Sunday, 18 November 2012

An Experiment for Shirl

Shirl (Shirl's Gardenwatch) mentioned to me about the ability to use nature reserve scopes with a mobile phone camera. This morning I experimented with my binoculars and iPhone4. I clamped the binoculars to a tripod to hold them steady, focussed on the bird table down the end of the garden and, using the basic camera app, just held the phone camera tight up to the binoculars. A bit of jiggling about to get the phone lens in the right place. No processing of any sort on these photos, apart from the final crop.

The view as seen by the iPhone through the kitchen window:

2012-11-18 09.02.04.jpg

The shot as taken through the binoculars:

 2012-11-18 09.01.51.jpg

Same thing cropped as the view through the binoculars does not fill the frame:

2012-11-18 09.01.51c.jpg

The phone needs to be as near as possible to the binoculars / scope lens so the rubber eye cup was pushed back as far as it would go. The auto focus on the phone camera did the rest as far as focus and exposure went.

Certainly worth a try if the phone is the only camera you have with you in that sort of situation. Gives a reasonable record shot if nothing else.


  1. Worth a go...I've seen some digiscoped images that aren't much better.
    Next stop the moon and planets. Venus is showing well just before sunrise.

  2. Adrian: Owt's better than nowt as the saying goes ;) Shooting through double glazing degrades the result a bit and with the phone camera being only 5M pixels it did pretty well.

  3. I was surprised by what a good result you got with that John, excellent I thought!

    1. So was I Jan considering that the iPhone doesn't have a high pixel count compared with some.

  4. Finally John, I come to this post that I am so sorry I missed at the time. I’m guessing that you’ll know that my absence in commenting tells you I hadn’t seen this – even on my phone reader. There was a lot going on at the time.

    Thank-you for experimenting with this on my behalf and detailing what you tried and the results you got – not bad at all!

    I’d agree on the jiggling to get the phone lens right and would definitely agree that this is worth a go to capture a close up image. Recording moments and sightings now when you are out without a camera is so much easier with mobile phones. The IPhone has many great apps for this and you have introduced me to a few through your blog posts – thank-you :-D

    1. Sharing ideas and discoveries is at least half the fun of blogging Shirl.


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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