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Re: Spotting scopes

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avatar Spotting scopes
January 11, 2007 06:09PM
hi everyone...

i know this isn't a telescope forum, but i was hoping maybe someone here might be able to help me anyway.

what i want to be able to do, is to look at the rock climbers that are on El Capitan from the valley meadow down below where the road is. is that possible?

for those who "might" be visiting this forum, and knows a thing or two about spotting scopes / telescopes, i have a friend of a friend who said the following would absolutely work. what do you think?

http://www.telescope.com/shopping/product/detailmain.jsp?itemID=372&itemType=PRODUCT&iProductID=372

http://www.telescope.com/shopping/product/detailmain.jsp?itemID=232&itemType=PRODUCT&iProductID=232

i've gotten on a number of telescope forums where some people have said it should work, where others say it isn't powerful enough.

any help would be appreciated

thanks in advance :-)
Re: Spotting scopes
January 12, 2007 08:21AM
This combo would give you roughly 60 to 180 magnification. That should be plenty, especially when a decent pair of 10x - 15x binocs is often enough to get you started. Your distance from the climbers is always less than a mile, unless you are across the Valley, and even then not much farther.

Think about it this way - if you magnify 100x, a person at 5,280 feet (a typical maximum distrance) would look like a person at 53 feet. Does that sound adequate? If so, then this setup should work great for you. You'll have a line of people asking for views, too!

From what I know of the scope and zoom eyepiece you mention, the optics should be satisfactory. It will work well for astronomy too.

*BUT*, make sure you ahve a rock-solid tripod, or else you'll get a headache from the wiggling view.

Bruce Jensen





Wilderness forever,
Bruce Jensen
Re: Spotting scopes
January 12, 2007 08:26AM
A correction to my earlier post - the magnification for this 1,540mm focal length scope with the 7 - 21 zoom eyepiece will start at about 73x and go up to 210x. Still, the range should be OK, maybe even a little high for climbers on the lower reaches of the rock face. That fellow at 5,280 feet will look like he's 27 feet away at 200x.

Have fun!

Bruce Jensen





Wilderness forever,
Bruce Jensen
avatar Re: Spotting scopes
January 12, 2007 10:22AM
thanks a ton Bruce! i appreciate your input.

yeah, i was told not to go cheap on a tripod.. i'll be buying a heavy duty one for sure.
Re: Spotting scopes
January 12, 2007 10:43AM
IIRC, Orion Telescopes (your mentioned website) sells a spotting scope version of this item - did you check to see if it comes all wrapped up and ready to go?





Wilderness forever,
Bruce Jensen
avatar Re: Spotting scopes
January 12, 2007 10:49AM
Bruce;

could you recommend something that is more powerful that would work better?

i originally wanted something strong enough to zoom in on their faces, but a couple of people on a telescope forum told me that it probably wouldn't work because of the heat waves etc.



Post Edited (01-12-07 13:08)



Like I always say, "if you can't laugh at yourself, let me do it".

My Yosemite Blog: http://yosemiteforrest.blogspot.com/
avatar Re: Spotting scopes
January 13, 2007 08:52PM
I was able to pick out my brother and kids at the top of Yosemite Falls from the Valley with just binoculars. You don't need as much as you think.

avatar Re: Spotting scopes
January 13, 2007 10:42PM
well, the thing is, is i was hopeful that i could find something strong enough to zoom in on their faces (yes, that close).
Re: Spotting scopes
January 16, 2007 08:17AM
If you want to get their faces to be easily *discernible* the one you picked may be adequate. If that is not close enough, you may be out of luck - a telescope with optics that will deliver a close-up view of a person's face at a mile - like, 1,000 power or more - is just not in the cards. A large astronomical telescope with first-rate optics (like a 20" diameter and larger scope) will get you 1,000x under the best circumstances, but then that is for heavy duty astro work. Something you can carry around simply won't do it.

And the others who have said heat and atmospherics would interfere, were right. High mags on warm objects (like granite faces) give you ripply results.

Finally, - when you are down below and they are looking essentially upward, how much of their faces would you expect to see? I'd figure on not much...

Like I said, 200x will allow you to see a person as though they are at 25 feet away. If you want them to look like they are five feet away, you'd better get up there with them.

Bruce Jensen





Wilderness forever,
Bruce Jensen
avatar Re: Spotting scopes
January 17, 2007 02:35PM
thanks a ton Bruce! i called Orion and they told me that if for any reason i don't like the product, i could send it back for a full refund within 30 days. can't go wrong with that i guess.

btw... i was wondering.... i plan on attaching a camera to the scope and taking photos of the climbers... i was thinking that if i could get up close enough with a photo shot, they might want photos of themselves (unless they do their own), but i'd be more than happy to email them to them for free.. i wouldn't be doing this for profit, just a fun hobbie.

anyhoo... is there a way i could let these guys know that i'll be doing this about 6-8 times a year? is there a climbers website i could let them know about this? maybe i could put up a website of my own and climbers could view it there to see if i may have gotten a photo of them? i dunno, sound dumb? unfeasable? lol

forrest (yep, as in Gump)



Post Edited (01-17-07 16:41)



Like I always say, "if you can't laugh at yourself, let me do it".

My Yosemite Blog: http://yosemiteforrest.blogspot.com/
Re: Spotting scopes
January 18, 2007 09:27AM
Note that if you attach a camera to that Orion mak scope with a typical t-connector, you will not get anywhere near 200x.

A traditional film SLR will get you approximately 30x (1500mm f.l. /50mm f.l. = 30x); digital SLRs will push that up to about 45-50x, with their 1.5 to 1.6 magnification ratios.

Bruce Jensen





Wilderness forever,
Bruce Jensen
avatar Re: Spotting scopes
January 24, 2007 05:14PM
thanks again Bruce... i ended up buying the scope.... i went up to Yosemite this last weekend to try it out... i love the scope, it will work out just fine... like you said, i can't view their faces, but at any point on the mountain, i can get what looks like seeing someone from about 40 feet away (good enough for me)... i did however not like the tripod the salesman sold me, it was way too flimsy and unstable... just by luck, a friend of mine knows a guy at work who sold me a really nice heavy duty one for only $25.00!!!!!

we checked it out on the internet, and found it is worth at least $500-600 !! the guy knew it's value, but said he had many other one's and never used it (he got it free some how years ago)... can't beat that huh? lol

anyhoo, i'm a happy camper now :-)
Re: Spotting scopes
January 26, 2007 08:22AM
That's great, glad you like the scope. As time goes on, tell us how your results are. Try it for astro work too - you might get hooked!

Bruce Jensen





Wilderness forever,
Bruce Jensen
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