1. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Thread spun off from https://www.metabunk.org/posts/32334

    And I think the idea of low budget options is useful for regular folk. I just discovered I can take 10x zoom photos just by holding my iPhone up to the eyepiece of some binoculars. It's overcast right now, but I'll see if I can get a plane photo with this later:

    [​IMG]

    It's a bit fiddly hand held, but shows it can be done.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
  2. JFDee

    JFDee Senior Member

    I am doing similar things with my spotting scope and various digital cameras, more in a bird-watch-related way. There are all kinds of relatively expensive ways of attaching the camera, but there are also simple holding devices like this one:
    http://www.365astronomy.com/images/Konus-Digital-Camera-Adapter-1300.jpg
    [​IMG]

    By using something like this, any camera with a standard tripod thread can be adjusted to take pictures through a scope or a pair of binoculars.

    A tripod is strongly suggested though.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2013
  3. JRBids

    JRBids Senior Member

    Thank you for posting that link to the holding device. I can't figure out how you hold it though? Do you brace it on something? I would like something to be able to take telephoto picture on the fly, like when I saw this turkey vulture yesterday. I just jumped out of my car, and didn't have time to use a tripod. Besides, if it's flying a tripod wouldn't help. Any suggestions to brace?

    3_16_2013 004.

    My "hobby" is taking photos of the tankers at the oil platform near me:

    3_13_2013 004.
     
  4. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Most such systems seem like they are really intended to work with a tripod. When you get to the larger magnifications, it's really going to be hard to keep the camera steady.

    If it's a small enough camera though, you can just hold onto the scope or binoculars, as the camera is clamped quite firmly to it.

    I might have a bash at making a home-made one....
     
  5. pseacraft

    pseacraft Active Member

    Eyepiece Projection is probably the hardest technique to use. I use it only with my little Sony cyber shot camera as getting the light path lined up just right can be quite frustrating. I do a lot of off the cuff shooting and utilize some of the body positions I learned shooting in the Armed Forces to steady my 'long' lens. There are several companies that make adapters for EP but I can not find my links. One place where I got adapters for my telescopes is http://www.scopestuff.com/ss_tadpt.htm

    Tripods can be remarkably fluid in movement when its adjusted just right. Just do not forget that your camera and optics are mounted to it. :)

    Example of EP with a Sony DSC-W200 and my SV-80 telescope. The shading is from the light path not being perfect:
    10011_Crop.
     
  6. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    So I attached my binoculars to a board with rubber bands, and then clamped the camera in place. The eyepiece end of the binoculars is raised up a bit with a wedge
    [​IMG]

    Works, but not super practical
    [​IMG]

    Then, using a Tripod/flash shoe adapter ($3, but I already had one)
    [​IMG]

    And a hot shoe flash stand (with 1/4" threading to mount on the tripod) ($2, also something I already had)
    [​IMG]

    I was above to mount the camera directly on the board
    [​IMG]

    So a free 50X camera. :)
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
  7. pseacraft

    pseacraft Active Member

    I am curious if you will have too much light intrusion where the camera lens and the binoc' eyepiece meet. You might need to cover that with some black cloth and then just shorten the board and I think its worthy of a test run. I like the simplicity of it Mick.
     
  8. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Light intrusion did not seem to be a problem - you can adjust the eyepiece spacer to meet the camera lens.

    I took a couple of test shot, compared them to a Canon 7D with a 200mm zoom. The results were roughly comparable. I had to take photo of a distant building, as it's too cloudy for planes.
    Here's the 7D 200mm shot for reference, the buildings are about 1.25 miles away.
    [​IMG]

    And here's the shot from the contraption
    [​IMG]

    The "Actual Pixels" magnification is much larger, however the quality is not improved.
    [​IMG]

    It is significantly better than the little camera can do by itself though, here's the best effort of the Canon S110:
    [​IMG]

    So since I've got a big camera, there's not a lot of benefit to this technique - the quality is not really any better, and it's incredibly fiddly to focus and frame (not to mention building/buying a supporting rig). However if someone just has a small camera or an iPhone, it can produce some quite improved results.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
  9. Ross Marsden

    Ross Marsden Senior Member

    http://www.365astronomy.com/images/Konus-Digital-Camera-Adapter-1300.jpg

    That Camera Adapter works by first clamping onto the eyepiece of the 'scope, then the camera is attached to the platform, and then there are 2 degrees of freedom facilitated by the sliders with locking screws to centre the camera lens into the 'scope's optical axis projecting out the eyepiece.
     
