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Pentax 80ED Zoom + A95

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Old Monday 18th April 2005, 15:30   #1
RedBishop
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Pentax 80ED Zoom + A95

Any one had a try of the above combination for digiscoping ?

Pentax 80-PF ED and the Canon A95 ? or any other camera besides the Contax (not enough manual control) and the CP4500 (outdated, slow) ?
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Old Monday 18th April 2005, 18:45   #2
Robert L Jarvis
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Hi Red
I haven't tried that combo, but I have looked at the A95. Whilst it has all the manual controls, 5mp I am not keen on the fold out lcd which at 1.8 is rather small these days.
I think when you are digiscoping this will slow you down as you have to open it out and prove not to be too easy to see the photos taken because of it's small size. It is a bit more bulky than comparable Sony, Pentax etc.

But really it's your choice go out and have a good look at the cameras.

Robert
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Old Tuesday 19th April 2005, 07:17   #3
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I have no issues with the A95 since it was already provedn to be a good digiscoping camera, my only concern is will it work with the Huge and unique eyepiece of the Pentax and is there any adapter available somewhere in the world for such combination.
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Old Tuesday 19th April 2005, 08:09   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedBishop
I have no issues with the A95 since it was already provedn to be a good digiscoping camera, my only concern is will it work with the Huge and unique eyepiece of the Pentax and is there any adapter available somewhere in the world for such combination.
Hi,

There have been some discussion about digiscoping adapters for the large Pentax zoom and the Nikon 4500. If you can find a tube adapter for the Pentax zoom/Nikon 4500, you can attach it to your A95 by using a filter adapter (connected to the bayonet ring of the camera) and so-called step-down ring (which has outer threads for the tube and inner threads for the Coolpix adapter). This means that you have to purchase at least 3 separate parts. The other, less expensive but bulkier alternative could be the Baader/Scopetronix adapter bracket discussed below http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=30084 . Anyway, the Pentax zoom should be relatively easy to couple with the A95 because of its good eye-relief.

Best of luck,

Ilkka
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Old Tuesday 19th April 2005, 08:28   #5
Keith Reeder
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Robert,

out of interest, what compacts with a fold-out LCD (almost essential for digiscoping) have a bigger LCD than the A95?
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Old Tuesday 19th April 2005, 10:51   #6
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Thanks Ilkka, the bottom line of what I'm asking is how usable is the setup for both birdwatching and digiscoping, I want to know if there is a suitable A95 adapter that will allow me to look though it in some way without the need to remove it from the eyepiece.

blythkeith, from a 10 minutes search on the net, 1.8 is the largest available for compacts.
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Old Wednesday 20th April 2005, 08:01   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedBishop
...I want to know if there is a suitable A95 adapter that will allow me to look though it in some way without the need to remove it from the eyepiece.
Sure:
Attach this to your A95 http://www.lensmateonline.com/A80adapter.htm
and
this kind of tube to your zoom eyepiece http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=29415 (post #9). This is where you don't have many options: you can order one from Cheang Kum Seng ([email protected]) or have one machined like Nigel G did.
If you get it from a machine shop, you can have the threads of the "eyepiece-adapter" fit directly to the Lensmate-adapter, otherwise you'll need a step-down ring (from 52 or 37mm to 28mm) between these two.

Perhaps the simplest and least expensive solution would be the Baader adapter which is all you need between the scope and the camera - and it also should do what you want.

Ilkka
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Old Thursday 21st April 2005, 09:47   #8
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Thanks so much !

BTW - Keith, I found a camera with a swiveling 2" LCD, the Pentax Optio X.
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Old Thursday 21st April 2005, 11:34   #9
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Hi Red Bishop,

your findings bear out mine - with this one exception (which is a bit of an unknown quantity in digiscoping terms), the A95 is pretty much at the top of the pile.

And review comments like:
Quote:
Quirky ergonomics; poor performance; average image quality.
don't really persuade me.
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Old Thursday 21st April 2005, 13:09   #10
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Yes ofcourse, I'm with you on that, the A95 is currently the best available camera, I mentioned the OptioX only for the largest LCD, I too got to the conclusion that this is pretty much all this camera has to offer.
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Old Thursday 21st April 2005, 16:07   #11
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I know we were in agreement RedBishop - sometimes meanings get lost when written down.

I'm sure that other cameras will eventually come out to match or surpass the A95, but - objectively - for now I'm not aware of a better camera for the combination of functions, quality and ease of use that are important to me.

