Review - ScopeStuff Red Dot Finder for SLR Hotshoe
Posted: 9 December 2017
Updated: 16 December 2017
I recently saw a comment on Twitter about using a red dot finderscope with a DSLR to assist in aiming the camera at objects in the night sky. That seemed like a very useful accessory for sky astrophotography. I did a search and discovered that ScopeStuff has a Red Dot Finder for SLR Hotshoe. I immediately ordered one for use with my Nikon D7200 DSLR.
It came boxed and wrapped in a plastic bag (photo at right). The finder uses a CR2032 battery (supplied). There are adjustment knobs for ON/OFF/brightness, azimuth and elevation, and a hotshoe lock, as seen below:
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Here are several photos showing the ScopeStuff Red Dot Finder on my D7200 DSLR with various lenses.
8mm Fisheye Lens
18-140mm Lens (set at 18mm)
70-300mm Lens (set at 300mm)
Since the hotshoe is used for the finder you can not mount another accessory on the same hotshoe. In this photo you can see my remote shutter release looped through the neckstrap.
150-600mm Lens (set at 600mm)
If you use a right angle viewfinder you will need one that can be rotated, as shown here:
The red dot is bright enough to be visible in the daytime, allowing for easy aligning to the view through your camera. It can be dimmed down to an illumination suitable for night use.
I set up the DSLR with 70-300mm lens on my SkyTracker Pro in front of my observatory:
Using the red dot finder it was incredibly easy to aim the camera at objects in the sky. I used the red dot finder to aim the DSLR (focal length of 300mm) at M45 (the Pleiades). When I looked into the camera viewfinder the object was nearly centered, making it easy to do final framing adjustments. This is the astrophotograph I took of M45 (Pleiades):
The Red Dot Finder for SLR Hotshoe is another useful quality product from ScopeStuff. It is not limited to just SLRs, but can be used with any camera that has a hotshoe (or cold shoe). Mounting the finder on your camera, aligning it, and using it are as easy as expected. I had no problems using the Red Dot Finder and look forward to always using it for night sky photography with my DSLR.
Note: I have purchased a Vello 4" Cold Shoe Extension to mount both the ScopeStuff Red Dot Finder and my Vello Wireless ShutterBoss Timer Remote on the DSLR. I will report on this accessory on a future Cassiopeia Observatory session report.
The Vello extension bar mentioned in the Summary above arrived. Looks and works great:
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