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Digiscoping with the Sony a6000.

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Old Thursday 10th April 2014, 21:17   #1
5bellies
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Digiscoping with the Sony a6000.

With my NEX-7 out of action and as I was away for a long weekend in Suffolk, I had to open the wallet and shell out for the NEX-6 and NEX-7 replacement the a6000.

On it's first trip out I bumped into Paul Hackett and had a great day with him....top bloke!

This is the 4th camera from the NEX series I've owned, so the transition shouldn't be too painful.

The buffer of the NEX-7 was it's main failing imo and in my tests the fastest card with the NEX-7 was the MS PRO DUO 50 m/bs .....not the case with the a6000. This camera has UHS-1 bus which means it can use the UHS-1 cards up to 95 m/bs and does it make a difference. Buffer times slashed by a half (MS PRO DUO around 30 secs and the SDXC 14 secs) and coupled with the cameras ability to fire off 22-23 frames before buffering at 11 fps I could easily get into a rhythm shooting without any buffering problems all weekend....happy days!!

Sony have now added a multiport that accepts the new Sony RM VPR-1 remote release, a port that was sadly missing on all but one NEX camera.

I'm pleased with my initial shots with this camera, but a long weekend is not long enough to decide how good a camera is, but my gut feeling is this one is a belter for us digiscopers.

Shots taken using a Swarovski STX85 with the TLS-APO adapter. Both taken from about 20m

B Lucky

Gary
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Old Thursday 10th April 2014, 22:18   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5bellies View Post
With my NEX-7 out of action and as I was away for a long weekend in Suffolk, I had to open the wallet and shell out for the NEX-6 and NEX-7 replacement the a6000.

On it's first trip out I bumped into Paul Hackett and had a great day with him....top bloke!

This is the 4th camera from the NEX series I've owned, so the transition shouldn't be too painful.

The buffer of the NEX-7 was it's main failing imo and in my tests the fastest card with the NEX-7 was the MS PRO DUO 50 m/bs .....not the case with the a6000. This camera has UHS-1 bus which means it can use the UHS-1 cards up to 95 m/bs and does it make a difference. Buffer times slashed by a half (MS PRO DUO around 30 secs and the SDXC 14 secs) and coupled with the cameras ability to fire off 22-23 frames before buffering at 11 fps I could easily get into a rhythm shooting without any buffering problems all weekend....happy days!!

Sony have now added a multiport that accepts the new Sony RM VPR-1 remote release, a port that was sadly missing on all but one NEX camera.

I'm pleased with my initial shots with this camera, but a long weekend is not long enough to decide how good a camera is, but my gut feeling is this one is a belter for us digiscopers.

Shots taken using a Swarovski STX85 with the TLS-APO adapter. Both taken from about 20m

B Lucky

Gary
Great to meet up with you and you missus Gary, you saw the Bittern the next day i see :)

Rgds

Paul
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Old Friday 11th April 2014, 19:16   #3
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Great images, Gary. Your new setup should give you excellent results.

Mike and Carol
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Old Saturday 12th April 2014, 04:09   #4
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Nice.
I will have to try the combo now.
Congrats.
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Old Saturday 12th April 2014, 10:39   #5
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Nice Gary
With the new autofocus system of this camera it would be interesting to see how it works with a 30mm lens (Sony or Sigma) for digiscopy...
This camera most probably will replace my NEX5 but I'm interested to know how good is the 4x digital zoom video function - see http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=280390.
Gary, can you make a short test of it and give us your opinion?
Thanks.
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Old Monday 14th April 2014, 08:09   #6
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Heya David

I'm sorry but I've no way at present of connecting my Sigma 30mm or any other lens to the scope (I use the TLS APO). I've had a go with with the Sigma on it's own and to my eyes the quality is really good. I would imagine in the 4 years since the release of the Nex5 that the difference between models would be like night and day.

As and when I get the parts required I will update you. (I've just ordered a 46-52 stepping ring)

B lucky

Gary
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Old Tuesday 22nd April 2014, 16:31   #7
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Thanks Mike. I hope both yourself and Carol are well.

David, I've received the part I required and have sent you a mail.

I've just received the RM VPR-1 electronic remote release so I'm able to fire off shots continuously and instantly, unlike the releases you can get off a well known auction site.

A couple more shots with the a6000.....I've still not hit the buffer yet :)
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Old Tuesday 22nd April 2014, 22:34   #8
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Thanks Mike. I hope both yourself and Carol are well.

David, I've received the part I required and have sent you a mail.

I've just received the RM VPR-1 electronic remote release so I'm able to fire off shots continuously and instantly, unlike the releases you can get off a well known auction site.

