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leica d-lux 3 & televid apo 77

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Old Thursday 2nd November 2006, 18:51   #1
k2ted
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leica d-lux 3 & televid apo 77

I've just purchased a leica d-lux 3 with adaptor and already have a televid 77 scope. I'm new to digiscoping but am having trouble setting the zoom. What happens is that when I set the zoom on near max I think(?) the camera lens hits the scope lens which causes the camera to automatically turn off. Is there an ideal distance the adaptor should be set at??
If I sit the camera further away the image suffers from vignetting. Is this normal and the pics just need cropping??

grateful for any advice.
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Old Thursday 2nd November 2006, 23:18   #2
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Hello,
I cannot answer your question, but I sure would like to find more reports about the new D-Lux 3 for digiscoping. With 10 megapixels, image stabilization, the 2.8 inch LCD monitor, and being a Leica product with a Leica adapter and a Leica scope, you would THINK you could get some great results. But so far I'm not hearing many wonderful reports or "proof" in the form of sharp images. Your problem sounds just horrid. There must be a way to prevent the camera lens from crashing into the eyepiece... Good luck, and I'll keep watching this post.
--Dave
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Old Thursday 2nd November 2006, 23:25   #3
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Hi K2ted I see this is your first post, so may I welcome you on behalf of all the staff and moderators at Birdforum.

I'm sorry I can't help you with your question, but I'm sure there'll be someone along soon who can.

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Old Friday 3rd November 2006, 21:34   #4
k2ted
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1st attempt a picture

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave McMullen
Hello,
I cannot answer your question, but I sure would like to find more reports about the new D-Lux 3 for digiscoping. With 10 megapixels, image stabilization, the 2.8 inch LCD monitor, and being a Leica product with a Leica adapter and a Leica scope, you would THINK you could get some great results. But so far I'm not hearing many wonderful reports or "proof" in the form of sharp images. Your problem sounds just horrid. There must be a way to prevent the camera lens from crashing into the eyepiece... Good luck, and I'll keep watching this post.
--Dave
Hi Dave,

there is a photo in my gallery that I took at about 20metres approx with no magnification on the camera. I welcome any comments and advice you may have and will be out tomorrow and hopefully download some more photos. Not sure if its good photo but never really took pictures before but always been a birdwatcher.

Neil
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Old Saturday 4th November 2006, 00:57   #5
Neil
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There is no one fix for these problems as it depends on the eyepiece and the camera lens behaviour. My Nikon CP 8400 and Olympus 7070wz also will touch the eyepiece and switch off on the Swarovski DCA adapter if mounted tight( I have set up the DCA zoom adapter on the 30x fixed eyepiece which gives me the most amount of unvignetted views). I switch on the cameras before I mount them on the DCA and at various points in the zoom range I have to slide them forward or backwards about 2 mm to eliminate vignetting while keeping the two pieces of glass from touching. Play around with you setup to see if you have any flexibility with adjustments. I hope you get info from another Leica user. Neil.
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Old Sunday 5th November 2006, 09:36   #6
opticoholic
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Neil,
I drove to a camera store yesterday where a Leica rep was available to demonstrate the D-Lux 3 and Leica adapter with Leica scope. This is the method we used; I don't know if this is the best method but it seemed workable--

1. Attach the D-Lux 3 to the adapter.
2. Zoom the lens out to 4x and make other adjustments to camera settings as desired so it is ready and standing by (don't use 16:9 aspect ratio and unless you have a hand-made remote shutter release set it on timed release)
3. Find the bird in the scope, center and focus the scope.
4. Carefully slide the adapter down onto the eyepiece, watching through the opening on the side of the adapter how close the camera lens is to the eyepiece. tighten the adapter onto the eyepiece when the lens is very close to the eyepiece and you can see no or very little vignetting on the camera LCD.
5. Take the picture.

Your first picture posted is very nice. I hope you post many more pictures; it will help me decide whether I want to someday get this camera for my own digiscoping.

Thanks,
--Dave
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Old Sunday 5th November 2006, 14:11   #7
k2ted
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thanks

cheers for the information and hopefully should get some more pictures on here fairly soon. Going to go out now but its looking quite grey and windy today.

thanks

Neil


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave McMullen
Neil,
I drove to a camera store yesterday where a Leica rep was available to demonstrate the D-Lux 3 and Leica adapter with Leica scope. This is the method we used; I don't know if this is the best method but it seemed workable--

1. Attach the D-Lux 3 to the adapter.
2. Zoom the lens out to 4x and make other adjustments to camera settings as desired so it is ready and standing by (don't use 16:9 aspect ratio and unless you have a hand-made remote shutter release set it on timed release)
3. Find the bird in the scope, center and focus the scope.
4. Carefully slide the adapter down onto the eyepiece, watching through the opening on the side of the adapter how close the camera lens is to the eyepiece. tighten the adapter onto the eyepiece when the lens is very close to the eyepiece and you can see no or very little vignetting on the camera LCD.
5. Take the picture.

Your first picture posted is very nice. I hope you post many more pictures; it will help me decide whether I want to someday get this camera for my own digiscoping.

Thanks,
--Dave
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Old Sunday 5th November 2006, 17:40   #8
Jeff Bouton
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more Leica D-Lux 3 and APO Televid scope

Quote:
Originally Posted by k2ted
cheers for the information and hopefully should get some more pictures on here fairly soon. Going to go out now but its looking quite grey and windy today.

thanks

Neil
All,

Part of the problem regarding lack of images is that these cameras have barely reached the dealers, let alone the consumer market. I work for Leica, USA and just received my sample late last week. In this time I've only had opportunity to photograph 1 bird. A rather dull American Golden Plover that landed on the beach during the Cape May, NJ bird show last weekend. It landed in front of me as I was demonstrating how to mount the camera adapter to a consumer behind the venue.

