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Phonescoping - shots, settings and combos (1 Viewer)

MKinHK

Mike Kilburn
Hong Kong
As various camera threads have their own page to share shots and settings, and inspired by my recent acquisition of the Kowa/Otterbox adaptor to connect my Kowa 883 to my iPhoneX I thought I'd start one on phonescoped images, the most effective settings and the phone / scope / software combinations that produced the pictures.

Yesterday I visited the wet agricultural fields at Long Valley. The birds here are habituated to people and typically allow close approach, and it was a sunny day with low wind, making for relatively easy shooting.

The birds are:

1-3 Eastern Water Rail
4 Common Snipe

All four are taken with the iPhoneX bundled photo app


The final one is a Swinhoe's Squirrel, which I shot using Procam7, which I struggled to master.

Cheers
Mike
 

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MKinHK

Mike Kilburn
Hong Kong
I went for the Kowa adaptor because my phone case has a flip cover and I wondered about it being difficult to attach firmly.

Now I have the hassle of switching covers, but the unit is small and can go in a pocket or round my neck on a lanyard, which reduces the chance of it dropping.


Cheers
Mike
 

GiG

Well-known member
United Nations
Nice idea. I previously posted some photos with my current set up but I'll add some from a recent trip to the Pyrenees and Ebro Delta.

Set up is a Kowa 883 with zoom lens + Honor 9 mobile + homemade adaptor. The latter I'll take a photo of and post here at some point.

I use the default camera app on the phone. I switch to pro mode and can then change settings - I tend to change ISO (from default 50) and EV. As I get slight vignetting I zoom to about 1.3 to 1.5 on the camera.

1.Audouin's Gull
2.Crag Martin
3.Dotterel
4.Purple Gallinule
5.Spanish Ibex

The Dotterel is a still image taken from video footage. It was windy and distant so when on video mode it goes to a closer image compared to camera mode. The Spanish Ibex was distant, less light but the background was further away.

Photos have been cropped and had some slight editing (Unsharp mask and maybe slight level change).

Gi
 

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MKinHK

Mike Kilburn
Hong Kong
Very cool Crag Martin shot - really flaunting those spots!

Nice in habitat portrait of the Ibex too.

Cheers
Mike
 

MKinHK

Mike Kilburn
Hong Kong
Here's a few shots from my Conference Birding visit to Oakland.

The California Thrasher is shot through a Swarovski ATS65

The Marbled Godwits are through my Kowa.

I discovered I still have lots to learn as I found the process somewhat frustrating when dragging the scope in and out of a car and getting the lanyard tangled in various things, struggling with sunlight making it hard to see the screen and various other minor ergonomic issues.

I found the three second time delay useful for reducing vibration, but also frustrating as it was hard to capture a good posture on anything but wholly stationary birds.

Where it worked better was using the video function, but I'll post on that separately.

Cheers
Mike
 

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Ian Byrnes

Well-known member
It's interesting to see what each of you do.
After struggling to hold my IPhone against the lens and failing badly I ordered an Optcron USM 2 universal smart phone adapter to use with my Zeiss 85 Diascope after thinking that it fitted all, only to find that my lens is a massive 60mm, 5mm to big !
So I've now ordered the PhoneSkope, a dedicated Diascope lens attachment (which was hard to find) and Bluetooth shutter control.
I just hope can get some brill shots like yours.
Ian
 

GiG

Well-known member
United Nations
Very cool Crag Martin shot - really flaunting those spots!

Nice in habitat portrait of the Ibex too.

Cheers
Mike

Thanks, a very lucky shot as hadn't planned but just opened as I took the photo!

Gi
 

GiG

Well-known member
United Nations
Here's a few shots from my Conference Birding visit to Oakland.

The California Thrasher is shot through a Swarovski ATS65

The Marbled Godwits are through my Kowa.

I discovered I still have lots to learn as I found the process somewhat frustrating when dragging the scope in and out of a car and getting the lanyard tangled in various things, struggling with sunlight making it hard to see the screen and various other minor ergonomic issues.

I found the three second time delay useful for reducing vibration, but also frustrating as it was hard to capture a good posture on anything but wholly stationary birds.

Where it worked better was using the video function, but I'll post on that separately.

Cheers
Mike

I agree it can be frustrating setting up. For me as I use a phone it's not attached permanently so I have to quickly get it out, go to camera mode, then attach to the scope. I'm getting quicker but regularly miss stuff.

I used to have a Canon S95 with home made adaptor. Generally softer images but had preset settings (as found within a thread on Birdforum!) were helpful but always used a three shot setting so that it negated the vibration from pressing the button on the first image.

I ought to try video more as I definitely found it more useful for the distant Dotterel photo posted previously.

Gi
 

GiG

Well-known member
United Nations
It's interesting to see what each of you do.
After struggling to hold my IPhone against the lens and failing badly I ordered an Optcron USM 2 universal smart phone adapter to use with my Zeiss 85 Diascope after thinking that it fitted all, only to find that my lens is a massive 60mm, 5mm to big !
So I've now ordered the PhoneSkope, a dedicated Diascope lens attachment (which was hard to find) and Bluetooth shutter control.
I just hope can get some brill shots like yours.
Ian

Good luck with the adaptor, you'll find it much easier.

Gi
 

GiG

Well-known member
United Nations
I visited my old patch before work yesterday and have attached some digiscoped photos. The Teal and Wigeon were taken using a 2 second timer, the Wigeon being fairly static and close made it better to get a nicer image.

