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03-15-2016, 10:22 PM   #1
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Dot sights for bird photography

Has anyone used a dot sight (like the Olympus EE1 Dot Sight) for bird photography?


How useful do you think they are?


I mostly photograph birds with a DA300mm or DA 300mm plus 1.4TC. Especially at 420mm, it can be a bit hit and miss getting the bird in the viewfinder and an effective aid would be great.

03-15-2016, 11:52 PM   #2
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Buy the Olympus Eagle Eye....its not DSLR quality,just an elcheapo PnS,but the sight will get you images that are not possible(or flukes)with other cams...

Everywhere I go,the Sammy S4zoom(24-240) and the Oly EE go too.With these 2, I get the situations that pop up straight away.

What's that old cliche?
03-16-2016, 03:07 AM   #3
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This is what I had in mind:

Olympus EE-1 is a Red Dot Sight Hotshoe Attachment for Aiming at Speedy Subjects

It is a hotshoe attachment that functions as a wider viewfinder when you have a long tele on your camera.
03-16-2016, 03:23 AM   #4
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Yes,my error....I just stumbled across a YouTube about it mounted on a 300mm...why don't you have a look at that

My red dot is built into my bridge camera but I find the sight a valuable aid.

03-16-2016, 03:35 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by surfar Quote
Yes,my error....I just stumbled across a YouTube about it mounted on a 300mm...why don't you have a look at that

My red dot is built into my bridge camera but I find the sight a valuable aid.
Thanks!


Having seen that, I think it is mostly aimed at giving mirrorless cameras subject tracking capability like DSLRs and would really give any advantages with a DSLR.
03-16-2016, 05:09 AM - 2 Likes   #6
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here is the pentax red dot


03-16-2016, 11:53 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Billk Quote
Has anyone used a dot sight (like the Olympus EE1 Dot Sight) for bird photography?


How useful do you think they are?


I mostly photograph birds with a DA300mm or DA 300mm plus 1.4TC. Especially at 420mm, it can be a bit hit and miss getting the bird in the viewfinder and an effective aid would be great.
Dot sights are most useful, in my opinion, when dealing with these factors:

-- you are shooting with a long lens that narrows your field of view such that keeping magnified birds-in-flight within that FOV is difficult. Think of it this way: if your magnified bird is taking up most of your frame, it can escape that frame pretty easily. Chasing it sometimes leads to losing it and trying to find it again wastes time and shot opportunities. A dot site's FOV is wider, so your view of the subject includes a larger area around it. Harder for the bird to escape you. Having said that, however, using a sight definitely takes practice and you may want to switch to focus release priority and/or use more focus points.

-- along the lines above, when using an open sight like the Olympus, you can hold the camera away from your eye, thus giving you an expanded view of the sky/surrounding area, using both eyes. This not only helps in keeping your target in view but also allows you to see other potential targets. I'm reminded of a recent shoot where I was doggedly chasing sandhill cranes with the 560 and totally missed the red-tailed hawk putting on a show 50 feet from me. That's what happens when you glue your eye to the viewfinder! (The Pentax sight doesn't help quite as much here because your eye is typically closer to the sight).

-- a more obvious use for red dots is in mirrorless cameras, especially when you're dependent on an lcd or evf for your view. Frame refresh on these can be slow and cause you to lose your target. Additionally, lcds can get washed out in the sun, so it's nice to have an alternate view.

-- perhaps nowhere is a dot sight more useful than when shooting with ultra-magnification like a long lens on a Q. Pop 300-600mm on there and you'll think there are no birds at all! Dot sights, again, provide a more useful FOV. You'll find lots of discussion on sights over in the Q forum.

Hope this helps!

Last edited by Kath; 03-19-2016 at 01:28 AM.
03-16-2016, 12:07 PM   #8
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I have a similar issue when using longish lenses for detailed sports shots - like 1o1 situations in field hockey, where you still need to watch the other players to anticipate the next move. Sometimes I manage keeping both eyes open and just shifting attention while still following the ball in the viewfinder. Need more practice though.

03-16-2016, 12:11 PM   #9
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On the Q, I use a traditional (rifle) dot sight on a special hot-shoe adapter (which I'm not sure they make anymore), same as pearsaab. I don't think that Olympus was around back when I got it -- a direct hot shoe mount would be better (although costs about twice as much as I paid for dot sight + adapter). It definitely helps with extreme telephoto...
03-16-2016, 03:10 PM   #10
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I was looking at this rail mount for the hot shoe:

https://www.photosolve.com/main/product/xtendasight/index.html

Then go over to Amazon and search for a red dot sight to mount on the rail.

So, US$ 27.00 + whatever sight you want to use should be well under the Olympus gadget.

My intent is to use this combo for astrophotography.
03-16-2016, 05:37 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pat_the_Rocker Quote
I was looking at this rail mount for the hot shoe:

https://www.photosolve.com/main/product/xtendasight/index.html

Then go over to Amazon and search for a red dot sight to mount on the rail.

So, US$ 27.00 + whatever sight you want to use should be well under the Olympus gadget.

My intent is to use this combo for astrophotography.
Yeah, I have an earlier version. It was unavailable for a while, and this version is quite different. Make sure your sight has the proper rail to match...
03-17-2016, 10:27 PM   #12
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Pat, I use a red dot sight atop my K-3 for astro work. When I started doing astro, it would take me forever to get on a target. But the red dot makes this process much easier. The only proviso is that it is still not very useful for high elevation targets near the zenith (unless you have a really tall tripod).
03-18-2016, 12:47 AM   #13
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Thanks for all the replies!

Having heard some more feedback, I'm thinking it could end being $170 AUD well spent.
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