Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Apple of your i

The quality of cameras built into mobile and smart phones has reached a point where they have the performance of many pocket sized compact cameras. This has revived interest in digiscoping with phone cameras and the appeal is clear, having one lightweight piece of equipment that performs the roles of communication and photography. Add to this the possibilities offered by smart phones of uploading photos to the internet and emailing them out in the field and even live streaming video and there is great potential for this type of photography. Just like digiscoping with a conventional camera the results are greatly improved with an adapter that can hold the phone securely in the correct alignment.  A feature of the iphone that makes it especially suitable for digiscoping is the ability to use the volume control on the headphone wire as a remote shutter release.
Two optics companies have brought out adapters for the iphone 4 and 4s and below are our findings from testing them.

The Kowa TSN-IP4S adapter is made of tough rubberised plastic and clips on to the phone in the same way that many cases for smart phones do and has a lug for a lanyard which is provided. The mount that fits on the scope eyepiece is made of anodised aluminium and there are two sizes of felt-lined tube, one to fit binoculars and one to fit the eyepieces of the TSN-880/770 series scopes. The one for the scopes also fits onto Swarovski and Zeiss zoom eyepieces and with the felt removed fits (albeit slightly loosely) the latest Leica Televid 65/82 eyepiece. The binocular tube fits in addition
Kowa's own binoculars and the following models form other manufactures.
Pentax DCF BC 9x42
Minox BL 8x42 and 10x42
Leica Ultravid HD 7x42, 8x42 and 10x42 and the new Trinovid 8x42 and 10x42
Nikon EDG 8x32
Viking ED Pro 8x42 and 10x42.


The Meopta Meopix adapter is a slightly lighter weight option made from plastic with a built-in tube for mounting onto the eyepiece. 
Two versions are available for Meopta's own optics, one with a 41.8mm tube for the Meopta Meostar B1 and B1 HD binoculars, and one with a 48.5mm tube for the Meostar S2 spotting scope. The larger of the two also fits the Viking AW 65 and 80mm scopes and the smaller also fits Minox BL 8x42 and 10x42, Opticron's BGA 8x42 and 10x42 and the DBA 8x42 and 10x42. They have also now produced versions sized to fit Swarovski's 25-50x and 20-60x zooms and one for Zeiss scopes.


Digiscoping with phones is likely to become a lot more popular in the near future and it is good to see that there are already well made and capable adapters out there.

Cley Spy

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