A couple more shots with the a6000.....I've still not hit the buffer yet :)
Nice flight shots. Well done.
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Old Wednesday 23rd April 2014, 23:43   #9
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Thanks for the video Gary.
It works fine but I would stay until 3x, which is good enough for me if it works with the SEL55-210. Meanwhile I remembered that my NEX5 also as a digital zoom option that I never managed to activate since I only have the standard zoom and the digital zoom is for the fixed lens. Can you please verify if the a6000 digital zoom also work with a zoom lens?
By the way, if a photo is better that thousand words, a small video has thousands of photos! With the present HD video on new cameras I enjoy doing small videos - see examples at fotos at www.pt-ducks.com
I agree with Neil on your nice flight photos...
Are they with the sigma and the help of new auto-focus?
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Old Wednesday 30th April 2014, 18:14   #10
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Cheers Neil, David.

Dave,
All my shots with the STX/ATX have only ever tried with the TLS APO, so no sigma or any autofocus. I always use manual focus.
I'll test the camera with the kit lens (18-55mm if memory serves) over the weekend when I have more time and report back on whether the digital zoom works or not.

B lucky

Gary
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Old Saturday 10th May 2014, 15:38   #11
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a6000

Heya Dave,

As you know the digital zoom does work when using the VPR-1 remote release.

I've been in the garden this morning comparing noise levels between the NEX 5N and the a6000 in the range between ISO800 and 3200. Weather was mainly cloudy and quite blustery. Both cameras had zero compensation dialed in and were taken a close together (time-wise) as I could. WB was set as cloudy. No adjustments have been made aside resizing for upload. Added an extra shot of the a6000 @ ISO6400 to compare to 5N 3200 to show improvements in noise handling in the 2 1/2 or so years between the model releases.

In order: a6000 ISO800, 5N ISO800, a6000 ISO3200, 5N ISO3200, a6000 ISO6400
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Old Sunday 11th May 2014, 02:22   #12
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Sony A6000 pictures

I recently start using a Sony A6000 with a Swarovski ATX 95. Here are my first results

http://victor-naraveckis.smugmug.com...8975617_3vdf7W
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Old Tuesday 13th May 2014, 00:09   #13
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Originally Posted by 5bellies View Post
As you know the digital zoom does work when using the VPR-1 remote release.
Thanks again Gary.
This is interesting since will allow me to use the 55-210mm for video until at least an equivalent 630mm (x1.5 of the crop factor, so 945mm!...) - the 4x seems to pixelate...
Also is interesting for those doing video through digiscopy with a fixed objective and a fixed ep on the telescope.
Just remembered it's also interesting for my video with the astro telescope: - I can have different magnifications, changing the PMW position, but with the electronic zoom I can do it when following the ducks, maintaining focus!
Now just have to find if the wireless RMT-DSLR2 also allows continuous shooting: - is cheaper and safer for me since there is no physical connection to the camera.
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Old Friday 27th June 2014, 16:15   #14
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Advice please. I'm using the Swaro and 95mm with the DCBII to connect to a Sony A6000. Either a Sigma 19mm or the Sony SEL 35mm will not allow the DCBII to easily click shut in the imaging position (hopefully that makes sense).....like either the camera body is too thick of the lens too long.
Any advice?
I've been out of the country and out of digiscoping for too long, enjoyed the A6000 in Africa but now want to use it with the DCBII; I also have the TLS APO but sometimes prefer the AF using the DCB.
Appreciate any advice/suggestions.
Robert
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Old Monday 30th June 2014, 01:52   #15
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Advice please. I'm using the Swaro and 95mm with the DCBII to connect to a Sony A6000. Either a Sigma 19mm or the Sony SEL 35mm will not allow the DCBII to easily click shut in the imaging position (hopefully that makes sense).....like either the camera body is too thick of the lens too long.
Any advice?
I've been out of the country and out of digiscoping for too long, enjoyed the A6000 in Africa but now want to use it with the DCBII; I also have the TLS APO but sometimes prefer the AF using the DCB.
Appreciate any advice/suggestions.
Robert
Robert
The DCB11 is flexible a few mms to its locking position. I like it extend a few mms out from the eyepiece to block any side light from getting into the lens. It may be enough for you. I know the Sigma 30 mm is a tight fit.
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Old Monday 30th June 2014, 07:20   #16
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Sigma 30mm + Swarov 95mm + Sony A6000

Neal, just to be sure. You are using the Sigma 30mm + Sony A6000 will clicked closed with the DCB II ??
I can use the SEL 30mm pancake but should I.
This is the 'beauty' of digiscoping-finding through discovery what works and what doesn't !
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Old Monday 30th June 2014, 08:19   #17
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Neal, just to be sure. You are using the Sigma 30mm + Sony A6000 will clicked closed with the DCB II ??
I can use the SEL 30mm pancake but should I.
This is the 'beauty' of digiscoping-finding through discovery what works and what doesn't !
I'm using the Nex 7 and 5 with the Sigma 30 mm so the A6000 might be a little different.
I suggest mounting your camera and lens on the DBC11 off the scope and slowly attaching it to the eyepiece and see if it can be locked down.
I also have the Sigma 30 for the Micro Four Thirds. It's a sharp lens although AF is a bit slow on the scope so I mostly use it in MF.
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Old Monday 30th June 2014, 14:56   #18
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Nex 7 versus A6000 regarding dimensions

