While I love this blog, I now pretty much only write on my other two blogs: BirdingBlogs.com and 10,000 Birds - I would love to see you there!

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Goldeneye takeoff digiscoped with TLS800 and Canon 5DII

While at the Bodensee (Lake Constance) a couple of weeks ago, I had a few opportunities to digiscope some Goldeneyes. These are one of the most incredibly beautiful ducks, and I love them.

All digiscoped with a Canon EOS 5D mark II, a TLS800 telescope photography adapter, and a Swarovski Optik STM80HD telescope. These are just tiny versions of the 5616 wide images.

Happy digiscoping,
Dale Forbes


Shady Character said...

They really are beatuful, aren't they. Love the images, especially that last one.

Dale Forbes said...

thanks Shady. I enjoyed making them. Believe it or not, it had been a lifer the day before and I was still in that "oh-my-word its a xxx" phase, so taking these photos was made even more special.

mick said...

Beautiful birds and photos - and of course! - a great digiscoping setup!

Bob Kaufman said...

Prefect shot of a Goldeneye taking off!

Larry said...

Beautiful shots of the Goldeneyes Dale. I have just purchased a new scope and am going to try digiscoping. It seems difficult to get simple shots of stationary birds at my first attempt but I will do some research and keep trying. I look forward to getting great action shots like these someday.

eileeninmd said...

They are beautiful and you got some great shots. I love the last photo.

Chris said...

Hi Dale,
Well i guess that's not that easy to do this with disgiscope!! Is it?
The results is quite convincing I have to say but I would like to know how hard it is!!!
Nice pictures indeed!

Carol said...

Love those take off shots.

Dale Forbes said...

Thanks all for the comments. I really should have used larger versions of the files as I see now that even when you click on them, the images are so small that it looks like the quality is really not that good, but I am rather happy with the originals. Maybe I'll have some time tomorrow evening...

Chris, these types or shots are easiest with a full format camera (i.e. using a higher ISO and still getting only limited noise) and the TLS800 on a straight scope. But even with a normal digiscoping setup, it is really very little different from manual focus photography with a super-telephoto lens. If you are able to focus well, then your shots will most probably turn out well.

Happy birding!

Tom said...

Dale, these pictures and the others you have taken with this setup are very good indeed.

I have recently purchased a similiar setup and I am having great difficulty getting sharp shots with it. The same seems to apply to both stationary and moving objects e.g. birds in flight.

My setup consists of a Swarovski ATS80HD, a TLS800, a Manfretto 501 head and tripod, and a Nikon D200.

In a lot of cases my subjects fill 1/4 to 1/2 of the frame, so I am not relying on cropping a tiny portion out of the end image.

For stationary objects I am using manual mode with ISO 200 to 400, and a shutter speed of 80 to 200. I use spot metering and a single point of focus. The white balance is usually set for a cloudy day here in Ireland. I arrived at this range of settings after some trial and error.

For moving objects I use ISO 400 to 1600 and much faster shutter speeds depending on the light.

Most of my images appear soft and lack any detail. I am beginning to wonder if I should trade in my scope and go for a good Nikon telephoto lense instead.

Given the quality that you are getting from a similiar setup, I must be doing something wrong. I would appreciate if you have any advice for me please.

Many thanks,

Dale Forbes said...

Hi Tom, I cannot write a complete answer now, but if you post your email address in one of my older posts (more than 14 days old) then I can email you in the next couple of days (and I wont publish your comment with your email address). or, you could send me a message on facebook. find me as "dale forbes".

the other thing you could try is some of the tips in this video:
and on our digiscoping website:

Tom said...


Thanks for that. I have left my email address as requested.

The videos on the Swarovski Optic site are very useful, however I can't find anything that deals specifically with the TLS800.

Kind regards,