Kowa has a clever solution to transform your smartphone into a super telephoto lens. This is possible by combining the camera and video functionality of your smartphone with the high-quality optics of a Kowa spotting scope or binoculars.
To do this you will need to use a Kowa RP Series smartphone adapter.
This whole process sounds like it might be quite complicated, but it’s not. You simply slot your smartphone into the protective adapter and screw on the appropriate adapter ring (sold separately). You then push the adapter over the eyepiece of your spotting scope and you’re ready to what Kaowa likes to call “Digiscope“.
This is not a new concept
Using a smartphone with a sporting scope or binoculars is not a new concept. Newshooter co-founder Dan Chung shot a lot of images at the London 2012 Olympics for the Guardian using an iPhone 4S and Canon binoculars.
The Kowa RP series smartphone adapter is made from a tough polycarbonate material.
The design is quite compact but it still looks to offers a high level of protection for your smartphone.
To connect the adapter body to a spotting scope eyepiece or binocular you will need to purchase an additional Kowa Equip adapter ring.
The Kowa Equip series has a wide range of different sized adapter rings available to fit most Current Kowa spotting scope eyepieces and many other spotting scope brands too.
Spotting Scopes such as the Kowa TSN-501 20-40×50 are not that expensive ($349 USD).
Smartphone models are constantly updating so you would need to check the latest list of available smart phone adapters on the Laowa website.
Kowa RP series smartphone adapters are available for many popular smartphone models from the major manufacturers:
- TSN-IPX RP Photoadapter for iPhone X / Xs
- TSN-IPXR RP Photoadapter for iPhone XR
- TSN-IP8 RP Photoadapter for iPhone 7 / 8
- SN-IP8+ RP Photoadapter for iPhone 7+ / 8+
- TSN-IP6 RP Photoadapter for iPhone 6 / 6s
- TSN-GA S9 RP Photoadapter for Samsung Galaxy S9
- TSN-GA S9+ RP Photoadapter for Samsung Galaxy S9+
- TSN-GA S8 RP Photoadapter for Samsung Galaxy S8
The adapters are pretty reasonably priced. The Kowa Photo Adapter for the Apple iPhone 7, for example, is $50 USD. Various adapter rings can be purchased for $35 USD.
For around $400 USD you can effectively turn your smartphone into a super tele photo beast.