Archive for the 'Zeiss PhotoScope' Category



Otter Cuteness

Yes, well, what is cuter or easier than an otter…Sea Otters at Moss Landing, CA in this case? There were 35 or 40 of them lounging, feeding, playing on the early morning when I visited, easily within range of the Zeiss PhotoScope at 40x. The under otter here was attempting initiate some play, but the upper otter was not totally engaged. Under otter persisted and play did ensue.

Zeiss PhotoScope at 40x (1600mm equivalent field of view). 1/350th sec. @ ISO 100. Metered at about f5.2.

Added Clarity and Vibrance in Lightroom. Blackpoint to the right. Sharpen Landscapes preset.

From Zeiss PhotoScope 85FL.

And the video version, taken by holding a small Sanyo HD Video camera up to the eyepiece of the PhotoScope.



Yellow-rump Looking Up

Shooting Warblers in the fall in Cape May New Jersey is just too easy. No, of course, I take that back. Shooting warblers, anysmall active bird for that matter, anywhere, anytime, is never easy…but it is less hard in Cape May in the fall, when the warblers are many and fueling for the Delaware Bay crossing is most on their minds.

This bird was one of many that used this branch for a momentary perch as it foraged through some brushy trees behind the Hawk Watch platform at Cape May Point State Park. I could prefocus on the perch, but I had to rely on the auto-focus assist on the Zeiss PhotoScope to tweak focus as the bird was in all but constant motion.

I have mixed feelings about the out of focus branch that threatens to obscure the bird (it did in the next second as the bird moved further up the branch). I could clone it out, but in a way, it adds to the reality of the shot, and is certainly a more accurate record of the bird in its habitat, and the challenges of photographing it.

Zeiss PhotoScope 85FL at about 40x (1600mm equivalent field of view). 1/800th sec. @ ISO 100. Metered at about f5.2.

Light processing in Lightroom. Added Clarity and Sharpen Landscape preset. Blackpoint slightly right.

From Zeiss PhotoScope 85FL.

And, just for interest sake (and to prove I can do it), here is the same image without the branch in the foreground…worked in PhotoShop Elements 7.0.

Looking Up without branch



Kiss Kiskadee Close

Another PhotoScoped image from Ester Llano Grande State Park and future World Birding Center…simply a world class place for watching and photographing birds, in the Rio Grande River Valley, near Weslaco, Texas. At about the equivalent of a 1600mm lens on a full frame DSLR, this is about as close to a Kiskadee as you will get unless you are manning a banding station where you have the birds in your hands.

The problem with photographing Kiskadees is the eye. That black mask too often totally obscures the eye. Catching it like this, with some definition, is rare…I’d like to take credit, but between the excellent auto exposure on the PhotoScope and taking a lot of images of any given bird…well…you do get a few with a visible  eye.

Zeiss PhotoScope 85FL at 40x (1600mm equivalent field of view). 1/460th @ ISO 100. Metered at about f5.2.

Very little beyond basic increases in Clarity and Vibrance in Lightroom. Sharpen Landscape preset.

From Zeiss PhotoScope 85FL.



Little Blue Heron in the Reeds

Little Blues are, of course, easy enough to catch in the open, but I like this shot with the reeds, primarily because it seems to bring out the color of the bird, and provides some scale. Besides, I have a whole bunch of shots of LBs out of the reeds.

Zeiss PhotoScope 85FL at about 40x (1600mm equivalent). 1/220th @ ISO 50. Metered at about f5.6.

Cropped slightly in Lightroom for composition. Added Clarity and Vibrance. Blackpoint just a little right. Sharpen Landscapes preset.

From Zeiss PhotoScope 85FL.



Immature Ruby-throated Hummer?

Back to birds for a few days…still working through my take from a few days in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. This is, I am pretty sure, an immature Ruby-throated Hummingbird. I prefer hummer shots anywhere but the feeder. Of course, I don’t ignore feeder shots. Often that is the only way to get a shot of a hummer. This bird was enjoying a mister set up near the feeder and kept returning to this same little perch, and then sitting there soaking up the spray. I had time to get well set up with the PhotoScope and took many different images of the same bird.

I like the off center composition of this one.

Zeiss PhotoScope 85FL at about 40x (1600mm equivalent field of view). 1/100 sec. @ ISO 100. Metered at about f5.6.

Added Clarity and Vibrance (very little) in Lightroom. Sharpen Landscape preset.

From Zeiss PhotoScope 85FL.




Least Grebe, Estero Llano Grande SP, TX

Taking a break from Germany today. Here is a Least Grebe from Estero Llano Grande SP in Weslaco TX. Shot with the Zeiss PhotoScope 85FL. I was actually chasing a Ringed Kingfisher up and down Alligator Lake…he was on the far side so it was not really a chase, but he did seem aware of me…almost as though he was playing with me. If I put my tripod down, he moved. I never did get a picture of him. However, at one of his perches, this little (Least actually) Grebe was swimming in close on occasion, and I did get him. Oh yes. I got him.

The PhotoScope reaches out to 45x, giving it the field of view of an 1800mm lens. This shot was taken at about 1600mm equivalent for a nice portrait without getting my feet wet.

The bird was actively feeding, above water for only 30 seconds at at time. You can see the water beads on his back.

Zeiss PhotoScope 85FL at 40x, field of view of a 1600mm lens on a full frame camera. 1/115th sec. @ ISO 100. Metered exposure at about f5.6.

Very little processing in Lightroom. Much less added Clarity and Vibrance than I would use on a scenic, and just the Sharpen Landscape preset.

From Zeiss PhotoScope 85FL.

And for you viewing pleasure, a second shot.


Least Grebe again







Anhinga 1

Anhinga 2

Anhinga 3

The Anhinga always looks to me like a bird assembled by a committee. Especially the females, with their long necks dressed in what appears to be brown fur. Check out the feet. This lady is preening and primping for all she is worth, an very aware of herself.

The light is from the back here, and a bit of a challenge, and not close…across the full width of a Alligator Lake at Estero Llano Grande State Park (about 60 feet at this point), but the bird is irresistible…if you are into birds.

Zeiss PhotoScope 85FL at 40x (about 1600mm equivalent field of view). 1/35 and 1/40th sec. @ ISO 100. Metered at about f5.0.

Basic increased Clarity and Sharpen Landscape preset in Lightroom. Blackpoint to the right slightly. A touch of Recovery for the highlights.

From Zeiss PhotoScope 85FL.