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Phonescoping - shots, settings and combos (1 Viewer)

GiG

Well-known member
United Nations
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.

I again am more birder than photographer although sometimes I realise I tend to do more than I should!

Agree on conditions, I delete far more photos than I keep. Distance, light, wind or the bird moving make it difficult. Any zoom exacerbates things too.

For settings like ISO, EV and shutter speed I use pro mode on the mobile and adjust depending on conditions. I've just started using a timer function, 2 seconds, to see if that helps against the vibration by pressing to take the photo. When I used a Canon S95 for digiscoping I had a setting of taking 3 images in a go, again to counteract pressing the button and it's vibration. Unfortunately don't this option on the phone or the ability to save settings (I need to zoom slightly to get rid of vignetting) on the installed app.

Gi
 

Joker9937

Well-known member
I again am more birder than photographer although sometimes I realise I tend to do more than I should!

Agree on conditions, I delete far more photos than I keep. Distance, light, wind or the bird moving make it difficult. Any zoom exacerbates things too.

For settings like ISO, EV and shutter speed I use pro mode on the mobile and adjust depending on conditions. I've just started using a timer function, 2 seconds, to see if that helps against the vibration by pressing to take the photo. When I used a Canon S95 for digiscoping I had a setting of taking 3 images in a go, again to counteract pressing the button and it's vibration. Unfortunately don't this option on the phone or the ability to save settings (I need to zoom slightly to get rid of vignetting) on the installed app.

Gi

Well, you seem to be adept at BOTH. :t:

That is a beautiful shot of a beautiful bird! Nicely done.

I appreciate the input, and comments. Thanks!
 

MKinHK

Mike Kilburn
Hong Kong
Love the Lapwing Gi - we don't get nearly enough of them in Hong Kong.

I also envy you your American Kestrel, Joker. I'm still struggling to figure out how shifting the ISO changes the pic as I'm used to shooting with aperture priority on my main camera.

Cheers
Mike
 

GiG

Well-known member
United Nations
Love the Lapwing Gi - we don't get nearly enough of them in Hong Kong.

I also envy you your American Kestrel, Joker. I'm still struggling to figure out how shifting the ISO changes the pic as I'm used to shooting with aperture priority on my main camera.

Cheers
Mike

Thanks, they are super birds.

Gi
 

GiG

Well-known member
United Nations
Got round to photographing my adaptor at last. This was made with the case that came with the phone and then finding something that would fit the eye piece. Eventually found a bottle top that just needed the inner thread to be cut away with a scalpel.

I cut the bottle top to match the hole for the camera. I used a glue stick to hold in place but that could be moved around. I placed it on the scope and once I found the central spot so I got a full image (I do need to use a little zoom on the camera to get rid of vignetting) and then marked it with a pen.

I took the parts off, super glued together against the pen mark. Once dry checked again and then used hot glue to make it more sturdy. Has worked well so far.

Gi
 

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MKinHK

Mike Kilburn
Hong Kong
Impressive ingenuity GiG!

Having a wife with the online skills to get a product manufactured in Japan and sold in Germany shipped to Hong Kong during the facemark frenzy was my key skill!

And here's a couple of pics from Mai Po last weekend - a Nordmann's Greenshank, which was close enough to be worth the effort, and a Spoon-billed Sandpiper, which was not really, but it was a Spoony after all! I've also uploaded a clip from the same visit of a bunch of Black-faced Spoonbills and Little Egrets feeding in the shallows as the tide came in here:

https://youtu.be/oEfC4Kx-OLM


Cheers
Mike
 

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GiG

Well-known member
United Nations
I hadn't been sure which adaptor to purchase and also found that I'd still want to use the mobile when out. With this homemade adaptor I can keep it on all the time, fits in my pocket fine and the phone can still be used to view/send texts etc.

Don't blame you taking photos of a Spoony! Great video and Nordmann's Greenshank photo. Greenshank is one of my favourite bird species, something that I associate with my old patch and always like to see and hear.

These two were taken on the old patch early last year with the digiscope set up, looking over the river wall at the time.

Gi
 

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MKinHK

Mike Kilburn
Hong Kong
The Kowa adapter allows the same functionality and flexibility - I enjoyed sending out a shot of the Little Curlew (a rare spring migrant in HK, with one or two birds in most years) that absolutely made my day yesterday while I was still watching the bird.

