Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Zeiss - Always on the lookout for something special – Shop now

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.

Straight or angled scope

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old Saturday 23rd March 2019, 12:09   #1
bgm145
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Sarawak Malaysia
Posts: 13
Lightbulb Straight or angled scope

Please advise which is the better scope option for a tall 188cm male such as myself. I would like to buy a scope. I should use a tripod I suppose. Perhaps sitting in the doorway of my tent (backside on the edge of my sleeping mat) is the most likely place I will set up my tripod. I will view birds in any national park or forest location and look for any type of bird. I was wondering which of the types of scope (straight or angled) would be the best for this type of watching. I will hike to the location carry all my gear (tent, scope, food, etc) because I don't own a car. I hope this info gives a good idea of what I plan to do with my scope and how I will most likely use it. Straight or angled any advice much appreciated.
bgm145 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 23rd March 2019, 12:26   #2
KC Foggin
Super Moderator
BF Supporter 2019
 
KC Foggin's Avatar

 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Myrtle Beach SC "Smiling Faces, Beautiful Places"
Posts: 251,915
Hi again bgm!

I've moved your scope inquiry to the scope sub-forum and have subscribed you to the thread so that you'll get emails when someone posts a suggestion
__________________
KC a/k/a common KC

Karma - What you send out
Comes right back at ya
KC Foggin is online now  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Saturday 23rd March 2019, 14:30   #3
Fedster
Registered User

 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Helsinki
Posts: 55
I used to think straight was better, and I did own a straight Swaro HD65. I then borrowed an angled Swaro HD80 and I found I like angled better.

The moral of the story being, if you can borrow some scopes and try them (just concentrate on how they feel is they are different models, the optics would obviously be different), you would be ahead of the game.
Fedster is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 23rd March 2019, 16:42   #4
jring
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Germany
Posts: 1,857
Hi,

the only two occasions where I would consider a straight scope are sitting in a hide all day with the scope on a hide clamp or using the scope inside a car.

Considering your height, getting a straight scope to your eye level while standing means you need a quite tall tripod with the column fully extended - not great for stability.

Sitting inside the tent door and looking upward into the trees with a straight scope will result in a quite cramped neck position...

Joachim
jring is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 23rd March 2019, 17:49   #5
dwatsonbirder
Mostly off the radar
 
dwatsonbirder's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 2,538
I'd strongly suggest an angled ED50 with either 16x wide or the zoom if you are using in a forest environment - lightweight, bright, sharp and pretty robust. Velbon luxi tripod also idea for a lightweight support.
__________________
Kind regards, Daniel

@axbridge_birder
dwatsonbirder is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 23rd March 2019, 17:59   #6
Kevin Conville
yardbirder
BF Supporter 2019
 
Kevin Conville's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: State of Chaos
Posts: 2,032
Get an angled scope.

You'll need a shorter, lighter tripod than with a straight scope.
For looking up, as in the forest, the angled scope will be more comfortable.
If sharing the scope with others that aren't your height, the angled scope will require far less tripod adjustment.
__________________
my bird pics

Scott's Miracle Grow KILLING Birds, for Years!
read this: http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=226714
Kevin Conville is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2018 2019 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Monday 25th March 2019, 09:06   #7
bgm145
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Sarawak Malaysia
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwatsonbirder View Post
I'd strongly suggest an angled ED50 with either 16x wide or the zoom if you are using in a forest environment - lightweight, bright, sharp and pretty robust. Velbon luxi tripod also idea for a lightweight support.
Thanks everyone for their reply. I have looked at the Nikon fieldscopes. I think the ED50 is a good recommendation. Very light weight which is welcome. I was wondering about which eyepiece would be best. Perhaps the 13-30x/20-45x/25-56x MC zoom. Is 13-30 better than 20-45 at allowing light to reach thhe exit pupil? I'm not sure I will need much more than 30 magnificatgion because I'm hoping to do some digiscoping with the ED50 and I've heard that about x30 is great for digiscoping. I wouldn't mind getting a fixed focal length eypiece either and was wondering what people might recommend.
bgm145 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 25th March 2019, 09:23   #8
PYRTLE
Registered User
 
