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Olympus OM-D EM10 III + Confusion with the DA-20 adapter. (1 Viewer)

mskb

Well-known member
Hello Everyone,

Our goal is to use our Olympus OM-D EM10 III + 14-42 EZ lens (with its small 37mm filter thread) for digiscoping with our Kowa 663M + TE-9Z eyepiece.

As far as I understood from Kowa's website, we have two options:
(a) go the DA20 adapter + AR37 ring mounted on the EZ lens.
(b) use the PA-8 adapter

With the (b) option, I am worried about catching dust in the sensor as the camera is exposed.

OTOH, if going the DA-20 route, unless I am mistaken, it seems the camera+lens combo is attached to the rest of the adapter assembly via "just" the filter thread! I ask because the filter thread in our EZ lens is so tiny in width, that I wonder if it will be enough to hold the weight!

Any thoughts or experiences?

Thanks,
Kumar
 

jring

Well-known member
Hi,

I didn't like the pancake zoom for digiscoping on an angled scope as the motor has to lift and hold the camera body when switching on the the camera. There is an older version which doesn't extend to much... or a manual Panasonic kit lens...

The thread should be fine.

Joachim
 

mskb

Well-known member
Hi Joachim,

Thank you, and great that you have experience with this too! Just as I thought I was done pestering you. Lol!

So you think the thread is fine. That's good news.

Good point on the EZ motor. If I recall correctly there is an option that doesn't let the pancake "reset" to its contracted state. I wonder how things work out if one enables that option. Did you have a chance to try it out anytime? I don't have a DA20 myself to try right now.

PS: I do wonder why these adapters are sooo expensive! Are there any significantly cheaper third party alternatives?
 
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jring

Well-known member
Hi,

don't have the lens any more - traded it to a friend for the pany kit lens... he could use a pancake and I could use the manual pany kit lens... Would have to ask him to bring when we meet next...

Joachim
 

mskb

Well-known member
Thanks Joachim.

I think we might have a solution here, just plainly ignoring the lens part. This is what Kowa says here in the DA20 documentation:

"Alternatively you can connect the TSN-DA20 directly to your camera body without a lens – simply purchase the Kowa TSN-AR42 GT adapter ring with standard 42mm T2 mount fitting and add a T2 ring to match your camera system between camera body and adapter."

And looking at the TSN-AR42 GT, the engineers have added in a glass element too (https://www.kowaproducts.com/digiscoping/KowaTSN-AR42GTadapterring/), : " The adapter ring incorporates a glass layer to protect your camera sensor from dirt and dust entering whilst digiscoping."

So there we go. I think for digiscoping, I am going to the simple {Olympus T2 ring + TSN-AR42 GT + DA20} route, unless I find an alternative cheaper option. I did come across these ( https://www.telescopeadapters.com/16-olympus#/ ) but couldn't find much in terms of reviews on practical field experience.

Thank you !
 
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mskb

Well-known member
Hey @tarsigercyanurus, Thank you!

I found this: https://www.srb-photographic.co.uk/micro-four-thirds-srb-digiscoping-kit-9579-p.asp , and the associated video on that page.

It is quite inexpensive, and neat! We definitely need more manufacturers like this!

I see two issues though - please correct me if I am wrong. In contrast to Kowa's DA20/DA10 kit, it appears that
(a) we lose access to the zoom-ring on the eyepiece with this product? Kowa achieves this by having an inner collar on the DA20 that attaches to where the eyecups are, and the whole setup doesn't extend over the zoom-rings of an eyepiece. So that part is left intact.
(b) One might miss out on the glass layered T2mount-to-DA20 interface ring (TSN-AR42 GT); perhaps one can still attach that between the T2 & the eyepiece attachment tube of the srb-photographic's design.

If (a) is true, it is, rather unfortunately, a deal breaker for me as the zoom is the only eyepiece we have now. But thank you for this recommendation. This product never showed up in my search.

Cheers!
 
