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Best Spotting scope for digiscoping (1 Viewer)

Ziad

New member
Hello Guys,
First of all please excuse my weak language ,I am from Lebanon .
I would like to seek your advise as an experts in the spotting scopes field .
I am planning to buy a scope for birds watching and Digiscoping at a long distance .
I am a beginner and has a humble experience by digiscoping through a Binocular Vortex Kaibab 20*56.

After a tone of researches, I decided to ho with one of the following :
1- Swarovski ATX 95 with 1.7 extender and the VPA phone adapter .
2- Zeiss Victory Harpia 95 .
3- Kowa 883 with the eye piece TE-11WZ with the 1.6 extender.

Kindly help me with your experience to select one noting that I like to watch objects at a long distance .

Appreciate your help .
 

jring

Well-known member
Hi,

first of all, welcome to birdforum!

This post would fit better into the spotting scope forum - maybe a moderator could move it?

Since you're going for maximum range, the models Kowa or Swaro will give a bit more reach with the extender - at least in theory.

In practice you have to get an example which is good enough so an extender makes sense and also you need good seeing to be actually able to use the magnification in the field. Heat haze will make the view through a perfect instrument look not quite in focus...

My best advice is to try to test the example you want to buy with the extender and see if you get a sharp image - preferably on a cool and overcast day - if that is an option at your location. Or you could do a star test - either at night or with an artificial star.

Joachim
 

Ziad

New member
Hi,

first of all, welcome to birdforum!

This post would fit better into the spotting scope forum - maybe a moderator could move it?

Since you're going for maximum range, the models Kowa or Swaro will give a bit more reach with the extender - at least in theory.

In practice you have to get an example which is good enough so an extender makes sense and also you need good seeing to be actually able to use the magnification in the field. Heat haze will make the view through a perfect instrument look not quite in focus...

My best advice is to try to test the example you want to buy with the extender and see if you get a sharp image - preferably on a cool and overcast day - if that is an option at your location. Or you could do a star test - either at night or with an artificial star.

Joachim


Thank you Joachim ,I really appreciated your advise .
The issue is that I did not find any of the previously mentioned scopes in Dubai .
So I am relying on the researches and the advices of the experts to select the scope .
If you are in my place and you want to select between the Kowa and the Swaro ,which one you would go for ?
Money is not an issue as I did not find a big difference between the two scopes

I am simply looking for scope with high range magnification and sharp image .
I don’t think that a 5% difference for the sharpness between the 2 scopes will be an issue .

Ziad
 

jring

Well-known member
Hi,

if you cannot test the scope, you hopefully have a good dealer locally (who can handle warranty if the scope is not ok) or can use a mail order business with a no questions asked policy - although sending optics back and forth might get expensive due to taxes and duties.

I would probably go for the Kowa - I like the brand, my old Kowa is great and I have seen one very bad example of ATX95 and no terrible Kowa yet (although I read about one bad example of the master lens on CN).

Joachim
 

Ziad

New member
Nice to have a birder from the Levant - if you have been using 20x56 you deserve a medal:t:

Good Birding -

Laurie,
Unfortunately this is what was available in hand Vortex 20*56,I used it for fun only.
Would you like you advise me for a scope to buy so that I can give the medal to you .

Ziad
 

rollingthunder

Well-known member
Haha:t:

Ziad - i have a number of scopes so i will briefly list them and their virtues.

I have my old Kowa TS1 60mm with 22x wide-angle and 40x lenses.
After working my way thru various drawtube scopes in the late 70’s i settled on this in 1980 and use it to this day - partly out of nostalgia and it is still a cracking scope and is only 1 of 2 out of all my scopes that has an angled eyepiece.

I have a Bushnell Spacemaster 60mm with a 15-45x zoom. This is a superb scope and bought to take abroad because of its compact build. In addition the lenses of the Kowa and this are interchangeable as they take the same thread.

I recently bought 2 more scopes:-C

First was an Opticron 50mm with a 12-36x zoom. Incredibly compact and very lifhtweight and bought to take abroad as i generally only take hand luggage unless i think i need a folding bike.

The second was a Celestron spotting scope.
This is a mirror scope with a monster 125mm objective lens. Because of its construction it is short and chunky and very light. I have the standard 50x and a supplementary 100x lens. Needless to say you need a good tripod for this. I have several tripods and a monopod. I have adapters to take a smartphone for all of these if required.

I haven’t put prices as i don't recall them, obviously in total i have invested a lot of money but it is over 40+ years and i will not be buying any more i can assure you! Why have 4? They serve different requirements just like the half a dozen pairs of binoculars and the bridge camers and DSLRs that i use in conjunction.

I am off to Georgia in 2 weeks or so for a week of general birding and wine imbibing in the East and a solid week of raptors at Batumi. For this jaunt i am taking my oldest scope the Kowa with its 22x wide angle and the zoom and higher-powered lens off of the Bushnell as the angled Kowa is the best one for scanning the clouds:t:

I hope this has been of some use.
There is a lot of advice and reviews out their c/w lots of choice.
If you have the money i would definately go for a big objective lens as these scopes tend to either have a 30x lens or a superb zoom.
Scopes have come a long way and the combination of quality glass, lightweight construction, Nitrogen-filled etc means you have far more choice of quality specifications than i did until recently. Secondhand would save you a lot of money and birders take care of their gear.

Best of luck mate and post what you see:t:

Laurie -
 

DRodrigues

Well-known member
I use a STX95 and like it a lot for digiscopy with my Sony a6000. I have some reasonable photos taken at 120x!...
The Harpia still haven't an extender neither an adapter to use astro-eyepieces. Although has higher zooming range it has aperture limited at lower mags so shouldn't be so good - less light for the camera.
The Kowa option should be compared to the 85 versions and not the 95 models.
 

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