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Thread: Camcorder + Scope.Long distance window voyeur

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    Default Camcorder + Scope.Long distance window voyeur

    I have view of many windows from my balcony that I would like to zoom.The more distanced windows are 600 meters away so to get a 2 meter height balcony door to a nice size I calculated that I will need about x360 zoom.

    My camcorder (hc-v500) has x50 optical zoom so in theory even a x7 zoom scope should be ok.I will need this mostly for night watching because of the reflections.I asked before in another topic and Alchemist said that teleconverters arent much of a quality so I am thinking to buy a scope.Any suggestions?

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    I found this:
    Cheap Portable 16 x 52 Spotting Scope Monocular Telescope

    Good zoom diameter and reviews.What do you think?

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    Cant find the edit button.Here is another cheap one I found with good reviews:

    Visionking High Power Refractor 18x50 Mini Spotting Scope Monocular Telescope | eBay

    I wish I had the money to choose a solid scope.Hoping the theoretical total zoom of x16-x900 will be as good as it sounds.
    If noone replies here I think I'm gonna choose between them.

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    one of the issues you may find in pairing a scope with a camcorder is that the camcorder will need to focus on the scope's eyepiece (or whatever adapter you work out) and the longer your focal length (the father in you zoom your camcorder), the farther away your minimum focus distance will be.

    In the astronomy community you will find telescope adapters for camcorders, but they usually require the camcorder to be set to it's widest angle and all magnification is done with the telescope's eyepiece.

    I think what you want to do is possible, but it will be expensive.
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    Quote Originally Posted by flexz View Post
    one of the issues you may find in pairing a scope with a camcorder is that the camcorder will need to focus on the scope's eyepiece (or whatever adapter you work out) and the longer your focal length (the father in you zoom your camcorder), the farther away your minimum focus distance will be.

    In the astronomy community you will find telescope adapters for camcorders, but they usually require the camcorder to be set to it's widest angle and all magnification is done with the telescope's eyepiece.

    I think what you want to do is possible, but it will be expensive.
    I didnt understand very much what is the problem you mentioned.You say that if I take advantage of the high zoom of the camcorder I wont be able to focus the scope?Will it be impossible?Buying an expensive scope is out of the budget.I would like a more practical solution so I can use the high zoom of the camcorder.

    If a cheap scope will get me nowhere I could maybe use a teleconverter.I asked that in another thread because my problem is that this camcorder doesnt have a thread to attach teleconverter but I could tape it
    Will a teleconverter of x4.5 zoom compromise the quality too much?As I said I want to look at 600 meters balcony doors of 2 meters so I need at least x300 zoom if I calculated right.

    I found these:
    Zeikos 58mm High Quality 4.5X Telephoto LensZE-4558T B&H Photo
    Polaroid Studio Series 52/58mm 4.5x HD Super TelephotoPL4558T
    Bower VL437 4.0x High Power Telephoto LensVL437 B&H Photo Video (better rating)

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    First off, the camera you have (Panasonic hc-v500) is a 38x optical zoom, not a 50x. So be careful there. Second, it has a threading on the front for attaching filters, etc. The Zeikos 4.5x tele-convertor has a 58mm thread and comes with step up rings, so it might actually work fine for you. See your camera's documentation to see what the thread size is. Read the reviews of those tele-convertors though! Some of the reviews for the Zeikos are saying it doesn't work well with longer focal lengths.
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    Quote Originally Posted by flexz View Post
    First off, the camera you have (Panasonic hc-v500) is a 38x optical zoom, not a 50x. So be careful there. Second, it has a threading on the front for attaching filters, etc. The Zeikos 4.5x tele-convertor has a 58mm thread and comes with step up rings, so it might actually work fine for you. See your camera's documentation to see what the thread size is. Read the reviews of those tele-convertors though! Some of the reviews for the Zeikos are saying it doesn't work well with longer focal lengths.
    I rejected all of the above because of the reviews.As you said with high zoom things are much worse.You are right the camera has 38x optical zoom but as you imagine I can use digital (Say 70x) without much quality loss due to it being full hd.So now I'm looking at 2.0x or 2.x teleconverter to find a good one and I hope the zoom will be enough.

    The problem is that this camera doesnt have a filter thread (Panasonic HC-V500 QUESTIONS) so I will have to tape it into position.I dont know how this is gonna work.
    Should I look the 43mm filter size or the 37mm?I'm looking at the specs and I'm not sure where to look for it (http://panasonic.net/avc/camcorder/h...fications.html).Can you give me a hint here to take my final decision?Thanks for your time flexz anyway

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    without a filter thread, I think you might be out of luck. Taping it is not going to give you good results, I think. Sometimes, the only solution is to spend some money. Good luck!
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    Quote Originally Posted by steveosteve View Post
    I have view of many windows from my balcony that I would like to zoom.The more distanced windows are 600 meters away so to get a 2 meter height balcony door to a nice size I calculated that I will need about x360 zoom.

    My camcorder (hc-v500) has x50 optical zoom so in theory even a x7 zoom scope should be ok.I will need this mostly for night watching because of the reflections.I asked before in another topic and Alchemist said that teleconverters arent much of a quality so I am thinking to buy a scope.Any suggestions?

    If you use a teleconverter, you have to make sure that the exit pupil is at least as big as the max entrance pupil of the camcorder, o/w the quality will suck. It might suck anyway if the optics are poor.

    The max entrance pupil of your camcorder is about 20mm. You calculate the exit pupil of the teleconverter by dividing the front lens element diameter by the magnification ratio. For instance, a 10x32 monocular/binocular will have an exit pupil of 3.2mm, which is way too small for your camcorder. If you paired a 10x32 with your camcorder, it'll redefine the concept of shit quality. If you want a 10x magnification, you would need at least a 10x200, which means the front piece of glass would have to be at least 200mm, which would be around 8 inches, or the size of a relatively large telescope.

    The best teleconverters are around 1.4x to 1.7x. Look for a brand name.

    p.s. It's also preferable if your camcorder has threading. It may or may not be possible to mod it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by beach bum View Post
    If you use a teleconverter, you have to make sure that the exit pupil is at least as big as the max entrance pupil of the camcorder, o/w the quality will suck. It might suck anyway if the optics are poor.

    The max entrance pupil of your camcorder is about 20mm. You calculate the exit pupil of the teleconverter by dividing the front lens element diameter by the magnification ratio. For instance, a 10x32 monocular/binocular will have an exit pupil of 3.2mm, which is way too small for your camcorder. If you paired a 10x32 with your camcorder, it'll redefine the concept of shit quality. If you want a 10x magnification, you would need at least a 10x200, which means the front piece of glass would have to be at least 200mm, which would be around 8 inches, or the size of a relatively large telescope.

    The best teleconverters are around 1.4x to 1.7x. Look for a brand name.

    p.s. It's also preferable if your camcorder has threading. It may or may not be possible to mod it.
    Hmmm I see.Based on what you say I need 43mm size for a 2x or 2.2x teleconverter.Do you think a 1.4x or 1.7x will suit my needs?I suspect it's better to digital zoom than to use a low zoom extra lens which lowers the quality anyway.

    Spending a lot of money is not an option so the only option left is to spend less and risk with teleconverters.I just wanted to know if it's better to use teleconverter than digital zoom in my situation.I remember Alchemist advicing against them.

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