PYRTLE's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: North Norfolk
Posts: 2,784
It's the same zoom but the magnification depends upon which ED Fieldscope you attach it too. With the ED50 the range is declared at x 13 - x 30. The other figures are for the 60 and 82mm bodies respectively.
PYRTLE is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 25th March 2019, 09:41   #9
bgm145
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Sarawak Malaysia
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by PYRTLE View Post
It's the same zoom but the magnification depends upon which ED Fieldscope you attach it too. With the ED50 the range is declared at x 13 - x 30. The other figures are for the 60 and 82mm bodies respectively.
Thanks. That's very helpful. Di you think 13x30 is a suitable magnification ir should I consider getting more? I'm happy with the ED50 as an objective lens. The weight is so good.
bgm145 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 25th March 2019, 09:42   #10
dalat
.
 
dalat's Avatar

 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 2,520
Definitly angled for your use.

For the ED50, I'd recommend fixed magnification wide angle eypiece, rather than zoom. The wide field makes a big difference for finding stuff, which is espially important in forest.
The 16x is great in forest, if the distance is not too high. The 27x is great for open areas, wetlands and coast. More than that does not really make sense with the small scope. Both 16x and 27x exist as DS version for digiscoping or MC version with eyecup, but both are usable for normal viewing.
dalat is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 25th March 2019, 10:31   #11
bgm145
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Sarawak Malaysia
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by dalat View Post
Definitly angled for your use.

For the ED50, I'd recommend fixed magnification wide angle eypiece, rather than zoom. The wide field makes a big difference for finding stuff, which is espially important in forest.
The 16x is great in forest, if the distance is not too high. The 27x is great for open areas, wetlands and coast. More than that does not really make sense with the small scope. Both 16x and 27x exist as DS version for digiscoping or MC version with eyecup, but both are usable for normal viewing.
Thanks for very helpful reply. I also think wide viewing is important. I live in Sarawak, Borneo. Across the road from my house is some destroyed forest (nearly all "forest" in Borneo is destroyed quite substantially these days). It is populated by small fast moving birds. One which can be seen rarely is an astonishing red colour like I've never seen before in my life. Amazing. But these birds move fast and it would help to have wide viewing with longer than 8x32 (my canon binoculars) range. In these conditions it's not really possible to view birds over long distances due to small size and trees getting in the way. I've figured out that the birds always seem to be present in the same locations. Therefore it's best if I find a good spot and plant myself there and cross my fingers that a bird I want to spot lands on a suitable branch. Is this the correct method of birdwatching? Anyway, it would seem that fixed focal length would be adequate for this strategy. Am I on the right track?

Also, I was planning to use a small folding stool and a tiny tripod. But I was wondering if it was also possible to use the straight version of the ED50 with the x27 wide fixed eyepiece hand-held? Possible?
bgm145 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 25th March 2019, 10:34   #12
Royfinn
Registered User

 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Jyväskylä
Posts: 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgm145 View Post
Thanks everyone for their reply. I have looked at the Nikon fieldscopes. I think the ED50 is a good recommendation. Very light weight which is welcome. I was wondering about which eyepiece would be best. Perhaps the 13-30x/20-45x/25-56x MC zoom. Is 13-30 better than 20-45 at allowing light to reach thhe exit pupil? I'm not sure I will need much more than 30 magnificatgion because I'm hoping to do some digiscoping with the ED50 and I've heard that about x30 is great for digiscoping. I wouldn't mind getting a fixed focal length eypiece either and was wondering what people might recommend.
I just bought ED50 angled with DS 27x fixed eyepiece. It's quite perfect compromise for bird identification. There are lots and lots of discussion of ED50 and suitable eyepieces in the Nikon subforum.

I also bought Rangers tripod with ballhead and the combo weights only 2 kg and goes in the small space.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	uytukykyg.jpg
Views:	67
Size:	321.3 KB
ID:	690692  
Royfinn is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 25th March 2019, 10:40   #13
bgm145
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Sarawak Malaysia
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by dalat View Post
Definitly angled for your use.

