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ATX 115 Digiscoping Elementary Questions (1 Viewer)

dwever

Well-known member
Beginner questions. As you can see in the last picture, the iPhone Pro Max can take sharp pics for not being a dedicated camera. Thing is, while looking through the big 115 ATX scope was a borderline religious experience, the iPhone 11 Pro Max pics are all out of focus and the light isn’t uniform. It was as if the iPhone could not focus that close to the ATX eye piece.

1. Sorry to say the camera was hand held behind the scope, would buying a iPhone mount fix the focus or is that an abiding compromise?
2. I was using the iPhone’s middle lens, should I have been on the 2X or the wide angle?
3. I sold my OM-D E-M1 prosumer because the iPhone 11 Pro narrowed the gap, so bringing that to the game is not an option.

Pics: 30X, 70X, 30X (the line in the lake is where the water ends and the ice begins), 70X.

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horukuru

Here I Come !
Malaysia
Get the adapter because the shake from hand holding your camera against the eyepiece causes the blur pics.

On my smartphone, it eliminates the vignetting at 1.6x and above at 30x. I rarely goes beyond 30x in digiscoping unless for rare documentation purposes and I switched to video mode at 70x.
 

dwever

Well-known member
Get the adapter because the shake from hand holding your camera against the eyepiece causes the blur pics. On my smartphone, it eliminates the vignetting at 1.6x and above at 30x.

Makes sense. I was getting razor sharp results previously hand held, but it was only 7X with one barrel of a Leica UVHD+.
 

salty

geordie birder
I never go above 30x on my 115 using iPhone 12, I’m looking at either building my own attachment to make things better, it really is frustrating times with such a good scope and camera…only to not get decent results
 

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dmcharg

Active member
It can be very frustrating. When it comes to digi scoping my advice would just use it for occasional pictures and the rest of the time just enjoy the view with your eyes. For sure using a small phone adapter is the best option. Don't waste your money on camera adapters etc. Camera + telephoto lens is much better tool for the job if photography is your goal.
 

jring

Well-known member
Hi,

if these were hand-held, they're actually pretty good. Getting a digiscoping adapter for you phone and thinking of a way to take images without touching the phone (timer, voice activation or apple watch maybe), will make things better.

Also it has to be said, that even 30x is fairly high mag for digiscoping - the stunners you can see over there in the gallery section are usually taken at around 20x and thus not that far away. The reasons vary, but a high-res camera sensor can be quite merciless, especially if one does serious pixel peeping with a bit of digital zoom later.

Also air disturbance aka seeing is a thing at higher magnifications... the eye, while observing for many seconds or minutes will take in the view during short moments of least disturbance while a single frame image will show things as they were a bit after the sutter was pressed... for astro imaging there are programs to stack many exposures so the blurry parts average out or in case of planetary imaging you take a short movie and the software automatically chooses only the good images and stacks those (called lucky imaging).

Unfortunately birds tens to move more and less predictable than celestial bodies, so this is not so easy during the day... although in really bad seeing a little movie might give a few usable stills...

Joachim
 

dwever

Well-known member
Right on. The ability to use shutter priority and designate a very high shutter speed would seem to be an answer to eliminating blur from shake. Hopefully on a bright day the iPhone chooses high shutter speeds, but that can be compromised by the camera choosing very low ISO's.

I'll try the Swarovski cell phone digiscoping attachment and that should be enough. Remember the old 2008 Carl Zeiss spotting scope with integrated 7MP digital camera? That didn't last long.

Air disturbance can be an issue. I use RF binoculars at times to measure distance, and at 2,800 yards it can be a pain especially over water. Inside 1,200 yards better, and inside 400 yards perfect clarity. The eagle in post 1 is a little over 210 yards although I had estimated it at 400 I guess because it was so high up that fooled me. The shoreline is 2,800 yards. In both pics, blur is camera shake.

The birds are gathering like mad at Alaskan fresh-water sites right now, and with them, there's always two or three bald eagles. I have not seen the eagles hunt other birds so far this year, just fishing. Yesterday at Lake Lucille, Wasilla, I couldn't see a single eagle with the naked eye, then found two with 8X42 NL Pure's, and picked up a third with a 30X 180 degree sweep of the trees. Most impressive is not just the scope's clarity, but it's ability to see inside shadows. After looking at a nesting bald eagle at a different site in Wasilla, and then viewing the 50 mile by 5 mile Knik glacier from 43 miles away from Hatcher Pass the day before, I am seriously considering taking this 115 ATX set-up off the market. I'm really starting to value its capabilities. At first I was like, this is a phenomenal image if carried by my SUV, but too massive at 10 lbs. (see picture), not happy lugging on a two-mile hike to an observation tower, especially if I'm also carrying an 11 lbs. high-powered rifle for protection. Now, given the results, it's worth it on the hike, and lives fine in my Sitka Gear pack.
 

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jring

Well-known member
Hi,

not sure if Apple allows for alternate camera apps in its store... but it is worth looking for them as they might allow you to change shutter speed...
But of course the tiny sensor will limit things...

Joachim
 

Elkangle

New member
United States
You need a tines up adapter and a Bluetooth shutter...after that some times I take video and see which I can get better focus with

These are all with stx 85 & 95
 

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dwever

Well-known member
Been watching a pair of eagles behind Sonic in Wasilla. Took the photos by hand-holding an iPhone over the scope's eyepiece so pics are always blurry (high wind as you can see in the middle picture and overcast). For quite a while she sat in one place, so I figured she was incubating eggs. Then a couple of weeks ago she was on the edge of the nest mostly, and I figured they'd hatched. Today I confirmed they have hatched. That is the male with the baby. The mother is larger and has a more regal appearance. I used to get closer on the other side of the road; but I noticed she would watch my German Shepherd so we backed up.
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Elkangle

New member
United States
Right on, that extra light with the 115 would be dang handy for photos

Here's a couple birds with the stx 85...my phone isn't focusing properly so not the best pics
 

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