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Straight or angled scope

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Old Tuesday 26th March 2019, 12:30   #26
bgm145
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Being new to this forum (and forums generally) I'm not sure if I should put this in another section as a new thread or put it here (please help). But here goes...

I like walking, camping, biicycle riding and staying overnight in the bush (not in Sarawak because it's so hot all the time) and hence I would like to get the very best optical view I can get for up to approximate 1 kilo weight and $1000 USD (can include a lightweight tripod if needed but I'm not including it in the weight or price mentioned... it would be in addition).

The Nikon ED50 with DS x16 wide fits the specs nicely. However, I've been thinking about how I get about by bicycle and move about on foot and like to explore. Today I wondered into a bog in the mangrove forest by accident in search of this extraordinary little bright red sparrow (I don't yet have a field guide so I can't say what is it's name). BTW, the bird is tiny and the top two thirds of its body are an astonishing luminesent red. Mindboggling colour. I've seen it four times and I know where it lives. I'm trying to view it through my 8x32 canon bins but it moves on quickly.

Anyway, I have been thinking perhaps I should save up and get a nice pair of bins. What about these Maven B2 11x45 for a choice...

https://www.bestbinocularsreviews.co...Review-179.htm

Could they be a halfway option between the ED50 if I like to move about a lot and also sit at my tent in the afternoon and wait for what comes by? My reasoning here is that they do have a fair bit of magnification (not quite the x16 DS I could get with the ED50) and hence might be quite adequate for use in a stationary spot in the bush (my tent in the afternoon - which is how I would surely use the ED50 nearly all the time) but equally they would give me the option of striding out on walks and actively spotting for birds on the move. What do you think?

Last edited by bgm145 : Tuesday 26th March 2019 at 12:52.
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Old Tuesday 26th March 2019, 14:30   #27
Hauksen
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Hi,

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Originally Posted by bgm145 View Post
Could they be a halfway option between the ED50 if I like to move about a lot and also sit at my tent in the afternoon and wait for what comes by? My reasoning here is that they do have a fair bit of magnification (not quite the x16 DS I could get with the ED50) and hence might be quite adequate for use in a stationary spot in the bush (my tent in the afternoon - which is how I would surely use the ED50 nearly all the time) but equally they would give me the option of striding out on walks and actively spotting for birds on the move. What do you think?
As binocular viewing really adds to the quality of the perception, that line of thought sounds entirely reasonable.

The "customary" birder's bincoulars seem to be 8x, but that's probably just because it's a very good compromise for a wide range of conditions.

11x is bound to be heavier and more bulky, and have a smaller field of vision ... however, if you see it as a replacement of an 8x-binoculars-plus-ED50 combination, it might come out as the lighter and more compact option.

There's an additional advantage of using just one set of optics: If you have binoculars and a scope, you'll often be picking up a bird on the binoculars, then switch to the scope to get the better view, and maybe lose the bird in the transition. (At the very least, you'll not really be watching the bird during the switch.)

Note that the Maven binoculars you linked have a tripod thread so that they can easily be mounted to a tripod with the help of an additional (inexpensive) adapter. That means your tent/tripod plan will still work. The only disadvantage in that situation would be not having an angled eyepiece.

Regards,

Henning
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Old Wednesday 27th March 2019, 04:05   #28
Royfinn
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Originally Posted by bgm145 View Post
The Nikon ED50 with DS x16 wide fits the specs nicely. However, I've been thinking about how I get about by bicycle and move about on foot and like to explore. Today I wondered into a bog in the mangrove forest by accident in search of this extraordinary little bright red sparrow (I don't yet have a field guide so I can't say what is it's name). BTW, the bird is tiny and the top two thirds of its body are an astonishing luminesent red. Mindboggling colour. I've seen it four times and I know where it lives. I'm trying to view it through my 8x32 canon bins but it moves on quickly.

Anyway, I have been thinking perhaps I should save up and get a nice pair of bins. What about these Maven B2 11x45 for a choice...

https://www.bestbinocularsreviews.co...Review-179.htm

Could they be a halfway option between the ED50 if I like to move about a lot and also sit at my tent in the afternoon and wait for what comes by?
I have Nikon Monarch 7 8x30 binos and Nikon P900 camera and that combination would be suberb for your purposes also! It costs 300€ + 500 € = 800 €. Weight of combination is close to 1,5 kg with camera bag etc. You can identify most birds with P900 as well as with scope and many time even better, if you not expert in bird ID. And you get great photos on the side. The scope is mostly better than P900 only in scanning large areas and in focusing difficult subjects.
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Old Wednesday 27th March 2019, 06:35   #29
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Thanks Roy. Yes I'm starting to think that perhaps a scope isn't what I'm wanting, mainly because I'm worried about what it would be like to look at things using only one eye compared to two.