For the ED50, I'd recommend fixed magnification wide angle eypiece, rather than zoom. The wide field makes a big difference for finding stuff, which is espially important in forest.
The 16x is great in forest, if the distance is not too high. The 27x is great for open areas, wetlands and coast. More than that does not really make sense with the small scope. Both 16x and 27x exist as DS version for digiscoping or MC version with eyecup, but both are usable for normal viewing.
You mention there are DS versions and MC versions. I couldn't find anything about that on Nikon's site for these eyepieces. Anyway, it's good to know. I think I should get the DS version. But are there any disadvantages to getting the DS version compared to the MC version for normal viewing only?
bgm145 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 25th March 2019, 11:14   #14
bgm145
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Sarawak Malaysia
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Conville View Post
Get an angled scope.

You'll need a shorter, lighter tripod than with a straight scope.
For looking up, as in the forest, the angled scope will be more comfortable.
If sharing the scope with others that aren't your height, the angled scope will require far less tripod adjustment.
What do you think of this tripod http://www.velbon.biz/product/ut.html

I'm interested in the UT-3AR version of this which is only 780 grams. Yes it's light but would it be suitable for forest type spotting? I have a vision of myself doing most of my scoping in a seated position, so the tripod would be extended to mid-height. It would be possible to move the extender center post up and down. I've never used a tripod before so I don't know much. My gut instinct still tells me that a small straight scope would be suitable. But I'm guessing. Also, is it possible to use the ED50 x16 fixed hand-held?
bgm145 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 25th March 2019, 11:37   #15
dalat
.
 
dalat's Avatar

 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 2,520
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgm145 View Post
Therefore it's best if I find a good spot and plant myself there and cross my fingers that a bird I want to spot lands on a suitable branch. Is this the correct method of birdwatching?
Sounds like a good way, although of course there is not only one correct method of birdwatching Sitting still and waiting for the birds to come, or moving around and searching for birds both works fine, up to you to do as you prefer.

I tried 27x on the ED50 handheld, it works somewhat but I did not find it much fun. I usually use a tripod, sometimes a monopod. If you don't like a tripod, why not try a higher powered stablised bin, e.g. the Canon 15x or 18x? I think for your type of use this should be quite ok.
dalat is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 25th March 2019, 11:38   #16
etudiant
Registered User
BF Supporter 2019

 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: New York
Posts: 4,214
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgm145 View Post
What do you think of this tripod http://www.velbon.biz/product/ut.html

I'm interested in the UT-3AR version of this which is only 780 grams. Yes it's light but would it be suitable for forest type spotting? I have a vision of myself doing most of my scoping in a seated position, so the tripod would be extended to mid-height. It would be possible to move the extender center post up and down. I've never used a tripod before so I don't know much. My gut instinct still tells me that a small straight scope would be suitable. But I'm guessing. Also, is it possible to use the ED50 x16 fixed hand-held?
I use the earlier version of this tripod with my ED50 (or the monopod Super8 when traveling light) and have been pleased with it. It is a little slower to extend than the external led lock designs, but the weight savings is well worth it.
Incidentally, the ED50x16 is easily hand held, especially if fitted with the Stay On case that Nikon offers (a Cley Spy design I believe), which includes a convenient side grip handle.
etudiant is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Monday 25th March 2019, 11:44   #17
dalat
.
 
dalat's Avatar

 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 2,520
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgm145 View Post
You mention there are DS versions and MC versions. I couldn't find anything about that on Nikon's site for these eyepieces. Anyway, it's good to know. I think I should get the DS version. But are there any disadvantages to getting the DS version compared to the MC version for normal viewing only?
For the Fieldscopes, Nikon used to have MC and DS versions for some of the wide angled eyepieces. It may be that not all of those are awaylable any more, as most are out of production now I think.

