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Thread: Equipment - electronic "dot" sight

  1. #1

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    Equipment - electronic "dot" sight

    Equipment - electronic "dot" sight

    This tiny gizmo is called an electronic dot sight in the manual and a Tactical 4 Reticle Sight on the box. Cost me about 35usd - sight + flash bracket mount.

    First it needs to be calibrated (just a few screw adjustments) so that the center point hits exactly the same place as the camera's center point.

    It has 7 intensity levels for the cross-hair (other shapes also settable) so can be used in any light condition and any lens. Recalibration only needed if changing camera bodies.

    It has only one function - to accurately target a subject instead of using the viewfinder or live view when camera is tripod mounted. Focus will always be accurate even if you pan with the camera on the tripod as long as the subject is within the cross-hair. Shutter pumping probably required but not tested yet so not sure. The sight and shutter are not inter-connected in any way.

    I saw some bird photographers using it on their tripod mounted 500mm and this device was universally recommended as a must-have. In addition they have a long range laser-pen to help the focus in lower light or very far off objects. Got one of those too - tried it in pitch dark and could see the beam go at least 3km but of course dot was too small to see.

    Other people mount the camera on a shoulder mount and use the rifle sight + a remote shutter. Principle is the same though.

    Pic is the rig of one of the guys - each and every shot he took without looking into the viewfinder and EACH was pin sharp.

    Any thoughts? Suggestions?

  2. #2

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    Have a guess :)

    Re: Equipment - electronic "dot" sight

    Looks like an interesting piece of kit - it's not going to give any indication of how much one needs to zoom in or out for a pleasing composition though, so I'm kinda wondering just what the advantage of using it might be?

  3. #3
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Equipment - electronic "dot" sight

    This Topcon sportsfinder is the same concept (as was the wire sportsfinder on a Press Camera) although this is not any way nearly as high tech as the one posted. There have been a lot of different sportsfinders, over the years. Some were built into the camera (Like the Rolleiflex) and others were set up to use with various focal length lenses like this over one-thousand U.S. dollar Nikon collectors item...

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Nikon-RF-Fol...item5ad5b8afa3

    This Topcon finder will get you in the ballpark and sometimes is easier to lock onto a small target or subject when using a long focal length lens. The U.S. Navy purchased these sportsfinders for their Topcon cameras that they issued to aircrews during the film era. It allowed the aircrewman to sight the camera while keeping the visor of his flight helmet down. It was fair to middling accurate but, better than trying to use the eyelevel viewfinder with the visor down.

    Equipment - electronic "dot" sight

    Obviously, it cannot frame your image as a zoom sees it but, when you are shooting with a long prime lens, you have only two choices, shoot the image or don't shoot it. There is no zooming capability. This is on a camera equipped with a zoom lens because I didn't want to open my case and take out a long prime place on the camera...

    Shooting with a gimbal mount or a fluid pan head, it will allow me to follow action without my eye against the viewfinder but, doesn't have the reflection and tiny image drawbacks of using live-view.

    I have used this very sparingly but, since it didn't cost me anything and it takes up virtually no room, it remains part of my assorted collection of various widgets and thingamagigs...

    The image posted of the optical sight reminds me of a shotgun sight sold years ago that allowed a shooter to shoot with both eyes open.
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 20th November 2011 at 12:11 AM.

  4. #4

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    Re: Equipment - electronic "dot" sight

    It is primarily an assist kit for bird/wildlife photographers who have to use tripods for their big heavy lens. The key advantage is being able to keep both eyes open which actually aids both composition and accurate target acquisition.

    For example assume there are 2 birds in the sky - without the sight, you zoom in and see only one of the 2 and will not see what the other one is up to. With eyes away from the viewfinder one can anticipate better their coming together all the while using the sight to track and once the cross-hair is on either bird just fire away.

  5. #5

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    Re: Equipment - electronic "dot" sight

    Hi Bobo, very interesting, looks like a heads up display unit for a gun site on a (Vietnam era) jet fighter. You say you only paid $35.00 usd for this? Would you please reply back to let me know where I can buy one.

    Tom Williams

  6. #6
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Equipment - electronic "dot" sight

    I'd be interested in that also. I am thinking that you could jury-rig a mask like this out or plastic or acetate with the approximate coverages for various focal lengths...

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mamiya-SPORT...item4ab0f78fc4

  7. #7

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    Re: Equipment - electronic "dot" sight

    Well Tom and Richard, that is going to be tricky.

    I am in Hong Kong atm and got it from a shop here.

    Will be returning home on the 24th and intending to make another trip to that shopping area to find other interesting stuff to play with. I will ask if they ship and the payment methods. They may know of a web reseller so will ask that too.
    Last edited by Bobobird; 20th November 2011 at 03:20 AM.

  8. #8

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    Re: Equipment - electronic "dot" sight

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobobird View Post
    Well Tom and Richard, that is going to be tricky.

    I am in Hong Kong atm and got it from a shop here.

    Will be returning home on the 24th and intending to make another trip to that shopping area to find other interesting stuff to play with. I will ask if they ship and the payment methods. They may know of a web reseller so will ask that too.
    Well Bobo, Thanks for the reply back, I will await your visit to to the shop for more interest, I visited Hongkong 42 years ago, complements of the US Navy, all ships in harbor had to leave due to impending typhoon, we had to ride it out at sea. The "ride" was "awsome" to say the least------will never forget.

    Tom

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