This was under fully overcast skies and completely backlit so it is not an image I'm incredibly proud of. I suspect I will have opportunities to get many more and much better images over the next two weeks at the Rio Grande Valley Bird Fest, and the Bosque Del Apache NWR, Festival of the Cranes respectively though! None-the-less, I've attached this less than stellar image below for those interested. I have an entire site of digiscoped images using the D-Lux 2 over the past year though which has the same body design and lens as the D-Lux 3 which includes some better images obviously. I'm not certain if it is appropriate to share this link here so won't, but will give it to interested parties who e-mail me.

I can also offer the following advice given use of the digital adapter & D-Lux 2 (will relate to 3 given similarities in lens and zoom). First and foremost, as was previously discovered and discussed the digital adapter 2 will not accomodate the full range of zoom of the D-Lux cameras when mounted on the zoom ocular unless you loosen the thumb screw and slide the adapter back.

I won't go into this in great detail as there are archived discussions on this though. I will add these two points though:

1) as in viewing you reach a point where more magnification is not always better because what you gain in magnification you tend to lose in resolution. As a result, I personally always try to use as little camera and scope zoom as possible for best imaging results. With a full 8 megapixel image you can always blow up & crop out later if need be (8 mp at the 4:3 aspect ratio which again IMHO is best for digiscoping - wider 3:2 and 16:9 aspect ratio settings will result in "wasted pixels" to sides that only offer larger data files - 16:9 is awesome for panoramic shots though!). So IMHO I wouldn't recommend running the zoom "all the way out" (even if possible) except in desperate situations where documentation might be needed on that rare, very distant individual.

2) remember that most manufacturer's fixed, wide angle eyepieces show no vingetting with cameras that lend themselves to digiscoping applications (4x optical zoom & less). So the Leica 32xWW and 20xWW eyepieces are excellent choices for digiscoping that due to their shorter size will also more easily accomodate a full range of motion in camera zoom if need be. (That is why manufacturer's that offer complete "digiscoping packages" don't offer zoom oculars as these will show vingetting).

At any rate, throughout the fall I tend to be very busy travelling to various bird shows, but will be happy to respond to specific questions regarding anything I've written here as time allows (be patient until December). Also, as promised I've attached my only digiscoped bird image with the D-Lux 3 to date! As I said this was not great lighting and wouldn't go into my typical "beautiful image" file (or likely one I'd proudly share), but I will add more to my bird image site as I get these that will really show the full potential of the system. In the interim accept this as an example of as bad as it gets!

Sincerely,

Jeff Bouton
Product Specialist - Birder/Naturalist Markets
Leica Sport Optics, USA

PS - attached was taken 10/27/06 using Aperture Priority mode, 100 ISO, 1/250th of a sec at f 2.8 using Leica D-Lux 3 camera, APO Televid 77 spotting scope w/zoom eyepiece at 20x (minimum), and digital adapter 2. Camera zoom was run out to just 2x (just enough to eliminate vingetting) and aspect ratio was set to 4:3.
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Old Sunday 5th November 2006, 18:03   #9
Jeff Bouton
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Another suggestion regarding field craft

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave McMullen
Neil,
I drove to a camera store yesterday where a Leica rep was available to demonstrate the D-Lux 3 and Leica adapter with Leica scope. This is the method we used; I don't know if this is the best method but it seemed workable--

1. Attach the D-Lux 3 to the adapter.
2. Zoom the lens out to 4x and make other adjustments to camera settings as desired so it is ready and standing by (don't use 16:9 aspect ratio and unless you have a hand-made remote shutter release set it on timed release)
3. Find the bird in the scope, center and focus the scope.
4. Carefully slide the adapter down onto the eyepiece, watching through the opening on the side of the adapter how close the camera lens is to the eyepiece. tighten the adapter onto the eyepiece when the lens is very close to the eyepiece and you can see no or very little vignetting on the camera LCD.
5. Take the picture.

Your first picture posted is very nice. I hope you post many more pictures; it will help me decide whether I want to someday get this camera for my own digiscoping.

Thanks,
--Dave
Dave and all,

Having used the Leica D-Lux 2 & digital adapter 2 as much as anyone out there I would slightly ammend the techniques described above to the following:

1) mount camera to adapter
2) slide the adapter over eyepiece
3) on first mounting slide adapter all the way out and turn camera on

if using zoom eyepiece and wanting to eliminate vingetting:
4) run camera zoom up to where you just reach 2x, then allow the camera to slide forward and lock in place.

if using zoom and want to blow up and crop later then:
4) simply turn camera on and allow camera to slide forward (this technique offers slightly quicker shot time as you can move from viewing to shooting in mere seconds)

if using a fixed eyepiece best results are seen with lens a little further off eyepiece given the longer eye relief. In these cases instead of viewing from side, view camera screen as you slide camera forward. If you get lenses TOO close together you will see circular shadowing just as you do when your eye is to close to the ocular (e.g. viewing with eye cup twisted down w/o glasses). So my recommendation is to:
4) watch the screen as you slide camera forward, because there is a "Sweet Spot" here that will offer best resolution across the field w/o effects of vingetting or shadowing.

Once you get this set, I typically keep it locked here so I can simply shoot without further adjustments as soon as I turn camera on.

Hopefully some will find these tips helpful.

Best,

Jeff Bouton
Leica Sport Optics, USA
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Old Sunday 5th November 2006, 20:10   #10
k2ted
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very grateful!

Very grateful for all the advice.

Went out today and got more to terms with the camera and scope methods described. The results are a lot better and the camera lens no longer strikes the scope lens and vignetting is virtually non existent. Didn't manage to capture any worthy images as it was quite cold, windy and overcast with everything was moving a little fast.

