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Digiscoping and value of Part 1 (1 Viewer)

If you go to my digiscoping site at:

You will find a few shots of a few birds. A chick-a-dee and a bluebird. The following applies to the Bluebird:

The bluebird isn't a spectacular picture by any means....just a bluebird. But this bird was perched 60 yards away. That alone shows me the value of a scope. I was shooting at the equivalent of 1250mm in a camera lens. My Canon Camera and 400mm lens can't come close. But, could the 'crop' of that image be better than the shot of this bird shot digital-scoping? Not sure.... That will add to my understanding of digiscoping and will be my next challenge. Does a 400mm camera/lens combo I have in my bag, equate or beat out the 1250mm equivalent of a scope? More to come....

But, to add on just a bit to that debate. One of the reasons I 'left' camera/lens photography was the relatively 'ease' to shoot good photos. Now, many people I see have 500 or 600mm and even 800mm lens with a Nikon or Canon camera. They collect excellent photo's....superb! But if you are a photographer of any means, it is relatively easy to sit patiently and just wait for a shot and then have that camera click away 10-15 frames per second and viola, you are bound to have one nice shot...and not just nice shots but superb shots! Even a bird in flight is relatively easy to shoot and the camera has technology that 'tracks' the bird using AI and keeps the bird in focus in flight. So my personal debate centers around the challenge. If a great camera and lens ($$$$$$) can make for a superb picture, is it more to the skills of the photographer or to the equipment?

Now, center around to dig-scoping. I am using a Point and Shoot Nikon P310 (5-6 years old). I am not using the latest and best Swarovski scope but a darn good one 80mm ATS scope. To capture birds I have to actually use skill. For instance, even though I have the camera set to "P" mode, that isn't good enough for focus. See the above photo? See how the bird and some of the branches sticking up are 'in focus" while other branches just 'inches away' are not in focus, and ....this is from 60 yards? Once I initially focus the scope on the bird and then I place the camera to the scope, I have to optically zoom in a bit to eliminate some of the vignetting. I have to manually 'refocus' or tighten up the focus. I have very little play in the helical focus wheel so some skill involved. I also have to manually adjust for exposure. I got off only 3 shots before the bird flew the coup, so unlike the camera/lens setup, I don't have 50-60 shots in the same 5 second span to choose from. Are you beginning to see the challenge?

So digi-scoping always has been and continues to be a learning challenge. It will never provide me with the same sharp and in some sense, fake images ....(too sharp in many cases) of birds, but it will provide me with a 'challenge' .

There is one other challenge that comes into mind too and I will get to this in another blog. But essentially being more attuned to nature vs more attuned to the camera. Anyhow, more on that in a future blog.


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