Black-crowned Night Herons


DIGISCOPING - Using your digital camera through a spotting scope 

Click on thumbnail pictures for full-sized shots.

Don't have a 1000mm lens to go with your SLR camera?  Not to worry! If you have a spotting scope and a digital camera with an LCD display, you're all set.  Here's how to get those close-ups.
  • Focus the scope on a perched bird, or any other relatively stationary target
  • Turn on the LCD display on your digital camera
  • Place the lens of the camera against the eyepiece of the scope
  • Looking at the LCD display, adjust the camera until it is flush with the eyepiece and you see the bird on the display
  • Let the autofocus on the digital camera focus on your bird
  • Snap the picture!

Other suggestions to get the best possible shots:

  • If you can adjust it manually, set your shutter speed to 1/300 or 1/500 to reduce vibration or camera shake     (OR)
  • Use spot metering if the bird is going to be in the center of your field of view--this insures it will be bright enough
  • Use the prefocus option  (this speeds up the picture recording)
    • depress the shutter partially until the camera focuses on the target
    • center your target on the LCD
    • then depress the shutter fully - 

Take lots of shots--you may toss out dozens before you get one you like!  So be patient and soon you'll have some fine pictures in your collection.   

These photos were two of my first photos - taken with a Sony DSC-S70 digital camera.

Elegant Trogon
Madera Canyon

Berylline Hummingbird
On nest at Ramsey Canyon




Here's a small collection of digital scope photos taken by Henry Detwiler (Sony DSC-S70 with a Swarovski) and Bob Miller (Nikon Coolpix 995 with a Kowa).  

Black-crowned Night Heron
Painted Rock Rookery (Henry)

Merlin - Salton Sea (Henry)

Tricolored Heron - Salton Sea (Bob)

Western Bluebird - Yuma (Henry)

Burrowing Owl - Salton Sea (Bob)

Anna's Hummingbird - Yuma (Henry)

White-fronted Geese - Salton Sea (Bob)

Cedar Waxwing - Yuma (Henry)

Costa's Hummingbird - Yuma (Henry)

Cactus Wren (Henry)

Crested Caracara

Snow Goose - Salton Sea (Bob)


  For ALL of the accessories you need to take digital photographs, click on the link to Eagle Optics

Photos Henry Detwiler & Bob Miller, 2000-2002