Has to be said, I know very little about photography and would class myself as a beginner to digiscoping so quite happy with what results I've had so far.
Think true results will come from someone with more knowledge and experience than myself. Will try for more photos this week.

thanks again.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Bouton
Dave and all,

Having used the Leica D-Lux 2 & digital adapter 2 as much as anyone out there I would slightly ammend the techniques described above to the following:

1) mount camera to adapter
2) slide the adapter over eyepiece
3) on first mounting slide adapter all the way out and turn camera on

if using zoom eyepiece and wanting to eliminate vingetting:
4) run camera zoom up to where you just reach 2x, then allow the camera to slide forward and lock in place.

if using zoom and want to blow up and crop later then:
4) simply turn camera on and allow camera to slide forward (this technique offers slightly quicker shot time as you can move from viewing to shooting in mere seconds)

if using a fixed eyepiece best results are seen with lens a little further off eyepiece given the longer eye relief. In these cases instead of viewing from side, view camera screen as you slide camera forward. If you get lenses TOO close together you will see circular shadowing just as you do when your eye is to close to the ocular (e.g. viewing with eye cup twisted down w/o glasses). So my recommendation is to:
4) watch the screen as you slide camera forward, because there is a "Sweet Spot" here that will offer best resolution across the field w/o effects of vingetting or shadowing.

Once you get this set, I typically keep it locked here so I can simply shoot without further adjustments as soon as I turn camera on.

Hopefully some will find these tips helpful.

Best,

Jeff Bouton
Leica Sport Optics, USA
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Old Monday 6th November 2006, 13:24   #11
rentoncharman
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I recently bought a Leica D-Lux 3 to digiscope with my Leica Apotelevid 62 using the Leica Digital adapter. I assumed that this kit provided by Leica would have been brilliant, but it isn't when using the zoom eyepiece. There is a lot of vignetting and some shadowing. It is important to get the camera lens as close as possible without touching the eyepiece. Some of the other replies tell you how to do this, I find it is important to fit the camera snugly into the adapter in order to align the optics then undo the set screw and slide the holder as far out as possible, then zoom in using the camera lens until 2x just shows on the camera screen. Sometimes while trying to do this the camera lens will touch the eyepiece and switch off so you have to start again! This minimises the vignetting. Leica tell me that the dedicated single focus eyepieces are wider angle and vignetting should be avoided. I am getting the 26x tomorrow so will let you know if it is better than the zoom.
I find images show shadowing with the zoom eyepiece around the perimeter of the image and a fair bit of cropping and processing in Photoshop is needed to get decent images.
The d-lux 3 is a neat little camera that has image stabilisation and raw files. It seems to perform very well on normal photography. One disappointing aspect with this camera is the noise you get at 400 iso. Much worse than my Canon 20d but maybe that's expected for a compact. I use 100 iso and hope for good light!
I have attached two images which demonstrate the initial image file and after Photoshopping.
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Old Monday 6th November 2006, 14:09   #12
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That amount of vigneting would drive me crazy!! Its a shame really, was hoping the D Lux would be a whole lot better....
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Old Wednesday 8th November 2006, 16:52   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzard12
That amount of vigneting would drive me crazy!! Its a shame really, was hoping the D Lux would be a whole lot better....
All,

I would suggest that what we are seeing here is not indicative of any camera drawback, as much as a problem with specific usage. ANY camera would perform similarly under these same settings. We don't have the whole story here and unless you are familiar with the equipment and the limitations of ANY digiscoping/optical system you may be tempted to draw this same unfair (and incorrect) conclusion about the quality of the equipment being used!

Rentocharman has done the proper thing by running the camera zoom up to 2x or a bit over to eliminate vingetting on the field of view of the scope AT 20x. What hasn't been said is that in the Teal shot the zoom was likely between 30 & 40x with the camera at the same setting! Hopefully, Rent will come back and reaffirm this, but I'm certain this is the case (and provide images below to support my claim) given my familiarity with this system. At 20x you can eliminate all vingetting by running most camera zooms out to 2x or slightly more. Of course, if you increase the power of the scope after this you will reduce your field of view and camera vingetting/shadowing comes back with a vengeance! Which is exactly what you are seeing in the example above.

The solution would require running the camera zoom out even more, or reducing scope zoom and cropping a clearer subject in post processing. Increasing camera zoom obviously complicates things by reducing shutter speeds to the point where it is difficult to eliminate motion blur. This also causes loss of resolution by inducing more noise (a result of magnifying impurities, water vapor, etc. in the air seen with all cameras!) This is why I suggested earlier and still maintain to use minimum zoom with any digiscoping systems for best results.

Below I've pasted two sample images I took yesterday. The first is the image as it appears on the camera the only changes I've made is to reduce size/resolution for attachment here. The second is an edited version of the first that I spent under 3 minutes on performing the following post processing techniques: crop, unsharp mask @~35, slight reduction on brightness to suit eye, resize, "Save As" and attachment. I shot this little fellow through the Leica APO Televid 77 with the zoom eyepiece, I used the digital Adapter 2, and the Leica D-Lux 3 camera. The key is I had the scope zoom at 20x and ran the camera zoom up to about 2x. As you can see there is still a tiny bit of shadowing at each corner that I could have eliminated by bumping the zoom up a tad more, but my main concern was capturing the image before this little critter popped back underground! At any rate, it shows that the extreme shadowing/vingetting shown in the teal example is not typical of system performance.

Note that in the edited version in less than a few minutes time I was easily able to tighten up the image and there is no sign of the minor shadowing I'd left in the original. In the field my main concern on a subject like this is to get the subject captured in focus before it flies, or scoots away.

Digiscoping was never supposed to work, birders invented it! Spotting scopes were designed to view distant wildlife effectively, digital point and shoot cameras are still designed to capture portraits of friends and family and events, but have never been designed to mount to a spotting scope. As such, we can have a lot of fun and capture STUNNING images by virtue of adding only a small camera and adapter to our birding gear. However, our suceess with any of these systems will be relative to our understanding of the limitations of the products. This requires a bit of research trying to learn from those who have already made the mistakes or some trial and error on your own to realize what you can and can not do with any specific digiscoping set!

IMHO the D-Lux3 will be a fantastic digiscoping camera just as its predecessor was with a great lens, optical image stabilization, 8 mega-pixel, large bright screen, etc. Those interested in more images can contact me privately for a link to my ever expanding digiscoped wildlife image site.

Hopefully this helps and remember to always have fun in the field. Personally, I'm going birding!

