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Hi,, I am a bird enthusiast and have been hankering for some time to have a go at digiscoping for a hobby... Being naturally frugal I would like to start using my family digital compact which is a Panasonic Lumix FS10.. I dont have a spotting scope and would be very grateful if anyone could give me some recommendations as to which scope and bits and pieces I will need and are the best quality and value I can get within the following (new) price ranges (I can always use your recommendations to try Ebay for second-hand kit) : -
up to £150
£150 to £300
£300 to £500
£500 to £750
£750 to £1000
£1000 to £1500
£1500 to £2500
Any help at all will be greatly appreciated as I am a complete beginner both at photography and dscoping.. Regards Rob
Thanks for your questions. It seems like there is a lot that you need to know, so we'll take it one step at a time.
As a learner I won't go into too much detail about various bits of kit that you could buy as that would be confusing at this point.
If you are a keen birder it may be worth you investing a few £'s in a good scope, as you could use it for birdwatching as well if digiscoping isn't for you.
It goes without saying that the more you spend on quality equipment the better your results will be, but good results come with practice, so I don't think that spending loads is a good idea...yet....!
The camera that you are going to use is pretty basic, but it should be fine for digiscoping with. You will need to try things out on a good sunny day, with little wind, trying only to take pics of stationary subjects. This is because you only have auto mode on your camera. A camera with a manual mode or aperture priority mode will help more, but that again is something for later.
Also, the camera can only be mounted to an adapter by using the tripod mount on the bottom, so a universal digiscoping adapter would be the best idea for mounting your camera to the scopes eyepiece.
Talking of scopes, I really think its best to keep things cheap for now. A Celestron Ultima 80 is a great beginners choice. They are cheap, and do a reasonably good job, the Ultima 80 ED is a better choice, but they are more expensive. I suggest keeping it cheap for now.
The adapter will attach around the scopes eyepiece. We can chat about setting up once you have made your choices.
One important area that is always overlooked is the tripod head. Personally, I think a fluid tripod head is a must. Keeping thinks steady and minimising camera shake is really important. The Velbon C-600 is a good choice to start with. Its lightweight and comes with the Velbon Vel-flo 11 tripod head, which is fluid filled. Trust me when I say that a normal tripod head will just frustrate you!
That should be food for thought for now for you! If you have anymore questions then please ask!
Most importantly tho, please dont expect too much to start with, especially as this is a new venture into photography. Just be patient and I'll do my best to advise and help you to become a digiscoper!