What Equipment Are Used To Perform Digiscoping

Digiscoping is a practice to shoot digital images via spotting scope. The telescope used in performing the task enlarges the image for the camera during visual use. Such magnification mostly falls within the range of (20x to 60x) to identify scopes generally used by birders.

Let us now learn more about this process and the equipment used during digiscoping.

Digital Camera

Many people with digital camera are curious, and want to know more about what is digiscope photography. It you are one of them, then you’ll first need to get an idea about how digital camera works. Most of the digital cameras come with lenses that have a focal length close to 35 to 115 millimeter in its 35 millimeter format.

Digiscoping results in “35 millimeter equivalent” where focal lengths go till 6900 millimeters. All the different shot of images gets magnified to 11.5 times to those that were shot with a 600 millimeter telephoto in 35 mm format.

Use of a digital camera offers a lot of benefits over conventional film photography. Such photography with very large focal length lens presents several challenges. Digiscoping primer explains the techniques and principles for the success of digiscoping. The image processing primer discusses the ways to deal with the images.

What factors are taken into consideration when deciding equipment for performing digiscoping?

There are mainly two things that determine whether a specific scope or eyepiece will effectively work for digiscoping:

Eye relief:

Lens is the most important optical element of any camera. Ensure that it is held within the region of eye relief of that eyepiece. A minimum level of separation is needed between the lens of the camera and the external optical surface of an eyepiece. If you fail to meet this condition, then you will get to see a “vignetting” effect or a black region that surrounds the image field.

It is advised to check the specification provided by the manufacturer for eye related reliefs. It depends on your eyepiece. A lower magnification can lead to longer relief to your eyes. High-End eye relief can be 20 mm. In cases where the eye relief is lesser than 15mm, digiscoping becomes very difficult to be performed. So, the key is to keep it as near as possible.

Diameter of camera vs diameter of an eyepiece

The diameter of the eyepiece and camera holds a lot of importance when it comes to performing digiscoping. Though it is not mandatory, but it is beneficial for the diameter of the camera lens to be smaller in size than the diameter of an eye lens aperture. The diameter of the camera lens doesn’t describe the “field of view”, but the amount of light that passes to the picture.

To use a camera lens of large diameter, you need to mask off that “extra” area of the diameter of lens at the time of mating it to an eyepiece. It will prevent the stray light from degrading the image of the scope.


These are some of the tips that will help you choose the equipment wisely and perform the digiscoping in the right way.

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