Last week, it occurred to me that I could digiscope through my old Leupold binoculars (9x35) and my pal Niki's HP digital camera. Not great power on the binocs, but what the heck? I thought I'd give it a try and see what happened.
I went out in the backyard to snap some photos of the baby herons, which were sunning themselves in the evening's golden sun. Unfortunately, I got out there later than I wanted to, so that golden sun didn't last too long. I am not happy with the quality, but it was my first time. Here's the result:
UPDATE: Hey! I'm getting to upload photos! Here's the first pic:
I captured two of the three juvenile herons in their little tree--I circled them because the focus is so bad they're just two blobs. Mother was nowhere in sight--though she could've been watching from the nest or a nearby tree.
The photos are pretty dark, but I guess I expected that, as I went out pretty late in the afternoon. However, the focus is ridiculously bad--which I don't understand. The view through the binocs was good, but the camera didn't capture the image in focus. Admittedly, my "rig" was not exactly top-flight. I set the binocs on a fencepost and held the camera to the right eyepiece. When I make my scope (update forthcoming on that!), I'll definitely rig an adapter and use a tripod or monopod to stabilize everything.
As I got shots of the herons, I turned to see a hummingbird flitting among the wildflowers at the back fence near the platform feeder. He perched on a branch and just sat there--despite my presence only 20 feet or so away. I guess maybe he thought I was a fencepost? So I sloooooowly turned my body and the binocs and captured a few shots of him. Actually, I'd say it was a her--she was rather plain: an off-white breast and brown back, long downward-curved beak. No distinguishing marks that I could see.
I got a few photos of her, but these too are not very in-focus.
I tried different "mode" settings on the camera (landscape, portrait, etc.--which offer preset f/stop and aperture settings). Nothing really helped much. Still not in focus, and you can see an obvious camera-shake effect. Perhaps that's my problem? Not to mention some obvious camera shake.
Here, I got some decent focus, after zooming back on the camera and allowing vignetting:
The next night, I tried again--but no herons! Still, I did get a tufted titmouse at the platform feeder. These photos were not much better, though the lighting was better.
I love watching tufted titmice eat--holding the sunflower seed between their feet and pecking away at it to get at the nut. Their cries are quite unmelodic, but they're sweet birds.
My lenses are in at the mailbox place, and I'm hoping to pick them up tonight and start working on the scope. Oh, the joys of 20X magnification--here I come!