Unfortunately I can't go to a shop here in Kuching to evaluate a Nikon ED50 or similar product because there are no shops that cater for this type of hobby. I could trip to Singapore but no. I do already have a pair of binoculars which I'm using regularly and I quite like the way they work. If I get a better pair that could be a good compromise and the Maven B2 11x45 looks like a great mid-magnification alternative to a scope, yet alows for natural viewing with both eyes.

The Nikon P900 is also an interesting idea. I'm keeping that in mind for sure. Digisoping is surely a good option if you have the ideal gear combination to make it work. That doesn't apply to me, so your suggestion is very interesting. Thanks again.

Last edited by bgm145 : Wednesday 27th March 2019 at 06:56.
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Old Wednesday 27th March 2019, 06:54   #30
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Originally Posted by Royfinn View Post
Nikon Monarch 7 8x30 binos and Nikon P900
Good suggestion, I think.

Quote:
The Maven B2 11x45 looks like a great mid-magnification
A 11x binocular is not a "mid-magnification" but is very high powered (for a binocular). Most birders use either 8x or 10x, more than that is rarely used. 11x is not that easy to hold still and the field is narrow

In a forested environment, I'd certainly recommend 8x30 to 8x42, with a wide field. The Nikon Monarchs 7 or HG are good choices, but there are plenty of other options as well.
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Old Wednesday 27th March 2019, 07:02   #31
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Hi,

As binocular viewing really adds to the quality of the perception, that line of thought sounds entirely reasonable.

Henning
Hi Henning, thanks for this comment. It's an important consideration for someone like myself and I'm glad it's been pointed out.

Who knows, I might not take too well to a scope. Kuching hasn't got any shops with scopes to try. I've got a few months up my sleave to think this over before I will buy something.
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Old Wednesday 27th March 2019, 11:49   #32
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Straight.....so much easier to aim
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Old Wednesday 27th March 2019, 12:25   #33
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Hi,

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Originally Posted by bgm145 View Post
I do already have a pair of binoculars which I'm using regularly and I quite like the way they work.
Maybe in that case, the first thing to consider would be a tripod with a suitable adapter.

The steadiness will improve the level of detail you'll be able to percive, and you can test the entire concept. Potentially, you might even discover that the wider field of view of the 8x binoculars is something you wouldn't want to miss, saving you the expense of buying the 11x binoculars only to be disappointed with them.

With regard to the Nikon P900, from what I've heard it's comparable in application to digiscoping ... it works best for stationary, well-lit subjects. In your specific application, it might be better to go for a quicker reacting camera with a bigger sensor like the Panasonic FZ1000, which last time I looked was in the same price range as the P900.

Regards,

Henning
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Old Wednesday 27th March 2019, 14:20   #34
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Straight.....so much easier to aim
Angled - just as easy to aim with the cable tie trick plus needs less tripod height, easier to use with multiple persons and no neckache when looking up.

Joachim
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Old Wednesday 27th March 2019, 14:45   #35
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Hi,

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Originally Posted by Dd61999 View Post
Straight.....so much easier to aim
There's an easy solution:

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Regards,

Henning ;-)
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Old Wednesday 27th March 2019, 15:37   #36
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Angled - just as easy to aim with the cable tie trick plus needs less tripod height, easier to use with multiple persons and no neckache when looking up.

Joachim

Yeah I used to think the same thing with my angled spotting scope. Then realized no one complains about this with their binoculars and they don’t need silly looking zip ties either

Straight is better when the action gets fast and busy. What’s even better is wide angle high power binoculars
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Old Wednesday 27th March 2019, 18:51   #37
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A possible solution is the Canon 15x50IS, a weather sealed glass that allows steady viewing at somewhat higher power, without the extra encumbrance of a tripod.
The downsides are the weight and bulk of the glass, as well as the narrow field of view. Unless you can point your binocs pretty exactly, the narrow view will make it hard to locate the bird you're trying to study.
However, if you are comfortable with that, it works very well. Higher power binoculars are actually quite usable and the extra reach really helps to see the birds more clearly. I carried a Docter 12x50 BGA happily for years before switching to the Canon 10x42ISL, which does have a wider field, but lower power.
Do note that a scope/tripod gives much more relaxed viewing, one only needs to look, nothing to hold or to steady. That helps offset the narrow monocular view they provide.
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Old Thursday 28th March 2019, 01:22   #38
DunninLA
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A possible solution is the Canon 15x50IS.
vs the 11x unstabilized Maven... great option..

I get the sense that 11x maven is suited more to hunting, for identifying appropriate targets from a few hundred yards;
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Old Thursday 28th March 2019, 03:27   #39
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vs the 11x unstabilized Maven... great option..

I get the sense that 11x maven is suited more to hunting, for identifying appropriate targets from a few hundred yards;
Yes I think this is correct. Actually, after much thought about scopes and their monocular nature and also the various pris and cons of binoculars, I've decided that a small pair of 8x32 bins is the best option for what I enjoy doing.

I have a pair of canon 8x32 WP 7.5 degree bins already and I'll keep using them until I'm able to test a scope in the field for myself.

