Ultrazooms and digiscoping

2021, Goatlandia: I’m no expert on long-range photography, (or any other kind for that matter) but it seems as though this should be given equal weight in JuneauNature > Tools > Photography to drone-, stereo-, repeat- and motioncam categories. As I improve my stills and video of mountain goats, this seems like a good place to describe new tricks and toys.

Above: Phone attached to Kowa spotscope with a two-piece Phone Skope adapter. For still photography, you can learn to hold your phone up to a tripod-mounted scope or even to one eyepiece of your binoculars. But this attachment helps a lot for stabilized, 4K video. If you already own a good scope, this may be a better solution than investing in a dedicated ultrazoom camera. On the phoneskope builder page you order your adapter in 2 pieces; one to fit your phone, and another to fit the objective lens of your scope.  ●  Below: Nikon P1000, my latest (July 2021) answer to ‘interplanetary zoom.’

As for high zoom-range cameras, this technology is evolving so fast that serious photographers tend to upgrade every few years. It’s rare to stick with a particular model and not feel the need for something better.

Lumix zs40 has a zoom range of 30x. Size of a deck of cards.

For me, one exception may be the little Lumix zs40, (30x) which I’ve owned for 6 years. Certainly there are more powerful zooms, with larger sensors and richer video. But they’re bulkier, and I tend not to have them along on casual bushwacks, which of course is when the deer steps out of the woods, or a warbler teases you, 15 feet away. This one fits in my smallest belt pouch, and offers more control over settings than other point&shoots.

August 2021:  For over a year, I’ve been eyeing what reviewers generally concede to be the most powerful zoom available in a ‘point-&-shoot’ camera (ie, short of multi-thousand-dollar DSLRs with gigantic lenses). It finally arrived in midsummer, and my first few weeks of testing have been really fun. First post with ‘tele-samples’ was from a climb of Shaa Tlaax, moldy top (Mt J-word). Second included some handheld movies, of a grouse family on Granite Basin trail.

I’ll sweep through existing posts with good examples of telephotography and connect em to the Telephotography category so that they appear as links below In this section. As noted in the ‘parent’ Photography section, Bob Armstrong (thumbnail with his Lumix, upper right) has a wonderful guide to photography called Enjoying nature in Alaska through video, written with his friend Doug Jones. Much of that pdf, with web-linked videos, shares tricks of the trade in long (&close!) range telephotography.

In this section

Cusp of summer and fall

Insights from tele-views of Jánwu What an amazing place we live in! From afar, scoping in valley bottom, or up…

2021 | Richard Carstensen | 7 minute slideshow

Dust-bath grouse&goats

Hooters & janwú at 80 degrees On an afternoon hike to Granite Basin, got another chance to test the new…

2021 | Richard Carstensen | 90 second slideshow

Mid-summer ‘goating’ through a new lens

First tests of Nikon P1000 On July 18th, 2021 Steve Merli, Cathy Pohl and I climbed Shaa Tlaax, moldy top…

2021 | Richard Carstensen | 7 minute slideshow

Goatfilming with ‘interplanetary’ zoom

Goatwatcher’s quest for the perfect camera JuneauNature is not a product-review website, but I’ll make an exception, of sorts, for…

Northbound through Taashuyee (Mendenhall Wetlands)

Migrant stopover on Woosh eelʼóox̱ʼu héen, river that’s murky together (Mword River) On April 22nd, 2021, Cathy and I walked…

2021 | Richard Carstensen | 80-second slideshow

Dzisk’w liu kaadi: little owl snowslide

Avalanches in Goatlandia Yesterday (20210304), avalanches were triggered above the Thane Road runout on Snowslide Creek. Several folks posted impressive…

2021 | Richard Carstensen | 80-second slideshow

Goats on Eyecliff

Cliff-base foraging February 7th  When fresh, chest-high snow lies deep on Nettleslide, Jánwu mostly forages under conifer forest, unobservable. But…

2021 | Richard Carstensen | 1-minute video

Heron roost

Yardbirds Over the 44 years I’ve lived in Southeast Alaska, behavior of two once-wary species has changed remarkably—probably due to…

2021 | Richard Carstensen | 60 second video

New years Jánwu party at Centergrove

More the merrier Our coastal goats—since October anyway—have been hanging out in pretty small, compatible groups, dispersed all over Goatlandia…

2021 | Richard Carstensen | 4 minute slideshow

Mountain goat rut

More general description of the mountain goat can be found on the category page: nature>critters>mammals>hooved>mountain-goat Few people have observed the…

2020 | Richard Carstensen | 30-second video

Spring trumpeters

Northbound swans, Áak’w Táak, inland from little lake (M-word Valley) April 4th, 2020. For the past week or more, birders…

2020 | Richard Carstensen | 3-minute video

Windy moonrise

Experiments filming moonrise on a cold, windy February day in Juneau, Alaska. Includes segment with great blue heron, trying to…

2017 | Richard Carstensen | 2 minutes

White-fronted geese

Coming home from Hoonah in late April, 2015, Cathy and I swung out to the Industrial Boulevard wetland access to…

2015 | Richard Carstensen & Catherine Pohl | 10 seconds

Steep Creek Critters

Filmed all these clips in less than 2 hours at Mendenhall Visitor Center today. Never would have guessed what a…

2017 | Richard Carstensen | 3 minutes

Wild food

Wildlife photography on northern Tàan, sea lion (Prince of Wales Island). I was hosted by Don and Andrea Hernandez at …

2017 | Richard Carstensen | 2 minutes

Evening grosbeaks

Bob Armstrong’s Guide to the birds of Alaska, 6th edition, lists evening grosbeak as ‘casual’ in SE, SC and Central…

2018 | Richard Carstensen | 1 page