Equipment
House sparrow Least sandpiper Great crested grebe

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The new set up:

I am currently using a Swarovski TB80 High Definition Scope (pic 1) as the lens, attached to a Nikon Coolpix 4500 digital camera (4), via a home made adapter (2). The adapter consists of a step up ring glued to a rubber washer, which in turn is glued to a short piece of plastic tubing. I still need to add a further thin washer to the inside of the tube to prevent slipping. I am using a Jessops manual cable release, with a Jessops cable release bracket (3). And occasionally I use a Eagle Eye Xtenda-a-view Pro Sunshade, when light conditions require it. I have two batteries and two 125 meg compact flash memory cards, at present, but plan to increase these soon. You can never have enough power, and I am a firm believer that you shouldn't carry all your eggs in one basket, when it comes to memory cards, a few mid range ones work as well as one large one.

Swarovski telescope1 home made digiscoping adapter2 Jessops shotter relase and bracket3 Nikon coolpix 4500 camera4

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The Old set up:

My old set up was a combination of the same Nikon Coolpix camera (7) attached to an Optolyth TBS80 scope (5) (note no High definition glass, hence the less than perfect picture quality) via an LCE (London Camera Exchange) adapter. With the same sunshade and shutter release (6) set up.

Optolyth telescope5 Jessops shutter release cable6 Nikon coolpix 4500 camera7

Camera and scope Settings:

I keep the cameras settings at Aperture priority, and try to achieve the lowest possible F.Stop (usually around f4.5) which allow me to obtain shutter speeds up to 1/1000 but usually around 1/60 - 1/250. The cameras flash is switched to off, and I shoot on a multi shot setting (meaning I can shoot 4-5 pics quickly without refocusing) with area focus options on, allowing me to choose what area to a) Focus on and b) get light readings from. The camera is usually zoomed up to just under full zoom (I never use the digital zoom it is too grainy) but sometimes lower this to gain more light, using Photoshop to clear any vignetting.
I have a 20-65 zoom eyepiece attached to the scope, which means I can get some closer shots of birds or shoot at further away subjects, the only problem with this is that the higher the zoom the less light is let in, although this does not cause many problems.




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All images and website Ashley Beolens 2003.
Images may be available for use upon request.