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Thread: new series on digiscoping technique

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Florida, USA

    Default new series on digiscoping technique

    Hey all,

    I've recently started a new blog and in between anecdotal birding adventures, some life history stuffs, etc. I've started a series of informative "How to digiscope" type posts. The first is a very basic generic introduction to technique. The second is a post describing how to properly line up the camera with photographic examples of what it looks like when lense are off center, too close, or too far away. More will follow in weeks to come, but I wanted to offer this to anyone interested as a resource. I'd love to have any who are visit and leave commentary & questions in the comments section.

    The blog can be reached here:

    and the individual digiscoping posts can be reached (for those who want to cut right to the chase without enduring images of fluffy owl babies or a crippling mega rarity like a Greater Sand-Plover) by scrolling down to the links under the heading, "Digiscoping Series" found along the right side of the page.

    Or if you just want to look at wildlife images check out my digiscoped wildlife on flickr here:

    Happy scoping all!


    Jeff Bouton

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Algarve, Portugal


    Hello Jeff, and welcome to the forum.

    I have seen your blog before - very nice, and you have some very good images for a digiscoping setup. Unfortunately, with the recent (and forthcoming) price-hikes on top-end 'scopes, a DSLR and long lens is becoming a more realistic alternative to many birder/photographers.

    All the best,


  3. #3
    Senior Member michael23's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    derbyshire uk


    hi and welcome to the forum. Some great images there,
    All the best.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Florida, USA


    fair enough about price of high end scopes, even in a recession I can't think of much (outside of electonics/technology based items) that are getting cheaper tho. ;p That said I don't feel (and never have) felt that a DSLR rig and a digiscoping rig are really interchangeable or even fit the same niche.

    Most spotting scopes and tripods run between 5-10 pounds in weight, decent DSLR with a wildlife lens weighs anywhere from 4 pounds on up to over 20! As such, I find that while many may be prone to carry one or the other, it is rare that someone will carry both. As such, I think those who's primary goal is to take wonderful pictures will be drawn to a DSLR and long lens, while those who are more interested in viewing and seeing the birds well will be more drawn to spotting scope use.

    In other words, many birders have and will continue to carry scopes irrespective of their usefulness as a photographic tool. The fact that they are capable of producing publishable images is just icing on the cake! This is a roll a DSLR and lens will never be able to accomodate unfortunately as they leave much to be desired in optical imaging. In addition while most people tend to carry up to 400 mm lenses up to a max of 600 mm (and the latter are generally folks looking to sell images) most digiscoping rigs begin near 600 mm and can reach focal lengths near 6,000 mm. BTW - a 400 mm lens produces an optical view similar to an 8x binocular only. Spotting scopes generally begin at 20x magnification up to 60x.

    They are really two very different beasts in so many ways.

    For the record I have just posted yet another blog on digiscoping technique here:
    This time on effects of power and atmosphere on subsequent images. While the best equipment (as with anything in life) is the most expensive, fortunately these techniques and tips are all true whether shooting through a $40 or $4000 scope. We only hope the images are better through the latter! ;p

    There are also posts from recent trips to Trinidad & Tobago.

    Good birding,

    Last edited by Jeff Bouton; September 3rd, 2009 at 06:54 PM.

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