Saturday, November 26, 2005
No clear skies......After last night’s severe snowstorms I hoped for “clear skies” this morning. But when I got up, I was in for a little surprise. It was still snowing, and according to the local weather station we will keep this weather for the most of next week: cloudy, sometimes snow, temperatures around zero degrees Celsius and ……… no clear skies!
Anyway, I decided to test our new Zeiss spotting scope on the birds again. I bought the Diascope 85 together with the zoom-eypiece, and yesterday I got two other Zeiss eyepieces from Leo (a fellow observer who lives just down the road) to test them. The quality of these eyepieces is also outstanding, good eye-relief, very clear and transparent; but for now the 20–60x zoom is just OK for me. In the near future I hope to get an adaptor to connect the Nikon Coolpix to the zoom eyepiece. I’m very pleased with the quality of the spotting scope. The images are good, but they can get a lot better when I can shoot the images using the Zeiss eyepieces. The camera will also be modified a little, but more about that later. I will keep you updated!
Today I shot two good images from a Chaffinch using Televue Plossl and the Nikon Coolpix connected to the Zeiss. I also recorded some footage from a Greenfinch with the camcorder connected to the Zeiss with a TAL 25mm Plossl. Click on the images to enlarge them or to start the movie.
Friday, November 25, 2005
Birds in the backyard!Yesterday we got our new birding scope, an 85mm Zeiss Diascope together with a Zeiss zoom eyepiece (20x-60x). The first impression I got when looking through this small instrument can be described in one word: stunning! I never had an instrument with this optical quality. The Zeiss Diascope will not only be used for birding, but also for astronomy. I think it will be very good for observing (and imaging) the Moon but I'm also very curious how it will perform on larger deepsky objects like the Pleiades, the Orion Nebula, M 31 or the Double Cluster in Perseus.
Click to enlarge
Today however, it was completely clouded, so I tried to shoot some images from a few backyard visitors: a Robin and a Collared Dove. I used the Coolpix 4500 and a Televue 32mm plossl connected to the Zeiss Diascope with a special “astro-Adaptor”. Below are the first results (click images to enlarge). All images were only slightly processed (unsharp masking, levels, contrast brightness) and finaly resized from 2272x1704 to 800x600.
Click to enlarge