Purple Martin
Progne subis
The largest member of the martin family at 8" (20cm). A migratory bird, which spends the winter in South America, returning to breed in North America in the spring. They use man-made martin houses, where provided.

See my martin colony here.



I have been trying this technique for about 4 years, with varying results!  It involves using a digital camera and a spotting scope.  The most popular camera to use is one of the Nikon CoolPix range - the series with the swivel body, as the lens size is compatible with the eyepiece of the spotting scope. I got the 4500 when it was released by Nikon in July of 2002 - see below for my first try with this camera and my Swarovski AT80HD scope, with 20-60x zoom eyepiece.  The camera was hand held to the eyepiece of the scope and I got some good results this first time.  My later attempts were not so successful, mainly due to the fact that I was using an old tripod, which was unstable and moved about too much, especially when there was any wind.   I have now upgraded to a more sturdy Gitzo tripod, but as yet I haven't acquired an adaptor to attach the camera to the scope, due mainly to the fact that I decided to get into digital SLR photography in early 2004.  I bought  the Canon EOS Digital Rebel (300D) - a 6.3 megapixel camera, with 2 Canon lenses: a 28-90mm Ultrasonic, plus a 75-300mm 1:4-5.6 USM zoom lens.  After 3 years, I have upgraded to the more powerful Canon 30D camera.

Prior to getting the Nikon, I tried digiscoping with my Olympus C700 UZ digital camera and my scope. Click here for the first photos I took of a martin, hand-held, with the camera set on portrait mode and the scope zoom eyepiece on 20x. There were some problems with vignetting (click here for more info) but sometimes it is possible to crop and edit the images to eliminate this.

For comprehensive information on the digiscoping technique, try this link to Andy Bright's website or browse the forums on digiscoping and cameras on BirdForum.net
Digiscoping
Nature Photography

I have been trying this technique for about 4 years, with varying results!  It involves using a digital camera and a spotting scope.  The most popular camera to use is one of the Nikon CoolPix range - the series with the swivel body, as the lens size is compatible with the eyepiece of the spotting scope. I got the 4500 when it was released by Nikon in July of 2002 - see below for my first try with this camera and my Swarovski AT80HD scope, with 20-60x zoom eyepiece.  The camera was hand held to the eyepiece of the scope and I got some good results this first time.  My later attempts were not so successful, mainly due to the fact that I was using an old tripod, which was unstable and moved about too much, especially when there was any wind.   I have now upgraded to a more sturdy Gitzo tripod, but as yet I haven't acquired an adaptor to attach the camera to the scope, due mainly to the fact that I decided to get into digital SLR photography in early 2004.  I bought  the Canon EOS Digital Rebel (300D) - a 6.3 megapixel camera, with 2 Canon lenses: a 28-90mm Ultrasonic, plus a 75-300mm 1:4-5.6 USM zoom lens.  After 3 years, I have upgraded to the more powerful Canon 30D camera.

Prior to getting the Nikon, I tried digiscoping with my Olympus C700 UZ digital camera and my scope. Click here for the first photos I took of a martin, hand-held, with the camera set on portrait mode and the scope zoom eyepiece on 20x. There were some problems with vignetting (click here for more info) but sometimes it is possible to crop and edit the images to eliminate this.

For comprehensive information on the digiscoping technique, try this link to Andy Bright's website or browse the forums on digiscoping and cameras on BirdForum.net

This page was last updated on: January 19, 2007

Purple Martin
Progne subis
The largest member of the martin family at 8" (20cm). A migratory bird, which spends the winter in South America, returning to breed in North America in the spring. They use man-made martin houses, where provided.

See my martin colony here.



© Helen Baines 2002
© Helen Baines 2002
© Helen Baines 2002