I have exactly the setup you are describing (also of similar photographic
expertise) - Kowa TSN-823 scope and photo attachment for my Minolta 600si.
I've had mixed results, but overall they're OK without being spectacular - I
have a lot of photos of branches where I thought a bird was when I clicked,
and some of my photos of our birdbath are superb!!
When I was investigating getting this setup, the Birding-Aus'ers were very
helpful - comments normally concerned too little light, but I found the 823
is OK in this regard as it has an 82mm objective lens
The biggest hassle was convincing my auto-focussing Minolta that it was
allowed to take snaps without an AF lens on. If you have an auto-focussing
camera, be aware that they won't (generally) fire if the contact pins on the
front aren't contacting anything. I had to get Minolta to tell me how to rig
it so that it would fire (a convoluted combination of buttons needed to be
pressed to get it into the correct mode, but it only needed to be done
once). Do this before committing to the converter or you'll be disappointed
if your camera won't support this mode.
Also, I got the "bent" model of Kowa as I was intending to use it for
spotting far more than for photography - the drawback is that once the
camera and the converter are on, you need to set your tripod fairly low to
look into the viewfinder - I'd suggest you get the straight version if you
intend to use it a lot for photography. Also, you'll need a remote shutter
release for you camera or you're just wasting your time trying to get a
non-blurry shot. I found that a fast film like 400 ASA gave better results
than the 200 I normally use.
It's not a cheap exercise getting all of the attachments, but then having
outlaid the dosh for the Kowa, the extra cost is still cheaper than getting
a comparable telescopic or zoom lens.
From: Ken Cross [SMTP:
Sent: Tuesday, 10 August 1999 21:40
Subject: birding-aus RFI - kowa scope conveter
I have recently made a down payment on a Kowa scope - TSN something
or other.............. I am toying with the idea of buying a Kowa
photographic converter. I am not the backend of a wildlife photographer nor
have I ever tried to take any wildlife shots however i am optimistic that
perhaps with this new flash setup i may be able to have a go....I recognise
that there are limitations with this but I would like these limitations
Finally my question; Have any Birding ausers had any experience with
taking photos using the above set-up? If so is it a reasonable proposition?
Any feedback, admissions of pros or cons would be very welcome.
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