DS and MC are identically optically, the MC has adjustable eyecups, while the DC doesn't. I have a 16x DS and a 27x MC, and I got quickly used to both... If you can, get the MC, but if only DS is available, that should work just fine.
dalat is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 25th March 2019, 12:32   #18
Hauksen
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Germany
Posts: 772
Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgm145 View Post
I have a vision of myself doing most of my scoping in a seated position, so the tripod would be extended to mid-height. It would be possible to move the extender center post up and down. I've never used a tripod before so I don't know much. My gut instinct still tells me that a small straight scope would be suitable. But I'm guessing. Also, is it possible to use the ED50 x16 fixed hand-held?
I think it would be much more convenient to use an angled scope when sitting in front of a tripod.

Not only does the angle help you to look up more easily, but it's also much easier to adjust one's head position to a new viewing angle than with a straight scope, where you'd have to re-adjust extension heigh with each change.

With regard to hand-held use, I have both a straight and an angled body for my ED50. I thought the straight one with the stay-on case with hand loop would be great for viewing shorebirds at long ranges, but I have to admit that the combination of monocular view, and large magnification with resulting enlarged shake makes it no more effective at 13x than my 8 x 42 binoculars.

(In your application where a wide field of view is beneficial, that would be another point in favour of using binoculars instead of the scope.)

I did however 3D-print a shoulder stock to use with the ED50, and that helped a lot with steadiness. Here's what it looks like:

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2807320

While the picture shows the straight version, I found that the angled version is even more convenient to use with the shoulder stock for some reason.

So I'd think that for your primary application of using the scope from a tripod, angled probably would be better. For the secondary application, using it hand-held, straight might seem like a good idea, but in my opinion it only makes sense with a shoulder-stock, and then angled is as good or better.

The main reason to pick a straight scope is usually if you're birding out of a car window. I've also heard one birder saying that he likes it better when looking down from observation towers, which makes sense too.

By the way, you can also mount binoculars on a tripod - the image really gains a lot from steadiness. That might be a way of trying out your original idea and the ergonomics of "straight" optics.

The same applies to the shoulder stock - the 3D print I linked above also works with binoculars, and you'll find an image of such a setup if you click through the pictures. It works really well, but I'll admit that it's a bit inconvenient to carry around the neck :-)

With regard to the eyepiece, I have the 13-30 zoom. I would agree with Dalat that for your application, a fixed eyepiece with a larger field of view would be the better choice.

Regards,

Henning
__________________
3D Printable Objects for Bird Watching: https://www.thingiverse.com/groups/bird-watching/things
Hauksen is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 25th March 2019, 14:24   #19
jring
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Germany
Posts: 1,857
Hi,

the Velbon tripod mentioned above is 135cm with column extended and 118cm with column down. No chance of using while standing - sitting down it's probably ok. The ballhead could actually work with a light 50mm scope.

As for angled vs straight - even if you build a shoulder stock to use an ED50 (or some other 50mm scope) hand-held at low magnification, an angled one is better - less neckache.

Other options in 50mm would be the Kowa 501 (very cheap, very light and surprisingly good view - non-changeable 20-40x zoom though which is of course narrower than a wide angle fixed EP at the low end) or the Opticron MM3 ED or MM4 50mm models (cheaper and slightly heavier than Nikon, wide angle low mag EPs availble and also zoom EPs).

Joachim
jring is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 25th March 2019, 15:34   #20
bgm145
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Sarawak Malaysia
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by dalat View Post
For the Fieldscopes, Nikon used to have MC and DS versions for some of the wide angled eyepieces. It may be that not all of those are awaylable any more, as most are out of production now I think.

DS and MC are identically optically, the MC has adjustable eyecups, while the DC doesn't. I have a 16x DS and a 27x MC, and I got quickly used to both... If you can, get the MC, but if only DS is available, that should work just fine.
Thank you all for your helpful replies.

The above reply mentions a difference between DS and MC eyepieces available for the ED50. I wear cheap plastic 1.5 magnification eyeglasses on the end of my nose for reading and I've rolled back the rubber eye-cups on my 8x32 canon binoculars and they work much better with my reading glasses. Is it the case that the DS x16 version eyepiece would not be that good for use with glasses because there is no way of adjusting the eye-relief? I suppose the MC x20 wide eyepiece has some type of adjustable cup.