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  10. JFDee

    JFDee Senior Member

    You are right, the digiscoping approach is not suitable for quick action. I'm using superzoom cameras for that; I started with a Casio FX20 (26x) and have since moved to a Fuji HS30 (30x).
    Both have a shake-correcting feature which is required if you're holding the camera in your hand at maximum magnification.

    Even with 30x, you have to be fairly close to the "object" though, but sometimes you are lucky with a surprised or inexperienced animal ...

    cr2012_11.
     
  11. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Superzoom also has the advantage that it's, well, zoom. It's very difficult to find a small object when you start out at 30X zoom, but if you can quickly zoom in, you can keep it in frame.

    Planes with long contrails are a bit of an exception, as you can move up and down until you find the contrail, and then follow it to find the plane.
     
  12. JFDee

    JFDee Senior Member

    Regarding planes at travelling altitude, I think a magnification of 30x may still be insufficient; I remember having tried and thrown away the results once.

    Annother issue: when I tried to catch a trailing plane going overhead with my spotting-scope-attached Nex 3, I was not able to get a decent shot - most likely because I had zoomed in too much which made following the plane's movement almost impossible.

    My suggestion (to me and others) would be not to make the plane fill the view, but rather to get a clear and well-focussed shot from a little 'distance', and later crop out the part with the plane. That should make the 'catching' easier.
     
  13. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Here's a video I saw on the WhyWATS FB page showing this exact bracket used with a telescope (well, a 1000mm lens and an eyepiece), and some nice video results.
    ‚Äč

    The lens is a MTO11CA, about $350 used. It's got an M42 threaded mount, used by the old Praktika cameras (my first 35mm camera, solid), the eyepiece is probably $50 or less.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
  14. JFDee

    JFDee Senior Member

    Had a look on the original YT video and the comments. Very interesting. The poster manages to show how simple and inexpensive this setup is, at the same time not falling for the 'flamebait' of chemtrailers or trying to confront them in any way while clearly aware of the issue.
    Very good effort if this video gets spread!

    In the comments, the poster says he got it for 125 Euro (used).

    On a side note, I have looked up the 1200 mm telescope that "Killer" and others of the ExtremeSpottering group are using. The Sky-Watcher 10" (Dobson mount) comes at less than $700 - amazing!
     
  15. Woody

    Woody Member

    Mick, I know what I saw and I am working on this issue too and I agree with you, until there is a pic of one no one will believe. I own my own security ccompany and CCTV is a part of this, the problem is this, a 5 megapixal camera with the right DVR will cost me nearly 8k. They use these on toll booths and was on myth busters, license plate capture quality with a stable pan and tilt, but the prices are coming down with iphone and samsung technologies so when summer comes I will be on my roof installing something. I do have a 180mm lens for a 2/3 format available with a 2x zoom giving me a full 760x on a 1/3" format camera. Decreased format size increases field of view by 2x. If needed 1/4" is now available too that can increase the zoom even more. Stability is the problem at this range.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2013
  16. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    8k what? Why not just get a Canon Powershot SX50? $373, that's all you need.
     
  17. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Just wanted to update this, as I just got a 500mm lens for my Canon 7D. Here's the same shot from that.
    [​IMG]

    Here's a plane over my house, descending to LAX, probably around 8,000 feet.
    [​IMG]

    Not got any good contrail shots yet.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
  18. Wade Pilon

    Wade Pilon New Member

    hello and thank you for letting me join. i am completely new to this and looking for some advice.
    i am trying to use an action camera to video through a scope or monocular. i have a 10x25 monocular that is nice size for my needs. it works well inside, but as soon as i try to look outside all i get is a white circle.
    any help on this would be great thanks
     
  19. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Sounds like it might be overexposing in brighter outdoor light. Perhaps there's a setting to adjust the exposure (down) on your camera?
     
  20. Wade Pilon

    Wade Pilon New Member

    i am using an ION air pro lite. the settings do not allow for any adjustments like this.
    i am basically trying to make a scope cam for my boys airsoft sniper rifle. so he can upload videos to his youtube channel of his outings. like NOVRITSCH,, once i get this figured out next step is to add a crosshair to the cam so he doesnt have to photo shop it in every video.