Sunday, December 16, 2012

Review: Phone Skope

The good folks at Phone Skope sent me an adapter for my iPhone 4S to test out with the Swarovski ATX spotting scope. Now they haven't made a specific adapter for this scope yet, but they sent one that was close in size. I successfully sanded down the inside of the adapter ring so that it would fit over the eye-piece of the scope. Since then I've taken it out a few times to test it in the field. 

Because the length of the adapter ring was not specifically designed for this scope (a very simple modification which I'm confident will be availabe in the near future) I've struggled to get my iPhone 4S camera the right distance from the eye piece to maximize the image size. The result is getting a lot of vignetting.

Some of the vignetting can be overcome using the zoom feature of the iPhone camera, but it begins to seriously degrade the quality of the image. Below are some Common Goldeneyes that I was able to photograph at a very long distance with a bit of camera zoom.
Even with the vignetting, a little cropping can yield some okay images using the Phone Skope.
There are some real advantages to using the Phone Skope. It gives you precise aim through the scope and much greater stability as compared to hand-holding the iPhone which I typically do. It's a fantastic product accommodating the needs and wants of today's birder. Check out a Phone Skope for your digiscoping needs!

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