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Sony NEX5 for digiscoping

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Old Sunday 11th July 2010, 02:51   #1
Neil
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Sony NEX5 for digiscoping

Just when I thought that there was no need to get any more digiscoping cameras after Panasonic G1/GF1 , Sony has thrown down the gauntlet to Panasonic and Olympus with a new APS-C sensor based mirrorless sytem.
I was in my favorite camera store yesterday talking cameras ( as I do most Saturdays after brunch ) thinking that I was most likely to get a Panasonic/Casio 10/12x compact zoom. After much discussion the quality from the new Sony was the only one likely to compete with the G1/GF1 and my Canon G10/S90. I also liked the some of the new features that Sony has included, like the Sweep Panorama .
The fixed 16/2.8 P lens is internally focusing too with a 49 mm filter thread which is useful for digiscoping. The frame rate can be up to 7 fps too which is useful for fast action eg birds bathing (2.3 fps normally ).
I did a quick test on the scope in my living room and the 16 mm lens ( equal to 24 mm on the APS-C sensor ). Unfortunately vignetting with the 25 - 50 zoom and the 30x fixed using the DCA adapter and without it. The kit zoom might be the better way to go but I couldn't buy it separately yesterday .
The attached composite shows the vignetting on the 25 - 50 zoom (DCA adapter ) at 25x and 50x. I'll have to get used to cropping again.
The camera is menu driven so a bit more fiddly than the Panasonic G1/GF1 and Canon S90 but it has a flip up screen which is useful to angle for low level shooting. There is a remote available but I didn't get it yet.
I'm looking forward to adapters coming out to fit other lenses as I would like to use my Zeiss 28/2.0 on it.
I hope to get out in the field this afternoon for further testing.
Neil

Sony NEX5 16/2.8 lens on Swarovski STM80HD scope and Sw 25 - 50 zoom eyepiece and DCA adapter
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Old Monday 12th July 2010, 12:19   #2
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I did some digiscoping with the Sony over the last couple of days and I'm still learning the camera. I haven't got the Sweep Panarama function to work and I wasn't using the right AF function for the first day and a half. Here are a couple from yesterday on my usual models at about 25 metres. Not bad results but I'm still not convinced yet that it's going to be better than the G1.
Neil

Sony NEX 5 on Swarovski STM80HD scope and Sw 25-50 zoom eyepiece and Balance Bar

Hong Kong,
China.
July 2010
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Old Monday 12th July 2010, 12:56   #3
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Lovely shot on the 2nd photo Neil :)
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Old Monday 12th July 2010, 15:27   #4
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The nex-series sure seem to have an impressive sensor according to tests. So I look forward to more digiscoping field trials.
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Old Monday 12th July 2010, 18:26   #5
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Nice 2nd photo Neil. Its a bit pricey, doesn't have anykind of viewfinder. If I was paying that much for a digiscoping camera I would prefer one that could double up as walkabout wildlife camera itself. I would be more tempted with the panasonic g series if I was upgrading.
I am interested in the new Canon SD4000IS which has great high ISO ability for a compact and its relatively cheap.

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Old Monday 19th July 2010, 06:30   #6
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Nice 2nd photo Neil. Its a bit pricey, doesn't have anykind of viewfinder. If I was paying that much for a digiscoping camera I would prefer one that could double up as walkabout wildlife camera itself. I would be more tempted with the panasonic g series if I was upgrading.
I am interested in the new Canon SD4000IS which has great high ISO ability for a compact and its relatively cheap.
I had a play with the SD4000 in the store and it has some nice features but I found it a bit small and fiddly. If you have big hands you would find it difficult. I would miss the Raw function too so I prefer the S90. The frame rate of the SD4000 is fast for a digicam which is nice. The S90 is let down in this area.
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Old Monday 19th July 2010, 14:51   #7
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I have the S90 and find it a great digiscoping camera. Not quite as easy as the SD series of cameras though to figure out. I am still getting use to the "ring' function and all but overall a great lens.

Good shots attached by the way Neil....well done. jim
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Old Friday 23rd July 2010, 16:10   #8
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I went to try our the Panasonic G series last night and saw the NEX3 for the first time. Unfortunately they didn't have the 16mm pancake to fit the Sony for me to compare to the Pani G 20mm pancake. They've ordered the 16mm in for me to test next week with my Leica 82.

The thing I loved about the Sony was the slide and tilt screen. I don't need a swing out and rotate screen, and the Sony screen would easily overcome my current problem of having to either keep the scope at a low level to see the camera when mounted or adjust the tripod lower each time I need to digiscope.

