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SLRmagic announces a new 12-36×50 ED Spotting Scope for m43.


(Click on the image to enlarge)

SLRmagic announced a new digiscoping solution for micro four thirds bird watchers. With this solution micro four thirds users may easily take photos or video of birds at great distances. The current options by other brands with ED glass offerings cost from $1000-$5000. The longest micro four thirds lens for now only reach 300mm and cost between $500-700. The SLR Magic will be a 12-36×50 ED Spotting Scope. The photo of the Flamingo is shot at 420mm and the photo of the bird is taken at 840mm. The lens will be released in October for $250 and SLR Magic 12-35×50 ED spotting scope for micro four thirds should be released in November for $400.

That is the fifth Micro Four Thirds lens made by SLRmagic. The most famous lens is the redesigned Noktor 50mm f/0.95 lens:
SLR magic 11mm f/1.4 lens you can preorder on eBay (Click here) Toy Lens 26mm f/1.4 lens on eBay (Click here) SLR Magic 35mm f/1.7 MC lens on eBay (Click here) Noktor 50mm f/0.95 lens on eBay (Click here)

  • tom

    Nice to see something like this come out at the price point. Given SLR magic’s reputation for spectacular IQ… we’ll see how well it works in practice. The fact that their only released photos are a small crop within a picture might be a bad sign.

    For the price, it doesn’t have to be great to be worth it.

  • I could be interested in this, the price looks good as long as the quality is too, is it weather sealed? :D

  • Chris

    Now thats what I am talking about. A spotting scope built around a micro 4/3 camera. I just hacked my Panasonic GH2 and you can use the video to take snap shots or screen caps. Its like using the 40fps mode as the quality is the same.

    Video digiscoping anyone?

    • Jim

      Could you elaborate how this hack is working? Are you getting continuious 40fps 4Mpix video??? or are you getting normal 30p video at full 4k (12mpix) res?

      Amazing if this is the case!

  • Chris

    It would be interesting to see how well it performs in the field. Last time I bought a £400 spotting scope and tried to use it as a Digiscoping solustion….um no.

    Lets hope these are good cheep chips or we are stuffed lol

  • Jim

    What is 12-36 x 50?
    Is it 600mm – 1800mm?

    If so could the 50x lens be removed and also give a 12-36?
    Any idea what kind of apature we are talking about? F8 fixed? F5.6-F11 variable?

    I’m assuming we are talking no AF of course :)

    • 50 is the diameter of the scope in mm, the oculair magnifies from 12 to 36 max.
      In binoculars 50mm is pretty high value, i think night binoculars have even 56mm.

      • Leendert

        for spotting scopes a diameter of 50mm is not much.

        The most popular scopes for digiscoping:
        Swarovski ATM 80 HD (diamater 80mm) (flickr:
        Kowa TSN883 or TSN884 (diameter 88mm) (flickr:

        m43 is a very good system for digiscoping, better then DSLR!

      • Jim

        Hi Ulli,

        So you would keep your normal lens on???, and then this will attach to it giving 12-36x magnifacation?

        I guess if 50mm is near night vision size lenses we are talking about a fast lens? F3.5?

        What kind of FF equivelent zoom can we expect with this XXXmm – XXXXmm ? at what kind of apature? at a guess?

        • Jim i was just hardup thinking here…no real knowledge about this stuff really. I assume the m43 body gets directly mounted to the scope and the 12-36 oculair sits either between the body and telescope, or its outside the optical path of body-scope, so a prism splits the scope to both body and oculair….thats the picture i have in my head for this thing. idea about f value..i am sure experts here can tell you that. regarding to ff equiv zoom should be halve of the m43 right?

          • Jim

            I’m not shaw how these things work – gonna have to have a little wiki sesion :)

            With regards to FF equ – I could not find any info on what mm it would be on m4/3 or FF? All I saw was the 2 shots 1 at 420mm and the other at 840mm – do you think these represent the min/max zoom? and I assume you should add crop factor to those numbers so in FF equiv it would be 840mm – 1680mm…. a nice range for shaw :) and complementing the 100-300mm well.

            I have a FF equiv 1200mm with my 300mm OM+2x and would say 1680 would be a good reach – i supprizingly find 1200m a bit too short! It just does not quite give me that on the horizon detail :D

        • Mr. Reeee

          Adding a bit to what Ulli said, with binoculars 50 is also a way to measure the field of view. The higher the number, the wider the angle, not the magnification, nor is it the equivalent of a 50mm lens. Magnification is a separate number. For instance, 8 x 25 are 8-power and quite small, while 8 x 40 are considerably larger, but have a much wider angle of view.

          10 x 50 are very large and heavy and you’d probably appreciate a tripod or monopod. I have a pair of Leica Trinovid 10 x 25 rubberized binocs which are very compact, but can be a bit tricky to use because of the high magnification and narrow field of view. They’re small enough to take anywhere, though. From rainforest to mountaintop to the opera.

          • Esa Tuunanen

            In binoculars first number is magnification and second is the size of objective/lens/aperture with bigger meaning better light gathering ability.
            While those can be used to calculate exit pupil angle/field of view is something they don’t tell and which depends on optical design (cost&size limits) and is specified separately.

      • spam

        Agree that 50mm is pretty big on binoculars, but it’s kind of low end on spotting scopes. There are some OK 50mm ones made for travel, but most decent quality to high end scopes are in the 65mm to 80mm range.

        The price is also really low compared to good spotting scopes so this looks like a low end solution. Could still be good on price/performance, but I certainly wouldn’t buy it without reading a thrustworthy review first.

  • safaridon

    Admin – How about a picture to give us an idea of this lens size and weight?

  • I just bought a Zeiss 300/4 at a bargain price….. High quality (on tripod) but hefty even if it is light for a 300mm.
    The scope weights probably only a fraction, but whar quality can be expected

    • can you give more info about that zeiss 300/4…is it a sonnar ?

  • Mr. Reeee

    This could be pretty interesting. The lack of details makes me a bit skeptical. I keep debating about getting a 100-300mm, but if this thing is any good… who knows?

    There’s an article on the Luminous Landscape site discussing “inexpensive” digiscoping options @ around $2000. That was sounding pretty good compared to a $4000 Leica scope and a $400 M4/3 adaptor for it at B&H.

  • iluvhatemail

    ha, $400 worth of plastic, might as well stick a pair of binoculars at the end of your lens.

    • Mr. Reeee

      Yes, with a classic duct tape mounting system. There’d be way too much vignetting with binox to make that desirable. ;-)

      Or buy a manual 300mm or 400mm telephoto for a couple hundred bucks.

  • The 26mm lens was really a jewel. But all the stuff they’re coming out with is getting pretty hokey! Haha! If they want to lose money they’ll keep putting crap out. I’d suggest doing what lensbaby does and run for a while with one product, otherwise it shows desperation…

  • Thomas

    With software image correction in-camera for standard lenses it would be great to see this ability being opened up for 3rd parties to do the same – an app store for the camera.

  • Kermit

    Caution !! this lens can exchange the birds that you see ;)

  • norz
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