Novagrade phone Adapter Review—Versatility in Digiscoping
By Justin Crossley, Rokslide Moderator
I really enjoy taking pictures when I’m hunting and scouting. I feel it adds so much to the trip when I can look back later, or share special moments with friends and family. Capturing photos of subjects that are within a short distance is usually pretty easy with a compact camera or my phone. It’s the far away subjects that are much harder to photograph unless I want to carry a DSLR with a big, heavy, and expensive lens. With most of my hunting occurring in the backcountry, that’s not a very good option.
Digiscoping allows me to get those shots of faraway subjects using my spotting scope as the telephoto lens which is great because I’m carrying one anyway. Over the years, I have used a bunch of different adapters for phones or cameras to make this possible. The problem with the adapters I’ve used is that every time I got a new phone, camera, or spotting scope, I would have to buy a different adapter.
Novagrade came up with what I think is a dang good solution. The Novagrade Phone Adapter can attach just about any phone to just about any spotting scope. It even attaches to binoculars with the optional small ring kit. I received the Novagrade phone adapter at the end of 2016 and began testing it out immediately.
In the package I found the adapter along with six spacer rings to fit different size spotting scope eyepieces. The adapter has a few moving parts and adjustments so I went to the Novagrade website and watched their video on how to set the adapter up properly. The adjustments were simple and it didn’t take me long to set the adapter to fit my phone. Next I selected the appropriate spacer ring for my spotting scope and tightened it down over the eyepiece. I turned on the phone’s camera and found that it wasn’t centered perfectly and needed a little fine tuning. A couple light tweaks and I was good to go.
What really sets the Novagrade phone adapter apart is the versatility it offers. I tested the Novagrade with my Galaxy S5 Sport and my Swarovski 20-60x80mm ATS spotting scope first. I also tried the Novagrade on the Leica Televid 77 with good results. The other phones I tested included the IPhone 5S, Galaxy S5, Galaxy S6, and Galaxy S7. I tried most of them with and without cases and liked that I didn’t have to keep the adapter attached or a case on the phones when not in use.
In the field, I found the Novagrade phone adapter very easy to install and remove from my spotting scope. Animals seem to move quickly whenever I try to get a photo so the ability to get everything set quickly is a must. The spring-loaded phone gripping system is very fast and repeatable. After the initial alignment, I didn’t have to make any adjustments when attaching my phone for proceeding pictures. That speaks to the robustness of the adapter. With the light weight and all the adjustability, the phone adapter is surprisingly sturdy. I am hard on my gear as friends of mine will attest and I didn’t treat this adapter any different. I store it in an outside pocket on my pack which gets thrown around and sat on and the adapter has held up to the abuse without issue.
I couldn’t find much I didn’t like about the Novagrade, but it is a little heavier than some of the competitors’ adapters which is a trade-off for the versatility and sturdiness I suppose. I also found the shape and size a bit awkward when trying to stow it in my pack, although I don’t know how they could make it any more streamlined while keeping the functionality.
Overall I am really impressed with the Novagrade Phone Adapter and will definitely be keeping it in my pack this year.
If you’d like to view Justin’s complete video review of the Novagrade’s versatility, click here
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