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Spotting Scope Or Binoculars + Camera Attachment  
User currently offlineShaggy From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2005, 111 posts, RR: 0
Posted (9 years 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 3809 times:

Hello,

I am a new first class member I thought I would sign up as I have been using this site for a long time and wanted to give something back. i am also interested in dabling in some aviation photography therefore i have a few questions.

I have been looking into getting eith a spotting scope or Binoculars to help me with aircraft spotting. I did used to own a scope but found the appeture very small for spotting from my garden which is what I enjoy doing, watching the overflights in conjuntion with the SBS-1.

I am looking at aircraft from about 4000ft upto crusing level. I did look at some high qa ulity 70x zoom binoculars that I have been told were good at only £79. I was also thinking of spotting scopes (they may have come on a bit since I last had one) that would enable me to connect my Nikon D70 up to it and get some good pictures.

Can anyone give some advice? Many thanks Lee

12 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineIwantaBBJ From Switzerland, joined Jun 2002, 777 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (9 years 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 3800 times:
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I have spent many years looking at traffic passing overhead with various binos of all sizes, going up to 50x.

I was never really satisfied with my scopes/binos. The bigger ones do have the power to give you a good image, but are hard to hold steady enough.

Currently, I use a Canon 18x50 with image stabilizer. It was well worth to go back to less magnification. The steadiness and the image-quality are excellent now.

Mike


User currently offlineShaggy From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2005, 111 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (9 years 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 3799 times:

Thanks for the quick reply Mike, are you able to connect a camera up to those Bino's?

Also, I am probably looking for something a little cheaper  Smile or the wife WILL divorse me, although that may not be a bad thing I will miss her Roast Dinners  Smile

Lee


User currently offlineGary2880 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (9 years 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 3786 times:

Hi lee

I remember while looking on warehouseexpress.com they had a section on scopes, if you go on their site, click on scopes and binoculars, then digiscoping, scroll down there is a special D70 thing but I think the attachment alone is £299....

Quoting www.warehouseexpress.com:
The FSA-L1 D70 Fieldscope attachment can be connected directly to a Nikon digital SLR camera without an eyepiece. The data of the scope's focal distance and F-number will be conveyed to the camera body via electrical contacts of the attachment, and it can be used with th D70, D100, D2H & D1X digital SLRs.


User currently offlineAviopic From Netherlands, joined Mar 2004, 2681 posts, RR: 41
Reply 4, posted (9 years 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 3772 times:

It might pay off if you turn to some astronomers community, they do it all the time.
My late brother who produced his own telescopes, lenses and mirrors also had his camera connected to make his planet and solar flare images.
Later this setup was replaced by a ccd connected to a computer which also might be the easiest and cheapest thing for you.


Willem



The truth lives in one’s mind, it doesn’t really exist
User currently offlineShaggy From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2005, 111 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (9 years 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 3760 times:

Thanks chaps, looking at the Warehouseexpress site now. If anyone else has any comments or suggestions please feel free to chip in.

Lee


User currently offlineA346Dude From Canada, joined Nov 2004, 1296 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (9 years 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 3752 times:

Lee,

I've spent many an evening in the backyard viewing overflights with my telescope. I have an 8" Dobsonian telescope, and I suggest you might want to consider one of these as well. The benefit of the dobsonian is that the mount is very stable, and it is also very easy to move quickly by hand - which is essential for airliners in cruise. I find it gives steadier views of aircraft than binoculars on a tripod, even though the magnification of the binoculars is much less.

The best view is achieved when the airplane is "perpendicular" to you - it's kind of hard to explain, but it corresponds to the time when the airplane is closest. At this point you can swing the telescope sideways only - no up and down motion is required, so you can move the telescope at exactly the speed of the airliner and get incredibly sharp views (I have been able to read registrations off the bottom of the wing before). The view at sunset is nothing short of spectacular.

If you have any questions about my technique, feel free to ask. I know there are very few people who spot in this way (my friend and I call it "dot spotting" ), but it's a lot of fun.

Edit: I should mention that I haven't really tried much photography using my telescope, except for with a small point-and-shoot. As far as I know, it should be possible to hook up a DSLR using the right attachment, but I haven't tried it myself. One potential problem I can see is that the camera body and sensor would be open to the elements, since there is no glass at the front of a Newtonian reflector, so dust spots could become a problem. So, if you are looking into this strictly for photography purposes, it would be a good idea to talk to someone knowledgeable about astrophotography first.

A346Dude

[Edited 2005-12-03 22:26:44]


You know the gear is up and locked when it takes full throttle to taxi to the terminal.
User currently offlineShaggy From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2005, 111 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (9 years 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 3737 times:

Once again thanks for the reply A346Dude, I am going to have a search for that particular telescope now.

