SLR Magic announces new Monster Lens II 12-36x50 ED Spotting Scope lens
posted Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 12:48 PM EDT
SLR Magic has updated its digiscoping Monster Lens to improve the optics, but still provide an extreme 840-2520mm equivalent focal length for an affordable pricetag. The newly announced SLR Magic Monster Lens II 12-36x50 ED Spotting Scope mounts on a Micro Four Thirds body, and the new adapter has SLR Magic promising "increased sharpness and contrast over the first edition."
The lens is expected to be available this June for $799, which is significantly cheaper than any telephoto lens that will get you even nearly that level of zoom. However, the low cost is because the optics are often notably lower quality than you would see on a traditional lens. That's because digiscoping is essentially mounting a digital camera on a telescope, and as such these rigs are designed for wildlife spotters who want to capture the animals they see, rather than photographers in search of the clearest and sharpest shot.
The Magic Monster II features stacked, dual-focus controls to allow for both fine and gross adjustments, and "Extra-low Dispersion optics, as well as fully Multi coated glass."
For a bit of a look at how digiscoping stacks up to your traditional telephoto lens, this writeup by Roger Cicala pitted Swarovski Optik scopes against Canon 800mm f/5.6 IS and 500mm f/4 IS lenses. And while you won't see quite the same quality as the Canon lenses, they managed to do pretty well in their own right.