Some years ago before investing in “big” cameras, i used to take most of my bird pictures by the technique of digiscoping – essentially using a spotting scope as a super-telephot lens by sticking a small digital camera over the eyepiece.  Often very successful too.  Sadly, the cameras that made this possible were overtaken by technology and the tackle for using more modern small cameras was a bit clunky to say the least and I moved on to a real camera.

With impending increase in time for birding I have just invested in a new, top of the range spotting scope (justified expenditure, you will all agree) by Swarovski that is smaller and lighter than the old one (same manufacturer) and which has a specially designed universal camera adapter … and so I am back into digiscoping.

The scope gives the camera an effective zoom lens of a 2000-6000mm lens. When you consider that the biggest regular lens is an 800mm and costs in excess of $12,000 that is not bad at all.  In real terms that is a 25-60x magnification – my 400mm real camera lens achieves about 8x mag, excellent lens that it is.

Now I just have to develop a steady hand – at these mags the wobble factor is enormous.

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American Robin across the garden – focussed on the wing rather than the eye but I am pleased for a first attempt. Practice will make perfect (one hopes)

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The spotting sope

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Spotting scope with camera ready for action