With the rapid evolution of hunting-related gear in today’s market, it was past due for a fresh idea on digiscoping adapters. Previous years have seen me using a variety of phone cases and clunky holders that affix to the eyepiece (I even went so far as a cut-up piece of a soda bottle for a DIY solution). While each of these contraptions has worked well enough, I haven’t truly liked them that much. Often I’d leave them at home to cut down on bulk or because my model of phone had changed rendering the current adapter obsolete. When MagView dropped its line of products, I was excited to try something new and innovative.
MagView Optics Adaptors
MagView is simple system that includes a magnetized ring that attaches to the eyepiece, spacers to assure correct fit, a lightweight thin steel plate that adheres to any phone/phone case, and a very functional dust shield (spotting scopes only). MagView offers adapters for both spotting scopes and binoculars.
MagView S1 Spotting Scope Adapter
The S1 is MagView’s spotting scope adapter. Out of the box, installation was simple and straightforward. I had my iPhone 11 aligned and digiscoping in no time. It was very handy to use the provided QR Code for video instruction. You can see Robby Denning’s demo in the video below. *note, he says the magnet is on the phone, which is not correct. The magnet is on the eyepiece ring.
My initial testing squashed any reservations I had about the magnet being too weak for wind, or when repositioning the tripod. The adapter firmly grabs the phone, and it takes just a second or two in order to get the position just right for full field viewing.
The only conflict I had with the S1 Adapter is that the Swarovksi Cordura eyepiece case will no longer fit. The S1 does a great job of protecting the glass, but I will have to be a little more careful where the spotter rides in my pack. The S1 had only upsides on my Kowa Prominar TSN-773
MagView B1 Binocular Adapter
I ran the B1 on the Zeiss Terra HD 8×42 binoculars successfully. The B1 is even more trim than the S1, consisting of just the ring and steel plate. With the B1 adapter on the binoculars, it takes just a second to get the camera lined up and the eye relief adjusted. Sun shield-style eyecups will have to come off for the setup to work. The magnet is affixed to the eyecup on one side (preferably the left eyepiece to avoid rotation under the load of the phone weight), and the camera looks through the opposite side.
With the adapter in place, each eyecup will be a different size, giving the binocular a bit of an odd feel at first. After a short time glassing, it didn’t seem to bother me unless I was consciously thinking about it. Paired with an Aziak Equipment bino clamp, this will undoubtedly be my ultralight go-to for digiscoping.
To note, the B1 fits binoculars with 38.5-43mm eyepieces like on the Swarovski, Vortex, and Leica. Starting September 1st, there will be an XL available to fit 44-48mm eyepieces common on Leupold Santiams, Zeiss SF, and Vortex Kaibab. If unsure, check with MagView customer service before ordering.
Doesn’t Add Bulk
Being a stickler for minimalistic phone cases, the MagView is perfect. Most phones have been water resistant for years, so there’s little need for bulky cases that don’t fit in regularly sized pockets. The ultra-thin metal plate adheres to the backside of the phone case making it virtually unnoticeable.
Some users were worried the magnet would interfere with phone GPS/mapping apps. I tested for this concern. In my experience, using the compass with the phone stuck directly to the binocular adapter had no measurable effect on its north reading. It read the same bearing when removed from the adapter and several feet away. The GPS, while using mapping apps, did not seem to be affected either. The only notable downside to the metal plate is that it inhibits the use of wireless charging on some phones.
Likely to be overlooked, the MagView app is a handy addition to this package. It’s totally free in the App Store and available for Android and Apple phones.
The app has some neat features that are conveniently located.
Orientation Lock will keep the phone from switching back and forth between portrait and landscape, which has always been an issue when working at steep angles.
Grid View offers easy alignment to make sure you’re centered or keeping the focal point within proportions.
Manual Focus keeps the camera from focusing on the wrong subject matter, which is especially handy when digiscoping through the brush.
Having the Flash included in quick access features is a welcome addition when low light is an issue.
Additionally, the app offers Full-screen viewing rather than the smaller-scaled viewing. You will really appreciate this feature.
Finally, but still very important, if your phone has multiple lenses, the app locks down the camera to the lens in use. As you zoom, you won’t experience blackout.
Some users are having great success without the app, but it is there if you need it.
Fellow Rokslide writer, Tony Trietch, put together a short video on the S1 and touches on the app and more here:
Throughout this summer scouting season, I carried each of the systems with me. The more I use them, the more I like them. Minimalistic, modern, and lightweight are just a few words to describe the MagView.
With a busy fall season upon us, I’m looking forward to having the MagView adapters along as we fill freezers for clients and family, and relive those memories again and again.
Comment or ask Tony, Kyle, and Robby questions here.