next firmware update.

The Sony NEX cameras are quite nice but unfortunately their lens offer is quite limited.

Regards
J
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Old Monday 3rd December 2012, 22:42   #23
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Originally Posted by FernandoBatista View Post
If you really want to use AF confirmation and trap focus you need a phase detect AF. But even then not all cameras will work very well with it, Iím changing systems right now because the new Nikon donít work as well with trap focus as my older bodies.
Thanks a lot for the info. I could be wrong but I think that Phase Detect AF is difficult if not impossible with a mirrorless camera. They all use Contrast Detect AF and this is the reason why they are not good at focusing on moving objects like flying birds.

Regards
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Old Monday 3rd December 2012, 22:46   #24
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Actually, both sony and nikon already have phase detect on sensor. Nikon is using it on the 1 series, and Sony on the A99 (together with the translucent mirror), in the NEX 6 and 5R.
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Old Tuesday 4th December 2012, 09:17   #25
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PD on sensor is possible as per what I have read. Certain pixels are somehow singled out and set aside for PD.

I find the Oly IBIS very useful with the scope on the tripod when it is not locked down, and it seems the OM-D IS is even better that previous Oly systems.
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