Thursday, November 17, 2005

I Miss Digiscoping

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Back in "the day" when digiscoping was a relatively new phenomenon, I bought a Nikon CoolPix 950 digital camera, outfitted it with a couple of plumbing washers so that it nested perfectly over the eyepiece of my older Swarovski 80mm spotting scope and I took tons of photos of birds. The shots were pretty good, but getting the images off the camera and onto the computer was a pain. And in bright sunlight I couldn't see the LCD screen on the back of the camera, so many of my mid-day shots were bad. And the camera ate batteries.

I upgraded cameras, acquiring an Olympus 700 series digital camera which takes higher megapixel images, is easy to use, and really easy to transfer images onto my Mac laptop, but it is no good for digiscoping. Look at the image of the white stork with the big black circle (vignetting) around it. That's the kind of shot my current set-up takes. The large lens of the camera is too big for the relatively small lens of my scope's eyepiece. I can crop the dark circle and still get a decent shot, but if I had THAT kind of time I'd probably be trying for the world's record at dominoes or something.

I MISS digiscoping. Especially now that so many optics/camera companies are making gear specifically for digiscoping.

Here are a couple of my Texas images. The pair of neotropic cormorants is a digiscoping shot that I re-cropped to eliminate the black circle. The black-bellied whistling ducks are just a non-digiscoped grab shot I took as they flew over the Ramsey Preserve in Harlingen. The spotted owl chicks I digiscoped in August 2003 though a friend's scope.

When I'm all grown up I'm going to get back into digiscoping.

Here's a fairly robust site that explains digiscoping. And another excellent one by Mike McDowell, from this side of the pond.

Warning, digiscoping, like playing bingo, popping bubblewrap, and eating Fritos, can be addictive.


On December 15, 2010 at 10:42 AM Charles Rinehart said...

Great photos and excellent blog Bill. I really am glad I stopped by. And you are so fortunate to have a lovely family. All the best.