The Lens2scope 10mm 1:4 eyepiece is a small eyepiece/viewfinder unit that converts your telephoto lens to a spotting scope. Nikon made similar units back in the day that cost a fortune and never sold well, so I was slightly skeptical about the quality of the Lens2scope 10mm 1:4 eyepiece as it’ll only set me back $179.00. Was the eyepiece worth the modest price tag?
Around spring last year I found myself selling my binoculars (10×50) because I seldom used them and besides the magnification was only equivalent to a 500mm lens. That meant they had less magnification than the Sigma 300-800mm F5.6 I always bring with me. Sure they are faster in use but I often put my tripod rig down before grabbing the binos so I might as well be using this instead. I was thinking about buying another pair with higher magnification but couldn’t really justify the price for a pair of 12 x 50 Swarovski’s.
Forgetting about the idea my I used my Sigma as ever before. – I had the opportunity to try a decent spotting scope and you just can’t help fall in the magnification (up to 80x) so I again dreamed about focal length past 1600mm’s (which a 2x teleconverter gives me). Now you might argue that I could just buy a spotting scope but that would require me to carry yet another tripod as well as a somewhat lengthy spotting scope.
As I was browsing the net I stumbled upon the name Lens2scope and searched high and low for a review of their product and couldn’t really track one down. So after a couple of mails between their excellent sales support and I the Lens2scope 10mm 1:4 eyepiece landed on my door step.
The unit itself is quite small and nimble. The build quality is decent although it’s made mostly of plastic. The eyepiece features a rubber piece of somewhat stiff character, despite this it can bend and is pretty good in use. I would have wished for a softer type of rubber and it can feel like you’ll be getting your eye sucked out, oh well perhaps not that extreme but you get the point. It also feature a lens tripod foot (removable) that takes the standard 3/8″ bolt suitable for close to any type of support you own. The Lens2scope 10mm 1:4 eyepiece comes in two configurations as well as colors. You have a direct through the lens version or an angled one like to one I got. It’s an entirely a personal preference and I bought the angled one for ease of operations.
The Lens2scope 10mm 1:4 eyepiece is also available in the well known Canon off-white so it’ll match the colors of your Canon lenses.
I created a scene where I placed a stuffed toy animal (You might know him the from excellent Lion King) and in order to test how much magnification the setup gives me I was to shoot a couple of frames with the 1D and slap on the Lens2scope 10mm 1:4 eyepiece to observe the difference. I do not know how far it was from the setup but an estimate would be more than 10 but less than 15 meters. Highly unscientific but thats how I like it 🙂
Before setting up this scene I actually tried the unit on my Canon 400mm F5.6 L lens and was positively surprised. The magnification is mind-blowing compared to the lens on the camera and the sharpness as well as contrast etc. was WAY beyond was I was expecting of the unit. With this combination I would say it’ll perform as well as any $500.00 binoculars perhaps with better corner sharpness. That just shows what high quality well regarded telephoto lenses are made of. Be wary of the dept of field as you still operating with a 35mm lens so you’ll get a creamy bokeh in front and behind the subject your looking at. That means focus IS critical.
So with twice the focal length of the Canon 400mm F5.6 L I took a shot with the Sigma 300-800mm F5.6 and switched to the Lens2scope 10mm 1:4 eyepiece. The manufacturer claims you’ll get up 1/10X the focal length of the lens mounted when mounted on a 35mm camera and up to 25x times the one you find on a macro lens if you use such. A claim which I found truth too.
Now without getting to scientific I found the Lens2scope 10mm 1:4 eyepiece to give me roughly the same magnification as when I’m looking on the screen on the Canon 7D with live-view and 5x magnification. A quick calculation would be : 800mm x 1.6 (crop factor) x 5 (live-view magnification) = 6400mm – Yes that’s 6400mm!!
How does that fair in the real world. Look down and you’ll see two frame filling shots. Bare in mind the Lens2scope 10mm 1:4 eyepiece will fill most of your vision with one eye and the image is sharp, contrasty and pleasant to look at. Note it wasn’t easy to shoot the view that the eyepiece offered with the point and shoot so final view comes out sharper than what I captured as well as without the blue tint in the bottom.
You probably guessed it by now but I’m loving the Lens2scope 10mm 1:4 eyepiece. It’s small and nimble, offers of a good, clear and bright image with an amazing focal length in a small package for a very low pricetag. So if your looking to purchase a spotting scope and already own a high-end telephoto lens ditch the scope and grab the Lens2scope 10mm 1:4 eyepiece.
I’m off spotting eagles from miles away.