Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old Wednesday 12th May 2004, 17:27   #1
BobM
Registered User

 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Chicago
Posts: 19
Newbie questions

Hi all,

I'm considering scoping and have seen some comments here which suggest that there is a learning curve involved. What is it that makes scoping a challenge? It occurs to me that a sharp focus may be difficult, since you have to deal with the scope's focus and that of the camera. Is that true? Do you have to focus the scope before you attach the camera? Can (does) attaching the camera often throw the scope's focus off? If so, do you then have to take the camera off the scope and re-focus the scope? What issues are there?

I do not have a scope. My camera is a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ10, which has a 12x optically stabilized zoom, equivalent to 420mm in a film camera and the ability to shoot at f2.8 throughout the zoom range. I'm considering getting another camera to supplement the FZ10, so I can take longer exposure shots (the longest on the FZ10 is 8 sec.) and one that has a faster burst mode. The Coolpix 4500 looks interesting in both regards. Wish it had an AF assist lamp. I'm actually more interested in shooting large mammals at distances greater than 200 yards (183 metres), than shooting birds.

Thanks for your input.
Bob
BobM is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 12th May 2004, 19:46   #2
IanF
Moderator
 
IanF's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Billingham, NE England
Posts: 55,809
Hi Bob,

You are right about the CP4500 being more suitable for digiscoping than the FZ-10. The lens on the FZ-10 is just a bit too wide for most spotting scope eyepieces.

To my mind digiscoping is just another technique to learn. All of the information you need can be found in the forum pages and any queries are usually soon answered by our members. The focusing is certainly one of the issues to master, though stability of the set up to avoid camera shake is just as important.

The scope focus with the eye is often different to what the camera perceives and so the focus often has to be adjusted once the camera has been fitted. Focus is achieved through using the LCD monitor on the rear of the camera. There are various techniques, but basically you line the scope up without camera attached, attach the camera and sometimes you can use the cameras autofocus to lock on the subject. Sometimes you need to set the camera focus to manual mode and then simply focus with the scope for a sharp image using the LCD screen. A halfway measure is to use the camera autofocus, half depress the shutter button which locks focus and exposure setting and then achieve critical focus using the scope focus adjustment.

As regards the learning curve, it really is a technique that requires practice and a reasonable understanding of the camera operation and photographic principles. It certainly isn't a point and shoot technique, at least not until you are well practiced and familiar with the equipment. I'd imagine shooting larger animals would be easier to get a focus on. Large subjects though bring their own problems. Depth of field in digiscoping is often just a few mm even at maximum f-stop. Long distances from the subject then bring in issues of atmospheric pollution and heat haze. Even on cooler days when viewing over 80-100 yards atmospheric movement due to heat haze affects your viewing through a scope and leads to soft focus if not blurred images. As in all photography, getting closer to the subject means better quality of photos - assuming the subject will let you. I find 60-80 yards away is the maximum distance for reasonable results in most conditions.

Last edited by IanF : Wednesday 12th May 2004 at 20:08.
IanF is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Wednesday 12th May 2004, 19:50   #3
alan_rymer
Registered User
 
alan_rymer's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Woodley, Berkshire
Posts: 3,883
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobM
Hi all,

I'm considering scoping and have seen some comments here which suggest that there is a learning curve involved. What is it that makes scoping a challenge? It occurs to me that a sharp focus may be difficult, since you have to deal with the scope's focus and that of the camera. Is that true? Do you have to focus the scope before you attach the camera? Can (does) attaching the camera often throw the scope's focus off? If so, do you then have to take the camera off the scope and re-focus the scope? What issues are there?

I'm actually more interested in shooting large mammals at distances greater than 200 yards (183 metres), than shooting birds.

Thanks for your input.
Bob
Mmmm, Where to start!.
I focus the scope and then handhold the camera to the eyepiece most of the time and tend to rely on the camera's autofocus. Often the pictures arn't bad!. Pictures tend to be much better when the subject is close ( less than 50 foot ), over that images look softer!. Using the camera at high zoom makes pictures look softer too!.

Other people leave the camera attached and use the LCD to find and focus on the subject, I cannot, my LCD is tiny ( Canon Powershot A80 ) and my eyes are not as young as they once were.
When using a scope, the depth of field is low!. Very easy to be out of focus.
Long distance shots have to cope with heat haze, and air pollution amonst other things.

But its grat when thing turn out well!.
__________________
Alan

Its not an optical illusion!. It just looks like one!.
Latest Life bird: Wryneck,Local year list: 23rd July Ruff & BT Godwit.
alan_rymer is online now  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2004 2005
Click here to Support BirdForum
Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
A thousand beginner questions Tannin The Birdforum Digiscoping Forum 24 Thursday 31st March 2005 23:20
Newbie With Lots Of Questions PaulThePhotoMan Digiscoping cameras 5 Saturday 24th January 2004 20:15
Coolpix 4300 questions Steve Gross Nikon 1 Thursday 8th January 2004 16:37

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Search the net with ask.com
Help support BirdForum
Ask.com and get

Page generated in 0.13110995 seconds with 12 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 08:15.