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12 Days Birding & Bird Photography Tours In Sabah, Borneo

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Digiscoping with Nikon Fieldscope ED50 and FSB-U1

4rd - 10th May 2009

Irene from Sandakan Photo passed me the Nikon Fieldscope ED50 together with a new universal adapter FSB-U1 from Nikon Malaysia when I was in Sandakan last week hehehe as I've been eyeing this scope after trying it last year during the Sandakan Bird Fair and impressed with the sharpness and colour renditions the little scope delivered.

Nikon Fieldscope ED50
with 13-40x MC II zoom eyepiece while cruising along Kinabatangan River.

My current digiscoping kit now which is lighter than the big brother, Nikon Fieldscope ED82.

After tested it heavily on rain and shine, the Nikon Fieldscope ED50 lived up to its reputation as being the best compact scope at this moment which is waterproof up to a metre when immersed underwater, fogproof and uses ED glass to minimized colour fringing.

Using the 13-40x zoom eyepiece with the Nikon Fieldscope ED50 allowed me to get lots of details on 40x max, even though the field of view is a bit narrow, but for IDing birds from the distance, the scope did not disappointed me hehehe :)

Check this website regarding comments and reviews of the Nikon Fieldscope ED50 at Bird Forum;

My only concern with this little scope is the tripod mount which looked like a cheap plastic. There are few birders who had a problem with broken tripod mount and discussions regarding this is available here;

The scope is selling less than RM 2500 body only and the weight without eyepiece is around 460g and came along with its stay on case. Light carbon fibre tripod is a nice combo with this scope :)

Meanwhile, the new universal adapter FSB-U1 which I tested on the field needs to be improved in order for Nikon to get their share in universal digiscoping adapter market with other brands such as Swarovski, Kowa and SRB-Griturn;
  1. The hinge is a bit loose when I swung out the adapter. Feel a bit unsecured while carrying the scope in case you knock on something i.e tree trunk or branches.
  2. It swings out for 90 degree only to the right which is a bit troublesome for left sighted birders. They won't be able to use the adapter and it would be much better if it swings out to 180 degree like my SRB-Griturn Mk II adapter.
  3. Only usable with Nikon DS eyepiece and the eyepiece sleeve is not changeable. So if you are using your Zoom or MC eyepieces for viewing, you need to purchase the DS eyepiece to start digiscoping.
  4. Pricey for local Malaysian market, selling for more than RM 1000. If the price around RM 500 - RM 600, I will buy it first !

Best things about this adapter is;
  1. Quality materials used for making this adapter.
  2. Feel heavy which is good to minimized vibrations as seen from my digiscoped pictures.
  3. Can used it while raining too without worrying it will get rusty.
  4. I setup my Fujifilm F31D camera on the adapter took me less than a minute hehehe. Adjusting the vertical and horizontal knobs is easy and fast. Once I got the exact centre for my camera lens on the eyepiece, it stay put forever.
  5. No vignetting at all with my Nikon DS16x eyepiece on the Nikon Fieldscope ED50 (24x on Nikon Fieldscope EDIII and 30x on my Nikon Fieldscope ED82).

Overall I like this universal adapter and useful for birders who preferred to view and shoot at the same time rather than the fixed adapter which required to unscrew the adapter to view through the eyepiece.

Highly recommended !

For those who are interested, this scope and adapter is available at

Sandakan Foto (S) Sdn Bhd
Labuk Road: Ground Floor, L12, Block C,
Bandar Kim Fung, Batu 4,

Tel : 089-238728
Fax :089-216728

Look for Irene, and you will get discount for the Nikon Fieldscope ED50 if you mentioned my name :)

Price list:
  • Nikon Fieldscope ED50 = RSP RM 2358
  • Nikon DS16x eyepiece = RSP RM 1108
  • Nikon DS27x eyepiece = RSP RM 1258
  • Nikon MC II Zoom eyepiece = RSP RM 1428
  • Nikon universal adapter FSB-U1 = RSP RM 1238

90 degree position without the camera

On the Nikon Fieldscope ED82

Few images taken with the Nikon Fieldscope ED50 and FSB-U1 :)

Bornean Blue Flycatcher

Hooded Pitta

Red-naped Trogon

Rhinoceros Hornbill

Happy birding folks.


Dale Forbes said...

i have been out of the country for a while so not able to stop by, but this is a great post with wonderful photos.

the pita has to be my favorite, with the bird just poking its head up above the rainforest floor, giving nice depth. I also have a weakness for pitas. maybe I will have to come visit you some day!

the next installment of "digiscoping today" is now up and running and ready for a great new post from Sabah.

happy birding

Jason Bugay Reyes a.k.a horukuru said...

Ah thanks Dale and were lucky because the Pitta was feeding nearby me :)

Dale Forbes said...

you certainly were lucky!

A good friend always says: "I'd rather be lucky than good"

He has a point!

gram.kong said...

Hi,I am on my way to Tabin from KK on 28th May and, maybe, would like to stop at S'kan to look at the digiscopes at Sanadakan Foto.Do they carry any other brands or only Nikon.I have Nikon D3s and D300 which model you think would be best for my camera model.

phoneskope said...

This is such a great photos! i love it!