How-To Geek

Red Dot Scope Makes Sighting In Long Lenses a Snap

If you’ve ever used a high power lens, you know how tricky it can be to sight a distant subject as the field of view through the lens is so tiny. This hack takes care of that problem by using a zero-magnification red dot rifle scope.

Chris Malcolm enjoys photographing birds and other wildlife with high power lenses. The problem, when shooting with huge 500mm lens and other high power lenses, is that they’re practically telescopes and acquiring a fast moving target like a bird using a through-the-lens technique is very tricky. Malcolm’s solution hinges on mounting a zero-magnification red dot rifle scope in parallel with the lens. His mock up is a bit unpolished (although we can understand not wanting to run out and buy a brand new black scope just for the experiment) but works great to get him on target.

Hit up the link below to read more about his build, how be created the rail mount for the scope, and why he opted to mount it to the barrel of the lens and not the hot shoe mount on the camera.

500mm Reflex Lens with Red Dot Sight [via DIY Photography]

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 03/19/12

Comments (4)

  1. WarLord

    Cool idea and an FYI:

    Gun sights like the Red Dot mount on something called “Picatinny Rail” The rails come in many configurations and can be mounted using screws or glue.

  2. Daniel

    Point a camera like this at any ranking offical and watch 50 armed men come and admire your handwork real fast like…

  3. John

    Use a telephoto lens in Iraq and you will get a rain of bullets. Watch this video on the tube:
    Disturbing Iraq Video Leaks

  4. Rich

    You dont need a spotting scope on 500 & larger lenses. The lens hood has a knob to attach it to the lens – make sure it is aligned vertically. If you sight across the camera’s hot shoe to the knob you will be seeing just what is in the viewfinder.
    This method has the advantage of quickly acquiring the subject visually without hunting around until the spotting scope dot until it illuminates the subject
    Much faster and NO cost.

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