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Sony Cybershot DSC-S85 (1 Viewer)

Hauer

Well-known member
Hello there!
Anyone else using their DSC-Sxx for digiscoping purposes? If so, I would appreciate feedback in repect of your experience. What additional equipment are you using? Any tips?
Hope to hear from you!
In the meantime I wish you .....Happy Birding!
Regards,
Herman
PS. Tip! - In order to disengage the (sometimes irritating) auto shut-off mode, simply insert a plug in the AV socket.
 
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Adey Baker

Member
Hi Herman

I use the S85 with a Leica scope and 32x eyepiece. There is some vignetting at all zoom settings (apart from the full digital zoom). I, thus, hold the camera right up against the eyepiece as any adaptor which leaves a gap between lens and eyepiece would increase vignetting.

I keep the auto-focus engaged and use aperture-priority exposure with the lens set to full aperture (F2-F2.5). I have the exposure compensation activated and adjust it to keep exposure to a minimum as over-exposure is not good!

Close-up birds can be photographed with the lens at the wide angle end and there is no more vignetting here than at full zoom - the digital zoom is the only way to get vignetting out completely but although it's not usually recommended to use the digital zoom, I have to say that the Sony one is better than most. A bit of work in 'Photoshop' afterwards and printing at a modest size and they don't look too bad - although you wouldn't submit them to a magazine for publication!

It's not a bad all-round camera for general use with its fast lens but it's a bit slow compared to the latest models - and the colours are a bit yellow, which tends to give over-bright greens and a slightly turquoise sky (easily fixed in 'Photoshop' but not quite so easy in 'Elements')
 

Hauer

Well-known member
Thanks for your response Adey. Its always interesting to know what other users are doing with similar equipment. I previously used the Sony 2x teleconverter (VCL-ES020) lens which I found to be a little disappointing due to excessive vignetting. To resolve this issue, I too, had to make extensive use of digital zoom. I did experience that if digital zoom is not excessively applied the quality at times was quite "reasonable".

Having sold my previous Sony 2x converter lens, I am now using an EagleEye OpticZoom lens (5x) thus providing me with a maximum 15x optic zoom range in conjuction with camera's 3x optic zoom capability. For protection I always use a 52mm UV filter(B+W) which is attached to the EagleEye with a 37/52mm step-up ring. I have just ordered a new 2x teleconverter (52mm rear & 58mm front) from the USA and hope to increase performance to a maximum of 30x optic zoom in the near future. Presume that at the end of the day a trade-off will have to be made in respect of picture quality but is does provide some interesting scope for additional creativity. Will have to practise with the new zooming capabilities but I hope to take some nice birding shots in the long run.

Herman
Tip! -There is a very interesting Photoshop vignetting correction plug-in tool available via the website: http://epaperpress.com/ptlens/index.html
 
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Hauer

Well-known member
FURTHER UPDATE - Having received my compact DAT Digital Optics (2x) teleconverter (Super Compact Titanium Series) from the States recently, I've made an attempt to start digiscoping. I’m using the EagleEye OpticZoom lens (5x) in combination with the teleconverter (2x) and so far without using any onboard camera (max 3x) optic zoom capability. This configuration starts me off with a 10x optic zoom range.

The teleconverter is very compact and light and has a rear-end diameter of 52mm and a 58mm front-end offering plenty of light to pass through. The teleconverter is attached to the EagleEye OpticZoom lens using a 37/52mm step-up ring. For those interested….. the teleconverter is infrared compatible.

What strikes me is that focussing is quite an issue but I’m sure that with some practice that will improve. As you cannot only rely on the camera auto-focus capability but also having to adjust the manual focussing ring on the EagleEye OpticZoom lens as well, it becomes quite a tricky business. In my instance its very important to put the camera in macro mode as this improves focus vastly. I have not used a tripod till now and have therefore only taken photos in shutter priority mode (setting 1/500) and the exposure setting to -0,03 to further aid the aperture value. Though I have always been perfectly satisfied with taking photos in 1,3 megapixel mode (1280x960 pixels), I am now using the maximum 4,1 megapixel mode for digiscoping purposes to assist in countering the ever present vignette effect.

After taking a photo, I then do some post-processing with the camera itself. Using the LCD screen, I zoom into the photo until I am satisfied that the vignette effect is mostly disappeared and then activate the trimming mode so as to make a photo at a lower resolution of the original photo. So far, I have saved the “photo-of-a-photo” at a resolution of 1280x960 pixels.

The resulting photo is then, if required further adjusted using a photographic software package.

Please note that I am relatively in-experienced in photography and that providing this information is purely for the enjoyment of others who are also interested in a similar combination.

Any comments or tips would be sincerely appreciated!

Herman
 

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Adey Baker

Member
Adey Baker said:
Hi Herman

I use the S85 with a Leica scope and 32x eyepiece. There is some vignetting at all zoom settings (apart from the full digital zoom)

Close-up birds can be photographed with the lens at the wide angle end and there is no more vignetting here than at full zoom - the digital zoom is the only way to get vignetting out completely but although it's not usually recommended to use the digital zoom, I have to say that the Sony one is better than most. A bit of work in 'Photoshop' afterwards and printing at a modest size and they don't look too bad - although you wouldn't submit them to a magazine for publication!

Took this yesterday with full digital zoom on - I was trying-out the macro setting on the lens (not sure whether it helps or not!)

This is the full frame and it shows what's achievable and also (considering it was hand-held) what the limitations are - now if only that digital zoom was an optical zoom...
 

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