Sincerely,

Jeff Bouton
Prduct Specialist - Birder/Naturalist Markets
Leica Sport Optics, USA
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Old Wednesday 8th November 2006, 21:59   #14
Neil
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As Jeff said "Digiscoping was never supposed to work" so there is no ideal kit solution provided by a Manufacturer as the cameras are not designed to "digiscope". I wouldn't imagine that the Leica camera designers ever considered the application. Many of these cameras need as much Eye Relief as possible (20 mm plus) so if you want to use the Leica camera get the fixed 20x or 32 x or the Scopetronix Maxview 40 for Leica. The Nikon CP8400 works well with adjustments on the Sw 30x but needs more camera zoom on the 20-60x eyepiece. The Olympus 7070wz works better on both (vignetting-wise). The Leica C-Lux 1 has very little vignetting when operating with a fixed eyepiece but as a camera it is a bit limited on features. I'm hoping for one of the new Leicas for Christmas as I have a drawer full of M lenses that need some use , so maybe the Digilux 3 and I might be able to digiscope using the 50 mm lens but that won't be the reason I get it ( maybe Jeff has tried this already). I would like the M8 but that would be hard to justify. Neil
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Old Sunday 12th November 2006, 21:06   #15
rentoncharman
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Very comprehensive reply from Jeff Bouton. I can confirm that I took the Teal shot using the Leica zoom eyepiece set at x16 and x2 zoom on the D-Lux 3 lens which would give x32 overall.
I now have a x26 fixed focal length lens for my scope and find I get no vignetting when using x1 zoom on the camera. However unlike with the zoom lens, vignetting appears and increases as I increase the zoom of the camera.
I have managed to get rid of the vignetting at higher camera zooms but it is very fiddly adjusting the adapter to place the camera lens as close as possible to the eyepiece without actually touching it.
I find at higher magnification ratios that other factors come into play eg reduced light transmission and noise as Jeff suggests.
Another big issue with the system is the variable amount of shadowing that occurs in images. However I have found a way to minimise this as follows:-
1. Fit the camera into the adapter so that it fits neatly and squarely into the camera lens recess in the adapter.
2. Undo the thumb screw and slide the holder out to its furthest position.
3. Fit the adapter+camera to the scope sliding the whole assembly as far onto the eyepiece as possible.
4. Switch the camera on and slide the holder in to place the camera lens as close as possible to the eyepiece. Do this by checking on the camera screen to determine the position where vignetting is minimised but some shadowing may still be seen.
5. Undo the two camera clamps and tilt the camera forward slightly until a bright image without shadowing is obtained (about 5-10 degrees, there is enough play in the adapter to do this).
6. Gently tighten the clamps to hold the camera firmly in this position.

Maybe Jeff has an explanation for this. Do I have a problem with my ApoTelevid 62 (6 months old and well cared for) or is the adapter setting the alignement of the camera with the eyepiece wrongly? It looks like the adapter is designed to align the camera lens with the central axis of the eyepiece but it appears to me that a slight angle of alignement is needed. Could there be a problem with me using the angled rather than the linear scope?
Another issue is around focussing. I cannot stress the importance of being meticulous about setting the scope focus by checking the camera screen prior to taking the shot.
This is particularly important in poor light conditions where the wider apertures you need give rise to shallow depths of field. I haven't determined yet whether I should set the camera focus to Normal or Macro position but both seem to work.
I'm still waiting for some good light to test the system with narrower apertures and faster shutter speeds which will help image quality but have attached an image taken in poor light, needing 1/30 at f2.8 and iso100 with image stabilisation set at Mode 1 and this looks promising.
Kit:
Leica ApoTelevid 62
16-48x zoom and x26 eyepieces
Leica digital adapter 2
Manfrotto 055MF3 tripod
Manfrotto 329RC4 head
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Old Sunday 12th November 2006, 23:30   #16
Neil
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If this is a full frame inmage the fact that you can see sharp , vingneting at the top of the frame could indicate that the camera lens is not centered exactly. With my Scopetronix EZ-Pix 1 universal adapter I would adjust the vertical alignment and that would go away, or I would have the same top and bottom. Also check the vignetted circle to see if it is equally sharp all the way around. If the lens is not square to the eyepiece the circle edge wont be sharp everywhere. Neil.
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Old Monday 13th November 2006, 12:10   #17
rentoncharman
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Neil, yes it is the full frame image I get with the x26 eyepiece and x1 zoom on the camera lens. I always get this small amount of vignetting in the top corners with the camera fitted squarely into the adapter. With slight adjustment of the algnement of the camera I can just exclude it.
When I adjust the camera position to show the full circular vignette the edge is always blurred unlike with the zoom lens which always shows a sharply focused edge. I've attached a copy of the original full frame image after Photoshopping with only slight crop.
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Old Monday 13th November 2006, 16:23   #18
Paul Hackett
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[quote=Jeff Bouton]All,

I would suggest that what we are seeing here is not indicative of any camera drawback, as much as a problem with specific usage. ANY camera would perform similarly under these same settings. We don't have the whole story here and unless you are familiar with the equipment and the limitations of ANY digiscoping/optical system you may be tempted to draw this same unfair (and incorrect) conclusion about the quality of the equipment being used!

Dear Jeff

Dont really subscribe to this theory as there are other P & S cameras that can be used with Leica eyepieces (athough not the same image quality) where vignetting is not evident at all through the optical zoom range, ( Leica 20XWA on a Sony N1, Fuji F30, Contax and Kyocera range) and the external zoom does not retract and switch the camera off when it comes into contact with a hard object, ie scope eyepiece.

Please answer me honestly, if you noted the vignetting and retractable lens problem of the camera to the customer before they bought the items, would they buy?

The image stabilisation is not really functional in terms of digiscoping and only adds a little noise to the picture IMHO, the image stabilisation is only for the movement associated with hand holding the camera, not for the camera to be connected to a scope and the movement associated with that ( this is true of any of the new generation cameras with this function) and not really what we want for digiscoping, i couldnt see any difference in picture sharpness when i tried it out, so kept it switched off.

