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"Too dumb" to use a Scope? (1 Viewer)

littleowl91

New member
Hi all,

this is my first post. I am happy to have found this forum containing a lot of bird knowledge.

I am looking for a spotting scope to enhance my birding experience – which sounds like a regular request found a thousand times within this forum. But in my case, the problem is a bit different: As of now I am unable to get a clear view through ANY spotting scope.

At various occasions I now tried no name scopes, checked the Meopta MeoPro 80 HD, and finally tried to look through the Swarovski ATS and ATX – but none really got me a great viewing experience. I always got a rather incomplete, dull picture and it was hard for me to look through the scope and extended amount of time. I was always quite happy to look through my Swarovski SLC bins again which provided me with the crystal clear, crisp picture I was also expecting from the scopes.
As you can imagine as the price of the tested models went up my suspicion grew at the same rate. This feeling got intensified by the statements of my girlfriend who was excited by pretty much all the models we tested.

All preconditions for proper use should have been met (eye cups were extended as we both don’t wear glasses).
I am now wondering if I am „too dumb“ to use a scope. Is anyone familiar with this problem? What did help for you? Should I simply try out more spotting scopes like Zeiss and Leica to find one that fits? Is it maybe something with my body or eye position?

Looking forward to hear your thoughts!

PS: One scope finally provided me with a pretty good picture: the Swarovski BTX which of course mimics the regular binocular experience I have no problems with. However, if possible, I would like to go for a standard scope which offers greater magnification and better possibilities for digiscoping (and comes at a lower price).
 

Ries

Well-known member
Also tried each eye for viewing through a scope? You might not be using your dominant eye. There are little tests to determine which that is (while for me easiest viewing is the óther eye than tests say...). I just can't get a view with the other eye, can't place it right, can't keep it there etc... Watching with one eye, even when you find out the right one for you, might take some practice and getting used to.
 
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wllmspd

Well-known member
You can add an extender to the BTX to increase the power. I own some 45degree APM 70mm ED binoculars, which I use on a tripod around 30x though I can go up beyond 50x if I need to. I use regular ultrawide field astro eyepieces as I like an expansive view. Individual eye focus so better suited to longed distance observation. 3.7kg, but backpack portable and only need a fairly light camera tripod. I am sure you could add a phone eyepiece adapter and digiscoping you wanted.
Another option if you positively cannot use a single eye view. You could try an eyepatch so you don’t need to close the other eye?

Peter
 

jring

Well-known member
Hi,

first of all, welcome to BF!

As for your problem, trying the other eye is of course a good idea, as is trying different positions for the eyecup (all up is usually right in most cases w/o glasses, but I also have to use it a bit down on some instruments too - also no glasses yet). And of course focussing... but you did that, right.

In general, the view through a spotting scope is going to be less bright when it matters (that is not on a bright sunny day) than through your average pair of binoculars due to the different exit pupil sizes (an 80mm spotter goes from 4mm at 20x down to 1.3mm at 60x while an 8x40 has 5mm and an 8x32 has 4mm - divide aperture by magnification).

In bright sunlight, your eye's pupil will often be smaller than that (2mm or so if you're young and it's really bright), then there is no difference. But if the exit pupil is smaller than that of your eye, perceived image brightness will be less at first - the eye tends to adapt after a few minutes.
Also when the exit pupil is nice and large in comparison to the eye's pupil, eye placement is easy. When it gets smaller, eye placement is more tricky and there is a bit of a learning curve to get it right.

So, take your time when trying one next time... when there is a queue behind you, let the others have a go and wait until later when everybody is queueing for the rarity in the other scope...

Some other possible problem is that some people don't really like to observe with one eye closed - in that case an eyepatch might help - if you don't care for the looks... or use a drawtube scope, dress a bit more colorfuly and cry Aaaarrrr! - after all we're getting close to Nov 11th...

Using the BTX or big astro bins is of course an option too. But it will be neither cheap nor light and you have the usual problem of bins that they're not easily shared as you need to adjust the interpupilary distance and the diopter for each user...

PS: If you need a good store for optics in NRW, Juelich in Bonn is warmly recommended - do you know the german Juelich forum?

Joachim
 
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littleowl91

New member
Thanks for your replies!

Also tried each eye for viewing through a scope? You might not be using your dominant eye. There are little tests to determine which that is (while for me easiest viewing is the óther eye than tests say...). I just can't get a view with the other eye, can't place it right, can't keep it there etc... Watching with one eye, even when you find out the right one for you, might take some practice and getting used to.

Yes, I tried both eyes. No improvement. And in fact, I have cross eye dominance which may cause/further impair the distorted viewing. And maybe it is also some practice, but it is quite a bet if the up-front investment is something like 3k+...

As for your problem, trying the other eye is of course a good idea, as is trying different positions for the eyecup (all up is usually right in most cases w/o glasses, but I also have to use it a bit down on some instruments too - also no glasses yet). And of course focussing... but you did that, right.

Joachim

Yes, I did zoom and focus.
Maybe I indeed have to spend still some more time trying out individual scopes and experiment with different scope settings and eye postures.
And perhaps in the end it will be the BTX, now that I now of the extender and the digiscoping possibility. ;)
 

Egrets Ivadafew

Well-known member
13BEBC24-6BEE-4D50-AE91-18F8DEC25AD6.jpeg
I suffered with the same one eye open / one eye shut thing so designed this. If you’re interested I can explain how to construct it
 

Egrets Ivadafew

Well-known member
Looks interesting, what components do you use for that?

Best regards,
Nils
Sorry for the delay in replying.
I got fed up with squinting and eventually getting ‘aching eyes’, and the ‘both eyes open’ technique never worked for me.
the clamp round the eyepiece is from the Bushnell digiscoping kit. I drilled a small hole through the stalk that extends from the clamp, put a small nut and bolt through it, and bolted a plastic cylinder to it (this cylinder was actually one of those black containers that hold 35mm film cartridges). Sounds a lot of messing about but I’m no engineer yet I managed. The upshot is I now use my scope the way I use binoculars (both eyes open) with a crystal clear view through the eyepiece and zero eye strain so it was definitely worth the small amount of effort.
Hope this helps.
 

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