Digiscoping advice

  • mossie
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11 years 4 months ago #2392 by mossie
mossie created the topic: Digiscoping advice
I'm pretty new to "all things birding" and it took a while to figure out what 'digiscoping' was, or at least I presume it is the fine art of holding your digital camera to the eyepiece of your spotting scope, and taking snapshots of what you see. So far so good, and then you go home and try it, and land up taking 100s of crappy blurred pictures, and think, then what??? So being a scientist you start to experiment, with two pieces of equipment that were never realy intended to be used together, but what the hell, perseverence!! and then success!



Thats great, and hopfully the doves had a good laugh at my efforts, since I took 100 shots before 1 actually came out clearly. So I was wondering what I have to do to improve my chances/ technique to get it more consistent.

I am presuming, two things can be wrong:

1) there is not enough light comming through the scope, so the shutter speed is too slow, and the faintest camera/scope shake, is enough to mess it up.

2) The autofocus on my Sony DSC72 is having difficulty focussing. I have tried it on macro lense and different fixed focus settings, but have not have had much success.

So can anybody with oodles of experience out there please share their pearls of wisdom on the subject, to improve my chances.

mossie

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  • gordon
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11 years 4 months ago #2397 by gordon
gordon replied the topic:
Hi Mossie,

First, true modern digiscoping is actually a lot more sophisticated than holding the camera up to the eyepiece. Nowdays you can buy a seperate eyepiece that attaches directly to the camera body (SLR type camera) or becomes a special mount for the camera body (non SLR's), hence the scope becomes a Super Telephoto lens. When you have this and the scope is mounted on a stable tripod then shake can be kept to a minimum.

I have not yet bought such equipment and employ the same methods that you describe, although I do this with my binoculars instead, though the tecnique is much the same.

Finally to the tips:
1. Zoom in to the maximum optical zoom on the camera. Otherwise you will get the vignetting (circle) around the edges of the photo. Do not use the digital zoom as this will cause pixelation.
2. Use spot metering and spot focus (or manual focus) on the camera.
3. Use the focus mechanism of the scope to get your final focusing.
4. As for camera shake, try to relax and hold the camera body softly in your hand to avoid as much of this as possible.

Just keep practising and you will also be able to get some pretty nice useable pictures! They might not win awards, but they can be enough to get proof of what you have seen.

Cheers
Gordon

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  • mossie
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11 years 4 months ago #2401 by mossie
mossie replied the topic:
Hi

Thanks for the advice, I will certainly give it another 100 more tries. :D I also did a bit of googling on the subject, and as usual, came up with way too much useless info <!-- s:? --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_confused.gif" alt=":?" title="Confused" /><!-- s:? -->

Although the site http://www.digibird.com/ is quite comprehensive!

mossie

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  • j-ms
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11 years 4 months ago #2404 by j-ms
j-ms replied the topic:

Gordon wrote: 4. As for camera shake, try to relax and hold the camera body softly in your hand to avoid as much of this as possible.

Never touch the camera - use a remote release instead. The simple act of pressing the shutter on the camera will cause shake. If you are a using a SLR, use mirror lockup to eliminate the vibrations cauised by the mirror slapping up.

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11 years 4 months ago #2405 by gordon
gordon replied the topic:
The ideal is to be able to attach or have a "holder" for the camera that mounts onto the scope. This only applies if you are using a non slr camera.

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