The beauty of phonescoping (1 Viewer)

Ian Byrnes

Well-known member
There are few threads to phonescoping with, what seems, some reluctance from many to accept the real benefits and buzz you can get from experiencing it. I appreciate that for moving targets its difficult to get a good shot but the thrill of using a high magnification zoom with a smartphone zoom and getting good results at very long distances, is very satisfying.

Yesterday I took this photo of Canada Geese at about 150 metres at 40-50 zoom, 4 x on the phone, and got a really sharp shot:
imgonline-com-ua-resize-yF7NnvJv2SJ9zqe.jpg
Today I was on the Severn Estuary, just managed to see Curlews with 10x42 binoculars 250 metres away and thought I'll never get a decent shot. It was windy and raining so I tried at 75 zoom on the scope with 8 to 10 zoom on the phone and got this:
imgonline-com-ua-resize-4NDSweDGMRO.jpg
I was pretty pleased. It's not brilliant but it was 250 metres away and the weather wasn't good.

The main reason for posting is that phonescoping enables you, with the smartphone screen, to see such a wide view of subjects at long distances with excellent clarity. Admitedly your eyes are your first tool then the binoculars but once you've focused with your scope ....the phone takes over. I never feel fully comfortable scanning with a scope but having your phone as a TV screen is easy and rewarding. I rarely see Birders phonescoping....with cameras there are loads but the distance advantage with a scope, surely makes it an interesting candidate. There's no setting the phone up - it's all done for you.....they are now so sophisticated and the mega pixels available is rising all of the time.
Worth considering ??
 
Last edited:

GeoffWood

Well-known member
There are few threads to phonescoping with, what seems, some reluctance from many to accept the real benefits and buzz you can get from experiencing it. I appreciate that for moving targets its difficult to get a good shot but the thrill of using a high magnification zoom with a smartphone zoom and getting good results at very long distances, is very satisfying.

Yesterday I took this photo of Canada Geese at about 150 metres at 40-50 zoom, 4 x on the phone, and got a really sharp shot:
View attachment 731081
Today I was on the Severn Estuary, just managed to see Curlews with 10x42 binoculars 250 metres away and thought I'll never get a decent shot. It was windy and raining so I tried at 75 zoom on the scope with 8 to 10 zoom on the phone and got this:
View attachment 731066
I was pretty pleased. It's not brilliant but it was 250 metres away and the weather wasn't good.

The main reason for posting is that phonescoping enables you, with the smartphone screen, to see such a wide view of subjects at long distances with excellent clarity. Admitedly your eyes are your first tool then the binoculars but once you've focused with your scope ....the phone takes over. I never feel fully comfortable scanning with a scope but having your phone as a TV screen is easy and rewarding. I rarely see Birders phonescoping....with cameras there are loads but the distance advantage with a scope, surely makes it an interesting candidate. There's no setting the phone up - it's all done for you.....they are now so sophisticated and the mega pixels available is rising all of the time.
Worth considering ??
Do you use the phone software or a special app?
 

Ian Byrnes

Well-known member
Hello Geoff....seems ages ages since I posted that.

I use the phones software.

I use a Zeiss Diascope 85T*FL which offer great optics, zooming with high definition from 20-75. On that I have a Samsung S10 Galaxy, with 10 zoom and 24 MPixel camera...so to start with, the resulting photos are high quality using the cameras in built processing. There are 2 software packages on my phone as std, Google & Samsungs. Both offer sufficient options to enable me to sharpen my pics without using other apps.

Hope that helps.
 

etudiant

Well-known member
Hello Geoff....seems ages ages since I posted that.

I use the phones software.

I use a Zeiss Diascope 85T*FL which offer great optics, zooming with high definition from 20-75. On that I have a Samsung S10 Galaxy, with 10 zoom and 24 MPixel camera...so to start with, the resulting photos are high quality using the cameras in built processing. There are 2 software packages on my phone as std, Google & Samsungs. Both offer sufficient options to enable me to sharpen my pics without using other apps.

Hope that helps.

Getting the phone properly positioned on the scope is the critical step.
In my limited experience, an adapter is essential, keeping the phone steady at the focus point while hand held is impossible, at least for me.
How do you manage that part of the process?
 

Ian Byrnes

Well-known member
I use the PhoneSkope adapters...one for the phone, the other for the correct circumference of the eyepiece. Both are relatively expensive but are rigid and adjustable for the different cameras of the phone. With these, the lens aligns perfectly; vignetting adjusts with the phones zoom. The phone camera usually self focuses.
I leave the collar on the scope at all times and the adapter stays on my phone. The phone/adapter twists on to the collar with one turn. I use a Bluetooth shutter control to take shots/Videos with no shake.
 

etudiant

Well-known member
I use the PhoneSkope adapters...one for the phone, the other for the correct circumference of the eyepiece. Both are relatively expensive but are rigid and adjustable for the different cameras of the phone. With these, the lens aligns perfectly; vignetting adjusts with the phones zoom. The phone camera usually self focuses.
I leave the collar on the scope at all times and the adapter stays on my phone. The phone/adapter twists on to the collar with one turn. I use a Bluetooth shutter control to take shots/Videos with no shake.

Thank you, that is helpful.
Now I just need to dig through the options to find something that works with my Samsung Note 10+ in its case. Wish me luck!
 

Ian Byrnes

Well-known member
Morning....... Phone Skope make them for the Note 10 +, so you should be ok. They fit snuggly so it really works well....took these this morning at my local nature reserve.

imgonline-com-ua-resize-COaIc7Kb2TCmWwIm.jpg imgonline-com-ua-resize-5BQshvkDFV.jpg

Takings little films works well too.

Best wishes
 

etudiant

Well-known member
Morning....... Phone Skope make them for the Note 10 +, so you should be ok. They fit snuggly so it really works well....took these this morning at my local nature reserve.

View attachment 740111 View attachment 740112

Takings little films works well too.

Best wishes

Thank you for the lead.
Now deciding whether I want to ditch my existing phone case for this Phone Scope option. Ideally it would just be a case where one could slip on the eyepiece adapter when desired....
 

horukuru

Here I Come !
Yes digiscoping with smartphone is superb especially taking 4K video for reference. This Black-throated Wren-Babbler was taken in the rainforest late in the afternoon.

Can see the vignetting level using smartphone tru the Swarovski STX95 and edited to removed the vignetting. It is convenience because we can do live birding too through Whatsapp, Instagram and Facebook :king:

IMG_20200906 BTWB.jpg

IMG_20200906 BTWBE.jpg
 

Ian Byrnes

Well-known member
Great photo & clarity. There are comments about the FOV at high magnification being very limited but the smartphone 6.5 inch full screen image overcomes this by giving you the clarity and definition without the FOV stumbling block and the phones zoom can expand the image further.....
 

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