Wednesday, January 13, 2010

First attempt at digiscoping

Adam, M6RDP caught my interest the other day when he wrote about a digital camera adapter that lets you take photos through the eyepiece of binoculars or a telescope. There have been many times I wished I could take a picture of what I could see through the spotting scope when watching birds. I decided to investigate and ended up at the same site where Adam bought his binoculars. The adapter pictured on his blog was on sale for under £30. That is a lot less than other similar products so I decided to get one now rather than regret not getting it later.

The gadget came this morning. First attempts to use it were a little disappointing. It wasn't really designed for my camera which has the lens very close to the bottom of the body. With the camera platform as high as it would go the camera still could not see into the eyepiece properly. In the end, I cut a strip from a cork drinks coaster (sorry, Olga) to go between the camera and the platform and raise it by an extra few millimetres which was just enough to get the image centered.

The next problem I found is that operating the shutter moved the camera / telescope giving a blurred image. Eventually I hit on the idea of using the shutter delay so that everything had stopped shaking by the time the picture was taken. This is not ideal for taking pictures of birds which are guaranteed not to stay in the same position for several seconds! Nevertheless I did manage to take one good picture of a robin on the bird feeder, which I think is not bad for a first attempt at digiscoping on a grey day, taken through a double-glazed window from inside the conservatory.
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