DIGISCOPING FAQS

What is Digiscoping?

Digiscoping is the art of attaching a camera to a telescope so that the telescope acts as a very long focal length telephoto lens allowing you to take close up shots from a distance. Digiscoping is very popular with birdwatchers.

Does the camera have to be digital?

No it doesn’t have to be digital, but digital can be more convenient. You have to be able to see the image through the camera. A 35mm SLR camera can be used through a telescope but 35mm compacts cannot as there is no way to view  the image.

Digital SLR’s can be used, and most digital compacts have an image screen on the back, so these are usable too.

I have an Olivon T80 scope, which digiscope adaptor should I use?

There are TWO olivon camera adaptors – the standard adaptar ( Standard DCA ) and the Universal adaptor ( U-DCA ) Which one you need depends on your camera.

SLR Cameras ( digital and film ) require a STANDARD DCA

Digital compact cameras with afilter thread also Require a STANDARD DCA

Digital compact cameras without a filter thread require the U-DCA

Which cameras will fit your Illusion range of telescopes?

The current  range Camera adaptors for our Illusion scopes are designed for SLR cameras. However using a T/52 convertor and an appropriate stepping ring you can attch any camera with a lens filter thread. You can also use Visionary bracket L on all illusion scopes and Visionary bracket  S on some illusion scopes.

My camera is autofocus, how do I focus the camera with the scope attached?

Focus the scope as normal, viewing the image through the camera viewfinder ( on a SLR ) or on the screen ( digital compact ) make sure the image appears sharp and in focus before you shoot the picture.

How do I get correct exposure?

The camera’s built in auto exposure system should take care of this for you, make sure you are set to automatic. On the more sophisticated cameras ( usually SLR’s )  with several exposure modes, we suggest you set to aperture priority auto mode.

I have a Nikon SLR and the light meter doesn't work when I attach the scope?

We understand that some Nikon SLR models will not allow there metering systems to be used when anything other than their own make lenses are fitted to the front. 
For such models, you will still be able to attach a scope but getting the correct exposure is very difficult. As far as we know this only applies to a small number of Nikon SLR’s, and all Nikon compact digitals should be OK. 

An alternative strategy is to connect via the filter thread on the camera lens and leave the lens in place on the camera ( ie – use the SLR like a compact camera ) but if you do this be very careful, the filter thread is not designed to hold the full weight of an SLR camera, you could damage the thread, or worse, the camera itself.
We suggest using something to support the camera for example the Visionary L Bracket.

To use an Olivon DCA to connect via filter thread. – Remove the small ring supplied with the DCA and the adaptor will now connect directly to 52mm filter thread. If your lens is other than 52mm filter thread simply use a stepping ring.

To use a Visionary adaptor-A or illusion-CAM adaptor to connect via filter thread. You’ll need to fit a T/52 convertor, this will now connect directly to 52mm filter thread. If your lens is other than 52mm filter thread use a stepping ring.

Whichever way you do this, please be very careful and do not overload the filter thread.

I'm using an SLR but the image is very dark through the viewfinder and difficult to focus, is this normal?

Yes, this can be a problem with SLR’s. By using a telescope as a lens it acts like a very long focal length telephoto, and so the image as viewed through the viewfinder can be dark. Focusing takes practice. This isn’t so much of a problem with digital compacts because the electronic system can increase the brightness on the screen so the image appears reasonably bright.

I'm having problems connecting to the Olivon DCA

There Olivon DCA will accept SLR cameras ( via a T2 mount ).

and compact cameras with a filter thread ( via a stepping ring ).

In the box with the DCA is a small ring – sometimes this is already screwed onto the DCA when it is supplied, sometimes it is sepearte inside the box.

SLR’s – If you are using the DCA with an SLR camera. Attach this ring then add the T2 mount to match your camera

Compact cameras ( with filter thread ) remove the ring, the thread on the DCA is 52mm. This fits quite a number of cameras. If yours is not 52mm, you need to add a stepping ring xx-52mm.

If your compact camera does not have a filter thread, use the UDCA instead of the DCA

Is it true that if I buy an eyepiece with a larger exit pupil this will make digiscoping easier?

YES – BUT that’s only part of the story ! 

The exit pupil is the area of brightness seen on the eyepiece, the bigger it is, the brighter the image will be. But the size of the exit pupil is directly related to the size of the telescope (or binocular) objective lens and the magnification, not the price or make or model of the instrument. The exit pupil size is approximately the size of the objective divided by the magnification, so an 80mm scope with 20x magnification gives an exit pupil of about 4mm (80/20=4 ) At 40x magnification the exit pupil is 2mm ( 80/40 = 2 ) so the only way to increase exit pupil is either to accept lower magnification, or have a scope with a bigger objective lens, and it isn’t practical to carry a scope or binocular with objectives any bigger than around 80mm to 100mm.

For normal viewing with the eye, 7mm is as big as a binocular or telescope exit pupil ever needs to be because a human eye can only open up to around 7mm even in the lowest light. For some cameras you could have a bigger exit pupil but as we’ve seen above this would probably reduce the magnification too much, or make the telescope too big to be carry. 

The Image appears cut off at the corners, what can I do?

This is because camera is not quite aligned with the lens, it needs to get a little closer to the telescope. If this isn’t possible because of the shape and design of the camera body, just tweak the camera zoom lens to slightly more telephoto and this should correct the problem.

My images appear dark and lack contrast, what can I do?

This can often be the case when taking digital images through a telescope, especially in low light conditions. Photo image software is the answer, we use ‘Photoshop’ but there are many other good packages available, all of which allow you to quickly and easily touch up images and bring them to life.