Also, to be told you can crop the picture to gain a vignetting free picture is acceptable?

With this amount of money spent on a camera and adapter why would you have to fiddle with the set up to gain a good picture? the current cost of these items in the UK is 490 for the camera and 138 for the adapter, 628/$1140 in total, OK, UK taxes stink, but we have to pay it in this country

This is another attempt by Leica to introduce a camera deemed suitable for digiscoping, and its clearly not, nobody doubts the quality of the image, but the R & D have not done their homework as they would have picked up on feedback from the last model and would have fixed the vignetting and retracting lens issue, it was noted on enough websites, which leads me to believe this camera and the C-LUX1 was not designed for digiscoping, or it wasnt deemed important or cost effective enough to fix these problems? The digiscoping adapter is crying out for a designated cable release to be affixed, because especially in this country and others in Europe, we do not have the hours of sunshine over the year to use just our forefinger!

The solution would require running the camera zoom out even more, or reducing scope zoom and cropping a clearer subject in post processing. Increasing camera zoom obviously complicates things by reducing shutter speeds to the point where it is difficult to eliminate motion blur. This also causes loss of resolution by inducing more noise (a result of magnifying impurities, water vapor, etc. in the air seen with all cameras!) This is why I suggested earlier and still maintain to use minimum zoom with any digiscoping systems for best results.

The long term solution is to address the vignetting problem on at least one or both of the Leica Lenses, 20xWA or 32XWA

IMHO the D-Lux3 will be a fantastic digiscoping camera just as its predecessor was with a great lens, optical image stabilization, 8 mega-pixel, large bright screen, etc.

Jeff, it wont be a great digiscoping camera and neither was its predecessor because of the problems noted, it will be a digiscoping camera that can take digiscoped shots but with some real and practical problems associated with the taking of those pictures, if these problems were addressed, many Leica users would buy the camera just for the ability to use RAW files that is fact, believe me

I own a Leica APO 77mm scope, 20XWA, 32XWA and Zoom eyepieces, it was my first scope i used for digiscoping 7 years ago, the 20XWA is one of the best digiscopng eyepieces around, and i still use it, i have tried out both the C-LUX 1 and D-LUX3 cameras so therefore can speak from experience

I also use the Leica scope when i give lectures and seminars in the UK and have also bought the Leica digiscoping adapter to use on other cameras, the Sony N1 and Fuji F30 fit it nicely without any vignetting on the 20XWA eyepiece, i have a home made cable release to allow me to take steady shots

To conclude, for the money Leica are charging, there needs to be changes in the next generation of Leica cameras suitable for digiscoping( if there is a next generation? ) the camera lens needs to be free of vignetting against the scope eyepiece through the full range of the camera optical zoom, ( WA eypieces only) and the retractable lens problem needs dealing with, the anti shake function needs removing, the adapter needs some sort of fixing which centres and locks the camera more accurately, then a fine tuning mechanism which moves the camera on a X and Y axis as to centralise the camera over the eyepeice to find the sweet spot, and a designated cable release connecting to the adapter or even a remote method created. If these points are addressed, then yes you have a very good digiscoping camera and adapter for the Leica scopes.

Jeff, i understand the need for you to help your customers after they have bought the product, but the product really does fall short on the points above when you are extolling the virtues of this setup as a suitable digiscoping setup, considering it is the most expensive P & S camera recommended for Digiscoping at the moment in the UK.

Paul
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Old Monday 13th November 2006, 17:05   #19
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Very well said Paul - I agree with everything you say. I'm very disappointed with my Leica D-Lux 3 particularly in view of Leica's claims about its digiscoping qualities. I wonder if I can get my money back!!
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Old Thursday 16th November 2006, 17:30   #20
Jeff Bouton
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Paul,

I will address your specific concerns to the best of my ability, but will then give up on "beating a dead horse" here. Those interested in advice or continued commentary from me are welcome, of course, to contact me privately, but I feel I'm beginning to belabor the same points here.

To be VERY honest with you Paul, I am here trying to help as a user who has had (again IMHO) great success digiscoping with this rig, as a birder not as a Leica employee. Before the introduction of the D-Lux 2, I used a Nikon Coolpix 4500. When I switched to the D-Lux 2 my percentage of "keepers" tripled. It is from this standpoint that I make my claim, that the D-Lux 2 & 3 are excellent cameras for digiscoping, as a counterpoint to those who claimed how "VERY disappointed" they were in the product, because I find this to be in direct conflict with my personal experience. Yes I work for Leica and certainly expect folks to take what I say with skepticism. However, I am being very upfront with my affiliations and am not trashing any competitor's products or pretending to be a neutral party. It's just not my style. I'm suggesting (as you imply as well) the camera does take great images.

I will not try to deal with specific claims of other cameras being better suited, as again to be very candid and frank, I haven't had opportunities to try them. I will only address what I know and not shoot up smoke screens. I will continue to stand by my claim that I find the D-lux cameras to be very effective because I personally continue to get great results every day and instead of arguing about this, I'm posting my images to let others judge for themselves.

I know definitively others are using many other P&S brands and models with great success, but from my personal experience I feel I can PROVE definitively that the D-Lux cameras DO take good images, because I have MANY.

I agree with your comment about the advantage of a cable release, and I hope we will see this in the future, in the interim I have images of a very simple solution that one user in the US made that works VERY well and can be added in about 5 minutes for any interested. I also appreciate your constructive criticism on what you would like to see improved on the adapters. This is the first generation on these products and as with any product lines it is likely that improvements will be discovered and made on subsequent models. Feedback from end users is THE VERY BEST criticism to get because it adresses true issues encountered in the field.

Regarding your claims of the overwhelming price, I'm afraid I don't agree with your take here. The Leica digital adapter is <1/2 the price of our competitor's branded solutions and at $599 US the D-Lux 3 is VERY competitively priced among other 8 mp, image-stabilized cameras, with a fast f/2.8 lens!

