Digiscoping setup

Dixie07

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Neosho Falls, KS
I am going to try to do some digiscoping this summer scouting and then this fall hunting. My setup is currently this:

Swarovski 65mm HD ATM
Medium Outdoorsmans Tripod
Canon T4i DSLR
Jim White Tripod Head
Swarovski Universal Camera Adapter

My concern is that with all of that weight that the Jim White tripod head may not be substantial enough, and I am considering getting the Outdoorsmans pan head instead. What do you guys think about this, any of you that have had both, do you think the Outdoorsmans is more sturdy, or the Jim White would suffice?
 

Matt Cashell

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I think the UCA is one of the better adapters available for a DSLR. I think either the Jim White or Outdoorsmans heads will handle the load, but I think a larger fluid head would do it a little better. Something like a Manfrotto 128RC2.

Have you considered using a compact camera and Tines Up adapter?
 
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Dixie07

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Neosho Falls, KS
We just upgraded to that new Canon camera because my point and shoot digital camera was stolen in Mexico last week. I think I would prefer to stick with the DSLR, just because of the quality of photos I would get from it. I talked to the guys at the Outdoorsmans yesterday, and it could just be because they were trying to sell me something, but they seemed to think their Outdoorsmans tripod head would be better suited for heavier weights, what are your thoughts on that?
 

Matt Cashell

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There is no doubt that the DSLR sensor in your Canon will provide better photo quality. It may take some trial and error to get a lens that eliminates vignetting with your setup. I had good luck with the inexpensive 50mm 1.8 prime lens with my Rebel XT.

I haven't used the Outdoorsmans pan head, so hopefully someone will chime in that has. I made the guess at the larger fluid head doing a little better, by looking at the Outdoorsman's size and weight (10 ounces is tiny), and I don't know how much weight the outdoorsmans is rated for. I am recommending the 128RC because I have used it for digiscoping with larger setups, and it has done very well. It is rated for use with loads up to 9 pounds. Your Swarovski scope's foot will also fit right in without an adapter.
 

Kevin Root

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So far I like the point and shoot camera set up. Weight and ease of use. It just seem less fine tune focusing involved too. I guess I need to play around with the one I have with the Tines Up DSLR set up for my Canon 60D on my Vortex Razor HD. So far it seems more than just seeing what I want to capture and attaching the set up to the scope with the DSLR set up.

I shot this picture of some turkey a few month back in spring on the DSLR scope set up on the Canon 60D. They were about 150+ yards or so away which looks good in the scope but it was tough having to focus on them getting the correct exposure, ect…. I guess I need to play around with my camera settings still.

 

Matt Cashell

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Kevin,

I have had similar issues getting DSLRs to work. I think compact cameras focus better because they are using contrast-detection autofocus. However, when you do get a good pic with a DSLR, the results are outstanding!
 

Kevin Root

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Kevin,

I have had similar issues getting DSLRs to work. I think compact cameras focus better because they are using contrast-detection autofocus. However, when you do get a good pic with a DSLR, the results are outstanding!

Yep, I agree Bitterroot Bulls. It just seems to be a bit more work getting pictures just right on the DSLR set up mainly due to the focus issue has been my experience so far. Sometimes these animals don't wait around very long to dial it all in after you find them in the scope. I'll gather if I force myself to use the DSLR set up more, that in time I'll work out the kinks and have better success at it. The point and shoot camera set up just seems like a bit quicker, easier and lighter way to go.
 

Matt Cashell

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Yep, I agree Bitterroot Bulls. It just seems to be a bit more work getting pictures just right on the DSLR set up mainly due to the focus issue has been my experience so far. Sometimes these animals don't wait around very long to dial it all in after you find them in the scope. I'll gather if I force myself to use the DSLR set up more, that in time I'll work out the kinks and have better success at it. The point and shoot camera set up just seems like a bit quicker, easier and lighter way to go.

Keep an eye on those mirrorless DSLRs, Kevin, like the Sony NEX and Nikon 1. They use contrast detection autofocus (or hybrid contarast/phase detection), and should work great for digiscoping with a digiscoping friendly lens. The NEX doesn't really have one yet that I have heard works well for digiscoping, but the kit lens with the Nikon 1 is supposed to be pretty awesome. I might have to check one out.
 
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