CALIBRATING A DOT SIGHT
The idea behind the calibration is to align the Dot Sight’s “reticle” or red or green target light to the same subject area that you see in the exact center of the camera’s viewfinder. Once they are aligned, you can set you camera to auto exposure, auto focus and continuous shooting and use the dot sight to follow a fast-moving subject. With the Dot Sight you can keep both eyes open and align the dot with a flying bird more easily than looking through the narrow view of the tele lens through the camera’s viewfinder. You will need to look through the camera to check the zoom or telephoto setting. The Dot Sight gives no indication of focal length.
To adjust alignment, you will need to attach the camera to a sturdy tripod (only for the calibration). Using your telephoto or zoom lens, pick a target (about 6 to 12 inches tall, such as a street sign, or anything that isn’t moving) about 50 to 100 yards away from you. Zoom all the way and adjust your tripod head so that the target is in the exact center of the camera’s viewfinder. You may need to change the viewing guides (Check your user’s manual) if your camera doesn’t have some indicator of the center.
Place the Connector/Dot Sight into the accessory shoe. It should slide into the shoe easily but there are many variations, and some may slide easily, while others might be tighter. Make sure the thumbscrew is fully loose before you push the Connector into the accessory shoe as far as it will go before tightening. Only tighten the thumbscrew enough to keep the connector from moving or rotating in the shoe.
Once you have the target in the exact center of your camera’s viewfinder, turn on the Dot Sight by rotating the on/off brightness dial to the highest number, which will usually be a 5 or 3 depending on the model of your Dot Sight. Note The highest number is the brightest and 1 is the dimmest. Selecting the letters R and G turns the Dot Sight off.
You may want to adjust the Dot Sight’s reticle (crosshairs) to the single red or green dot whichever seems more visible depending on the background. Now adjust the position of the lighted dot in the Dot Sight to match the same center location in the camera’s viewfinder. There are two controls on Dot Sight. Elevation (up and down) and Windage (left to right). In addition, there is a set screw for tightening these adjustments (check the instruction sheet for position on your dot sight) that is designed to secure the settings from recoil or jarring movements that occur with firearms and are not usually needed for photographic use. Make sure these set screws are not tightened before attempting to adjust the calibration.
As you look through the dot sight, use the included 3mm hex wrench to turn the Elevation screw to move the red dot up or down. You want to make it the same height as the target center. If you bought your Dot Sighter already assembled, it should be very close to perfect calibration. If your dot is visible at the edge or very far from the center, check to make sure you have assembled it properly and it is pushed all the way into the accessory shoe before tightening the thumbscrew. The dot sight adjustment range is limited and if it is too far away from the center, it may break before moving an excessive distance.
Note: The calibration adjustment just affects the camera, and you can change lenses without re-calibrating. Also note the Dot Sight will not work for close-up or macro uses.
Remove and replace the Dot Sight Lens cover only when not attached to your accessory shoe.
Remember to turn off the Dot Sight when you are done using it. Keep spare batteries and calibration tools with you to make sure you always have a working, calibrated Dot Sight when you need it.
Like any tool, a dot sight will take some practice to perfect your skills. Take some time to learn this tool and you will be rewarded with more “keepers” for your efforts.