EE‑1 Dot Sight

Started 2 months ago | Discussions
J4Hug Senior Member • Posts: 1,248
EE‑1 Dot Sight
1

With the imminent arrival of the 2.0TC I am toying with the idea of the dot sight for wildlife etc. I have the 1.4TC and with the EM1x and 300 f4, I am reasonably effective at getting the target in the frame quickly but struggled over the weekend with overcast skies.. would the Dot Sight make things easier?

I am interested in seeing users' reviews. How good, how versatile (with different lenses) how robust, is it worth it?

Thanks to glassoholic for stirring the interest https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/62811062--

The Lark Ascending (composite and under exposed sadly)

Would a Dot Sight have helped me here? I may have been more prepared... maybe!

2 in butter The 300 TC1.4 and EM1x is a great combination - and this is hand held!

Jerry
http://agbr.smugmug.com

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Chris666666 Regular Member • Posts: 236
Re: EE‑1 Dot Sight
1

I use a red dot sight with my 100-400 for finding fast moving aircraft. It is essential as it can be impossible to find them otherwise.

I don't however use an EE-1 but a generic red dot sight. The biggest problem I found was stability and repeatability of positioning in the hot shoe. After 2 or 3 failed attempts with different mounts, I met one day a videographer who had a frame on his camera for holding various batteries, sound recorder, monitor etc. I had never seen this before and I spoke to him about my problem with the red dot sight. He suggested I look at Smallrig and I bought a versaframe half cage.

After some further experimentation I found I really only needed the top plate from the cage. The big improvement over other mounts was that instead of screwing a square piece of metal into place which invariably twists, the top plate has a shaped piece for the hotshoe and is held in place with 2 allen bolts. It is very stable and positioning is very repeatable.

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Chris R-UK Forum Pro • Posts: 19,516
Re: EE‑1 Dot Sight
3

The advantage of a red dot sight is that, instead of having a narrow field of view through an “enclosed “ viewfinder, the sight is “open” so that you can see pretty much everything that you can see with your eyes.  That makes it much quicker to pick up a small, fast moving target.

I first got my EE-1 when I started shooting BIF on my E-M1.1.  That body couldn’t maintain liveview when set up for the best possible C-AF performance and shooting at high speed, so it was difficult to track a bird once you started shooting.  The EE-1 solved the problem but at the cost of a lower hit rate.

When I moved to the E-M1.2, which doesn’t have the same EVF problem, the EE-1 became less useful for BIF but is still fun to use, especially for targets that appear out of nowhere.

The thing I find the EE-1 to be most useful for is dolphins jumping, and, to a lesser extent, whale breaches.  In both those cases, the problem is getting the camera on the target before the jump/breach is over and a red dot sight beats the viewfinder for that by a long way.

Any red dot sight needs to be calibrated because it is mounted above the axis of the lens.  Horizontal calibration is easy, but vertical calibration is more difficult because it depends on the range of the target.  In practice, if you are using a central group of focus points, calibration at 25 yards is OK for anything between about 15 and 75 yards which covers most BIF photography.  It is much more critical at shorter ranges, e.g. when shooting butterflies or dragonflies, and that makes it a lot less useful.  I imagine that if you calibrated it for 100 yds at an airshows, that would probably be OK for 50-800+ yards.

The sight needs to be recalibrated every time you mount it on the camera or take the camera out of the camera bag.  The easiest way is to put the camera on a tripod, aim the camera so that the centre focus point is on a target at the required distance, and then move the adjustment wheels on the EE-1 until the red dot is on the target as well.  However, when I was using my EE-1 regularly, I got very good at calibrating it by trial and error without a tripod and it normally only took me 2-3 minutes and half a dozen test shots.

If you still interested in the EE-1, I will give you some more information in another post.

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Chris R

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bigsambwfc Regular Member • Posts: 115
Re: EE‑1 Dot Sight

I use the red dot sight for erratic bird flights, mainly small birds from 20 to 100 yards away, set sight up beforehand (easy to do after a time without tripod), my hit rate increased using it with p/l 100/400lens on mk2 camera. Well worth it for my needs.

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Olympus E-M1 II
hifi
hifi Senior Member • Posts: 2,555
Re: EE‑1 Dot Sight

J4Hug wrote:

With the imminent arrival of the 2.0TC I am toying with the idea of the dot sight for wildlife etc. I have the 1.4TC and with the EM1x and 300 f4, I am reasonably effective at getting the target in the frame quickly but struggled over the weekend with overcast skies.. would the Dot Sight make things easier?

