I want to learn how to take better bird pictures and I don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on equipment.
One topic that has caught my eye is “digiscoping” which…loosely defined…is coupling a digital camera to a spotting scope to take close up pictures.
There are some very high quality spotting scopes available for under $100…right in my price range. There are also a bunch of monoculars in the same price range.
Here is what I am working with at the moment. I purchased a Polaris Optics monocular for about $60.
And then I spent another $15 on a mounting bracket that lets me attaché my iPhone 6s so the camera is looking through the monocular.
The tripod is just silly.
There are SEVERAL tricks you have to figure out to make this setup work.
It took me 20 minutes to get my iphone aligned in the EXACT spot I wanted…a little frustrating. The big trick is that the camera will only display a circular field of view surrounded by a black border. In order to take a “normal” looking picture you have to use the zoom function of the camera to completely fill the field of view.
I was able to get some very nice magnification with this setup. Here is the normal picture my iPhone is capable of:
And here is what I was able to do when my iPhone was coupled with the monocular.
Not perfect but very interesting!
There are quite a few things that I do NOT like about this setup. The stabilization is awful and you can’t “look around and take pictures”. This is a useful setup for when you want to zoom in on a single location and take a picture of whatever bird shows up.
I am going to keep playing with this technique but am not convinced it is a viable replacement for a bigger camera lens.