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Old November 16th, 2007, 05:24 PM   #1
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Attaching a Telescope to the DVC30

Hello, I've been reading alot on the forum and did a search for the topic I'm now asking about, however, I haven't seen it directly addressed, unless I missed it.

I've recently bought the Panasonic AG-DVC30 which I am using for nature videomaking. It's a 16X. As Panasonic doesn't make the kind of long lens that Canon does, a telephoto (2X) seemed the only attachment I could find to help with the zoom.

Now, today I'm reading an article which suggests attaching a Telescope to the camcorder by means of a "Digi-T adapter". This sounds great!, since it means I can get much closer video of the black-bellied tree ducks than I was able to, and so on. So to get to my question (finally) :-), would you recommend this? Should I get a particular type of telescope for this purpose, and when the two are attached together, what is the support system? (that's 3 questions)

Okay, one more! The article mentions "a type of image capture called eyepiece projection to have the full power of your telescope at your disposal" - what is this method? Thanks for any assistance, I'm now beginning to learn all these techniques and tools!
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Old November 17th, 2007, 04:21 AM   #2
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Helen,
take a google search with keywords "video digiscoping" and you'll get some hits about this matter.

There will always be a compromise in quality and a hassle to set up and use out in the field. With focal lenght beyond 2-3000 mm you will struggeling finding the target quick enough to get those birds (or whatever you're filming) before they move to another branch!

And the Pana AG-DVC 30 has a tiny 1/4" CCD-block compared to 1/3" ccd-camcorders which I think will influence the quality of the picture in some way in the long telephotoend!

I hope that you'll not take this in any negative ways, but as a good remark from a fellow wildlifephotographer who has struggeling a lot out in the field to get the lovely sequences he wants!!!
Any how, practise, practise, practise is the key word to succeed.

BTW, here is my set up trying to get those magnificent sequences of those small birds. A Canon XLH1 with a 600mm + 2x extender, equivalent focal lenght to a 35mm system - 8640mm!!!

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Old November 17th, 2007, 05:10 AM   #3
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Per, that's an amazing lens you have there!! I'll do a search for video digiscoping as you suggested and hopefully I can also find an example of what an image from a 1/4-inch CCD would look like. I had read about "vignetting" which could occur, but I think you mean the picture quality itself. Thank you for your reply and photograph!
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Old November 17th, 2007, 07:13 AM   #4
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Helen, here are two sample pictures taken with extreme telephotolenses.

Both picture are shoot with Canon XLH1 camcorder at 1080/50i, 1/50 shutter, polarization filter used.
It's a capture from the original footage, nothing done in post except adjusting levels and brightness a bit on PS.

Bofh picture is shoot with a Canon 500mm f/4.0 lens.

MrDuck to the left was sitting almost still of a distance of approx. 10 meter. The light was good, early evening which helped me to shoot with an aperture of around 8 if I remember right. This gives a good depth of field (DOF).

MrCrane was a bit difficult to get a good shoot of. His head was constantly in movement, even in this shoot you can view a slightly unsharpness cause of the movement. I was at shutter 1/50 and around aperture 8 for some DOF. The bird was so near, around 5-6 meter that it was difficult to frame it properly. I'm not sure if increasing the shutter speed would have helped me out, this would have forced my to use a larger aperture and loss of DOF.

As said before to use extreme telephotolenses require lot of practise. In wildlifefilming you're not dealing with talents who do (mostly!) what you want to do. But totally unanticipated creatures wich almost everytime don't want to play your game!!!

Please keep us updated about your effort Helen. I also hope that others chime in who has used any digiscoping for wildlifefilming.
Attached Thumbnails
Attaching a Telescope to the DVC30-mrduck.jpg   Attaching a Telescope to the DVC30-mrcrane.jpg  

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Old November 17th, 2007, 09:07 PM   #5
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Helen,
on digiscoping and videoscoping the image 'made' by the scope is what the camcorder captures, the light that makes the final image travels through the scope ep (12x ?) and than your camcorder lens (16x), hence "eyepiece projection".
Here is a good link for videoscopeing
http://members.fortunecity.com/kaiso...ideoSetup.html
Another good place is BirdForum where you can find a sub forum related to videoscoping I recommend registering.
On the following link (birdforum) I attached three pics of my videoscope setup.
http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=45670
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Old November 18th, 2007, 08:22 AM   #6
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Sassi, thanks for the photos. Great, what I need is a digiscope, not a telescope. (I found all sorts of devices in my Google search: telescopes, digiscopes and monoculars.)

So the flat plate which is resting on the tripod is the Manfrotto 3272? Are the mounts onto which the camcorder is attached and the mount for the digiscope - are those custom made? My tripod is a Vivitar, it's not a quick-release set up, it's just a flat bracket onto which the camcorder is fastened.

From what I read, in order to eliminate "vignetting" when recording, the black circular tube-look around the picture, once the lens of the camcorder is firmly attached to the scope, that shouldn't happen, is that correct?

Thanks again Per and Sassi, it's becoming much clearer what kind of setup I need. :-)
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Old November 21st, 2007, 03:26 PM   #7
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Helen,

I strongly recommend that you look under Birdforum as mentioned by Sassi. You can always ask the same question there and possibly find somebody who has used a camera similar to yours, it is not very easy connecting a video camera to a telescope.