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marcsantacurz

Well-known member
I do not think you want to use a zoom lens for digiscoping. Get a fixed. I think a 45mm MFT (90mm equivalent) is about what you want, but I have not used it so do not know for sure. It might be closer to a 25mm MFT. Personally, I'd try the PA7A/PA8 first. getting rid of the lens will improve the IQ.

I think trying to put the camera weight (even a small MFT) on a zoom via its lens threads is a bad idea.

I would stay away from the SRB thing. It is very different than the KOWA TSN-PA7A / PA8. The Kowa adapter mounts on scope collar. It then has a window through which you adjust the zoom. There is no weight on the zoom eyepiece. The SRB mounts on the end of the zoom eyepiece, transferring your camera's weight to the eyepiece. If you use the SRB with a fixed eyepiece, it might be so bad, though you do move the torque point further out from the scope body.

The PA8 looks like it will have some "circle" to it at some magnifications, while the PA7A looks clean in the youtubes I've seen. If you get a wide eyepiece, you'd probably eliminate the circle (you'd need to use the DA20 adapter w/ a T mount)

Marc
 
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mskb

Well-known member
Hi @Marc, Thank you for your insights!

If I recall correctly, the zoom is internal on the 14-42 EZ pancake. So we are always working with a "fixed" lens if you will, as the lens doesn't expand or contract as we move through zoom ranges. By also checking the "reset lens" to OFF on the OM-D, we could prevent the pancake from contracting when the camera auto-powers off. I will update the thread if I find the lens to behave in a different way.

I wonder why you like the PA8/PA7 type adapters over the DA20 even though both allow access to the zoom ring? Was it that the PAs were held on the scope much further down (where the eyepiece meets the scope), and intuition seems to suggest that it might be more stable/safe than the DA20?

Cheers!
 

marcsantacurz

Well-known member
Hi @Marc, Thank you for your insights!

If I recall correctly, the zoom is internal on the 14-42 EZ pancake. So we are always working with a "fixed" lens if you will, as the lens doesn't expand or contract as we move through zoom ranges. By also checking the "reset lens" to OFF on the OM-D, we could prevent the pancake from contracting when the camera auto-powers off. I will update the thread if I find the lens to behave in a different way.

I wonder why you like the PA8/PA7 type adapters over the DA20 even though both allow access to the zoom ring? Was it that the PAs were held on the scope much further down (where the eyepiece meets the scope), and intuition seems to suggest that it might be more stable/safe than the DA20?

Yes, it's just that. The PA8/PA7 attach to the collar and put no torque on the eyepiece. I suspect it will be a lot less wiggle/shake too.

Things that try to grab onto the rubber part of the eyepiece, besides torquing the eyepiece threads, will not get as solid a grip trying to hold on to the rubber as the collar mount. The SRB does this. For the DA20, you remove the rubber piece and attach the DA20 in its place.

I know you wouldn't do this, but I'm sure I would sometimes bump into the camera. If it is on the PA8/PA7 that bump goes to the collar. If it is on the DA20, it goes through the zoom mechanism and through the eyepiece threads.

Marc
 
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mskb

Well-known member
Based on Marc's suggestion, I have been looking through Kowa PA8. I was worried it might not have the glass filter as the AR42-GT for the DA20. But some posts from post 2015 in our forum do appear to mention there is clear glass (which Kowa doesn't highlight) on the end of the PA8 / PA7A, which attaches to the camera specific-T2-mount.

A couple of forum members have reported better success from a focus & image quality perspective using a camera + lens + DA10 combo for Kowa 880 series scopes than the corresponding PA7/PA7A. PA8 does leave the eyecups intact and hence the overall assembly of the eyepiece, simply sliding through the eyepiece which is neat.

If there are more users who have compared PA8 vs. DA20 for 550/600/660 series or PA7/PA7A vs DA10 for 770/880 series, or if you have found cheaper alternatives, it would be great to know your experience!

Thank you!
 
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