Scope

Date: 2006-03-27 01:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] talking-sock.livejournal.com
Which scope did you buy, and what do you think of it? I think I missed this. I haven't bought one yet, but blanched at the prices.

Re: Scope

Date: 2006-03-27 06:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xythian.livejournal.com
I can't find it anymore on Orion's site. I got it in 2000 -- it's a 500mm (focal length) f/5.6 reflector spotting scope with a Canon adapter so I can put it on my camera. I didn't mention it anywhere because I got it before I used LJ.

I don't remember how much it cost -- I think it was round $400. It's not fantastic, but it was by far the cheapest way to get a long telephoto to play with.

As far as I can tell, the "Kowa TSN-660 Series Spotting Scopes" seem to have replaced mine in their product line up. It appears to be nicer than the one I have, but I haven't read reviews or anything.

http://www.telescope.com/shopping/product/detailmain.jsp?itemID=7229&itemType=PRODUCT&iMainCat=4&iSubCat=11&iProductID=7229

At the time I did my research (in 2000, probably wildly out of date), the scope I got seemed to be the most cost effective way to get a long telephoto to play with. I underestimated how limiting the focus control would be -- I thought it'd be more like manually focusing a regular lens but it's much slower and more awkward than that. If I ever buy another spotting scope, it'll be after I tried it on my camera (in the store, at least) to see how hard it'd be to focus.

Optically, the scope I have is not super -- it's more satisfying to look through to see the birds than a shorter lens but I suspect I'd have higher quality photographs by cropping a shot from the 70-300mm lens.

Re: Scope

Date: 2006-03-27 06:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xythian.livejournal.com
oh, and what do I think of it?

I was unthrilled by how photos from it came out. They're kind of flat and usually not in focus (the latter not really its fault except because of usability).

I enjoy looking through it and seeing the birds, and as long as I'm going to do that I may as well put the camera on it instead of the eyepiece. As a tool for taking photographs it's not so useful -- I'd get higher quality shots by cropping photos from a (shorter) real camera lens.

The optical quality on a small reflector is not comparable to a "real" lens (which is fair, they're much lighter, smaller, and cheaper). The real problem is how awkward it is compared to shooting with a regular lens.

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