I hope its not exspensive

The way you are doing it cetainley sounds like something that would interest me. Although I live fairly close to Heathow and Gatwick I just dont get the time at the weekend to go and visit them, too busy with family stuff, but I do really enjoy spotting the aircraft from my Garden.

Thanks again.

Lee

Oh one thing. Any particular make I should be looking for?

[Edited 2005-12-03 23:30:17]

User currently offlineA346Dude From Canada, joined Nov 2004, 1296 posts, RR: 7
Reply 8, posted (9 years 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 3721 times:

Lee, you're in luck, they're not expensive at all. Telescopes increase in price based on the diameter of the main mirror, since the larger the mirror, the more light that can be directed into your eyes by the eyepiece, and the better the view. The mirror in my telescope is 8" (about 200mm) wide, which is a reasonable size for astronomical use. A 6" (~150mm) telescope would be more than sufficient for daytime use on airliners, and it would still be a fine telescope for astronomy at night, though not as good as an 8", if you have any inclination to try it (you may as well if you have the 'scope!).

Let me clarify before I continue, the mount I am talking about is called a Dobsonian mount, and almost all Dobsonian-mounted telescopes are Newtonian Reflectors. Most of the Dobsonians on the market are made in China, but the quality is really quite good. I'm not even sure if they make any small diameter Dobsonians in North America anymore, because the Chinese-made ones are comparable in quality while significantly cheaper. I know you can pick up an 8" in Canada for about $500CAD, or a 6" for $400CAD (a quick conversion on xe.com gives about 250 and 200 Pounds, respectively).

The brand isn't really all that important, as they are sold under a large variety of different names, even though they often come from the very same factory. If I recall correctly the generic brand is called Synta, but like I say they generally aren't sold under this name. I would suggest a visit to the local astronomy store might be a good idea, to have a look at the telescopes and talk with a salesperson.

Again, if you have any more questions, feel free to ask here or shoot me an e-mail.

Dustin



You know the gear is up and locked when it takes full throttle to taxi to the terminal.
User currently offlineShaggy From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2005, 111 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (9 years 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 3699 times:

I found this place near to me, I will probably have a drive over there next Saturday and see what they have http://www.telescopehouse.co.uk

Its also interesting that Nikon make a spotting scope attachement for the D70 at only £300 too.

Thanks again.

Lee


User currently offlineShaggy From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2005, 111 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (9 years 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3677 times:

Dustin,

I wonder if you would mind perhaps suggesting a coupe of models (i.e. from the net) that I could consider.

I know I might not be able to get the exact type but it will point me in the right direction.

Many thanks

Lee


User currently offlineA346Dude From Canada, joined Nov 2004, 1296 posts, RR: 7
Reply 11, posted (9 years 2 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 3646 times:

Lee,

Sorry for the delay in responding.

Here is the link to the telescope I have: http://www.telescopes.ca/telescopes/RENDER/5/1024/1043/10600.html
Another example is this (slightly smaller) Orion: http://www.telescope.com/shopping/pr...MainCat=4&iSubCat=9&iProductID=365

I would be surprised if you were able to find the exact same telescopes in England, but anything that looks similar, as long as the price is about the same, should work out quite well.

If you are really excited about using this for photography, please make sure you discuss this with the salesperson, or someone else with experience in astrophotography, to make sure it can be used. Like I say, it should be possible, but I don't want you to be disappointed. For spotting visually, however, I would be surprised if you could find anything better - it takes a little practice to follow aircraft perfectly, but once you get used to it, the view is great. Smile

Edit: Oh, one other thing: because of the way optics works, without an erector lens the airplanes will always be seen upside down in the eyepiece. I just kind of got used to this, but you can buy an erector eyepiece to re-invert the image.

Dustin

[Edited 2005-12-05 16:26:24]

[Edited 2005-12-05 16:29:02]


You know the gear is up and locked when it takes full throttle to taxi to the terminal.
User currently offlineShaggy From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2005, 111 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (9 years 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 3622 times:

I have spoken to a few telescope shops and they have advised against using it for photography but they did suggest this scope:

Model ST22-67X100 Zoom Spotting Scope (Angled)
Magnifictaion x22-67 Zoom
Object Diameter 100mm
Focal length 540mm
Length (mm) 482
Weight (g)
2041
Actual Field of View 1.8º - 0.9º
Optics Multi Coated
Minimum Focus (apprx.) 10m

It can be fitted with a D70 adapter to I may well go for that. has anyone had any experince with these scopes?

Dustin, thanks for all the help and advice, very much appreciated.


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