Camera rig with red dot sight for binocular vision telephotography

Started Mar 21, 2015 | Discussions thread
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pga New Member • Posts: 4
Camera rig with red dot sight for binocular vision telephotography

It is difficult to capture birds in flight (BIF) when looking through the view finder. A dream would be to be able to aim the camera like you do with a rifle using a red dot sight. In a red dot sight, an illuminated reticle stays in alignment with the rifle regardless of the eye position. With a red dot sight attached to the camera or lens it is easy to aim at a BIF. If the sight is properly aligned with the lens, you can just point and shoot and hope that the autofocus works its magic.

It is, however, inconvenient when you have to move your head to alternate looking through the viewfinder and the red dot sight. Being able to use binocular vision to look through the red dot sight with one eye, and the view finder with the other, would be an enhancement

I have never seen any implementations of binocular vision rigs, be they DIY or commercial.
I would like to aim with both eyes: one eye looking through the view finder and the other through the red dot sight.

I have built a camera rig with a red dot sight. The sight is mounted on the rig so that the red dot reticle is parallel to the line of sight in the view finder. You will have the red dot sight in front of your left eye and the view finder in front of your right eye as usual. When you have aligned the sight, adjusting for parallax errors, for the common shooting distance then the red dot should be superimposed on the target at the focus point in the view finder. Both eyes will look at the same point but your left eye will still see a lot of sky in the peripheral vision, and your right eye will of course only see through the small field of view of the lens.

The location for mounting the sight is not critical. A sight mounted with a short eye relief will obscure the field of view, whereas with a long eye relief more of the sky will be visible.
When you see duplicate superimposed images of the bird in both eyes (one in scale1:1 through the red dot sight, and one in scale N:1 through the view finder) you may shoot.

Front view of the rig.

Left view of the rig.

Right view of the rig.

The rig with a red dot sight 1x40.

The rig with a release control.

Parts of the rig.

An adapter to attach another lens to the ‘standard’ mount on the rig.

Kind of drawing.

 pga's gear list:pga's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D ED-IF Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8D ED-IF +6 more
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