The second shot was taken with my Sony RX10iii. I've tried to choose a similar pose and crop it to the same size. Both have been sharpened and not much more. Overall I prefer he colour and general feel of the digiscoped shot - it is partly the composition, but also the lighting is more sympathetic - not the result I expected!


Cheers
Mike
 

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MKinHK

Mike Kilburn
Hong Kong
Thanks Joker.

A bit of fun for the next post. Following the lockdown birding rules I've been seeing how far away I can identify birds with my scope. My flat looks out across the water from Lantau Island all the way to downtown Hong Kong so I have a huge potential area to cover.

2.5 km out there are a few rocky islets that hold a few birds from time to time. Past successes have included Black-tailed Gulls, Black Kites, White-bellied Sea Eagle and Pacific Reef Egrets.

The pix on this post show what can be done by putting the scope on max zoom and phonescoping the islets. Despite the distance I can confidently identify Black Kite and Osprey.

Cheers
Mike
 

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horukuru

Here I Come !
Got the moon last night

Digiscoping with Swarovski Optik STX95 + Variable Phone Adapter + Huawei 10 Mate Pro

IMG_20200506_184627-01-01-01.jpeg
 

MKinHK

Mike Kilburn
Hong Kong
Here's some pix from the extra long May Day weekend of some waders from Shui Hau on Lantau in Hong Kong:

1. Greater Sandplover
2. Lesser Sandplover
3. Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
4. Red-necked Stint
5. Long-toed Stint

Cheers
Mike
 

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GiG

Well-known member
United Nations
Here's some pix from the extra long May Day weekend of some waders from Shui Hau on Lantau in Hong Kong:

1. Greater Sandplover
2. Lesser Sandplover
3. Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
4. Red-necked Stint
5. Long-toed Stint

Cheers
Mike

That's some great photos. I'd be happy just to see one of those in Suffolk!

Gi
 

GiG

Well-known member
United Nations
It's been a while since posting but then haven't really been out much. A couple of after work trips over the last week though.

The first two were the same evening, the third last night. This was taken at 22:10 and I used a 4 second shutter on the mobile.

I've also bought some audio recording kit that I wanted to try and am pleased with the recordings - posted on Sound Recording section.

1. Avocet
2. Nightjar
3. Nightjar
 

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MKinHK

Mike Kilburn
Hong Kong
Oooh! Envy you your nightjar GiG!

Here's a few Greater Painted-snipe pix I've been meaning to post for a while. One of Hong Kong's most charismatic species this pair performed beautifully at Mai Po a few weeks ago.

There is also a video clip and a longer article about their role in preserving Hong Kong's wetlands here:

https://www.wildcreatureshongkong.org/post/a-guest-blog-on-the-gps

Cheers
Mike
 

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GiG

Well-known member
United Nations
Oooh! Envy you your nightjar GiG!

Here's a few Greater Painted-snipe pix I've been meaning to post for a while. One of Hong Kong's most charismatic species this pair performed beautifully at Mai Po a few weeks ago.

There is also a video clip and a longer article about their role in preserving Hong Kong's wetlands here:

https://www.wildcreatureshongkong.org/post/a-guest-blog-on-the-gps

Cheers
Mike

Thanks Mike.

That open wing shot is great - superb pattern.

Interesting read and nice to see that such a species can halt destructive development.

Gi
 

MKinHK

Mike Kilburn
Hong Kong
Trialling the new media function. Here's a Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher shot earlier this week at Shing Mun.


And not a bird, but one I enjoyed, a Burmese Python a couple of weeks earlier near San Tin.


As this looks to work pretty well I'll post some more here to show the video capabilities of my Kowa TSN 883 x iPhone 11 Pro set up. Please note these will be looking back as I sadly totalled the scope on Wednesday...

Cheers
Mike
 

GiG

Well-known member
United Nations
Trialling the new media function. Here's a Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher shot earlier this week at Shing Mun.


And not a bird, but one I enjoyed, a Burmese Python a couple of weeks earlier near San Tin.


As this looks to work pretty well I'll post some more here to show the video capabilities of my Kowa TSN 883 x iPhone 11 Pro set up. Please note these will be looking back as I sadly totalled the scope on Wednesday...

Cheers
Mike

Hi Mike,

Nice videos, be interested to see more. Sorry to hear about your scope - that's bad news.

I changed phone model in the Autumn, now have Huawei P40 Pro. Not had a lot of opportunity to use it, so far not as sharp as I was hoping, some of it due to the typical requirement for photography to have decent light and using it in windy conditions. I use it in conjunction with the Viking Digiscoping Adaptor.

Gi
 

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