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Digiscoping Birds

Tufted Puffin

Digiscoping is bird photography that combines the magnifying power of  a spotting scope with a digital camera.

Digiscoping has become a very popular method for taking photographs of birds. The technique involves marrying a digital camera to a spotting scope. The combination provides extreme magnification for photographing distant birds. When using top quality spotting scopes (prices can range from about $2000 to almost $5000) the quality of the resultant images can be little short of spectacular.  Many digital cameras can also capture  video, a feature that can also be used when digiscoping.

Several of the top spotting scope manufacturers have posted video clips on YouTube that demonstrate the technique.



Nikon – Nikon tutorial on Digiscoping / Telescopic lenses
Zeiss – setting up the adaptor

Taking your first digisscoped image

Choosing a camera for digiscoping

Setting up the Swarovski Digital Camera Adapter

About the Author

Sam Crowe

Sam is the founder of He has been birding for over 30 years and has a world list of over 2000 species. He has served as treasurer of the Texas Ornithological Society, Sanctuary Chair of Dallas Audubon, Editor of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's "All About Birds" web site and as a contributing editor for Birding Business magazine. Many of his photographs and videos can be found on the site.

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