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Opticron UTA 2x (doubler) (1 Viewer)

FrankD

Well-known member
Not sure if this belongs here or in the Spotting Scopes forum. Since it can be used with either binoculars or a spotting scope I just opted to place it here as the binocular forum gets more visitors.

I just received it yesterday afternoon so I didn't have a great time to try it out before dark. I did have time after dark so I snapped a couple of pics of it and through it with my Iphone.

First phonescoped pic is with the MM3 60 mm and 23x wide angle eyepiece. The second is with the doubler installed.
 

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typo

Well-known member
Frank,

Nice photos as always.

Really a digibinning/scoping question. When I had the UTA l struggled to take photos that adquately represented what I was seeing. My fairly inexpensive phone was useless, the ones on my tablet and my wife's Samsung S4 phone not much better, and I couldn't get my micro 4/3 camera aligned adequately (I don't have the fancy adaptors). The best I was getting was half the level of detail I could see by eye. You use an i-phone don't you? How does the image resolution compare with what you see? Ever used it with a test chart?

Using the micro 4/3 on a separate tripod, zoomed in, timer and manual focus I have now managed to match my eyesight limit in the image with a binocular, but it's still short of the binocular limit. (I'd need a long lens for that). Not something I'd want to try in the field. The UTA's gone back to Opticron so I can't try again but it would still be nice to know how much detail you can extract from the extra boost.

Cheers,

David
 
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FrankD

Well-known member
David,

I think I know what you are asking. Basically, do the more current Iphones match the apparent level of resolution of the human eye when matched with a scope or binocular.

I don't think they are quite there yet but they are close. My eyesight, as of Tuesday, is 20/16 and I don't require any type of correction. I took the test with both of my sons when they had their yearly wellness visit. (Coincidentally they both match my eyesight and I actually think the oldest's is a hair better. He is scary out on a hawkwatch. :) ) Looking at a given object with just my eyes I can see a fraction more detail than is revealed when taking a pic with my Iphone 6S through a scope or binoculars.

Having said that, if you want to see a better representation of the pictures I posted above then you would need to see the originals on my flickr page. They can be "zoomed in" and you get a better idea of what it is capable of.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/29639158524/in/datetaken-public/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/30269865765/in/datetaken-public/


My purpose for posting the above pics was just to give folks an idea of the performance of the UTA in comparison to not using it on an optic. I actually want to mount it on the MM3 60 mm with the HDF zoom eyepiece cranked up to 45x (90x total with the UTA) just to see what type of performance it provides.
 
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typo

Well-known member
Frank,

Sorry if I wasn't clear enough. I noticed when I tried to take images like you did with the UTA the level of detail was poor compared to what I saw by eye. I did some checks with a chart and it's about five fold worse using the phone cameras we have. I'm trying to figure out if the problem is the phones or my incompetance and was wondeing how your results with the i-phone compared. The results with the 4/3 camera were quite good by comparison.

Your images look pretty clean, but it's not easy to gauge the level of detail. I'll have another go when I get a chance.

David
 

FrankD

Well-known member
David,

With that in mind I thought the level of detail was fairly good. I did not notice a lack of detail when using the UTA. Quite the opposite.
 

Mike C

Emeritus President at Burnage Rugby Club
I have a friend who is a newbie birder and really bothered about digiscoping.
Not interested in adding magnification to his x10 Hawke binoculars, either.
He has a small cheap spotting 'scope (branded by RSPB) with a x19 eyepiece.
This doubler sounds ideal for him to use to increase the power of his eyepiece without "investing" in a more expensive 'scope.

Question - how does this doubler affect viewing through the 'scope ?
 

Binastro

Well-known member
It is cheaper to buy a 20-60x60 or 20-60x80 low cost scope from Jessops, Celestron etc. So long as one tests it to make sure it works well.

The Opticron 2x afocal unit probably works on better scopes, but a very cheap scope may have poor optics.

Maybe the RSPB scope has other eyepieces available, a far better prospect.
 

FrankD

Well-known member
The two issues that would show a difference from normal scope viewing would be the narrower true/apparent field of view and a slighter dimmer image. The latter is a normal result whenever magnification is increased. The former is a result of the design of the doubler. Eye relief seemed very generous though I have never, admittedly, measured it.
 

typo

Well-known member
MikeC,

I agree with Frank about the narrower/dimmer view. I found it approximately halved the AFOV and altered exposures by about 1 stop as you might expect. Some "inexpensive" scopes might start to look soft at 36x, but generally that shouldn't be a problem for digiscoping with a camera phone as there will be a loss of detail anyway.

I estimated the eye relief, that is the lens to exit pupil distance, as 33mm which seems extraordinary (and may explain the narrow AFOV), but the lens is recessed at least 10mm so a still generous >20mm is actually available. This wasn't a problem tripod mounted, but needed some attention hand held to avoid blackouts. Probably not an issue for your friend either.

I actually thought the UTA was a very useful accessory, and optically rather good.
http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=329496

David
 

Mike C

Emeritus President at Burnage Rugby Club
It is cheaper to buy a 20-60x60 or 20-60x80 low cost scope from Jessops, Celestron etc. So long as one tests it to make sure it works well.

The Opticron 2x afocal unit probably works on better scopes, but a very cheap scope may have poor optics.

Maybe the RSPB scope has other eyepieces available, a far better prospect.

Cheers - this RSPB scope (£100 second hand at that) is, as I say, his first venture into any kind of birding optics. I know he doesn't plan to spend much, so....
 

gcole

Well-known member
I was just wondering if anyone knows from actually using the New UTA, does it provide a 2x(double) image ? or maybe a little less or a little more than 2x. I ask this because I know some times the Powers are rounded up or down in the world of optics for convenience of marketing .
 

typo

Well-known member
I was just wondering if anyone knows from actually using the New UTA, does it provide a 2x(double) image ? or maybe a little less or a little more than 2x. I ask this because I know some times the Powers are rounded up or down in the world of optics for convenience of marketing .

I did some pretty careful comparisons on the level of detail it was possible to see with and without the UTA and came up with a 1.8x difference every time. It wasn't so easy to get an exact EP measurement when using the UTA and binocular combined but that was suggesting a similar figure too.
http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=329496

David
 

gcole

Well-known member
Thanks David for that info. I am seriously considering purchasing one to use with my Opticron DBA 10x42 monocular. If the UTA has the same quality optics as my Opticron DBA monocular, the view in normal daylight should be very acceptable at 18x. Looking thru my right eye with the DBA monocular is as sharp/bright as any 42mm binocular I have ever used. That is saying a lot since I am near sighted and do not need my glasses when using the monocular. With my monopod & attachment ring for the monocular there will be no problem keeping it steady .... gwen
 

typo

Well-known member
Gwen,

On a casual look the DBA monocular looks pretty good, but I've not tested it for resolution so can't be certain how it would perform at 18x. For sure it's going to look brighter and sharper than at 2x or higher though. If it really is a match for a high quality binoculars then it should be good for at least 20/15 eyesight.

If you've read my report you will know that apart from the niggle of a relatively narrow view I thought it was a pretty impressive gadget for money.

David
 
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