Cheers,
Gi
 

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MKinHK

Mike Kilburn
Hong Kong
Here are three videos taken with my iPhoneX

The first is a hand-held clip with the standard video function of an unbelievably tame Cooper’s Hawk at Montrose Point in Chicago on a work trip last November.

https://youtu.be/5M3aKtnXW94

The second is a Water Rail phonescoped a couple of weeks ago at home in Hong Kong through my Kowa 883

https://youtu.be/eyfanlHKqz8

The third is a wader roost nr Oakland Airport through ProCam 7 and the Kowa last week on another work trip.

https://youtu.be/5_DkUQLA5P4

Cheers
Mike
 
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Ian Byrnes

Well-known member
So my phoneskope came....
I had sent for the wrong case !
Oh well I'll eventually get down to digiscoping when the right one turns up.
Ian
 

GiG

Well-known member
United Nations
Here are three videos taken with my iPhoneX

The first is a hand-held clip with the standard video function of an unbelievably take Cooper’s Hawk at Montrose Point in Chicago on a work trip last November.

https://youtu.be/5M3aKtnXW94

The second is a Water Rail phonescoped a couple of weeks ago at home in Hong Kong through my Kowa 883

https://youtu.be/eyfanlHKqz8

The third is a wader roost nr Oakland Airport through ProCam 7 and the Kowa last week on another work trip.

https://youtu.be/5_DkUQLA5P4

Cheers
Mike

Lovely videos. That one of the Cooper's Hawk is amazing!

Gi
 

MKinHK

Mike Kilburn
Hong Kong
That's Cooper's Hawk was obviously too young to know that humans represented a threat. It hunted around the area either from a very low perch, or actually digging into the leaf litter like a chicken literally at my feet!

Cracking detail on the Wigeon's vermiculations Gi - How far away was it?

Cheers
Mike
 

MKinHK

Mike Kilburn
Hong Kong
Another couple of pix from this weekend, which revealed that the basic settings seem to struggle with direct sunlight on the subject.

The rather pearly wash on the first pic of the Wood Sandpiper reflect the difficulty of trying to darken the image and get a bit more depth to the colour. The accuracy of definition on the bird's leg joint shows how much detail is possible, but also suggest how thin the depth of field is , as the rest of the bird is not quite as sharp.

Both of the other shots, even though the lighting was a bit less bright - still show some flaring grind the face.

Cheers
Mike
 

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Joker9937

Well-known member
I have had my set-up a few days. Not a photographer, and here to learn, but also to show a few pics. Ian and Cabo have already had to tolerate my long-windedness. LOL.

So, I will keep it short. (try, at least)

I downloaded "Firstlight" and "Filmic". Still trying to figure them out, but I think they might help get good stuff.

I just received a used Zeiss Diascope 85 T*FL. I also received a PhoneSkope adapter this week. I have taken way too many pictures in the last few days, but it is great fun.

I have a Samsung Note 10+. I primarily used the stock camera on "pro mode". But, I did try to use Firstlight some.

It was windy, and I am shopping for a sturdier tripod and fluid head. This one is good, but I am too heavy handed when focusing, so the vibration at 60x is crazy. I need something solid as a rock, so that I can take advantage of the optics in my scope.

Feel free to suggest settings changes, etc. I am ignorant regarding photo dos and don'ts. Thanks.

Bald Eagles, some wild turkeys (1,000 yards away, fog, and windy), and I think a female Eastern Bluebird. I had some pics of little wood ducks, but too much wind, plus the shaky tripod. I couldn't get a sharp focus. Probably my settings were wrong too.
 

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MKinHK

Mike Kilburn
Hong Kong
Hi Joker

My position is similar to yours - I'm not really a photographer, but exploring what phonescoping might allow me to achieve.

My suggestion would be to be kind to yourself and your kit - by which I mean shooting in less challenging conditions so you give yourself a better likelihood of getting "keeper" shots.

My focus has been on close and stationary targets in good light on more or less still days.

Having said that I like your turkey shot - especially the male in full display mode surrounded by his harem -- Captures a very cool moment!

Cheers
Mike
 

Joker9937

Well-known member
MKinHK, thank you. I appreciate your input.

I am pretty sure you hit the nail on the head. Shooting in challenging conditions, especially when digiscoping with a phone, is always going to result in subpar results. But, if there is a way to mitigate the "junk" in all conditions, I am open to that.

Today, I was home from work, and took advantage of the morning. I went to one of our local public wetlands for exercise and photos. The weather took a downward turn. After the clouds rolled in, but before I gave up, I caught a little kestrel.

Long story short, the winds were around 20-30mph, and the temp dropped from nearly 60* F to around 40*. Conditions were worse than before.

Here are a couple of the better shots. One is at 60x in the scope, and one is at 60x with the digital zoom engaged too. I used the Firstlight camera app.

On my stock camera, there is a Pro Mode that allows control of pretty much everything. Would I have been better to adjust certain things; for example, the ISO, prior to shooting?

Neither of the uploads have been edited at all, so if there is anything that can be done in Photo Shop Lite, or any other editing program, I am open to suggestions.
 

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GiG

Well-known member
United Nations
That's Cooper's Hawk was obviously too young to know that humans represented a threat. It hunted around the area either from a very low perch, or actually digging into the leaf litter like a chicken literally at my feet!

Cracking detail on the Wigeon's vermiculations Gi - How far away was it?

Cheers
Mike

Hi Mike,

About 30m. It's quite a popular footpath and some species, such as Wigeon and Black-tailed Godwit, tend to be tolerant of people. Others a bit less so like Teal and Curlew. The area was part of my old patch when I worked in the area although I tended to up river more. I came back from a holiday one year and found birds very jittery which I thought was unusual. Not long after had a Peregrine fly over, the first wintering on the patch and realised that was the explanation!

This Lapwing was at the same site last December.

Gi
 

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