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Old Nov 26, 2003, 9:17 AM   #11
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Eric,

Using ISO 200 I can get 1/2000 of a second exposure times on my CP4500. That's using the 32WW eyepiece and about 2x optical zoom on the CP. Mind you that's on the "best of light days" at mid-day.

I've attached a couple of examples that may illustrate my point.

The Mistle Thrush photo was taken at 09:30 on Sunday (about 90 minutes after sunrise). The shutter speed was 1/500.



The Grey Plover photo was taken at 11.30 the previous Sunday. The shutter speed in that case was 1/2000.



The worst birdwatching conditions where I still got a result were in Musselburgh last December. I was down to 1/60 and no optical zoom. It was overcast, raining and mid winter in Scotland.

On balance I doubt that we'll come across a portable lens with Digiscoping reach, but I've seen a lot of good wildlife work done with 600mm. I guess the diference is that the professional can bait and be out all day, making the oportunities as opposed to just making the most of them.

Perhaps the balance is to go for something in the 400-600mm range, for the real quality work, and rely on the Digiscoping for the golden opportunities. I'l hide under the table now before Lin Evans hits me.
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Old Nov 26, 2003, 9:37 AM   #12
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Wow, those shutter speeds are very impressive. Much higher than I thought would be possible with a scope.

I feared that digiscoping wouldn't be fast enough to stop a duck swimming, but it sounds like it can be... but on a bright day. Focusing is always the problem, though. If you can't do that well enough (or fast enough) that the shot still won't be good enough.

Thanks for the info. Already owning a very nice scope, its tempting to get a pocketable camera and do some digiscoping... but its also tempting to save that money (and loads more) and get the 300-800. The problem with that is that I don't gain a stop over the 100-400L I have now. Most of my shooting is around 1/350 (on an average day) and that can get frustrating at 400 x1.6 (and maybe x1.4 if I use a TC.)

I do so agree about the "making the most of" your opportunities. Its annoying when the scope shows you want you want to record, but the lens just can't do it.

Eric
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Old Nov 26, 2003, 11:51 AM   #13
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Moving ducks are a real problem. If your subject is moving in distance terms then you have a job on your hands to refocus the telescope quickly enough.

I always try and refocus the telescope before atempting any shot, but a moving subject will often be out of focus or even out of view by the time the autofocus on the CP4500 has cycled and the shutter has fired.

If the subject is moving in a predictable manner (and they rarely do) you can always focus on the spot that you expect them to pass, allow the autofocus to lock, and then start shooting as the bird comes into view.

You've got a nice scope. Tricky choice.
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Old Nov 26, 2003, 11:50 PM   #14
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It is an amazing scope. I saved for about 3 years to get it. I was at a National Wildlife Refuge this past weekend using it. I offered a view to a couple who came asking what we saw. We didn't have to offer twice... they were all over it. Always nice to share it.

Since I've been shooting lots of ducks recently (that time of year), this situation is front in my mind. I really thing the 300-800mm is the way to go. The problem is that I really, really have to step up in quality from the 100-400L. It's not bad, but I'm picky and it's starting to bug me. If I knew the Sigma was significantly better, I'd except the same f-stop. But if it's only marginally better... then the choice becomes much more difficult. Do I get a 500 or 600mm (and swallow the huge cost) just to gain the better quality and f-stop? But loose 30-40% in reach? And the zoom flexibility? Really tough choice.

Luckily I've got all winter to ponder that one.

Thanks for the digiscoping usage description. That is how I thought it worked out.

Eric

ps. The other problem with digiscoping is that my girlfriend doesn't want to give up the scope! (Of course, I could always give her the camera and share the digiscoping with her....)
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Old Jan 15, 2004, 9:05 AM   #15
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Default I've got a Sigma 170~500 f/5-6.3 & it works great.

I generally prefer to focus it manually as opposed to autofocus though.
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Old Jan 15, 2004, 9:44 AM   #16
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motownflash

I can appreciate that, but most modern cameras don't have a good view finder for manual focus. They aren't bright enough (at least to my rather inexperienced eye) to make that last little bit of adjustments for critical sharp focus possible.

I really believe that more engineering effort was put into view finders when Manual Focusing was the only way to go.

Eric
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