Friday, April 1, 2016
While waiting for that coat to dry, I came back inside and started working on the accumulated bills and receipts. After a couple hours of that, I could stand no more, and decided to take a break.
So I finished putting my new spotting scope (a Swarovski ATX95) together, and took it outside to see how well it worked (or didn't). The first poking around by eyeball got me pretty excited – the field of view feels wide and flat, and is crystal-clear from edge to edge. At the lowest power (30x) I couldn't detect any aberration at all. At the highest power (70x) I could see a bit of radial brightness variation, but no color aberrations. The tripod is smooth and easy to use, and I really like the fact that the zoom and focus are on adjacent rings, right near the tripod mount where they jiggle the scope less. Very nice all around.
Then I tried putting the camera on. All I did was slip on a disk with a hole in it (supplied by the scope's maker). This adapter is intended to be coupled with a holder for a mobile phone, but there are no holders available for the iPhone 6S+ that I have, so instead I simply held the iPhone in place. The three photos below are my first three attempts through the scope. The first two are at 30x, the last a repeat of the second, but at 70x:
For that first photo I was 22 feet from the feeder. For the last two, I was 160' from the base of the tree. I think I'm gonna like this thing :) Now I just need a bird to stand still long enough for me to get a photo of it!