Do you grow tired of lugging a camera into the field on the off chance you’ll see something you need to document? Have you messed around with your iPhone, holding it up to your binoculars or scope, hoping to get a decent image but constantly being frustrated by vignetting and the sheer difficulty of getting your iPhone in the exact right spot? Have you dreamed of an adapter that would let you easily attach your iPhone to optics for no-fuss, no-muss, still photographs or videos?

Look no further. Meopta has made the product that you need, the MeoPix iScoping adapter.

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron shot with an iPhone and Swarovski binoculars using the Meopta MeoPix adapter

Meopta kindly sent me two different sized binocular adapters and one of their scope adapters. Thus far, I have only taken advantage of one of the binocular adapters (so this post is actually about “iBinning”) but I must say that I am pleased with the results and look forward to trying out the scope adapter. The adapter’s design is elegant in its simplicity. It is a simple, lightweight sleeve for your iPhone that slides over the eyepiece of your binoculars or scope. It takes seconds to set up and the results are as good as you can get with an iPhone camera.

Laughing Gull shot with an iPhone and Swarovski binoculars using the Meopta MeoPix adapter

Using the adapter attached to my 10X binoculars, I quickly realized that to get usable photographs or video I would need to brace myself on something to keep the image steady. In my case, I used the window of my car, as the location I used to test the product was the puddles in the parking lot at Big Egg Marsh in Queens. Unless you have ice water in your veins you will probably need to do the same. Of course, when I take out the adapter for the scope the fact that the scope is already on a tripod should obviate the need for any further bracing.

Using the MeoPix is easy, intuitive, and fun. That I can get decent images and videos of birds through my iPhone means that I will be able to share shots from the field immediately, assuming that the iPhone has a signal. And who doesn’t like gripping other birders off without even leaving the bird? Of course, the images are better once they are processed (What images aren’t?), but there are apps that allow you to do that or you can wait until you get home to run your shots through Photoshop.

Glossy Ibis shot with an iPhone and Swarovski binoculars using the Meopta MeoPix adapter

The biggest complaint I had about the videos and images I generated was the overexposure of white birds in sunlight (like in the video below). This is, of course, not the fault of the adapter but the fault of the iPhone, but I understand that there are apps out there that will let you control the aperture of the iPhone camera so I will be exploring those apps and figuring out what works best. Once I figure it out I will let you know. (If you have a suggestion for a good app please let me know in the comments.) Another negative is that the Meopix iScoping adapter only works with the iPhone 4 or 4s. If you still have an iPhone 3 maybe it is time for an upgrade? Finally, Meopta chose  to make adapters that fit their optics, an understandable choice. Some optics, like my Swarovski 10X42 Swarovisions, have an adapter that fit them perfectly while others might take some jury-rigging. (For the record, the 42 mm adapter worked with my bins.) Eventually, Meopta will have adapters that fit most sizes of binoculars and scopes.

Herring Gulls and Black-crowned Night-Herons shot with an iPhone and Swarovski binoculars using the Meopta MeoPix adapter

If you are a birder and you regularly carry your iPhone in the field you should own one of these adapters. Period. Even if $60 seems a bit steep for what is essentially a piece of plastic it is well worth it.  Go buy one right now.

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron shot with an iPhone and Swarovski binoculars using the Meopta MeoPix adapter

As mentioned in the body of this post I was provided three different MeoPix iScoping adapters by Meopta to use for review purposes.

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Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy, their son, Desmond Shearwater, and their indoor cat, B.B. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.