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Is my Spotting Scope decent enough? (1 Viewer)

KBHC73

Well-known member
England
Hi, I use the Opticron HR80ED with the 1st version of the SDL 24-72x. When not birding i enjoy observing & taking pics/videos of the moon when conditions are ok. I recently took the attatched image using this set up plus my Samsung A13 connected via adapter. Scope mag was around 68x as i didn't want to overdo it & i zoomed in just a tiny bit on my phone. My question is does the image seem ok considering my gear or could it be bettered & by how much & for how much expense but i am just talking about spotting scopes & not proper astro stuff. I just want an outside opinion but as it goes i never thought i'd get the detail i got with the gear i have.

Any replies or info would be much appreciated.

Thanks

Paul
 

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Looks good to me, the image appears to lose a bit of sharpness and clarity when zooming in, but this could be related to your phone/image quality of the uploaded photo. How does it look when viewing with the naked eye?
One consideration is that optics are always limited by atmospheric conditions (which generally vary more during the daytime when the scope is in use) and as such there can be occasions when you can't get a good image about 30x. I even struggle with my 80 HD swarovski at 50x in heat-haze, fog, rain etc... All optics are a compromise, and whether you have something costing £80 or £4000 there will always be some issues with the view (to a greater or lesser degree).

I'm not sure if it helps your thought process, but my previous scope was a Nikon ED82 which was a superb example; I tried it against a Kowa 883 and saw no difference (I thought the view was better with my Nikon when comparing the two with the fixed 30x) and eventually decided that I wanted a zoom. I now have an ATM80 HD w/ 25-50x - is it any better than my Nikon ED82? Not really. Did I spend money replacing something that was perfectly satisfactory for my needs? You bet.
The lesson from this is that unless you have a specific fault with your optic that can be corrected by replacing it with something else which doesn't have the same (or a different) fault, it is a bit pointless IMO; other opinions will vary!
 
The detail shown on the Moon is good.

However, the Moon is an easy large object.

I probably get similar detail with Nikon, Minolta, Canon, Tamron SP and Optomax 500mm f/8 mirror lenses with 2x or 3x teleconverters.
The MTO 1000mm f/10 isn't usually as good, but The Vivitar 600mm f/8 solid Cat better.

The real test is on the planets, but nowadays planetary photographers stack thousands of video frames in each of three colours to far exceed visual detail.

To improve the detail with the set up in the photo, stacking is the answer and relevant programmes, but this is something with which I have no experience.
The programmes select the best frames.

Some cameras automatically stack three frames to give a square root of three improvement.

Unfortunately some modern smartphones I think cheat by adding lunar detail to an image that does not exist in the image.
This is sneaky and dishonest.

Regards,
B.
 
Hi,

visually in my cherry TSN-3 with the SDLv2 the moon looks a lot crisper than your image when zoomed in. But also a lot smaller at 54x - and when I try images, they come out worse. So it's hard to say whether it's due to your scope or the phone camera and/or technique.

Here is an incredibly good image through an obviously quite good Kowa 883 with an astro EP at 145x...


Joachim
 
Looks good to me, the image appears to lose a bit of sharpness and clarity when zooming in, but this could be related to your phone/image quality of the uploaded photo. How does it look when viewing with the naked eye?
One consideration is that optics are always limited by atmospheric conditions (which generally vary more during the daytime when the scope is in use) and as such there can be occasions when you can't get a good image about 30x. I even struggle with my 80 HD swarovski at 50x in heat-haze, fog, rain etc... All optics are a compromise, and whether you have something costing £80 or £4000 there will always be some issues with the view (to a greater or lesser degree).

I'm not sure if it helps your thought process, but my previous scope was a Nikon ED82 which was a superb example; I tried it against a Kowa 883 and saw no difference (I thought the view was better with my Nikon when comparing the two with the fixed 30x) and eventually decided that I wanted a zoom. I now have an ATM80 HD w/ 25-50x - is it any better than my Nikon ED82? Not really. Did I spend money replacing something that was perfectly satisfactory for my needs? You bet.
The lesson from this is that unless you have a specific fault with your optic that can be corrected by replacing it with something else which doesn't have the same (or a different) fault, it is a bit pointless IMO; other opinions will vary!
Hi, Many thanks for your reply. When viewing with naked eye it looked crisp & clear. The conditions were breezy so was getting some vibration through the tripod (Manfrotto 055ProB) & i could see a slight bit of atmosphere wobble on my phone screen. I probably could better it but by only a small percentage & it would come at a cost & if i'm honest i don't think it would be anything mind blowing. I just seen a post on one of the threads that a user had put up of the Moon taken at over 100x with a Kowa 883 & to be honest i expected much better so maybe i should be completely happy with what i have.

I actually thoughI did get offered an ED82 with the 30x wide MC & 25-75x MC but it's the narrow FOV of the zoom i'm not keen on although i hear it's sharp upto 75x.

I think it's easy to think the grass is always greener elsewhere!

Many thanks 😉
Hi,

visually in my cherry TSN-3 with the SDLv2 the moon looks a lot crisper than your image when zoomed in. But also a lot smaller at 54x - and when I try images, they come out worse. So it's hard to say whether it's due to your scope or the phone camera and/or technique.

Here is an incredibly good image through an obviously quite good Kowa 883 with an astro EP at 145x...


Joachim

Hi,

visually in my cherry TSN-3 with the SDLv2 the moon looks a lot crisper than your image when zoomed in. But also a lot smaller at 54x - and when I try images, they come out worse. So it's hard to say whether it's due to your scope or the phone camera and/or technique.

Here is an incredibly good image through an obviously quite good Kowa 883 with an astro EP at 145x...


Joachim
Hi, When looking through my eyepiece alone the image is brighter/sharper. As i previously said it was quite breezy & any vibration would be amplified & would show up on the phone screen & also i did zoom in a bit more using my phones zoom. I did see the pic taken by the Kowa & everything i've read about them is amazing but sadly out of reach for me.

Thanks.
 

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