111x59x38 mm vs 120x67x45 mm
That 7mm difference may be key.
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Old Monday 30th June 2014, 19:12   #19
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Two shots using the Swaro 95m + Sony A6000 +SEL30mm via the Swaro DCB II:


https://www.flickr.com/photos/medici...0/14541524421/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/medici...0/14358330668/
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Old Monday 28th July 2014, 20:26   #20
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good surprise regarding vignetting

Did the first tests to the a6000 with the 16-50 zoom and got a good surprise regarding vignetting.
On the NEX6 review http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=269889 Neil told that vignetting disappears at about 40 mm on the Swaro X. I got similar values, on my Optolyth 100 with the first compact zoom!...
With my NEX5 and the 18-55zoom, I dont manage to have unvignetted images in the Optolyth 100 with the zoom ep...
Have been doing some tests with several eyepieces and the Vixen NLV that only didn't vignetted at 55mm with the NEX5, with this version it goes away at 41mm...
Will have to do some field tests in good digiscopy conditions (the enclosed images are hand held, at 220m distance and around 2 pm...), comparing also to the TS Superview 30mm/2" that I can adapt to the Optolyth, getting wider unvignetting images (more 12%).
Also interesting is that with my TMB92+Ethos 17 combo http://www.pt-ducks.com/cr-telescope...20AFOV%20zooms I don't have vignetting at 16mm but the resulting image suffer from pincushion distortion...
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Old Thursday 21st August 2014, 00:03   #21
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I did some tests with digiscopy solutions and the TMB combo works fine with the 16-50mm zoom and the auto focus work well until 40mm - over that I must pass to manual focus but it's easy and fast using Fn fast menu. Noticed one detail: - some times the a6000 goes high on ISO without really needing and detail goes a bit away. See the example enclosed - the result was better with less zooming (more cropping) since the ISO stayed much lower. Both hand-held - I have to find an adapter to my solutions...
Remote shooting is possible using wireless and a smart mobile phone application - still have to manage to install the new version that allows also video recording...
Digital zooming is possible with the 16-50 zoom commands. It's also possible using other lens configuring a button for it - I have the C1 for that...
With the TMB combo and also with the Optolyth 100 is possible to digiscopy at 90x using the 50mm position, resulting on an equivalent 6750mm...
On the Optolyth the autofocus works well at the 50mm zoom position!
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Old Monday 6th October 2014, 07:47   #22
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Sony A6000 + 127 Mak

Hi,

I recently purchased a Sony A6000 after reading your comments about it for digiscoping. Yesterday I used the camera for the first time, attached to a catadioptric telescope with no eyepiece. The employed telescope was a 5" (127 mm) Maksutov-Cassegrain with a 1500 mm focal lenght (f/11.8), which produces strong vignetting with a full-frame camera, but a fully illuminated field with the APS-C sensor of the A6000. This EVIL camera seems really nice for digiscoping, although I had to fight with it because I didn't know how to congifure the time for the focus magnifier. A lacking depth of field is the main issue when we use an astro telescope as photo lens, therefore fine focusing is critical -- it was a hard task for me due to the 2 seconds default time of magnified view!

Here is a full size photo: couple of mallards with 127 Mak + Sony A6000.

Regards,

Leo
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Old Tuesday 21st October 2014, 01:16   #23
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Hi Leo,

To configure the time for the focus magnifier; "Menu" to "Custom Settings" (The "gear" icon) to page 1 to "Focus Magnif. Time" press the "ok" button to open your choices and choose from 2 sec, 5 sec or no limit. I keep mine on no limit.

Hope it helps!

Kimmie
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Old Friday 24th July 2015, 00:58   #24
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My traditional late winter photo season was bad so didn't took many photos.
In April I was in Finland and could take some photos. Besides the ones I took with a X95 (I posted a couple at http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=274270&page=2 I mention here again that the a6000 with the compact standard zoom works very well, with no vignetting over about 25mm), I enclose another pair that I did with the Optolyth 100 with a Pentax XW20, both hand-held...
For video, the digital zoom works well until 2x. Over that it starts to pixelate at full resolution.
For digiscopy and also for video, the VPR-1 remote release cable, that Gary mentioned, is a must have... Expensive but excellent.
Now I must decide with what telescope I will digiscope more, in order I purchase the correct adapter...
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Old Sunday 8th November 2015, 21:52   #25
KIMMIEnFLORIDA
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Sony a6000-My Results

Here are some of my digiscoping results that I posted on Flickr. I use a Swaro STX-85 with remote and digi-dapter.

Kim

https://www.flickr.com/photos/539591...in/dateposted/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/539591...in/dateposted/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/539591...in/dateposted/

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https://www.flickr.com/photos/539591...in/dateposted/
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