Lastly Paul, I'd like to comment about your observations about Leica not considering digiscopers in R&D... and the C-Lux not being designed as a digiscoping camera... etc.

OF COURSE this is true Paul! NO MANUFACTURER is desigining a "digiscoping camera" for one very simple reason. Even if you created the "Perfect digiscoping camera" and every other digiscoper in the world purchased the unit, you probably still wouldn't make enough money to cover your R&D and production costs! When developing these models planners are considering how many millions of units will sell in ~9-10 months (the average run time of new digital p&s cameras) and all considerations are (naturally) centered around producing a unit that takes stunning portraits, scenics, etc. as a stand alone unit! To even think that cameras are designed around digiscoping is IMHO a bit naive!

I'd be real curious to know if you counted every unique member of every digiscoping group worldwide, what the number of end-users would be? I suspect it's comparatively small, and given the overwhelming selection of cameras that lend themselves to digiscoping in today's competitive marketplace, how many units do you realistically expect a manufacturer would sell? Do the math, lets say very optimistically a manufacturer could sell 2,500 units and R&D costs were at $5 million. Said manufacturer would have to sell these at $2000 each just to cover R&D, let alone other expenses and making a profit!... Talk about an expensive camera!!! So I think we digiscopers need to be realistic here and give up on the idea that someone will create a camera that considers digiscoping as a primary use especially when >90% of sales are for portrait use!

The truth of the situation is these cameras are produced and if they produce good images through the scope then manufacturers try and consider an inexpensive way to attach this to the scope not the other way around. Sorry to be long-winded folks, but this last point is one I hear all the time that is not very realistic at all and I wanted to address.

As promised here are a handful of images I took 2 days ago with the D-Lux 3 through the Televid as proof of the image quality. Am I stating it is the best?.... I don't know, have tried enough of the others to really know, but I know the D-Lux camera has worked wonderfully for me over the past year. It mounts rapidly, and I've gotten definitive images (even high quality in most cases) of EVERY rare bird I've seen with it since last year. Again those interested in seeing more please contact me privately and I have a link to a site with over 100 images taken with the D-Lux 2 as well. I've been very happy with this camera and will continue to suggest it works very well not as a Leica employee but as a birder getting regular stunning images!

Paul, I look forward to meeting you here in the US in April and hope we can spend some time together digiscoping in the field. I'd like to compare results and learn more from you in person regarding your experience with equipment I've not had the opportunity to use.

Sincerely,

Jeff Bouton
>20 year professional field biologist, tour leader, and birder who also happens to work for Leica!

PS - These are just 4 of my favorite images out of ~150 taken in three hours in the evening after arriving here in NM 2 days ago (I can prove date and times through the EXIF files!) At any rate, I don't know about the rest of you, but from my perspective, I think the camera performs INCREDIBLY, and again I have NO complaints with the images I'm getting! (remember also these are greatly reduced/compressed for inclusion here)

PPS - Rentocharman, I'd like to talk to you more at length about what you are seeing. I have to admit that in general I carry the APO Televid 77 so will experiment more with the 62 to see if I notice any differing results. Regarding the black corners at the top of the screen, I would suggest double checking the two set screws are fully tightened (one that attaches to ocular, 2nd controls slide feature). If there is still some inherent play here the camera can sag and tilt upward resulting in these dark, upper corners. This could also cause other problems like uneven shading, etc. if the two lenses are not square to one another. Feel free to contact me personally to discuss.
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Old Saturday 18th November 2006, 23:33   #21
Paul Hackett
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Bouton
Paul,

I will address your specific concerns to the best of my ability, but will then give up on "beating a dead horse" here. Those interested in advice or continued commentary from me are welcome, of course, to contact me privately, but I feel I'm beginning to belabor the same points here.

To be VERY honest with you Paul, I am here trying to help as a user who has had (again IMHO) great success digiscoping with this rig, as a birder not as a Leica employee. Before the introduction of the D-Lux 2, I used a Nikon Coolpix 4500. When I switched to the D-Lux 2 my percentage of "keepers" tripled. It is from this standpoint that I make my claim, that the D-Lux 2 & 3 are excellent cameras for digiscoping, as a counterpoint to those who claimed how "VERY disappointed" they were in the product, because I find this to be in direct conflict with my personal experience. Yes I work for Leica and certainly expect folks to take what I say with skepticism. However, I am being very upfront with my affiliations and am not trashing any competitor's products or pretending to be a neutral party. It's just not my style. I'm suggesting (as you imply as well) the camera does take great images.

I will not try to deal with specific claims of other cameras being better suited, as again to be very candid and frank, I haven't had opportunities to try them. I will only address what I know and not shoot up smoke screens. I will continue to stand by my claim that I find the D-lux cameras to be very effective because I personally continue to get great results every day and instead of arguing about this, I'm posting my images to let others judge for themselves.

I know definitively others are using many other P&S brands and models with great success, but from my personal experience I feel I can PROVE definitively that the D-Lux cameras DO take good images, because I have MANY.

I agree with your comment about the advantage of a cable release, and I hope we will see this in the future, in the interim I have images of a very simple solution that one user in the US made that works VERY well and can be added in about 5 minutes for any interested. I also appreciate your constructive criticism on what you would like to see improved on the adapters. This is the first generation on these products and as with any product lines it is likely that improvements will be discovered and made on subsequent models. Feedback from end users is THE VERY BEST criticism to get because it adresses true issues encountered in the field.

Regarding your claims of the overwhelming price, I'm afraid I don't agree with your take here. The Leica digital adapter is <1/2 the price of our competitor's branded solutions and at $599 US the D-Lux 3 is VERY competitively priced among other 8 mp, image-stabilized cameras, with a fast f/2.8 lens!

Lastly Paul, I'd like to comment about your observations about Leica not considering digiscopers in R&D... and the C-Lux not being designed as a digiscoping camera... etc.

