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Top end spotting scopes?

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 cb294 15 Nov 2020

Zeiss Harpia 95 vs. Svarovski ATX 95, really. The 115 is much too heavy.

Christmas plus 25th anniversary wedding present for my wife, so not even for me. I will probably get to carry the heavy thingy, though, as per usual...

Any opinions? Especially, any differences for use with glasses, as my wife insists on watching with her glasses on.

CB

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 Tom V 15 Nov 2020
In reply to cb294:

My opinion is at that price I wouldn't dare get it out of its case. Happy anniversary  btw.

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 artif 15 Nov 2020
In reply to cb294:

Not much help, but I've been looking those two models for a while. Going on reviews only, I think the Zeiss just edges ahead. Note - I haven't compared side by side yet. 

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 cb294 16 Nov 2020
In reply to Tom V:

Thanks!

CB

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 cb294 16 Nov 2020
In reply to artif:

Apparently the Zeiss does not use its full aperture below 40x magnification. Guess I will have to try them side by side, but all the birder fairs etc. have been cancelled.

CB

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 John 23 Nov 2020
In reply to cb294:

Ive always wondered.... why bother with a spotting scope and not use the lens on a camera?

At my local nature reserve i often see people carrying a very long camera lens and a spotter. I guess they are lighter and if you aren't bothered about photos then maybe.

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 cb294 23 Nov 2020
In reply to John:

Have you looked through a good scope? The quality is just not comparable. Also, you get the image directly on your eye, rather than on a puny screen or even viewfinder that gets drowned out by sunlight.

Conversely, digiscoping even though a good scope will never give you the same image quality as with a nice full format camera behind some serious amount of glass.

Scopes are also much lighter, so if your priority is watching rather than photographing they are much better suited. The reason is that they are manual focus only, and that the zoom unit is typically integrated into the ocular module, not the objective part of the scope, so much less glass needs to be adjusted.

The Swarovski ATX is actually a compromise in that respect, as you can exchange the entire ocular unit with a camera bayonet (focus is still manual, though).

Horses for courses, I guess.

CB

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In reply to cb294:

I thought Nikon made an eye piece adaptor that fitted directly on to the lens instead of the camera which turned it into a telescope.

No idea what the quality is like our how much comprise is involved. It might be a way to double up on your fancy camera lens but maybe not to the same quality.

https://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/lsc.htm

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 cb294 23 Nov 2020
In reply to richard_hopkins:

Sure, but the Nikon scopes are one tier below what I am looking for (i.e. not much an improvement over our trusted old Optolyth).

CB

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 Adam Long 23 Nov 2020
In reply to richard_hopkins:

A few manufacturers made these, I've got a couple. The problem is the flange - sensor distance on a lens is way insufficient - not even half the required distance - for a prism to turn the image the right way up. So they have to add some complicated optics to extend the light path through the prism, and then the eyepiece on the back is typically poor quality and suffers from the limiting aperture of the small prism they've squeezed in. Any telescope will knock them sideways.

With the quality of phone cameras nowadays it's far cheaper to get half-decent wildlife pics with a phone and scope compared to an SLR and lens.

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 John 23 Nov 2020
In reply to cb294:

Ive only used WW2 binoculars vs pro cameras . So yea, i need to try to know why.

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