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Equipment checklist, your help would be appreciated (1 Viewer)

jlacasci

Member
United States
Sorry for the length, I want to provide as much info as I've seen asked for in other posts. I've reviewed many sticky's here on equipment.

I'm an experienced photographer with Canon 1d Mark iii pro bodies and L series lenses.
I've photographed lots of sports running 24-70 L, 400 f/2.8.

I'm going to Yellowstone in July and know my 400 with 1.4 extender won't give me the reach I need for wildlife in the valleys. I've been planning the trip for months and learned I should bring a spotting scope, and then learned about digiscoping. Being close to retirement and planning on using my camera's, perhaps phone, and a scope for birding I decided to take the plunge.

I know the importance of quality glass and stability of the tripod/head combo at extreme magnifications.

I plan on purchasing the following and have some questions:

Kowa TSN 883 with TE-11WZ 25-60 eyepiece
For my Canon's - TSN-PA7 and T-ring
First question: I'm a bit worried about shutter and mirror movement creating vibrations. I'm willing to give phone scoping a shot. Unfortunately, no company has an adapter for my Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra until after my trip to Yellowstone is over. Is a Universal phone mount for the Kowa worth it and if so, which one? Or should I just stick with the Camera mount (thus the mirror and shutter should be okay if I get fast enough shutter speeds)? I can always get the phone digiscope adapter later when PhoneScope has them available.

Tripod and head - Manfrotto MT055CXPRO3 Carbon 3 section max load close to 20 lbs.
Head Manfrotto MVH500AH
The head, scope, and Canon body would weigh under 10 pounds.
Second Question - Would you agree that this combination of head and tripod will meet my needs for stable, digiscoping? Are there better-performing options?
Do I need (would it be helpful) to purchase the Manfrotto 500PLong plate? Or is that not needed with the scope on the MVH500AH head?

I'd prefer to spend under $5,000. This kit is currently at $4344.

PS... I'm not looking at beefier tripods at the moment as I plan on loading this gear on a touring motorcycle once we are at Yellowstone. I have plenty of photo luggage to carry it safely on the bike. I only mention this as I know there are sturdier tripods that would keep me under my budget, but carrying the gear on a touring bike allows me to combine both hobbies.

Thank you,
Joe





 
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jring

Well-known member
Hi Joe,

some remarks:

- the 500AH head comes with one 500PLong plate, so unless you plan to put your long lens on the tripod too (w/o changing the plate), you don't need an extra one... otoh these are cheap, so if you can get one along with the head delivered to save postage, it won't hurt.

- as for shutter and mirror shake, yes, that is very much a thing. Along with you introducing shake while operating the shutter...
I would think about possibilities to reduce these beforehand... not sure if your body offers a fully electronic or at least electronic first curtain shutter, maybe mirror lock and live view.
And if possible a remote shutter - or check if you can use your smartphone...

It is also a good idea to take some time to get used to the equipment at home - especially focusing manually with a razor thin depth of field... so you don't miss those once in a lifetime views at Yellowstone.

Another option would of course be a superzoom camera... lots of reach and autofocus... at the cost of some image quality...

Enjoy your trip and the new toys!

Joachim
 
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jlacasci

Member
United States
Thank you for the reply.
I'm just about ready to make my purchase but do have two more questions.

In response to jring, no the Canon 1d Mark iii are pretty old and only offer a mechanical shutter. I do have mirror lock though. Having never tried my hand a digiscoping, I don't know the impact on the release of the shutter even with a cable release. If folks have some experience with mechanical shutters even at high shutter speeds I'd appreciate it.

I'm considering the Manfrotto 057 3-Section with Rapid Column rather than the MT055CXPRO3 for the extra stability. But this feels like overkill with the TSN-883 and MVH500AH, not to mention the Canon body if the shutter doesn't create too many problems. Opinions on the 057 over the MT0055? Is the sturdier tripod not necessary?

Finally, to use my Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra the only solid option seems to be the Novagrade dual grip. I like the idea of not having to replace the device every 2 or 3 years as phones change, but I am concerned with the fact that the lenses on the back of my phone are in a "raised" square on the phone. Does anyone have experience with the Novagrade dual gripper on a Galaxy S21 Ultra?

Thanks again,
Joe
 

jring

Well-known member
Hi,

I did a bit of googling and found the article linked below... it seems your body can indeed shoot in live view mode with both mirror and shutter open - controlled via wifi with an additional dongle...


Maybe ask in the Canon Camera Forum whether anybody has used said dongle and whether there is an android app...