You were right in mentioning vignetting as a problem, I have a Canon HV10 and have tried connecting it to a Swarovski 80HD scope, this is a top of the line scope. I was only able to use the HV10 in one zoom position (full tele), all other positions had vignetting (black circle).

I have had some success in connecting still cameras (Nikon 8400 and Canon 400D ) to telescopes but it takes a lot of experimentation to get it right.

www.flickr.com/jingbar

Good luck

Bob
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Old November 21st, 2007, 03:55 PM   #8
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Great picture of the bird on water, Bob!! Okay, in time I will ask some more questions about it at the Bird Forum. I will definitely need a very good alternative to the long attachable Canon zoom lens because I do not have a Canon camera and will have only my Panasonic for a long time to come. Thanks for your comments.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 10:20 PM   #9
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Helen,

I am not sure what you are doing with the video, but remember that some digital still camera shoot fair quality video. It would be a lot easier to connect on of these to a scope and you will then have at least the equivalent of a + 2000mm lens

Bob
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Old November 22nd, 2007, 09:24 AM   #10
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Bob, I would want to include close-up video into the video project I'd be making. My Olympus digital still camera takes video also. I was on a flight and a friend of mine was taking aerial video with the Panasonic AG-DVX100 while I was snapping still photos. I took a 3-minute video clip while we were in the air and after downloading to the computer, noticed that the frame rate was different. Although I found the picture quality good for the Olympus, his video was a nice smooth presentation, while mine had a rapid "jumpy" look.

Yes, I get the idea that it would be a bit of a headache to set up the video camera with a digiscope!!

Did you see the photos that Sassi put up of his setup? It's one of the small camcorders that's attached to a digiscope - that might be an easier way to go also. Some of the small camcorders take very nice video.
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Old November 22nd, 2007, 09:48 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Per Johan Naesje View Post
BTW, here is my set up trying to get those magnificent sequences of those small birds. A Canon XLH1 with a 600mm + 2x extender, equivalent focal lenght to a 35mm system - 8640mm!!!
Wow.... that must be a really good ultracardiod mic on that there camera ;)

Seriously though, that's an awesome setup. I love the still of the crane especially, it's amazing to be able to get a close enough shot to check the bird for fleas. :)

Carl
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Old November 22nd, 2007, 06:07 PM   #12
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Hi Helen,

Personally I don't think you will have much joy attaching your camera with a spotting scope - your lens diameter is too wide for a spotting scope.

If you are on a tight budget I think you have two options:

1) Use a consumer camcorder (small lens) to attach to a spotting scope - make sure that the setup can zoom through without vignetting. (you will need a hell of a tripod to hang on to it - I've seen some digiscoping efforts, and to be honest they are all over the place and the quality is very questionable).

2) Buy a good quality teleconverter for your camera and get closer to the action - you will get vignetting at the wide end of things but not at the telephoto - This would be the best solution in my eyes - you're still going to need a decent tripod though. Using this setup you should be able to produce great results.

Best Regards
Pete

www.petermcmurdie.co.uk
Wildlife Film
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Old November 22nd, 2007, 07:03 PM   #13
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Hello Peter. Thanks for your suggestions and here's my reply:

1) This photo put by Sassi Haham earlier - http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=45670 shows a fine setup with a much smaller camcorder. Reading through some of the other topics in this forum I saw a suggestion about buying a small consumer camcorder for the purpose of rewinding and capturing to the PC, in order to save wear and tear on the head of the really good camcorder. I'm going to follow through on that suggestion and get a Panasonic to do the rewinding and capturing job, now it may also serve as the one to connect to a digiscope if I decided on it.

2) I'd been searching for a telephoto lens for the DVC30 and keep only coming across a 2X which would convert the lens to 32X. This is not bad, the 16X is surprisingly quite a decent zoom in itself, so the telephoto should help quite a bit. (Are you using "teleconverter" and "telephoto" interchangeably? They mean the same thing, correct?)

...and, yes I'm on a tight budget. :-)

Note to Per: Thanks very much for those 2 pictures you put up of the duck and crane. I would be quite glad if I got results like that.
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Old November 23rd, 2007, 03:07 AM   #14
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Hi Helen,

I still think you will get varied results from using a digiscope setup - without the best possible support a breath of wind will make it wobble. You will also run into focusing issues - small consumer camcorders won't have manual focus rings. And lastly the results will depend on the quality of the scope you are using. For me there are just too many variables - I like control over my equipment - there is nothing more frustrating than seeing a creature you've always wanted to film and then being let down by your equipment.

Yes I am using teleconverters on the front of my camera for wildlife. The disadvantage of teleconverters is that you get vignetting until you are almost fully zoomed in through the inside of the lens (depending on the lens and camera)

- you can see the results I'm getting on my website:

www.petermcmurdie.co.uk

Personally I would make sure your digiscope setup works before spending any money - go for the teleconverter first and see if the 32x optical is enough.

Hope this helps

Best Regards
Pete
www.petermcmurdie.co.uk
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Old November 23rd, 2007, 06:16 AM   #15
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That's what I'd decided on for now - the teleconverter. When I begin to outgrow it, I'll see which option is suitable.

Thanks again for everyone's comments.
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