I got a much sharper image with the Pani LX3 using the Leica over eyepiece tube which mounts on to the front of the LX3 than I did hand-holding the G2 and GF1 with 20mm pancake. I'll be interested to see if if the Sony 16mm on a NEX5 performs better. I'm not a fan of all these swing arms, etc - if it don't work held to the lens or with an over the eyepiece tub, then I'm not interested.
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Old Thursday 29th July 2010, 07:45   #9
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The sensor on the NEX performed slightly better then the sensor on the Canon eos 50d according to dxomark.com tests. Quite impressive :)
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Old Friday 30th July 2010, 18:41   #10
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I had the change to try out the NEX5 with 16mm pancake lens on my Leica APO 82 today. Unfortunately it doesn't work anywhere near as I expected with a lot vignetting at 25x on the scope. The camera itself is very impressive and the tilt screen is brilliant, especially for me as when I attach my existing Pani LX3 on to the eyepiece its too high to view the screen and I have to drop one of the legs each time I want to digiscope. the NEX5 screen would have countered this but I haven't yet found a lens for the NEX series which suits my eyepiece.
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Old Saturday 31st July 2010, 03:08   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Dudley View Post
I had the change to try out the NEX5 with 16mm pancake lens on my Leica APO 82 today. Unfortunately it doesn't work anywhere near as I expected with a lot vignetting at 25x on the scope. The camera itself is very impressive and the tilt screen is brilliant, especially for me as when I attach my existing Pani LX3 on to the eyepiece its too high to view the screen and I have to drop one of the legs each time I want to digiscope. the NEX5 screen would have countered this but I haven't yet found a lens for the NEX series which suits my eyepiece.
Steve,
Is your vignetting worse than than shown in the first post in this thread? I've got used to it now but will be trying different Nikon lenses to find the best fit ( I only have the Nikon to Sony nex mount at this time ).
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Old Saturday 31st July 2010, 03:18   #12
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I was down in Singapore last week for 5 days but only one day was marginally suitable to get out and digiscope. In the early morning cloudy light the AF on the Sony Nex 5 let me down a lot when digiscoping a Striated Heron on mudflats, so I had to get out the trusty P6000 which doesn't miss a beat in the worst of weathers. When the light picked up a bit and I was able to get a bit closer the Nex 5 did a good job of bringing out detail, but the images do need a bit of "processing". The flip up screen is a godsend.
Neil

Sony Nex 5 and Sony 16/2.8 lens and Swarovski STM80HD scope and Sw 25-50x zoom and DCA adapter

Singapore.
July 2010
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Old Monday 2nd August 2010, 15:08   #13
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Quote:
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Steve,
Is your vignetting worse than than shown in the first post in this thread? I've got used to it now but will be trying different Nikon lenses to find the best fit ( I only have the Nikon to Sony nex mount at this time ).
Neil.
Hi Neil. The vignetting was far worse than what you experienced. I was really surprised as the 20mm pancake on the Panasonic Gs gave a brilliant image when held up against the Leica 25-50 eyepiece and I expected something similar from the Sony 16mm.
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Old Tuesday 3rd August 2010, 12:30   #14
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i will try the 18-50 lens on a Pentax scope with X25 eyepiece. will let you know.
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Old Wednesday 4th August 2010, 19:30   #15
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to much vignetting with 18*55mm lens, and it moves forward too much during zooming.
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Old Thursday 26th August 2010, 20:47   #16
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Neil, thank you for the info and experience also with this camera.
It potentially interests me but as I never found a store with one with battery I ask if you can help me with some questions, that might be similar to the new Sony SLT A55. As I'm also interested in using it also in astro-telescopes, as well as with the Nikon FSA-L2, I ask you if this camera work with lens without chip for measuring light - don't know if you have old lens without it or you could test it with the Swaro DSLR adapter.
If it works how easy is to change ISO in the Shutter Priority or Manual Positions?
Also I suppose that the autoISO don't work with these lens, right?
How is your experience with the 7fps option?