Joachim, m43 user...
 

jlacasci

Member
United States
Thanks, jring. I will provide more info than folks probably care to know about electronic vs mechanical shutters in a moment. Unless folks are really into photography or are digiscoping with old cameras, this is probably more information than they would ever need. ;-)

What I really need advice on is just these two questions:

Is the Manfrottol 057 tripod overkill compared to the 055 for the head, spotting scope, and heavy camera body? Would the 055 be more than enough? I'd rather not spend the extra $300.00 if I don't need to.

Does anyone have experience with the Novagrade double gripper for their phone? Specifically the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra (as the cameras on the back are raised above the body of the phone on a square panel?

Now for more than you wanted to know about mechanical vs electronic shutters.

Not to split hairs, but the EOS 1 D Mark iii has a mechanical shutter. I don't even think electronic shutters existed when this body was made in 2007. The first Canon "pro" body I think was the R5 in 2020. The difference between mechanical and electronic is:

Mechanical physically has two blades 1st and 2nd curtains that must move to expose the sensor. 1st curtain opens, and the 2nd curtain closes according to shutter speed. Electronic shutters do NOT have metal blades (curtains) and instead turns the sensor on or off to capture the image, thus no vibration from shutter movement.
Either mirror lock mode, or using the cable you found internally works the same way. Without mirror lock on in the 1 D Mark iii, the mirror slaps up out of the way, the 1st curtain opens to expose the sensor and the 2nd curtain closes it to obtain the shutter speed to expose the sensor. Mirror lock on the Mark 1 D Mark iii moves the mirror out of the way. This is required to use live view to see the sensor image on the back of the camera the mirror must be up for the image to reach the sensor in order to show it on the LCD on the back of the camera or send the image to your computer via the cable you mentioned. However, with the mechanical shutter in mirror lock mode, live view, or with the cable the following actions happen: The 1st shutter must close to stop exposing the sensor. The 1st curtain must open and the second curtain closes. After the image is made the mirror returns to its down position in mirror lock mode.

There is less vibration in mirror lock as the mirror slapping up creates more vibration than just the curtains. This is the mode used in mirror lock mode, live view, or when using the cable to send the image to a computer.

I know that mirror lock helps significantly as I've used this feature with my 400mm and 1.4 extender. But in low light, the slower shutter speeds can cause issues with the shutter vibration.

There are detailed articles on this.


I hope you found this explanation helpful.
 
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Binastro

Well-known member
With a really heavy and steady astro driven tripod I used 1 second exposures at 23,000mm focal length at f/72 for pin sharp Saturn and Jupiter photos. 160 ASA high speed Ektachrome.
12.5 inch telesope, manual focus.

Minolta SRT 303B film camera, mirror lock up, cable release.
Sometimes self timer used.

Horace Dall used 900,000mm focal length for Mercury photos with a 16 inch telescope.
With his invention, the atmospheric dispersion corrector.

Regards,
B.
 

jlacasci

Member
United States
Thanks Binastro. It's been a very long time since I used my camera on my Meade 12 inch. And yes the tripod that came with mine is a monster. The worm gear motor to track objects is awesome. Again, it's been such a long time for me, but I do recall my old Pentax K1000 being solid as a rock when T mounted. Thanks again. Joe
 

jring

Well-known member
Hi Joe,

thanks for the explanation of shutters... seems my g80 m43 body has an electronic shutter then as it can make exposures from the app w/o the click... and since it's mirrorless in the first place, any click is the shutter...

Joachim
 

jlacasci

Member
United States
The equipment is in.

TSN-883, 25-60 eyepiece, Canon EF attachments, Novagrade double gripper, and Manfrotto 570 Carbon 3 section with the rapid column,Manfrotto 500AH fluid head.

First impressions - I'm impressed with the quality of the optics. The fluorite crystal objective and ED glass in the eyepiece produce stunning images with clear and sharp images through the zoom range from edge to edge and not just in the center of the image. There appears to be virtually no chromatic aberration either.

The Manfrotto 057 is rock solid and with the 500AH creates a solid platform even with a heavy Canon body mounted to the scope. The long plate that comes with the 500AH can easily balance the load.

The Novagrade double gripper wasn't as much trouble to set up as I had read. Using the primary lens on the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, a 108 MP f/1.8 24mm equivalent, captures stunning images. The image starts at 1x zoom, with on-screen options to zoom higher in increments, or by pinching the screen. 2x fills the display on the camera. With the camera in Photo Mode, zooming in with this lens much past 3.x switches to a different lens thus losing the proper position for digiscoping. However, if in PRO Mode, so far I've been able to zoom in more than 3.x with the 108 MP lens.

Focusing is a bit easier with the phone (due to autofocus and focus/exposure lock with the S21 compared to the Canon Body where you have to rely 100% on focusing with the spotting scope.

Thanks for the help everyone.

Joe
 

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