If that is right I would probably get the MC x20 wide instead but then would be stuck for digiscoping. Perhaps I'll need to get both?
bgm145 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 25th March 2019, 15:59   #21
Hauksen
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Germany
Posts: 772
Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgm145 View Post
If that is right I would probably get the MC x20 wide instead but then would be stuck for digiscoping. Perhaps I'll need to get both?
I wouldn't worry too much about digiscoping at first. Digicoping works best on well-lighted stationary birds, and your primary application doesn't seem to offer that kind of subjects.

Additionally, I'd think that it's possible to take good shots through any of these oculars, even if one might be the overall best choice for digiscoping.

Here's a quick shot taken through the zoom lens ... it's taken slightly obliquely through coated thermopane windows, so it's just a demonstration of how the optics use the available sensor at 13x zoom:

https://cdn.thingiverse.com/assets/f...16_115648s.jpg

Low magnifications will leave you with some vignetting, while using the digital zoom will ameliorate it (at the cost of reduced resolution). So you can try your hand at digiscoping with about any eyepiece, and if you like the activity, still decide to get a "dedicated" digicoping eyepiece later.

This is the adapter I used ... not really wilderness-suitable, but you get the idea:

https://www.thingiverse.com/make:612415

Regards,

Henning
__________________
3D Printable Objects for Bird Watching: https://www.thingiverse.com/groups/bird-watching/things
Hauksen is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 25th March 2019, 16:27   #22
dalat
.
 
dalat's Avatar

 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 2,520
Digiscoping requires a solid set-up, so is better suited for a large scope on a strong tripod. Small scopes on light tripods are too flimsy for good digiscopy. It may still work for record shots of course, but I think in a forest environment (where birds are not that far away and are constantly on the move), you are much better served with a bridge camera.


The DS eyepiece may work just fine with glasses, but of course you need to try to be certain.
dalat is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 25th March 2019, 16:33   #23
bgm145
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Sarawak Malaysia
Posts: 13
Thanks Henning. I've taken that onboard. The fact that I can have a stab at digiscoping using the x20MC is good enough for me. I'll avoid the x16DS version because I'm worried it might not work with my specs. I also like the idea of a very basic and light setup to start off.

ED50 + MC x20 wide eyepiece + Velbon UT-3AR tripod. The lower price also helps.
bgm145 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 26th March 2019, 07:57   #24
dalat
.
 
dalat's Avatar

 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 2,520
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgm145 View Post
MC x20 wide eyepiece
Is that still available? I was often thinking that this would be the perfect eyepiece for the ED50, but it was difficult to get already years ago...
dalat is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 26th March 2019, 12:06   #25
Pileatus
Registered User

 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 2,559
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgm145 View Post
Thank you all for your helpful replies.

The above reply mentions a difference between DS and MC eyepieces available for the ED50. I wear cheap plastic 1.5 magnification eyeglasses on the end of my nose for reading and I've rolled back the rubber eye-cups on my 8x32 canon binoculars and they work much better with my reading glasses. Is it the case that the DS x16 version eyepiece would not be that good for use with glasses because there is no way of adjusting the eye-relief? I suppose the MC x20 wide eyepiece has some type of adjustable cup.

If that is right I would probably get the MC x20 wide instead but then would be stuck for digiscoping. Perhaps I'll need to get both?
The DS eyepieces work well with eyeglasses. I have the 30X, 50X and 75X DS eyepieces and the 30X has the most comfortable eye relief but they all work.
Specific eye relief values are here and, to my eyes, the values are accurate.
https://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/spo...es/ds/spec.htm
Pileatus 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
Which is best for digiscoping: angled or straight scope ? JGobeil Digiscoping cameras 26 Wednesday 30th December 2009 11:24
ED 50 angled or straight? lewesbirder Say Hello 4 Wednesday 15th April 2009 07:20
Kowa scope: straight or angled? wings Kowa 11 Friday 30th May 2008 16:29
angled or straight scope? johnmichael Spotting Scopes & tripod/heads 26 Tuesday 7th February 2006 19:50
Straight or Angled Eyepiece Scope for Birding? Milo Spotting Scopes & tripod/heads 36 Tuesday 24th August 2004 13:11

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.28219390 seconds with 38 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 16:16.