Thanks.
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Old Monday 20th September 2010, 07:50   #17
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I took this last week with the Nikon 24/2.8 D lens on the Nex 5. Distance was about 12 metres.
Neil

Sony Nex5 and Nikon 24/2.8D lens on Swarovski STS80HD scope and Sw30x eyepiece and DCA adapter

Hong Kong,
China.
Sept 2019
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Old Wednesday 22nd September 2010, 20:15   #18
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Having 'studied' Neil's pictures I also have this impression that Nex images are not so detail rich comparing to G1 for example. Maybe the explanation is the pancake lens performance. It seems that it produces really considerable CA:
http://optyczne.pl/203.5-Test_obiekt...omatyczna.html
(in Polish, but the images are self-explaining I hope)
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Old Thursday 23rd September 2010, 01:46   #19
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Originally Posted by R.B. View Post
Having 'studied' Neil's pictures I also have this impression that Nex images are not so detail rich comparing to G1 for example. Maybe the explanation is the pancake lens performance. It seems that it produces really considerable CA:
http://optyczne.pl/203.5-Test_obiekt...omatyczna.html
(in Polish, but the images are self-explaining I hope)
Robert,
The digiscoping I've been able to do over the last couple of months has been in marginal light with light rain about, both in Singapore and Hong Kong which has had some impact on the detail (two days ago we had 300 mms of rain in 24 hours ). Overall the lens does a reasonable job for it's size although it has limitations as DPReview pointed out -
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/SonyNex5Nex3/page8.asp
It's the lightest lens I have ever held in my hand though and is easy to carry around your neck all day. Also it's AF is very fast so for capturing action sequences it's the best I've used.
This is the link to my Sony NEX-5 photos , both digiscoping and with various lenses.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/7892550...7624476752184/
My objective of getting the lens was to be able to use some Zeiss glass on it.
I haven't found the right Zeiss lens for it yet.
I'm taking the Sony and the G1 on a digiscoping trip to the US tomorrow, with the trusty Nikon P6000 for comparison.
Neil

Hong Kong,
China.
Sept 2010
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Old Monday 25th October 2010, 20:55   #20
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does anybody know if after the firmware update the timer menu can be customized...i want to be able to fire 5-7pictures using the 2 sec timer. thanks
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Old Saturday 30th October 2010, 09:22   #21
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I picked up the zoom for my Sony Nex 5 today as the 16/2.8 P lens is
a bit wide for some applications and I was hoping it be ok for
digiscoping.
Unfortunately it is a bit too recessed for digiscoping with a
conventional eyepiece ( 17 - 20 mm of ER ) , even on a Balance Bar,
so I tried it with the Kowa 25x LER eyepiece. Good results from 27
mm ( manageable vignetting) to 48 mm ( no vignetting ). This gives a
range of 675 - 1200 mm with Auto Focus on a Balance Bar. This is a
good range for garden digiscoping. It does seem to be internally
focusing but I haven't tried it with a conventional adapter yet .
I will test it out in the field tomorrow.
Neil

Hong Kong,
China.
Oct 2010
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Old Sunday 31st October 2010, 14:37   #22
Neil
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Originally Posted by DRodrigues View Post
Neil, thank you for the info and experience also with this camera.
It potentially interests me but as I never found a store with one with battery I ask if you can help me with some questions, that might be similar to the new Sony SLT A55. As I'm also interested in using it also in astro-telescopes, as well as with the Nikon FSA-L2, I ask you if this camera work with lens without chip for measuring light - don't know if you have old lens without it or you could test it with the Swaro DSLR adapter.
If it works how easy is to change ISO in the Shutter Priority or Manual Positions?
Also I suppose that the autoISO don't work with these lens, right?
How is your experience with the 7fps option?

Thanks.
David,
Sorry I missed this question.
I haven't tested with older lenses as I only have a Nikon to Sony adapter and am using Nikon AF lenses ( although only in MF mode ). I'll test the TLS adapter tomorrow.
The 7 fps is fast but you only get one burst before the camera has to process these 7 images. There is no Exposure adjustments during this.
Neil.
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Old Sunday 31st October 2010, 22:07   #23
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Neil, have the firmware upgrades made an improvement in the camera's handling for digiscoping?
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Old Monday 1st November 2010, 09:59   #24
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Neil, have the firmware upgrades made an improvement in the camera's handling for digiscoping?
Rick,
I've been away and haven't got around to it yet. Maybe tomorrow.
Neil.
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Old Sunday 7th November 2010, 14:02   #25
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Hi Neil. The vignetting was far worse than what you experienced. I was really surprised as the 20mm pancake on the Panasonic Gs gave a brilliant image when held up against the Leica 25-50 eyepiece and I expected something similar from the Sony 16mm.
The 16mm NEX5 combo is a 24mm (35mm eqiv) and the 20mm on 4/3rd's is a 40mm so that is why there is more vignetting using a WA lens compared to a normal 40mm FOV. The NEX 5 has a larger sensor than the Canon 7D DSLR and much larger than the 4/3rd's sensors.

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