Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Magnifying the passion for nature. Zeiss Victory Harpia 95. New!

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old Sunday 10th July 2016, 14:53   #1
paddy7
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: suffolk
Posts: 379
Initial thoughts on the Carson Hookupz

First let me set the context:
I am not a photographer, or a digiscoper, and probably won't be anytime soon.
However, i often go birding alone, and have the need for 'record shots.' This might be to convince a rarities committee of the presence of an odd migrant, or to make an i.d. later (particularly gulls).
Stuffing a camera lens into a scope and hoping for the best hasn't worked, so i was looking for a cheap and portable alternative.
Following a couple of threads, but variable reviews, i came across the Carson Hookupz, claiming to be a universal (but with exceptions) mobile phone adaptor.
At 35, it seemed worth a punt, and it turned up on Friday. I've just had a couple of days of fooling with it, and these are my conclusions.
I am using a Motorolo Moto G 3rd Gen, and i think this is at the upper size limit the Carson can cope with. It works by clamping (between glow-in-the-dark green neoprene) the phone on sliding clamps, both horizontally and vertically.
It doesn't take long to line the camera lens with the hole in the adaptor, although the clamps themselves feel slightly flimsy.
Two sprung handles pull 4 similarly-green clamps apart to slip over the optic eyepiece, whether binocular or scope. Some have reported these as being weakly-sprung, but as my Swarovski ATS 65 eyepiece is again at the upper size limit, the springs don't really have much of a role in holding the adaptor on.
The eye piece of the scope needs to be fully retracted; eye relief to the camera lens can be restored using an included plastic spacer, which clicks into the adaptor.
I didn't feel too confident of the phone being held securely; a sprung neoprene post on the left hand side (the fixable clamp being on the right) seemed to bend back slightly with the pressure.
Also, the MotoG has a scalloped back; the Carson would work better with a flat-backed phone (and presumably a smaller one).
A heavy phone like this can pull the adaptor out of whack with the scope eyepiece, and it took a bit of fiddling before i got a good view. Working 'landscape' seemed better, and some have put the whole thing upside down, correcting the shots later on the PC.
Problem two was that the right-hand horizontal clamp pressed on the phone's on-off button; while adjusting position, i switched the thing off a couple of times.
Touching the screen could introduce vibration, which - at zoom - caused some image problems.
So, this is how i've got round it:
I glued a small and thin length of velcro strapping to the right side horizontal clamp, along 3/4 of it's length, which was sufficient to lift the clamp off the power button without affecting the grip.
I downloaded the Timer Camera app from Google, which allows a 1sec timer delay on the shutter (plus some other useful facilities).
I kept the scope at 25x zoom, used the zoom of the camera app to get past the circular viewfinder image. Although the zoom on the scope was still accessible, the light reduction was very obvious. The app has exposure compensation, but i didn't want to get into this, as the whole idea would be quick shots.
The timer delay set to 1sec was just enough to prevent shake, while still catching the shot i was after.
Overall, for the investment, i'm very pleased with the initial outcome, particularly as - on a birding trip - i can leave the phone in the adaptor and it fits into a large gilet pocket.
So, what could Carson improve? Although i'm not a design specialist, i think some way of clamping the phone over the edges for security would be good. The whole thing is plastic (including the clamp locks) and i think others like myself would pay a little more for something a bit more substantial, while not increasing the weight too much.
It's a great idea, and i think it's going to work well for the purpose i bought it. I've just got to resist getting into this digiscope thing, and getting diverted!
You need a bit of patience, and time to experiment, and not to be scared of 'adapting the adaptor' if there are some obvious difficulties with your set-up.
Check the Carson website for which phones it is incompatible with (not many...)
Paddy
paddy7 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 11th July 2016, 09:13   #2
paddy7
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: suffolk
Posts: 379
just an addition:
the rh clamp just touched the first couple of mm of the power button on the phone. The glued velcro piece was placed so it just held the clamp off the button. I've had a couple of squeezes of the device, and not managed to accidentally switch the phone off since. I still have access to the power button for when the phone goes into standby.
Some much better shots yesterday since the app was downloaded....
paddy7 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 29th July 2016, 09:49   #3
Boy Wonder
Warden - RSPB Lincolnshire Wash Reserves

 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: RSPB Frampton Marsh
Posts: 532
Have you tried using the ear phones as a shutter release? Reduces camera shake then. Also worth looking into taking video as many phones take HQ video that you can take stills off.
Boy Wonder is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 7th August 2016, 06:46   #4
paddy7
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: suffolk
Posts: 379
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boy Wonder View Post
Have you tried using the ear phones as a shutter release? Reduces camera shake then. Also worth looking into taking video as many phones take HQ video that you can take stills off.
Thanks for the tip. I'm not sure if the headphone facility is there on the Motorola, but will look into it. That app works well though, and is much more user-friendly than the pre-installed one, with most of the parameters adjustable from the main screen. I'll look into it further re the video.
Had it about a month now, and getting some reasonable record shots. One trick seems to be not to use the camera zoom excessively; i'm assuming that with the scope on 25x and the camera zooming x4, that is taking it up to x100, which i don't think the combined optics are capable of.
paddy7 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 22nd August 2016, 15:50   #5
Boy Wonder
Warden - RSPB Lincolnshire Wash Reserves

 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: RSPB Frampton Marsh
Posts: 532
Quote:
Originally Posted by paddy7 View Post
Thanks for the tip. I'm not sure if the headphone facility is there on the Motorola, but will look into it. That app works well though, and is much more user-friendly than the pre-installed one, with most of the parameters adjustable from the main screen. I'll look into it further re the video.
Had it about a month now, and getting some reasonable record shots. One trick seems to be not to use the camera zoom excessively; i'm assuming that with the scope on 25x and the camera zooming x4, that is taking it up to x100, which i don't think the combined optics are capable of.
Also get the google Snapseed app as you can tweak and post process pics very easily. I use hair bobbles to make it fit a bit snugger and pull the carson onto the eyepiece to give a more solid contact.

Spot on with the zoom. You're best off taking pics and cropping them rather than zooming in as you get too much artificial noise. Also remember that it can look good on a phone screen as it's compressed but pop it on a monitor and when it's blown up it can look a bit of a mess. As with all these things, and the great thing about digital photography, is that you can practice and play with no loss of effort or funds. Take some pics, change the settings, take some more pics. Put something out in the garden and just blast away at it to get different results. Keep at it and good luck.
Boy Wonder is offline  
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Any phone to any optics adapter - Carson HookUpz Boy Wonder Mobile/iPhone Digiscoping 2 Tuesday 17th May 2016 08:39
Carson 3D ED Boleyn1895 Others 15 Saturday 15th March 2014 22:14
Carson XM-HD or Zen-Ray ZRS HD? flossiepip Binoculars 2 Monday 14th February 2011 04:16
Vanguard Venture Plus 8x42 Initial Thoughts wanderer55 Others 2 Tuesday 11th May 2010 06:37



Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.18075204 seconds with 14 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 13:52.