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    Kowa 883 vs Harpia 85

    Hi Dave, I have a Manfrotto 128RC head, also decades old: I love it. Updated version still available I think. I suspect for digiscoping you might need something more sophisticated (to stop very slight settling-down, which uncentres the image). But for viewing use I consider it excellent.
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    Kowa 883 vs Harpia 85

    Since this thread has been bumped up, I take the opportunity to note that I bought a Kowa 884 (I prefer straight): I'm delighted with it. Thanks to Jeff for response to my pre-purchase query about robustness. It remains my only significant gripe: the supplied case is rather loose-fitting, and I...
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    Query about DXOMARK sharpness and real distant-resolving power

    I have a somewhat geeky query about camera/lens sharpness ratings, like DXOMARK. Specifically: how might DXOMARK “sharpness” scores relate to real “distant-resolving power” of lenses of different focal lengths? Hypothetical example: Set-up 1 (50mm lens A on full-frame body X) gets a sharpness...
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    Lumix LX7 and similar with Kowa 880

    Hello - I wonder if anyone can help. I have just purchased a Kowa 884 with the 25-60x eyepiece. And I already have a Lumix LX7 compact camera. Can anyone suggest how to connect? Kowa website suggests DA10 adaptor: but I think this means the camera's extensile zoom must bear the weight of the...
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    Best approach for record shots?

    Really interesting and valuable responses from Essex Tern, Opisska and Farnboro John, thank you! In response to Nutcracker: it's not so much about weight (within reason), it's more about quick access. With binoculars round neck, I don't mind carrying scope+tripod on shoulder strap, plus rucksack...
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    Best approach for record shots?

    I'm getting into birding more seriously, and I want to be able to take ID record shots (as opposed to high-quality photos). Which approach do most people use for this? 1) DSLR + telephoto? 2) Superzoom camera? 3) Digiscoping with DSLR or compact? 4) Phonescoping? 5) Other? Some context. I'm in...
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    Kowa 883 vs Harpia 85

    Hey Jeff, many thanks for this, and apologies for specifically calling you out. As noted, it wasn't really a critique of Kowa, more a reflection of my own nervousness about spending big money on a superb but not indestructible optical device. Your arguments make absolute sense: it's been a...
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    Kowa 883 vs Harpia 85

    I should stress I'm not trying to be critical of Kowa in particular. It's perhaps the case that no manufacturer produces a scope as rugged and knock-resistant as a top-end binocular.
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    Kowa 883 vs Harpia 85

    I hope this thread is still live... query for Jeff Bouton. I dream of a TSN 883 (or perhaps a 773, which also gets excellent reviews, and scope+eyepiece a substantial £700 cheaper in UK). But Jeff: how do you respond to concerns above about potential damage-proneness of the TSNs? I've had a pair...
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    Magpie roosts London area?

    OK... to partially answer my own question, I did some googling and found the following reports of magpie roosts... Hollingbury Wild Park, Brighton, 1999/2001 - 250 (!) magpies Romford Golf Course, Jan 2011, Feb 2012 - 40/65 magpies Roding Valley NR, Jan 2011, Feb 2012 - 140/130 magpies...
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    Magpie roosts London area?

    Hi there Could anyone tell me locations of sizeable magpie roosts in the London area, up to about one hour's drive from central London? And what months roughly. I'm equally keen to discover pied wagtail roosts and jackdaw roosts. It's because I'd like to photograph a roost, I'm looking for...
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    How to get nice photos with just 300mm...

    Many thanks for good advice. 1) I will try turning IS off except when necessary for slow shutter speeds, very sensible advice; actually I can't remember if it was on or off for the gull, it's a pity that it's not picked up into the EXIF; though in fact I suspect any detail-sharpness issues in...
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    How to get nice photos with just 300mm...

    Or rather lesser black-backed?
  14. C

    How to get nice photos with just 300mm...

    Hello again I did some photos, I've attached two that came out okay. My question is whether I should be happy with my lens, i.e. is this acceptable sharpness from a Canon 300mm f4 IS? [It's a secondhand lens, I want to be sure it's up to scratch.] It's on a 5dii body. The herring gull photo...
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    How to get nice photos with just 300mm...

    Thank you! Good to see I'm not the only one who opted for full frame. And yes, I like photographing plants and insects too. So I'll work on it. My first afternoon out photographing tame coots was littered with beginner's mistakes like focus on body not eyes, but I hope to progress rapidly to...
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    How to get nice photos with just 300mm...

    Hello I am coming back to SLR photography in general, and bird photography in particular, after a 20-year break. I just bought a second-hand 5dii and 300mm f4. I have a good tripod but can't afford a 1.4x teleconverter (or indeed the 20mm f2.8 I hanker after) this month. I know a crop-frame...
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