I am interested in seeing users' reviews. How good, how versatile (with different lenses) how robust, is it worth it?

Thanks to glassoholic for stirring the interest https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/62811062--

Jerry
http://agbr.smugmug.com

For birding, the dot sight has been a very valuable tool for me. I am using the 100-400 currently, but I have used it with the 100-300 in the past as well as on other camera bodies and lens combinations. For me it has been a game changer and yes, very well worth the cost. I did a post with a review on the EE-1:

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/62763082

Got some swallows in flight with it:

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/62687198

Herrbill Regular Member • Posts: 119
Re: EE‑1 Dot Sight

Hi Chris,

I also use a generic red dot sight mounted on an’ Extend-a-sight plus 11’ and its works fine. I agree that calibration can be a pain each time you use it.

Any tips on how you calibrate without a tripod would be welcome.

Jeff Veteran Member • Posts: 5,750
Glassoholic's post ...

J4Hug wrote:

With the imminent arrival of the 2.0TC I am toying with the idea of the dot sight for wildlife etc. I have the 1.4TC and with the EM1x and 300 f4, I am reasonably effective at getting the target in the frame quickly but struggled over the weekend with overcast skies.. would the Dot Sight make things easier?

I am interested in seeing users' reviews. How good, how versatile (with different lenses) how robust, is it worth it?

Thanks to glassoholic for stirring the interest https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/62811062--2 in butter The 300 TC1.4 and EM1x is a great combination - and this is hand held!

Jerry
http://agbr.smugmug.com

You and me both.  I saw glassoholic's post and ordered the EE-1 about an hour later.

So far I've just been playing and getting practice with calibration. But there's no question it speeds up 'target acquisition'.

I'd love to hear more advice from experienced users on this thread!

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Chris R-UK Forum Pro • Posts: 19,516
Re: EE‑1 Dot Sight
3

Herrbill wrote:

Hi Chris,

I also use a generic red dot sight mounted on an’ Extend-a-sight plus 11’ and its works fine. I agree that calibration can be a pain each time you use it.

Any tips on how you calibrate without a tripod would be welcome.

I select a target about the right distance away. A tree branch that sticks vertically or horizontally and comes to a sharp point works best. I make sure that the camera is using the smallest possible centre focus point only and is at maximum zoom.

Using the red dot only, I aim at the end of the branch and take a shot. I have a look at it on the rear LCD and see how how far the focus point is off from the end of the branch, both horizontally and vertically. I then make suitable adjustments to the sight and try again.

Once I have work out which direction to turn the adjustment wheels, I normally get the focus point near enough spot on after 5-6 shots. I then delete the test shots and am ready to start shooting.

The only time that this hasn’t worked for me was when shooting off a small boat because there isn’t normally any target that is stationary with respect to the boat.  In those circumstances I calibrate either before getting on the boat or, if we are going ashore, after disembarking. If absolutely necessary, I calibrate before boarding and try to make sure that the camera is always stowed in such a way that the red dot sight doesn’t get banged.

On a larger boat I just need a target on the boat far enough way.

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Chris R

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Jaded Snapper Regular Member • Posts: 431
Re: EE‑1 Dot Sight

I've found mine to be very useful for the reason others have given above.

I have developed an alternative method of fine tuning the targeting though, which doesn't need a tripod. I take a photo using the dot sight and then move the focus point to the right place. A little trial and error, but no tripod needed.

Paul Auclair Veteran Member • Posts: 5,312
Re: EE‑1 Dot Sight

Herrbill wrote:

Hi Chris,

I also use a generic red dot sight mounted on an’ Extend-a-sight plus 11’ and its works fine. I agree that calibration can be a pain each time you use it.

Any tips on how you calibrate without a tripod would be welcome.

I shoot handheld and I adjust my EE1 dot sight while hand holding as well.

* i am careful not to hit the adjustment dials of the sight when I am mounting/un-mounting the dot sight.

there is room in the hot-shoe for the dot sight to easily move side/to side in the hot-shoe when it hasn't been tightened down yet .

After initially using the dials to set the dot sight's up/down, left/right, the only checks/adjustments I regularly do is a quick left/right to compensate for the possible movement due to mounting on the hotshoe.

this adjustment is simply moving the whole dot sight in the hot-shoe and then tighten it down.

i simply place a suitable subject on the LCD under the small center AF target and simply adjust the dot's reticle to match...about 3-5 seconds.

just remember...(unless you've adjusted the dot site for really close subjects) the closer the subject gets, the further down they will be on the reticle.

i set dot sight for subject about 30-50 meters. if a small bird is withing 10 meters-ish i place the bottom of the reticle on the top of the bird's head.

