Digiscoping - more info
Digiscoping is the technique of pointing a digital camera down the eyepiece of a scope [or binoculars]. You need: a digital camera with at least 2 megapixels; a scope; something to connect the camera and scope together; a tripod with a solid head; remote/cable release. With digiscoping you get lots of magnification [typically equivalent to a 2000-3000 mm SLR lens] and the other side of that coin is vibration/camera shake. Almost all the early disappointments you have with digiscoping are because of "uncontrolled" vibrations.
I've included more details and links if you click HERE
lots of shots
take loads of shots – if you get a good or co-operative bird keep
shooting until you run out of memory or the bird dies of old age! [Note:
have extra memory]
you can take several shots of the same bird, under the same conditions,
with the same settings and you can have one sharp, well-focused shot and
the other 20 out-of-focus-blurs. So … take loads of shots.
read that you should take lots of pix when I first started with the 995
but it took me about a year to really appreciate it.
things I was told and now
are two popular ways to do this:
on the bird with the scope and then, in the macro [flower on the Coolpix] position, allow
the camera to autofocus for you – I suggest this method is good if: you
have to take a grab shot [quickly], the bird is moving position a lot,
there is good light [autofocus doesn't work well if the contrast is poor] and the bird is away from any twigs or bits of grass
which might fool the autofocus
on the bird with the scope with the focus set to infinity [INF] – this
method is good in low contrast conditions when the autofocus doesn’t
always work reliably; when there is something between you and the bird [eg
twig, grass] which will fool the autofocus. This method needs more time as
a good way to get sharp focus is to zoom in [with the digital zoom as
well] focus on some part of the bird [typically, the eye] and then zoom
out before taking the picture.
On BirdPix there was a poll of members and the split was about even between the two methods!
is it worthwhile shooting?
record purposes – shoot anything [even at ISO 800!]. But for the rest
– unless the bird occupies at least 25% of the LCD it won’t look very
good on a screen [it should fill the scope at 60x zoom]. No detail in the feathers, no sharpness in the eye. Lots
of the “players” on BirdPix claim not to crop images at all ie bird
filling the LCD. I can’t say I stick to this but to get really sharp,
crisp images you have to fill the viewing screen [which means quite close
for a small bird].
The order of events ...
Exactly what & when you do depends on lots of things but what I generally do is:
If the bird is calm and stays still:
Another method of focusing has been described on Birds-Pix:
be disappointed at the start – as I’m fond of saying “It was 3
months before I got a picture that was sharp”. It does take practice. I was
a keen 35mm photographer for over 20 years and I’m still getting the hang of “digiscoping”.
Click the picture below to see how Photoshop can be used to improve the results of digiscoping
BirdPix Yahoo group run by Laurence Pou – Mr Digiscoping [he “invented
to see what can be done.
to see what can be done.