The Ultimate Digiscoping Guide

What's “Digiscoping” System?

Digiscoping is a method of taking photographs through the combination of a spotting scope and a digital camera. By using the spotting scope as a telephoto lens, it is easy to enjoy digital photography at effective focal lengths of over 1000mm*.

[Method of calculation the effective focal length]
Focal length of digital camera* x Magnification of spotting scope [eyepiece] = Effective Focal Length*

Ex. Using a digital camera with focal length of 114mm and an eyepiece magnification of 30x:
114(mm) x 30 (magnification) = 3,420(mm)

*Converted to 35mm full size format.

Super-Telephotography Over 1,000mm

Connecting a digital camera to a spotting scope produces super-telephoto images. Inaccessible wildlife and scenery can be photographed in amazing detail.

Lightweight and Compact

There can be a lot of walking when digiscoping and it is important for the equipment to be as light as possible. A typical digiscoping system is 6 to 11 pounds, including the weight of the tripod. You can enjoy super-telephotography with this system that is lighter and more compact than one telephoto SLR lens. This is very attractive feature for long trips or traveling.

Photography at 1,000mm/F2.8

The use of compact digital camera in a digiscoping system permits super telephotography with a very small F-number. (The F-number changes according to the objective lens diameter of the spotting scope.)

Wide Focal Range with One Camera

The focal length of a digiscoping system can be changed by simply increasing or decreasing the magnification of the eyepiece. Digiscoping can be done at a wide range of focal lengths without changing the digital camera or spotting scope.

Quickly change from viewing to photographing

The Kowa digital camera adapter is secured in place with a single screw, allowing for quick and easy switching between viewing and photographing.

What is Vignetting?

The darkening phenomenon that appears around an image is called vignetting. When digiscoping, it is important to choose the appropriate adapter and eyepice to reduce vignetting as much as possible.

Why does vignetting occur? How can it be reduced?

There are two main reasons Vignetting can occur:

  1. The angle of view of the camera is larger than the apparent field of view of the eyepiece. The solution to this is to use a wide angle eyepiece such as Kowa TE-11WZ 25-60x Prominar Spotting Scope Eyepiece

  1. The eye relief of an eyepiece is not sufficient for the camera to capture the full image. The solution to this is to use a long eye relief eyepiece such as Kowa TE-20H 25x Long Eye Relief Spotting Scope Eyepiece 


Digiscoping Advice

Prevent Shaking and Image Blur

  • Even slight shaking and vibration can affect super telephoto images. Use a sturdy tripod with an easy to operate head to prevent shaking and image blur.
  • Due to the extremely large focal length, the use of a cable shutter release, remote control or timer, is recommended to eliminate shaking and image blur.

Digiscoping Tips

  • The liquid crystal display of the camera can be difficult to see when outdoors. The use of a hood will increase the visibility and make it easier to confirm the shot.
  • The balance of the entire digiscoping system is very important for easy operation. The use of a balance plate or Kowa's Universal Mount System is recommended to properly adjust the balance of the system.
  • Use the sight on the spotting scope or attach an optical sight to quickly bring an object into view.

Digiscoping with Single Lens Reflex Camera System Chart

Digisciping with Compact Digital Camera System Chart

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