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as always,
thank you fellow DPR members for your kind words and encouragement.

HRC2016 Senior Member • Posts: 4,328
I do not recommend a dot sight

I had one (from Olympus) for a couple of weeks but returned it:

  1. It's one more thing to carry, along with spare batteries. It may not take up a lot of room but it does take up space. I try to bring as little gear as possible.
  2. It needs to be calibrated and recalibrated with each change in focal length. That's really a pain if you use a zoom. If it's not calibrated properly then it will make photography much more difficult.
  3. It's a distraction from enjoying being outdoors. You are fiddling with gear a lot - these things lose calibration very easily, as you can tell by posts that mention taping the dials.
  4. The return on investment of my time was a net loss.

I tend to shoot with both eyes open, which helps me find my target more quickly. When I go out to shoot I do not want my gear to be an annoyance.

From looking at the pictures I do not see how a dot sight would have made them better.

Try one out but make sure you are comfortable with the return policies. And decide what works for you, not what works for strangers on the internet.

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I believe in science, evolution and light. All opinions are my own. I'm not compensated for any of my posts. Can you honestly say that?

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Chris R-UK Forum Pro • Posts: 19,516
Re: I do not recommend a dot sight
2

HRC2016 wrote:

I had one (from Olympus) for a couple of weeks but returned it:

  1. It's one more thing to carry, along with spare batteries. It may not take up a lot of room but it does take up space. I try to bring as little gear as possible.
  2. It needs to be calibrated and recalibrated with each change in focal length.

That simply isn't true.

  1. That's really a pain if you use a zoom. If it's not calibrated properly then it will make photography much more difficult.
  2. It's a distraction from enjoying being outdoors. You are fiddling with gear a lot - these things lose calibration very easily, as you can tell by posts that mention taping the dials.
  3. The return on investment of my time was a net loss.

I tend to shoot with both eyes open, which helps me find my target more quickly. When I go out to shoot I do not want my gear to be an annoyance.

From looking at the pictures I do not see how a dot sight would have made them better.

Try one out but make sure you are comfortable with the return policies. And decide what works for you, not what works for strangers on the internet.

I am sorry that you had a poor experience with your dot sight, but perhaps it wasn't suited to your type of photography, although two weeks to try it out isn't really very long for a piece of equipment that requires a totally new style of shooting.

I do think that potential purchasers need to do sufficient investigation beforehand to know whether it is actually going to be useful for their photography.

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Chris R

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HRC2016 Senior Member • Posts: 4,328
I do not recommend a dot sight

Chris R-UK wrote:

HRC2016 wrote:

I had one (from Olympus) for a couple of weeks but returned it:

  1. It's one more thing to carry, along with spare batteries. It may not take up a lot of room but it does take up space. I try to bring as little gear as possible.
  2. It needs to be calibrated and recalibrated with each change in focal length.

That simply isn't true.

  1. That's really a pain if you use a zoom. If it's not calibrated properly then it will make photography much more difficult.
  2. It's a distraction from enjoying being outdoors. You are fiddling with gear a lot - these things lose calibration very easily, as you can tell by posts that mention taping the dials.
  3. The return on investment of my time was a net loss.

I tend to shoot with both eyes open, which helps me find my target more quickly. When I go out to shoot I do not want my gear to be an annoyance.

From looking at the pictures I do not see how a dot sight would have made them better.

Try one out but make sure you are comfortable with the return policies. And decide what works for you, not what works for strangers on the internet.

I am sorry that you had a poor experience with your dot sight, but perhaps it wasn't suited to your type of photography, although two weeks to try it out isn't really very long for a piece of equipment that requires a totally new style of shooting.

I do think that potential purchasers need to do sufficient investigation beforehand to know whether it is actually going to be useful for their photography.

I stand corrected (thanks Chris!). Recalibration is required if the distance to the subject changes. I don't always remember the details of gear that I didn't keep.

Here's a good article about these:

http://mirrorlessplanet.com/2016/02/how-to-use-the-ee-1-red-dot-sight/

As I said, I thought it was one more thing to fiddle with, and it did not result in better images or a better shooting experience.

I believe in science, evolution and light. All opinions are my own. I'm not compensated for any of my posts. Can you honestly say that?

 HRC2016's gear list:HRC2016's gear list
Panasonic Lumix G Vario 45-200mm F4-5.6 OIS Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 EZ Olympus M.Zuiko ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 II Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 | C Olympus 12-100mm F4.0 +2 more
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