OF COURSE this is true Paul! NO MANUFACTURER is desigining a "digiscoping camera" for one very simple reason. Even if you created the "Perfect digiscoping camera" and every other digiscoper in the world purchased the unit, you probably still wouldn't make enough money to cover your R&D and production costs! When developing these models planners are considering how many millions of units will sell in ~9-10 months (the average run time of new digital p&s cameras) and all considerations are (naturally) centered around producing a unit that takes stunning portraits, scenics, etc. as a stand alone unit! To even think that cameras are designed around digiscoping is IMHO a bit naive!

I'd be real curious to know if you counted every unique member of every digiscoping group worldwide, what the number of end-users would be? I suspect it's comparatively small, and given the overwhelming selection of cameras that lend themselves to digiscoping in today's competitive marketplace, how many units do you realistically expect a manufacturer would sell? Do the math, lets say very optimistically a manufacturer could sell 2,500 units and R&D costs were at $5 million. Said manufacturer would have to sell these at $2000 each just to cover R&D, let alone other expenses and making a profit!... Talk about an expensive camera!!! So I think we digiscopers need to be realistic here and give up on the idea that someone will create a camera that considers digiscoping as a primary use especially when >90% of sales are for portrait use!

The truth of the situation is these cameras are produced and if they produce good images through the scope then manufacturers try and consider an inexpensive way to attach this to the scope not the other way around. Sorry to be long-winded folks, but this last point is one I hear all the time that is not very realistic at all and I wanted to address.

As promised here are a handful of images I took 2 days ago with the D-Lux 3 through the Televid as proof of the image quality. Am I stating it is the best?.... I don't know, have tried enough of the others to really know, but I know the D-Lux camera has worked wonderfully for me over the past year. It mounts rapidly, and I've gotten definitive images (even high quality in most cases) of EVERY rare bird I've seen with it since last year. Again those interested in seeing more please contact me privately and I have a link to a site with over 100 images taken with the D-Lux 2 as well. I've been very happy with this camera and will continue to suggest it works very well not as a Leica employee but as a birder getting regular stunning images!

Paul, I look forward to meeting you here in the US in April and hope we can spend some time together digiscoping in the field. I'd like to compare results and learn more from you in person regarding your experience with equipment I've not had the opportunity to use.

Sincerely,

Jeff Bouton
>20 year professional field biologist, tour leader, and birder who also happens to work for Leica!

PS - These are just 4 of my favorite images out of ~150 taken in three hours in the evening after arriving here in NM 2 days ago (I can prove date and times through the EXIF files!) At any rate, I don't know about the rest of you, but from my perspective, I think the camera performs INCREDIBLY, and again I have NO complaints with the images I'm getting! (remember also these are greatly reduced/compressed for inclusion here)

PPS - Rentocharman, I'd like to talk to you more at length about what you are seeing. I have to admit that in general I carry the APO Televid 77 so will experiment more with the 62 to see if I notice any differing results. Regarding the black corners at the top of the screen, I would suggest double checking the two set screws are fully tightened (one that attaches to ocular, 2nd controls slide feature). If there is still some inherent play here the camera can sag and tilt upward resulting in these dark, upper corners. This could also cause other problems like uneven shading, etc. if the two lenses are not square to one another. Feel free to contact me personally to discuss.
Jeff

Thanks for a very informative reply,

just a couple of things

Ref my question regarding if you would point out the fault to the customer before they buy, that the adpater not being long enough and the camera lens hitting the eyepiece and switching off, could you answer that question please?

See a previous thread on this forum ref Leica Digiscoping

http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=54360

I am reading this thread and these people seem to have found out the problems AFTER they have purchased the product? Does that not strike you as a little odd? these are customer opinions

Some information upfront would go a long way to the customer so they have an informed opinion before they buy, as clearly the people on the previous thread did not.

I can accept the learning curve of the end user with new equipment, but to be then told the set up actually doesnt fulfill their expectations? or doesnt function to its full capacity?i.e. adapter length and touching lens switching off the camera. I presume the people mentioned in the thread have bought this product based on Leica literature they have read which told them the items purchased were compatible, and the Leica brand which is known for quality

Pricewise in the UK for suitable P & S digiscoping cameras, its still the most expensive camera

Jeff, the images are great that is not the point i am making, the camera is a quality product, no question, and so are the previous cameras, its just that the marriage of these two items is not great when you look at other cameras and adapters on the market, can we at least agree on that along with customers who have actually bought product who are also stating this, whether you are wearing your Leica hat or Birder hat?

I am also looking forward to some interesting and informative discussions and exchange of ideas when i come over.

Regards

Paul
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Old Monday 20th November 2006, 20:13   #22
DJW
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Decided to take the plunge and bought a Leica D-Lux 3 over the weekend. I have never digiscoped before and I have attached one of a set of pictures I took of an obliging swan on my local nature reserve. Whilst by no means perfect I am relatively impressed with the quality for a first attempt. Once I have become better acquainted with the camera and applying some of the comments made on this thread I feel that this camera could be very exciting.
I hope to show more pictures and join the discussion as I become more familiar with the camera.

Regards

Dave
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Old Thursday 23rd November 2006, 14:13   #23
Paul Hackett
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For those interested in this thread, a link to blog of a digiscoper called Bill Schmoker from the States who has attached a home made cable release to his Leica digiscoping adapter, and seems to have done a great job! page down to see the blog on tweaking his digiscoping rig,

http://brdpics.blogspot.com/

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Old Friday 24th November 2006, 02:00   #24
Jeff Bouton
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Originally Posted by Paul Hackett
Jeff

Thanks for a very informative reply,

just a couple of things

Ref my question regarding if you would point out the fault to the customer before they buy, that the adpater not being long enough and the camera lens hitting the eyepiece and switching off, could you answer that question please?

See a previous thread on this forum ref Leica Digiscoping

http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=54360

I am reading this thread and these people seem to have found out the problems AFTER they have purchased the product? Does that not strike you as a little odd? these are customer opinions

Some information upfront would go a long way to the customer so they have an informed opinion before they buy, as clearly the people on the previous thread did not.