I've learnt a lot over the last few days and it seems to me that light, time of day and exit pupil and optics are very important. In other words, my canon bins are not a bad option all things considered.

I do also much appreciate all the contributions and comments to the thread.
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Old Thursday 28th March 2019, 11:37   #40
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Yeah I used to think the same thing with my angled spotting scope. Then realized no one complains about this with their binoculars and they don’t need silly looking zip ties either

Straight is better when the action gets fast and busy. What’s even better is wide angle high power binoculars
People think my zip tie is silly only until I have used it to aim in a second... and then I can even offer them a look through my scope without having to change the tripod height (and loosing the target) for each person.

People having no problems aiming their bins is not really the same - you have a wide fov there and scan through the bins.

Joachim
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Old Thursday 28th March 2019, 13:10   #41
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People think my zip tie is silly only until I have used it to aim in a second... and then I can even offer them a look through my scope without having to change the tripod height (and loosing the target) for each person.
Joachim,
Very valid for that application, but I'm guessing that if you have used an aiming device for years, you personally probably don't need it any longer.
Swarovski gave me an ATX aiming device for my ATM but I don't bother with it any more. My aiming problems are confined to the night sky and viewing the sun with a solar filter, both of which rule out cable tie type sights. Then I usually use an astro adapter and plop in a 28 mm RKE as a finder.

John
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Old Thursday 28th March 2019, 14:39   #42
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People think my zip tie is silly only until I have used it to aim in a second... and then I can even offer them a look through my scope without having to change the tripod height (and loosing the target) for each person.

People having no problems aiming their bins is not really the same - you have a wide fov there and scan through the bins.

Joachim
I’ve tried the zip tie method. But since I’m a shooter I’m conditioned to using “natural point of aim” method. Zip ties and angled spotting scopes break your “natural point of aim” and you need to settle your body back in again.

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Old Thursday 28th March 2019, 16:21   #43
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Hi John,

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Very valid for that application, but I'm guessing that if you have used an aiming device for years, you personally probably don't need it any longer.
In my opinion, it comes down to the required accuracy. Motor skills can get very accurate with training, but the angular accuracy is limited if not supported by an aiming device.

To accurately point a scope at a Common Snipe at 100 m, the first time, every time, in my opinion one needs an aiming device.

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Old Thursday 28th March 2019, 16:37   #44
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People think my zip tie is silly only until I have used it to aim in a second...
Absolutely agree I'm a big fan of the zip tie. If you tried it and don't like it, you have done it wrongly

I'm sure with my angled scope and zip tie I beat anyone with a straight scope in speed of aiming

Piece of cake to pick out a tiny raptor circling in the sky or a sunbird perched in the canopy above, with all the advantages of the angled scope.
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Old Thursday 28th March 2019, 17:11   #45
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Absolutely agree I'm a big fan of the zip tie. If you tried it and don't like it, you have done it wrongly

I'm sure with my angled scope and zip tie I beat anyone with a straight scope in speed of aiming

Piece of cake to pick out a tiny raptor circling in the sky or a sunbird perched in the canopy above, with all the advantages of the angled scope.
Anyone who shoots shotguns would tell you that pointing is much much faster then aiming at moving targets. Aiming causes you to miss
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Old Thursday 28th March 2019, 17:27   #46
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Hi,

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Anyone who shoots shotguns would tell you that pointing is much much faster then aiming at moving targets. Aiming causes you to miss
I don't presume you shoot your shotgun from a tripod, do you?

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Old Thursday 28th March 2019, 18:19   #47
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Anyone who shoots shotguns would tell you that pointing is much much faster then aiming at moving targets. Aiming causes you to miss
Depending on what you shoot at with your shotgun, we're getting dangerously close to topics not tolerated on birdforum... so please excuse that most of the residents here are not very well versed in target acquisition via pointing...

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Old Thursday 28th March 2019, 18:37   #48
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So.....how do you do the cable tie trick? :-)
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Old Thursday 28th March 2019, 18:53   #49
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Hi,

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So.....how do you do the cable tie trick? :-)
I believe this is a pretty good explanation:

https://www.birdforum.net/showthread...immo+cable+tie

Personally, I haven't tried the cable tie, but other aiming aids - such as reflex sights:

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3002868

Regards,

Henning
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Old Thursday 28th March 2019, 19:01   #50
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So.....how do you do the cable tie trick? :-)
Put a long cable tie around the front of your scope (preferably not around a sliding lens hood for obvious reasons) and bend it so the end points straight up.

Then point your scope at some far away but easily visible target and then aim over the highest point of the eyecup and the cable tie and mark the targets vertical position on the cable tie with a sharpie and later cut it off at that point.

Obviously this might shift a bit, so it's a good idea to quickly zero it at the start of a birding tour... it is also not as accurate as iron sights but at least for me good enough to quickly aim the scope well enough that the bird is inside the field of view on the first try - and I tend to keep my scope at the maximum magnification of 52x and scan with bins.

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