FZ30 digiscoping test/review(pics)

Started Oct 23, 2005 | Discussions thread
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ankh
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FZ30 digiscoping test/review(pics)
Oct 23, 2005

Finally I got to finish my test of FZ30 for digiscoping. I took a lot of my time so I apologize if I wasn’t around much to see all of your great posts.

The question I wanted to answer to myself was, Is FZ30 good for digiscoping? Following will show.

First I should mention my equipment for testing.

All test where done with William Optics Megrez 80 Fluorite APO telescope(480mm FL, f/6), which is very high quality scope, very sharp and fantastic color fringing correction. So any fringing or optical imperfections are mostly introduced by the eyepieces tested or by the combination of the eyepiece and camera.

I have tested two eyepieces made for digiscoping. They are both 2” eyepieces(so you need a scope with 2” focuser) with large glass designed for large lenses cameras. The main reasons for vignetting in digiscoping is the eyepiece eye relief and exit pupil of the setup.

First eyepiece is Scopetronix Maxview II which is 40mm eyepiece with 36mm max eye relief and 58mm thread, so you need 55-58mm ring to attach it to FZ30. Exit pupil diameter with my particular setup is 6.67mm.

Second is William Optics DCL-52 which is 75mm eyepiece with unknown eye relief(but it is much longer then Maxview II, my estimate is from 60-70mm which plays major role as you will see later) and 52mm thread, so you need 55-52mm ring to attach it to FZ30. Exit pupil diameter with my setup is 12.50mm (The larger the better for digiscoping) I should also mention, that you need and extension tube with most telescopes or scopes since it is 75mm eyepiece. To achieve focus I suggest 2” or 3” extension tube. If you want to take scope macros you need at least two of these to achieve focus from close distance.

Here is a picture so you can see the size differences. The third eyepiece on the right is just for comparison, it is 1.25" 25mm Ploss

Just a side note, for increasing magnification of scopes, people use Barlow lenses, which I didn’t test here at this time. But Barlow lenses have one characteristic, they sometimes make the eye relief of the eyepiece used, longer, and that is better for digiscoping, but of course they also increase the magnification a lot, probably beyond resolution limits, so I will test this later after some research.

The built of both eyepieces is excellent, Maxview seem to be excellently coated and it has longer barrel and a sleeve which moves and is excellent if you want to use it also as an eyepiece for visual observing. DCL-52 is much shorter and is not convenient for visual observing. It is also coated, but from my observations the coating is not as extensive as the coating on the Maxview. From visual observing they are both excellent optically and provide very wide views thru the telescope. For visual observing the winner is definitely the Maxview and I would keep it, even if only for that reason.

One good side of digiscoping is that digital small sensors cameras act as a reducer/flattener when coupled with a scope so you can achieve longer tele with large aperture, larger then the scope itself.

For example with the DCL-52 and FZ30 and my scope, you will achieve f/3.6 up to 1400mm, even thou the scope is f/6, and up to 2000mm the combination will be under f/5
In the highest magnification at FL 2750mm it is still very good f/7.

With the Maxview it is the same up to 1400mm it is f/3.6, up to 2000 mm it is under f/5, up to 2750mm it is under f/7, up to 3500mm it is under f/9 and at the maximum magnification at 5150mm it is f/13. The reason why Maxview goes to longer focal length is because it is a 40mm eyepiece so the resulting magnification of the scope+eyepiece is bigger from the start.

That is enough of introduction and now to the test: (Continues on next page!!!!!)

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Arthur Ankh
http://ankh.smugmug.com
FZ30
FZ20
ex Canon 20D
ex DSCF828

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