FZ50 Digiscoping (Warning 9 pics)

Started Jun 17, 2008 | Discussions
telemark ski New Member • Posts: 10
FZ50 Digiscoping (Warning 9 pics)

As a follow up to a response in the "New camera or digiscoping" thread, some were asking about my gear. I basically was followed the information laid out by these 2 fine blokes:



The telescope I use is a Long Perng (makers of Williams Optics scopes) 80mm aperture x 480 mm focal length achromat with a 2" focuser on it. This is an absolute requirement for use with the 2" eyepieces that connect to the FZ50. The eyepiece used is the Williams Optics DCL-52 together with a 50mm extension tube to achieve focus. The DCL-52 is a 75 mm eyepiece with a huge eye relief that allows it to reach the recessed lens of the FZ50 when it is zoomed. I am about to try a 30mm maxview projection eyepiece for extra reach at the long end of the zoom (it apparently vignettes badly below full zoom). The DCL-52 vignettes below approx. 3x zoom on the FZ50 but does not vignette all the way up to the 12x zoom.

As the telescope is an achromat it suffers from chromatic aberration. To cutdown some of the CA and fringing I use a Williams Optics VR-1 filter. If I need a longer reach I can stack the glass from 2" barlow lenses on the bottom of the extension tube. I have successfully stacked the glass from a 1.5x and a 2x barlow without too many problems.

My setup still suffers from chromatic aberration from the achromat scope, particularly in high contrast areas or areas out of the focus plane. Quite noticeable in the following examples.

An ED telescope such as the Williams Optics Apo, Long Perng Apo or Skywatcher ED80 are apparently without fringing. Also the VR-1 filter I use gives the image a colour cast but that is easily altered in PP and can produce a nice result.

Using the cool colour setting in camera can also somewhat alleviate the colour cast.

Even with the disadvantage of having an achromat telescope instead of an apochromat the setup can still give sharp closeups and has a reach to beyond that of a TCON.

So what does my TCON think of all this?

My first thread here so be nice. Please

genece Forum Pro • Posts: 15,439
Re: FZ50 Digiscoping (Warning 9 pics)

Thank you thats a good explanation........I was all set to try that but after comparing photos of people that had used good lenses on a DSLR and then tried digiscoping the results were always worse than with the good glass so I decided if the good photographers got lesser IQ, what chance did I have. but you have some nice examples......but its more work than I can handle at this time.
Gene from Western Pa

FZ10....20 and 30 and FZ18

D50 ....D80 - 18 to 200VR- 50mm 1.8 - 80 to 400 OS

Just trying to learn and it's slow going!

 genece's gear list:genece's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30 Nikon D7000 Nikon D50 Nikon D7100
cmantx Senior Member • Posts: 1,394
Re: FZ50 Digiscoping (Warning 9 pics)

thanks for all the info and the pictures. the herons are beautiful. great color rendition i thought excluding the CA. how far away were you from the birds? how much have you spent on the digiscope? if you don't mind me asking. thanks

 cmantx's gear list:cmantx's gear list
Sony SLT-A57 Sony a77 II Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro Tamron SP AF 70-200mm F/2.8 Di LD (IF) MACRO Tamron SP 150-600mm F5-6.3 Di VC USD
OP telemark ski New Member • Posts: 10
Re: FZ50 Digiscoping (Warning 9 pics)


I don't view this as work, I've only tried it a couple of times, its interesting and I'm learning another aspect of photography. If I feel like doing this for a morning or two I might, but I agree its a burden lugging the gear around and setting it up. If I want to be mobile, its just the FZ50 and possibly the TCON. Different aspects of photography eg this, using SLR lenses for reversed macro, hunting insects for macro shots, flowers, the kids concerts, are the variety that keeps it interesting. Its all different and all good.


As I also use the telescope for astronomy, I only had to buy the DCL-52 to use some of my astro gear for digiscoping. The telescope, which included the 2" diagonal, I bought used for $300 Australian.

kernow Forum Pro • Posts: 12,441
Re: FZ50 Digiscoping (Warning 9 pics)

How about sharing some moon shots with that rig.
Oll an gwella,



[FZ30] * IS/L B-300 * IS/L B-Macro * Minolta No. 0, No. 1 & No. 2 * Sunpak 383 * Benbo Trekker

OP telemark ski New Member • Posts: 10
Moon shots

Here's one at about 9x zoom on the FZ50 resized no cropping.

Compared to a Tcon17 at full zoom with 2x digital zoom.

ron.s Veteran Member • Posts: 3,248
Re: .....Moon shots....hope you don't mind, but ...

...I've taken the liberty of p/p'ing the image..basically lowering contrast slightly, increasin gthe levels, saturation & mid-tone contrast and reducing highlights, (using photosop elements 3.0 ) ...and to me I think it has helped to bring out some more detail. from the image by reducing the lighter sections on the left hand side a bit ......& btw welcome aboard the forum , it is one of the friendlier places around & good to see another "skip' too. Cheers, Ron S

telemark ski wrote:

Here's one at about 9x zoom on the FZ50 resized no cropping.

Compared to a Tcon17 at full zoom with 2x digital zoom.

Boston5 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,129
Re: FZ50 Digiscoping (Warning 9 pics)

Your set up is impressive and your photos are even more so. I love the heron shots (wonderful bokeh) and also numbers 7 and 8 (sorry, not sure of what types of birds they are but they are great photos). Excellent moon shots as well.

p51d007 Senior Member • Posts: 1,288
Thanks a lot!

LOL. Just what I need, someone to show me another TOY I'm gonna want to
toss in the camera bag!
Nice shots, later.......time to browse the web for some more camera gear

-- hide signature --

Coming to you from the beautiful Ozark Mountain Country
where if you're too busy to go fishin', then you're too busy!

 p51d007's gear list:p51d007's gear list
Nikon D7200 Tamron AF 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC LD Aspherical (IF) MACRO Tamron SP AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical (IF) Tamron 100-400mm F4.5-6.3 +1 more
danielsonkin Forum Pro • Posts: 11,713
Re: FZ50 Digiscoping (Warning 9 pics)

Thanks for the detailed explanation on how you got these shots. Excellent captures - particularly the herons and #8.
FX01, FZ7, & FZ50

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS50 Apple iPhone 7 Plus +1 more
OP telemark ski New Member • Posts: 10
Thanks for the comments

Thanks for the comments all. Toys are good, but new toys are better!!

Ooroo Ron, I like the PP that you applied, gives it a bit of snap it was lacking. I just resized it, nothing more. I took it during a session where I was playing around with the digital zoom to see what sort of surface details I could see.

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