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27 Jul

Digiscoping adapters

Posted by Optics Blog Experts on

Some folks make digiscoping adapters more of a mystery than they really are. Here’s a few tips.

First, digiscoping adapters have no optics or optical function. Their one and only function is to place a camera over an eyepiece of a spotting scope to take a picture. Period. In the early days of digiscoping, some folks actually just duct taped cameras to the eyepiece or fabricated their own adapters from cardboard tubes. Today, with the advent of image stabilized digital point and shoot cameras, many digiscopers, myself included, actually just handhold the camera over the eyepiece and dispense with the adapter, altogether. Makes life much simpler out in the field. My overall approach to digiscoping is to keep it simple.

Second, despite what spotting scope manufacturers would have you believe, you can do just as well with universal digiscoping adapters. You do not have to buy the same brand of digiscoping adapter as your eyepiece. Again, the only function of an adapter is to hold the camera over the eyepiece. Doesn’t matter what name is on the adapter, as long as the adapter fits and, these days, there are very few scope and camera combinations that a universal digiscoping adapter cannot manage.

Third, universal adapters circumvent the problem of having to find a digital point and shoot with filter threads and then finding a threaded adapter with the right thread size. You don’t need a camera with filter threads with a universal adapter. This is especially important, these days, since the overwhelming majority of digital point and shoots on the market don’t have filter threads.

Lastly, I like universal rail adapters, such as the Alpen 706 or similar, rather than universal bracket style adapters, which clamp onto the scope, near the eyepiece. Bracket style adapters have a tendency to interfere with the zoom ring on the eyepiece and may have clearance and balance problems when using large or heavy cameras.

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