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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Considering giving up on digiscoping (1 Viewer)

jlacasci

Member
United States
I'm not trying to start a flame war, so please take my comments in context from my experience as a photographer. I recently purchased a Kowa TSN 883 with 25-60 eyepiece, phone adapter, and Kowa adapters for my Canon professional bodies. I am blown away by the optics looking through the scope with my eye. I am far less satisfied with the image quality with my Canon body attached, and even less so phone scoping. I've been a photographer for 40 years, but not video (I only mention video as I know some folks are taking 4K video or higher through their scope and obtaining prints from this). My tripod is the best 3 section carbon that Manfrotto sells. The images just don't cut it compared to when using a 100-500mm Canon RF even with a 2x teleconverter. I suspect my expectations were just too high. I love the idea of a 2000mm focal length, but I'm just disappointed to the point where I may sell the entire setup. Have other folks experienced the same thing?

Thanks,
Joe
 

KC Foggin

Super Moderator
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
United States
I truly enjoyed digiscoping but due to an injury to my shoulder I just couldn't handle the weight any longer and I just didn't enjoy doing it on a tripod.
 

horukuru

Here I Come !
Malaysia
I'm not trying to start a flame war, so please take my comments in context from my experience as a photographer. I recently purchased a Kowa TSN 883 with 25-60 eyepiece, phone adapter, and Kowa adapters for my Canon professional bodies. I am blown away by the optics looking through the scope with my eye. I am far less satisfied with the image quality with my Canon body attached, and even less so phone scoping. I've been a photographer for 40 years, but not video (I only mention video as I know some folks are taking 4K video or higher through their scope and obtaining prints from this). My tripod is the best 3 section carbon that Manfrotto sells. The images just don't cut it compared to when using a 100-500mm Canon RF even with a 2x teleconverter. I suspect my expectations were just too high. I love the idea of a 2000mm focal length, but I'm just disappointed to the point where I may sell the entire setup. Have other folks experienced the same thing?

Thanks,
Joe

It is understandable the scopes was built mainly for observation and getting pics/videos through it is a bonus for and even with that, mixed results are obtained with many factors such as heat haze, type of glass inside the scope, camera+lens+adapter combo etc. What I normally do, I shoot at lowest magnification on my Swarovski STX95 scope which is at 30x and cranked the zoom up to 70x if I need to document rare subjects regardless of the quality output. But the closer I could get to my subject, the better quality I got, but not up to the standard of prime telephoto lenses which is built for images/videos. That's what scope were built for.

Have you tried observe anything with your long lens for more than a minute? If yes, was the feeling of WOW is similar like how you observed with your Kowa scope? If not, then you know the answers for your questions above.
 

Ian Byrnes

Well-known member
Hello Joe
Unlike you I have not been a photographer for as many years as you. I started as a birder progressing through scopes & old bridge cameras, to better scopes which would enable me to phonescope. ending up with a Zeiss 85 T-FL (20-75), adapters & S10 phone. The video results, in my opinion, were amazing but the limitations for reaction shots, BIF & small birds was very frustrating so got myself a Nikon D500, Sigma 150-600 & 1.4 TC & after trial & error and much practice was blown away by the results.
I got myself a Novagrade camera adapter from the US & tried the D500 on the scope expecting super far reaching results. Like you I was dissapointed. I also have good CF tripods & good heads but it still doesn't offer the flexibility or results of a hand held camera.
I will never sell my scope etc as I love the feel, quality & build of the set up but only take the kit out occasionally now when I feel like doing some videos as it's 4K on the phone. Like you, as with your Kowa, I really thought my Zeiss would give me the type of results without the cost of using a prime ( although I've never used one). As a birder I need a scope & the view with my phone as a viewfinder are amazing but when you have the photographer bug I don't think you can beat pro Canon/ Nikon / Sony bodies.
Regards
Ian
 

jlacasci

Member
United States
Thanks Ian. You've described my issue pretty well. What led me down this road wasn't really birding. I went to Yellowstone this July and knew that the distances were substantial and I would need more reach. Understanding the importance of optics, I wanted to use a high-quality scope. I needed time to get comfortable with the Novagrade and my phone (Samsung S21 Ultra) and my Canon. Renting for a month (time to use it then 2 weeks in the park) was going to run me close to $800. So I purchased the 88, Novagrade, 25-60 and it came with the 88 cover, and the equipment to attach the Canon. All in was around $3700.00. I already owned the Manfrotto so no loss there. If I decide to sell, I'm hoping I can get 2900.00 for it all. That would be the same price as me renting it all in the end. I did get to see wolves and pups in Lamar valley and a grizzly nearly three or four miles away. I'll be looking for a place to sell the gear perhaps next week.

Thanks,
Joe
 

Ian Byrnes

Well-known member
Thanks Ian. You've described my issue pretty well. What led me down this road wasn't really birding. I went to Yellowstone this July and knew that the distances were substantial and I would need more reach. Understanding the importance of optics, I wanted to use a high-quality scope. I needed time to get comfortable with the Novagrade and my phone (Samsung S21 Ultra) and my Canon. Renting for a month (time to use it then 2 weeks in the park) was going to run me close to $800. So I purchased the 88, Novagrade, 25-60 and it came with the 88 cover, and the equipment to attach the Canon. All in was around $3700.00. I already owned the Manfrotto so no loss there. If I decide to sell, I'm hoping I can get 2900.00 for it all. That would be the same price as me renting it all in the end. I did get to see wolves and pups in Lamar valley and a grizzly nearly three or four miles away. I'll be looking for a place to sell the gear perhaps next week.

Thanks,
Joe
Hi Joe
If there's one big difference, I only ever see birds & may be a few dear....there certainly aren't any Grizzlies or Wolves in Britain other than in Zoos & Safari Parks...so you certainly did benefit by buying the Kowa etc. Let's hope you sell them all.
Best wishes
Ian
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

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