Of course other people might have different priorities, in which case other solutions might be better suited: all in all, the Canon couldn't be much better for my needs if it had been custom built for me.
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Old Saturday 14th May 2005, 05:29   #12
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pentax pf80 and canon adapter

I have a newly aquired Pentax pf80 EDA coupled to my Canon a80. I believe the mechanics are the same as the a95. The Scopetronix 2.5 inch Uni-T adapter works very well. It is a well manufactured device and moderately priced at $39.95 USD. I does require a Canon 52mm lens converter with a step down ring. I believe the step down is 43mm but would not bet the farm on it. Scopetronix will be glad to part with this unit for about $60.00. An aluminum Bowers converter, a nice piece of equipment, but over priced.
This system has worked well for me in short time I have had to use it. I would also recomend the use of an lcd hood. HoodmanUSA has a good selection of inexpensive and very servicable devices. Best of luck with your endevors.
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Old Wednesday 1st June 2005, 04:13   #13
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Pentax 80ED-A & A95 working w/ Pentax XW14 eyepiece

Two weeks ago, after several failures I think I got a setup that works well:
Example: (Avocet picture) (1 MB) (straight out of the camera, no sharpening applied)

My breakthrough came when I realized that the rubber eyepiece hood(?) on XW 14 eyepiece screwed off to reveal 43mm threads! The 20-60X zoom eyepiece unfortunately does not have the same feature.

Previously, I had ordered the Lens Plus 2Plus LE-Adapter ($165), but even that is not wide enough to get around the very wide Pentax eyepieces. I gather I am better off with the XW 14 eyepiece in that is has a wide field of view and relatively low magnification.

I don't know whether I am doing it right, but I leave the camera on auto-focus, then focus the scope using the LCD screen (doable). The camera is very quick to take off using the Lensmate adapter bayonet mount, though that makes it awkard for viewing. I think if I was mainly viewing, I would keep the 20-60x zoom in there and swap out eyepieces to photograph.

What with the price of the Pentax eyepieces, this is not a cheap solution, but I got a good deal on the WX 14 when I bought the scope.

Any suggestions welcome!
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Old Wednesday 1st June 2005, 14:59   #14
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Example: (Avocet picture) (1 MB) (straight out of the camera, no sharpening applied)

Jim,
That was some file size. I have Broadband and it took about 15mins to download and opened at 14.4megs in Photoshop. Detail looks good and I can't see much Fringing. It was obviously bright sun so the whites have blown out. I'd be interested how it handles whites as this is a problem with digicams , particularly in JPEG. How fast is the camera and how many consectutive shots can you take before the buffer is full? Does it have a RAW or TIFF Mode?. How many focus points can you select in Spot Focus Mode? Can you select Macro with buttons or do you have to go to the Menu?
Sorry about all the questions but I'm planning to upgrade my Kyocera and I would like these things.Neil.
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Old Wednesday 1st June 2005, 18:22   #15
Erwin Driessens
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedBishop
Any one had a try of the above combination for digiscoping ?

Pentax 80-PF ED and the Canon A95 ? or any other camera besides the Contax (not enough manual control) and the CP4500 (outdated, slow) ?
I have had success with a combination Swarovski ATS80HD (20-60x zoom)
plus the Canon A95. See my gallery, all pics (except 2) are taken with this
setup. Of course you always long for a better camera (large, high res LCD or
viewfinder), faster continuous mode, USB 2, less noise. But is is a good piece
of equipment for the time being.
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Old Thursday 2nd June 2005, 03:21   #16
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Canon A95 for Digiscoping

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil
I'd be interested how it handles whites as this is a problem with digicams , particularly in JPEG. How fast is the camera and how many consectutive shots can you take before the buffer is full? Does it have a RAW or TIFF Mode?. How many focus points can you select in Spot Focus Mode? Can you select Macro with buttons or do you have to go to the Menu?
Sorry about all the questions but I'm planning to upgrade my Kyocera and I would like these things.Neil.
Whew!
1) High-speed is 2 shots/second ("Large/Fine mode with LCD monitor off") per manual. Not sure what it is in Superfine Mode with LCD monitor on.
2) Buffer seems to hold about 13 shots in my informal test indoors in Large/Superfine mode. (manual is silent on this) Don't hold me to this. (www.dpreview.com review may answer this)
3) Selecting Focus points uses "FlexiZone" setting of the AF frame. This can be moved in very small increments all over the image frame. (manual p. 81)
4) No RAW or TIFF (I don't use those, so I don't miss them)
5) Macro mode is set pressing the bottom of the mode dial once. It is quick; you do not have to go through the menu.
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Old Thursday 2nd June 2005, 05:03   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimscarff
Whew!
1) High-speed is 2 shots/second ("Large/Fine mode with LCD monitor off") per manual. Not sure what it is in Superfine Mode with LCD monitor on.
2) Buffer seems to hold about 13 shots in my informal test indoors in Large/Superfine mode. (manual is silent on this) Don't hold me to this. (www.dpreview.com review may answer this)
3) Selecting Focus points uses "FlexiZone" setting of the AF frame. This can be moved in very small increments all over the image frame. (manual p. 81)
4) No RAW or TIFF (I don't use those, so I don't miss them)
5) Macro mode is set pressing the bottom of the mode dial once. It is quick; you do not have to go through the menu.
Jim,
Thanks for answering my questions. It all sounds pretty good , except for the RAW/TIFF. I've noticed using RAW on my Nikon D100 that it holds detail well in the light colored areas that would blow out in JPEG. Being able to change the White Balance after the fact is also a great benefit. I'm also looking at the Olympus C-7070 Wide Zoom which does have RAW Mode. Thanks again, Neil.
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