Many spotting scopes these days provide the option of attaching a digital camera of some type and using the scope as a telephoto lens with which to take photos. Digital photo adapters vary widely in their design, ease of use, speed to deploy, and their range of compatibility with respect to the cameras they can accommodate. The Vortex Razor Spotting Scope is a relatively recent entry in the spotting scope market, providing high-quality optical performance at a very reasonable price (see Vortex Razor Scope Review). Vortex offers a digiscoping adapter for use with the Razor, so I took it out in the field to give it a try.
I went out this past Sunday to Laguna Niguel Regional Park with the Razor scope equipped with its 20-60x zoom eyepiece, the Vortex Razor Digital Adapter, and my Canon 40D camera with a 50-mm lens. This was my first attempt to digiscope with this equipment combination, so the pictures here are mostly to show what is possible and do not represent fully optimized photography with this rig. An Osprey eating lunch at the park provided an interesting and challenging subject for this demonstration. The bird was sitting in a eucalyptus tree in rather unfavorable lighting. The first photo (above) was taken with the camera only to illustrate the difference in results with and without the scope in line. The second photo (left) was taken through the scope with the eyepiece zoomed to about 40x. This camera/scope combination at this magnification is equivalent to about a 3200-mm lens. This will vary from 2000 to 4000 mm at this level of zoom depending on the type of camera. These are full-frame shots and the photos have not been cropped in any way. They were only resized to fit this page.