I did not take another digiscoped image until I was in Florida three months later (to see my beloved Pittsburgh Pirates play the hated Cincinnati Reds in a spring training game.) My second subject was a tired migrant prothonotary warbler male in the grass at Fort DeSoto. On this day I took many digiscoped bird images--nearly all of them bad. I could not get the camera lined up properly with the spotting scope eyepiece, so I got black vignetting around the edges of my images.
A bit of research on the Internet gave me a solution to the vignetting (digiscoping was catching on worldwide): two plumbing rings, one fit onto the camera lens ring, one set inside the scope's eyepiece and the camera was centered every time. The down side of the plumbing rings was that the one resting loosely inside the scope's eyepiece would cooperatively fall out every time I hoisted the scope onto my shoulder. I lost at least a dozen rings this way.
For the next several years I committed the cardinal sin of zooming up too far with my digital camera, or with the scope's 20x to 60x eyepiece. In both cases I thought I'd get better images with the birds larger in the frame. I got larger birds all right, but they were as blurry as a Jim Morrison LSD flashback. I was doing something wrong.
I also purchased from Canon via Amazon.com a Canon LA-DC52F camera adapter which "bayonets" onto the camera after a small ring surrounding the lens is removed. This is where the DC52F adapter slots into place.
From Swarovski I ordered a DCA (for Digital Camera Adapter) unit (part #49206). The DCA performs tow important functions. It threads onto the Canon DC52F and it clamps securely around the eyepiece of the spotting scope (in my case a newer 20x to 60x zoom eyepiece). This creates a very stable set-up for the camera (with adapter in place) to nest on top of the spotting scope eyepiece. With one motion I am ready to digiscope any bird I have in the scope's field of view.
The DCA inner piece in place and the eyecup assembly is screwed back onto the eyepiece.
With my new, smaller (65mm) spotting scope and a new carbon-fiber tripod from Bogen Manfrotto, I was travelling much lighter and digiscoping much more efficiently than in the "olde" days. Of course this did not guarantee that I would take perfect images every time. I still had a LOT to learn about that.
On my recent digiscoping trip to South Africa, I learned a lot more about the craft of digiscoping from some other digi-vets. I promise to share it all with you here at BOTB soon.