Digiscoping with a G1 and Pentax spotting scopes

Started Mar 6, 2009 | Discussions thread
GXRuser Contributing Member • Posts: 656
Re: Response to suggestions

Jim Scarff wrote:

Thanks for the feedback, but the ideas seem inconsistent with my intent.

1) Bondiblue - you suggest that I remove the eyepiece from the spotting scope and attach the G1 directly to the scope body. This would, in effect, turn the scope into a telephoto lens for the camera. For my use, I don't want to do this for several reasons:

(a) I suspect I would get comparable, or perhaps better, results just using the 45-200mm Panasonic lens, which would have a brighter f/stop and image stabilization.

(b) I want to switch from using the spotting scope for normal viewing to digiscoping as fast as possible -- in a matter of a few seconds. Having to disconnect the eyepiece and set up the camera/adapter will take too long.

(c) Traditional digiscoping takes advantage of the magnification of the scope's eyepiece to achieve the overall enormous magnification that allows photographs of objects so far away. For me, photographing very distant objects is the main reason I would digiscope rather than just use a telephoto lens. The Pentax scope's eyepiece may be the best optics of the whole optical chain here, so I definitely want to use that.

AmanatiM - I am still unclear why the double step-down ring attachment created such terrible vignetting. I suspect it ended up placing the G1 lens too far from the glass of the eyepiece. The 14-45mm lens is reset back from the filter rings. Hand-holding it causes the rubber guard on the eyepiece to fit inside the filter rings and possibly closer to the lens glass than any step-down ring adjustment, even a single ring rather than my combo (which is quite thin).

Gabi - You suggesting using the Panasonic MA1 adapter and a T2 adapter. I am really unclear how this would work. It would be helpful if you posted some photos of your setup. It probably would be interesting enough to start a new thread.

To connect to the Pentax eyepiece, I need a a 43mm female thread. Maybe I'm dense, but I don't see how a T2 adapter helps here. I also I don't see the advantage of using the converter to 4/3 if instead of attaching a 4/3 lens, I am attaching a spotting scope. With my current hand-held operation, I manually focus the scope, then the G1 autofocuses. With the MA1 adapter, I would have to manually focus both the scope and the G1. In the case of wildlife (in contrast to your microscopy), the subject usually moves so much this would be an exercise in great frustration. With my current setup, my G1 is available instantly to take regular photos, and can be used quickly as opportunities appear, to digiscope. Adding the MA1 adapter adds one more step that I would like to avoid if possible.

At the start of this thread, Neil describes the success he has been having with the G1 attached to a Swarovski spotting scope which has a digiscoping adapter that works well for him. In many cases, my comments are relevant mainly to the case of the excellent Pentax scopes which do not have an equivalent digiscoping adapter.

(* in my first message I mistyped a comment. I wrote "The G1 using the 14-45 kit lens works well with the SMC XW14 eyepiece. From the 18-50mm range, there is no vignetting. Zoom more than that, and vignetting becomes a problem." That should read: "...In the 28-50mm range (35mm equivalent), there is no vignetting..." ) Sorry for any confusion that may have caused.

Good luck to all.

Has anyone tried using the Pentax CA35 adapter? This gives you a K mount on the camera side. The CA35 replaces the eyepiece. With the G1, you would only need a K mount to micro four thirds adapter for mounting.

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