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Forum Home > Digiscoping Tips > Is this as good as it gets?

Dazzler
Member
Posts: 2

I'm fairly new to this digiscoping game. My DSLR adapter arrived yesterday morning so I trotted off to local reserve and took a few shots. the results are disappointing - very soft. I got better results with my telephoto zoom. Am I expecting too much of the scope? it's a fairly 'budget' scope, the opticron HR66 with the opticron DSLR adapter (40215). I know this set up costs about a third of the canon zoom I have, so is it really just a case of 'get what you pay for?'.

I used fast shutter for most shots (1/1000 to 1/4000), with very high ISO, but usually my software (lightroom 2) is good at fixing noise on the Canon 400D, so I don't think it's shake or noise causing softness.

I'm really trying to decide if this is worth perservering with or to send back the adapter for a refund - advice very welcome!

cheers

Daz

[can't insert an image?]

April 28, 2011 at 5:32 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Dannys Digiscoping
Site Owner
Posts: 372

Hi Daz,

Digiscoping is a technique that you will need to practice quite a lot!

Its very common practice to take lots of shots when beginning, with varied success, and with few good pictures, so don't worry, this is normal!!

It sounds to me like you need to understand your camera a little better. This will come in time, with practice again. Exposure and sharpness issues are solved by judging the conditions outside, and then setting your camera up to suit these conditions.

The adaptor that you have will probably restrict your aperture, to around f10/f12 on a 66mm objective scope. This is quite dark, so your shutter speed will be slower, this will cause the fuzzy effect, as slower shutter speeds result in a reduction of sharpness.

What kind of distance were your pictures taken at? With any kind of telephotgraphy, the sharpness of your target will decrease rapidly over distance, and focussing becomes very difficult. Always get as close as possible, so that you can see the detail of your target in your viewfinder.

I would suggest using your camera in aperture priority if you can. You can then choose to keep your aperture as far open (thus letting in as much light) as possible.

I usually work on ISO 200-400 in sunny conditions and 400-800 in less bright conditions. I usually work on shutter speeds of around 500-800 for best results, but the quality of the results really depends on distance!

A general rule of thumb is that if the target is virtually still then the closer you are, the slower the shutter speeds can be. Don't use speeds that are to high, as this doesn't let any light in, so again you'll end up with fuzzy results, like you have been.

I don't want you to be dis heartened, so please don't give up after one go!! Photography is all about learning. Cameras are very clever nowadays, and can be set up and played around with so much more than the old film cameras.

Also, another tip. If you are looking at a potential target, look through your bins first. If the target looks good, close and detailed through your bins, then it should make a good digiscoping target. But do always try to get as close as you can.

Send me a pic to danny@dannysdigiscoping.com and I'll take a look!!

Thanks for getting in touch, I'll try to help as much as I can.

Danny.

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April 29, 2011 at 11:04 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Dazzler
Member
Posts: 2

Dannys Digiscoping at April 29, 2011 at 11:04 AM

Hi Daz,

Digiscoping is a technique that you will need to practice quite a lot!

Its very common practice to take lots of shots when beginning, with varied success, and with few good pictures, so don't worry, this is normal!!

It sounds to me like you need to understand your camera a little better. This will come in time, with practice again. Exposure and sharpness issues are solved by judging the conditions outside, and then setting your camera up to suit these conditions.

The adaptor that you have will probably restrict your aperture, to around f10/f12 on a 66mm objective scope. This is quite dark, so your shutter speed will be slower, this will cause the fuzzy effect, as slower shutter speeds result in a reduction of sharpness.

What kind of distance were your pictures taken at? With any kind of telephotgraphy, the sharpness of your target will decrease rapidly over distance, and focussing becomes very difficult. Always get as close as possible, so that you can see the detail of your target in your viewfinder.

I would suggest using your camera in aperture priority if you can. You can then choose to keep your aperture as far open (thus letting in as much light) as possible.

I usually work on ISO 200-400 in sunny conditions and 400-800 in less bright conditions. I usually work on shutter speeds of around 500-800 for best results, but the quality of the results really depends on distance!

A general rule of thumb is that if the target is virtually still then the closer you are, the slower the shutter speeds can be. Don't use speeds that are to high, as this doesn't let any light in, so again you'll end up with fuzzy results, like you have been.

I don't want you to be dis heartened, so please don't give up after one go!! Photography is all about learning. Cameras are very clever nowadays, and can be set up and played around with so much more than the old film cameras.

Also, another tip. If you are looking at a potential target, look through your bins first. If the target looks good, close and detailed through your bins, then it should make a good digiscoping target. But do always try to get as close as you can.

Send me a pic to danny@dannysdigiscoping.com and I'll take a look!!

Thanks for getting in touch, I'll try to help as much as I can.

Danny.

email sent, with two examples attached

cheers

Darren

April 29, 2011 at 1:37 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Dannys Digiscoping
Site Owner
Posts: 372

hi Danny,

thanks for the encouragement - all the advice on the website is sensible

but most of these shots were very fast shutter. I don't think the

fuzziness is just noise - the 400D isn't brilliant at ISO1600, but

lightroom usually improves it somewhat - so I think it's just poor

focus/optics.

I have the canon 100-400L and it gave much better results, so I'm

wondering if I'd just be better off getting a 1.4x converter and

sticking with the canon lens.

distances ranged from about 5-30 metres.

just one final point - the adapter is a fixed aperture, so I was

shooting manual with shutter speed that gave a reasonable exposure.

here are two shots - the gull at about 5m (1/2000s) , the godwit at

about 10m distance (1/1600s).

cheers

Darren

 

 

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April 29, 2011 at 2:07 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Dannys Digiscoping
Site Owner
Posts: 372

Nice one Daz, Thanks for the email!

Ok, IMHO from what I see from your pics there isn't that much wrong.

The problem with your gull is that you've focused on the weeds infront of

it. They look pretty clean, wheras the gull doesn't.

The godwit would be difficult as I'm sure it would've been moving, so I'm

guessing you took the shot when the head was up in between feed dives?

I'll be honest and say I wish my first shots had been this good! You've got

good colour and exposure, which really surprised me considering you are

using a fixed aperture adaptor, with a 66mm objective lens on a EOS 400 with

high ISO!

A DSLR and lens will always work better, no doubt about it. You will lose

apertuture though, with a teleconvertor. The principle here is that they

increase focal length, but reduce aperture.

The key to being a good digiscoper is patience and practise. Results are

harder to come by, but the feeling of satisfaction when you do get better

far out weighs the DSLR method IMO. There is a good amount of skill

involved with digiscoping.

Are you using a shutter release or timer? Believe me when I say that any

extra movement on the camera will have an adverse effect.

Best wishes,

Danny.

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April 29, 2011 at 2:08 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Dannys Digiscoping
Site Owner
Posts: 372

Hi Danny

I think I've been spoiled - I really am looking for high image quality.

I've attached another shot of the BH gull - this one was handheld with

the canon lens, ISO400, f8, 1/800s, and I think this is kind of my

'minimum'. I get the feeling you're confirming my suspicion that it's

unrealistic to expect to outperform my canon lens. With a 1.4x

converter, I get f8 and 560mm effective length (35mm equivalent ) - and

no chromatic aberation to speak of. (you might guess I'm a big fan of

the canon 100-400L!)

I'll give the scope another try over the weekend but even if I decide to

return the adapter one good thing has come of this experiment - I got

into the habit of leaving the scope at home when I had the camera, but

now I realise it's feasible & useful to carry both!

thanks again for the encouragement and advice

regards

Darren

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April 29, 2011 at 2:42 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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