Celestron Regal 80 & Geoma 82
The Celestron Regal 80 F-ED 80mm Spotting Scope (52302)
Vixen Geoma II Angled Spotting Scopes 82mm with GLH48T Eyepiece (5892).
Besides the price & size difference of 2mm & the Celestron coming with a T-Adapter for photography, which one will I be happier with? What adapters will I need for digiscoping with a Canon T1i? Do you recommend a heavy tripod to use with either one? Thanks for your time.
Optically, i'd give the edge to the Regal, but the Geoma is probably built a tad heavier.
Yes, i would always recommend a good solid tripod with any 80 mm scope, especially if you are trying to do photography with it.
Technically, digiscoping is taking a pic through the eyepiece and for that kind of photography, a small digital point and shoot is a better choice than a DSLR like your T1i (see my article on digiscoping).
You could use your T1i with a t adapter, though, but you will still need a t-ring for a Canon EOS 93419. This will be taking pics with the camera body, only - no lens. You won't get the magnification of true digiscoping, but you will get some nice pics with the Regal. It does make a darn good telephoto.
Is there a comparable scope that is better than the Celestron but trying to keep the cost around $1200? Will I get a better pic with the Geoma & get the magnification of true digiscoping. I do not know much about scopes since I've never owned one. There isn't alot of places close to Papillion, NE to try scopes out. Is there a good scope cover for the Celestron, i.e. body glove type? What tripod do you recommend?
Thanks again from a novice.
The Regal in terms of optics for the dollar is easily a best buy in its price range and you can still use a universal digiscoping adapter, such as the Alpen 76 as long as you go the small point and shoot camera route. Keep your T1i for other types of photography and pick up a small point and shoot. Everyone needs a small point and shoot, anyway.
In that price range, there are some excellent scopes. Try the Pentax PF80-ED or the Brunton Eterna 20-6x80 on a standard Bogen tripod, such as the 055XDB, 128RC. You can also use this with your DSLR.
Another great choice is the Kowa 663 or 664 plus the 20-60x Kowa 600 series eyepiece. It's a smaller, lighter scope, but optics are superb and lighter on the scope means you can also go lighter on the tripod.
I've been looking @ a few more scopes & have a few more questions. The Vortex Viper HD 20-60X80 says it is Argon gas filled. It this better than the Brunton Eterna 80mm ED being Nitrogen gas filled? I keep going back to the Vixen Geoma II because it is Nitrogen filled also. Are these scopes good for digiscoping? I've been told to stay away from companies the make cameras as well as spotting scopes since they tend to only make camera attachments for their cameras. True? Also, for digiscoping, is 65mm better then 80/82mm scopes? Thanks for your time.
There will be no discernible advantage over nitrogen with argon filled. Makes for a nice advertising, but not something you will ever notice. Use other features to make your decision.
While it is true that companies such as Nikon make a lot of their adapters for Nikon cameras, only, it really depends on the camera in question and what type of photography you want to pursue with the spotting scope. I certainly wouldn't let such blanket advice keep you from buying a Nikon spotting scope. Let's take a look;
You will need to use Nikon DSLRs with Nikon DSLR adapters because the adapter uses a standard Nikon bayonet camera mount. In other words, it's no go if you want to use Canon DSLRs on Nikon spotting scopes.
On the other hand, you are not necessarily stuck using Nikon point and shoot Coolpix cameras if you want to do digiscope with Nikon spotting scopes. Yes, Nikon does make an entire line of digiscoping adapters for specific models of their Nikon Coolpix cameras. If you want to use these adapters, you are absolutely stuck using only specific models of Coolpix cameras. However, you can still use a universal digiscoping adapter, such as the Alpen 706, with any brand of small digital point and shoot and mount both on any Nikon spotting scope.
All of those scopes are suitable for digiscoping, yes. Eyepieces are important, though. The best choice as far as spotting scope eyepieces for digiscoping are long eye relief, wide-angle fixed power eyepieces. Second best are zoom eyepieces that also offer enough eye relief to minimize vignetting with the camera. Cheap zoom eyepieces are always limited in eye relief and almost always poor choices for digiscoping.
The Brunton and Vixen scopes have decent zooms for digiscoping, yes. Not great, but usable. You might want to also consider brands of spotting scopes that offer fixed power, WA eyepieces as options. For instance, Nikon makes an entire line of these digiscoping eyepieces for their Fieldscopes. Kowa spotting scopes also offer excellent fixed power digiscoping eyepieces as options. Brunton has offered a fixed power eyepiece in the past, but not sure what is still available. Same story with Vixen. You might want to check on this.
All else equal, a spotting scope with ED or fluorite objectives is better for taking pics than a scope without, same as it works with camera lenses. Given the choice between a good 65 mm scope with ED objective and a larger 80 mm without ED, I'd go for the smaller scope with ED when it comes to digiscoping. ED, fluorite and so on are big plusses for photography.
I will be using a Sony Cyber-Shot(DSC-HX9V) for Digiscoping. This one being 16 MP is a little overkill, but I have it on hand. This being said, will the Alpen 706 adapter work well with the above mentioned scopes? I'm leaning towards the scope that comes with eyepieces since I don't have to buy extras.
I'm still undecided wether to use a straight or angled scope, knowing that an angled scope is better for stability when using a tripod. I don't know if the angled scope can be used comfortably when using it on a car window mount. Your thoughts?
I do like the features on the Celestron Regal 80 F-ED but the disadvantage of this one is it doesn't come with a Neoprene case & I haven't been able to find one. Most of the scopes I'm considering have the Rotating Tripod Ring, which is a plus.
If I do purchase the scope in the next couple of days, can I expect delivery by the weekend without paying for next day air to NE? I'm going to Sanibel, FL on 3/11 & would like to use it then.
Yes, you can use that Sony with the 706, though you never know how much vignetting you'll have to deal with until you get the scope and camera, together. Even with vignetting, though, nothing you can't crop out with your photo software.
Straight scopes are definitely easier to use on a car window mount, though an angled scope with a rotating tripod collar is still doable, since you can rotate the eyepiece as needed to get comfy. I've used angled scopes, as is, with no adjustment out of a pickup truck where you sit higher in the seat and not had any issues. Out of a compact car where you are sandwiched in low and bent like a pretzel, an angled scope on a car window mount is not fun. Just depends on what vehicle as to how hard an angela scope is to use.
I do prefer angled scopes, though, on tripods when you are digiscoping. Makes it easier to see the LCD screen on the camera.
Can't answer the shipping questions for you, but I'm sure the folks in CS can discuss options with you so that you get everything as needed. Just give them a call.