(Photography and observation of wildlife through the strategy of the telescope) DIGISCOPING.

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Within the new product developed by the Andalus Photo Tour (bird watching). We begin a new section on photography of nature and particularly of birds, by the photographic technique called «digiscoping». We will include it in the blog.  We hope to present this photographic mode and make it to your liking. This section is of course open to suggestions, analysis and publication of material made by our readers. The frequency of these monographs will be every two weeks.

I want to introduce you to the person who will be responsible for publishing is this section.

Huberto García, Granadian, biologist and high school professor in Malaga. His favourite hobby is bird watching. He Uses 8 x 30 binoculars and a spotting scope, Zeiss Diascope 85 mm. Fluorite. His immersion in the digiscoping occurred in mid-2004, although his love of photography was born several years before, in fully analogue times.

The digiscoping technique.

Digiscoping is called to the realization of photographs by the coupling of a camera to a telescope, binoculars or observation monoculars. The method is quite craft and individualized, the first thing you should know is how to mount your own equipment. It allows considerable personal innovation since there are various problems that each user must solve to reach satisfactory results.  Currently it is still common to use homemade adaptors and others built by custom to turners that have specialized in this. Some manufacturers of ground-based telescopes already have recently added a camera to the body of the telescope.

The first thing I should make clear is that we must conceive the digiscoping as a complementary method of photography with telephoto lens and we should not compare it with alternative methods.  Sometimes I combine it with the use of telephoto Sigma 150 – 500 m. In successive chapters we will show images made using digiscoping and I will be commenting on the most outstanding virtues of this technique and now limited

 1 Allows realization of photos when the motive is quite remote and we cannot approach by causes such as being in formations of water away from the shores or in open extensions as the steppes where we would find no way to hide our presence and our approach would scare the wildlife.

2 It allows photographing details of some animals for scientific purposes such as reading of rings of marking birds or bear witness to the presence of rare or accidental species.

Fig. 1


Fig. 1 Sample of the usefulness of the digiscoping for scientific purposes. Sardinian gull (Larus melanocephalus) plumage of first winter ringed in Holland and I could photograph through digiscoping with reflex in August 2011 at the outlet of the river Guadalhorce (Malaga) spot. Following the completion of a sequence in a burst of images you can read the characters of this ring metal that could not have been decoded at that distance with lesser focal optics. Textual reading in metal ring: VOGELTREKSTATION ARNHEM-HOLLAND 3585631

My equipment



Tripod Manfrotto 055 NAT team, patella 701, spotting scope, Zeiss Diascope 85 T * FL, eyepiece 20 × 60, trigger cable Nikon MC-DC2, adapter of the camera Zeiss, Nikon D90 camera with lens 50 mm F/1. 8 d.

Obtained enlargement:

Taking into account the factor of multiplication 1, 5 x of the Nikon D90 and the eyepiece 20 × 60 that I usually use to a minimum, i.e. 20 x, I get a total of 30 increases in my screenshots with reflex. Expressing focal mm we would have the following data. The telescope Zeiss 85 mm has a focal of 1000 mm with the eyepiece 20 x and the multiplication of camera factor is 1, 5 x, which gives us a focal 1500 mm

Sometimes I use a compact camera, model Nikon coolpix P5100. For the calculation of increases for these cases you should take into account the optical zoom increases of the camera. I usually use a total of 46 increases since the camera zoom values are not suitable to avoid certain optical aberrations. To attach the compact camera to the telescope, I have to add a couple of thread ring converters from 37 to 52 mm to the adapter, for its smaller diameter lens. I also have other «home-made adapters’ of own construction and an adapter made by a turner with the measures of the other two Sony cameras that I have virtually rejected for having lower resolution.