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Gun sight for improved subject acquisition

By Halgiver
I know this is not the standard image upload, but I hope enough people will have their curiosity piqued to view it.

Olympus and Nikon both make red dot sights for cameras that fit in the hot shoe, but being a cheapskate I thought I could make something at a lower budget and did, using this Green Dot sight, which is brighter than red in daylight, although it has a red option too. I used it with some success to photograph, flying dragonflies last year. However because you are only looking throuught he sight, you never know what the camera has locked on to and it can be very hit and miss.

The gunsight was mounted to the tripod foot I bought from Germany to use with my Panasonic 100-300 zoom and I bolted a Picardy rail to the Swiss Arca (SA) plate and affixed the sight to that. Once calibrated it works fairly well, if you guestimate for parallax error, depending on how much closer or further the object is compared to the calibration object distance.

Now I have come up with the idea of mounting the sight at the same hight as the viewfinder. I had to remove the SA plate and mount the rail direct to the foot, which took a little inventive engineering, in order to produce a satisfactory inter-pupil spacing between sight and viewfinder.

I switch the sight on, then put my left eye to the sight and my right eye naturally lines up with the viewfinder. I start by putting the green dot on the subject and at the same time switching on my camera. When the camera viewfinder powers up my brain begins to change concentration automatically to the enlarged image, but the green dot stays in view. There is nearly always a little adjustment to do, but the subject is mostly only millimetres from the focussing guide in the viewfinder. If the bird is in flight and I lose it, it is just a matter of closing my right eye and re-acquiring target.

I only finished the re-engineering yesterday, so I have not had a chance to use the system in the field yet. I have however used it in the back garden yesterday and it really works well. So good in fact, that I will be manufacturing a plate, so I can fit the sight to my Sony A7Rii 200-600 combo in the near future too.

If you have any questions leave a comment or a contact method of your choice and I will reply as soon as possible.

Tags: Cameras General Optical Aids

Voters: mike9005, Chinga, Jmag60 and 4 more


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