I can accept the learning curve of the end user with new equipment, but to be then told the set up actually doesnt fulfill their expectations? or doesnt function to its full capacity?i.e. adapter length and touching lens switching off the camera. I presume the people mentioned in the thread have bought this product based on Leica literature they have read which told them the items purchased were compatible, and the Leica brand which is known for quality

Pricewise in the UK for suitable P & S digiscoping cameras, its still the most expensive camera

Jeff, the images are great that is not the point i am making, the camera is a quality product, no question, and so are the previous cameras, its just that the marriage of these two items is not great when you look at other cameras and adapters on the market, can we at least agree on that along with customers who have actually bought product who are also stating this, whether you are wearing your Leica hat or Birder hat?

I am also looking forward to some interesting and informative discussions and exchange of ideas when i come over.

Regards

Paul
Paul,

Sorry to be so late in replying I was short on time on and had troublesome internet connections on the road. Digiscoping was good however!

To answer your burning question though.... absolutely I demonstrate this all the time! However, unlike you I don't consider this a great fault as much as a minor inconvenience for two simple reasons:

1) I would never suggest running the camera zoom way out for typical photographic subjects anyway. As you do this your resolution, and available light degrade resulting in less clear images at slower shutter speeds. The only time this is really useful is when trying to gain a documentation shot of a very distant subject and as such I don't see as an issue in most applications.

2) Even when this is necessary though, it isn't impossible as you suggest. Yes it is impossible to do with the zoom eyepiece, IF (and only if) the adapter is seated flush against the scope body. In instances where I feel the need to run the zoom out further it is simply done by loosening the lower set screw, pulling the adapter/camera combo back, running the zoom out, and then letting the assembly slide back, and re-tightening the lower set screw again. This takes only moments to accomplish and the only difference is that the assembly isn't seated all the way against the scope body.

So as I said, I see this as a minor inconvenience at best. Especially when considering by your own admission that "the images are great". I mean that is the purpose and function of the product correct?!?... As I suggested in a previos post there is no such thing as a "perfect digiscoping set up" and we can certainly find drawbacks and criticisms with every rig out there... and as we know if something can be criticized, someone amongst the many readers here will eventually hit on it! Of course that is what makes BF such a great resource, because you can receive lots of feedback from valid and useful to far off base and everywhere in between.

I demonstrate this equipment across the country at bird fests on average every other weekend somewhere in the US and this has never struck me as a major fault, nor have I had any consumer balk when shown how to adjust for this on rare ocassions when needed. Perhaps future models could allow for this, but to expand the design to allow greater travel would mean making the piece taller/longer. I don't know if this was the reasoning on this first design or not but I can tell from personal observation this would then make the unit too long for use on the shorter fixed focal length eyepieces. So we would likely have to produce two seperate models, which would result in some confusion in the marketplace and likely cause both to be higher priced (something you already suggest is too great).

So in conclusion, I'll reiterate that the adapter offers quick, and effective performance and produces (again in my experience) great images. Here are a couple more images that I got in 2 hours Friday morning before setting up my booth at 8 AM. We can sit here and debate the finer points until the cows come home, but I've never been one for hard sell and prefer to let the products and results speak for themselves. If any are interested in seeing more recent images you can peruse some of my images at the following site:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

Good birding all,

Jeff Bouton
Leica Sport Optics, USA

PS - I'll admit to a bit of luck on the flying tandem Sandhill Cranes!

PPS - note the wide angle view of the sillouhetted cranes. This was accomplished using the 32x WW (wide angle) eyepiece with the D-Lux 3 set to the wide angle 16:9 aspect ratio resulting in a wide angle telephoto. This was fun and something not easily done with many other digiscoping cameras! I also took some fun wide angle video clips with the camera capturing the large flocks as they flew to and from roost.
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Old Friday 24th November 2006, 10:40   #25
Paul Hackett
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Jeff

Very interesting that you mention about the possible need for two adapters, one for WA lens and one for the zoom lens

i do feel that your comment on not running the camera out to its full zoom is not realistic, people will take pictures using the full zoom, its a fact, and that is why its hits the eyepiece and switches off.

Would it help the existing users if you could put down in summary form, the solutions you have qouted in this thread to the problems discussed, so future users can just look at one reply?

It would be interesting to see if current users of your system have benefited from your comments and have changed their opinion now you have explained how to get round the problems, if they would care to comment?

Although you have explained the set up to potential users yourself, most people buying the setup, will either use optic shops or buy from the internet, would you not think it prudent to place some written instruction in the box of the adpater for future buyers? you obviously have spent much time with this set up and feel you have resolved the issues, and as you are a Leica employee, if you put that idea forward to management, surely it would be accepted as helping the customer? or even an explanation on the Leica websites on how to overcome these issues

"To answer your burning question though.... absolutely I demonstrate this all the time! However, unlike you I don't consider this a great fault as much as a minor inconvenience"

IMHO you have played down the problems noted, but i think that is because you have spent so much time with the rig, it is second nature to you to set it up and use, but not to the first time user or people who have spent some time with the rig, and dont seem to have gotten the hang of it or still cant, and do not have any realistic instructions on how to do so

My job in the real world away from birding is a Quality Manager, if i was receiving customer feedback like you have been receiving on this forum, it would be in my own interests to follow through on all information received, discuss with my management team, and then set an agenda to resolve the problem or at least notify my customers formally of a solution. i accept you dont feel that it is that serious enough to act upon in some formal way


Jeff, your company has a realistic opportunity to help the people who have replied on this thread and the other thread mentioned, you have a great oppurtunity to help your customers or potential customers and its not costing you anything to do so, this is an international forum so many eyes see this thread, nearly a 1000 hits now, if you went away, discussed it, then came back on and said Leica have decided to do this and this and this etc. you would have people singing your praises, and the most important thing? customer satisfaction! because the manufacturer listened to their customer, if you continue to extol the virtues of this setup, and play down the problems, and no formal information from the company is forthcoming despite whats been raised by customers and myself what message do you think that sends out?

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