Follow Optics Blog:

Monthly Archives: September 2010

30 Sep

Fall is spectacular in the north country and a great time to be out in the woods. If you are lucky enough to make a trip, up north, this time of year, don’t leave the digital cameras or the binoculars behind.

The need to carry digital cameras or even film cameras (I carry both) in the north woods in the fall is obvious. This is prime color country, with the red, yellows and golds of maple, poplar and birch punctuated by the dark green of conifers and the brilliant white of birch trunks. Some folks prefer all hardwoods forests for…

Continue reading

29 Sep

I’ve been trying to do some digiscoping, lately, for Red-breasted Nuthatches, but, so far, the little guys just won’t cooperate. This little bird is almost as fidgety as the Chickadee, which I rate as one of the world’s worst photographic subjects. Neither species can seem to sit still for even a few seconds and that is a real headache for a photographer. What’s a gal to do?

Keep trying, of course. Bird photography of any kind is no place for the impatient or a drive up window mentality. I spend a lot of time behind the spotting scope and tripod, …

Continue reading

28 Sep

We are going up a bit farther north, this week, to photograph and enjoy some of the waterfalls along the shore of Lake Superior in northern Wisconsin and Michigan. Fall colors are about prime, this week and the waterfalls should be going great guns with the wet summer we have enjoyed.

We will be using both film cameras and digital cameras or, maybe I should say, my friends and my Bill will be using digital cameras and I will be the one with the film cameras, though I plan to sneak a digital shot or two, as well. My goal …

Continue reading

27 Sep

Lost a filling in a tooth, so back to Milwaukee to see our dentist, who is covered on our insurance. Hate to leave our home in the north country, now, for even a day, but no way can anyone afford a dentist without insurance, these days. During the drive, though, we were treated to some fall colors along the highway and I even took a couple of pics with one of our digital cameras when we stopped for gas and lunch. That’s the beauty of small digital point and shoot cameras – always with you and they do just fine …

Continue reading

24 Sep

What do you do when a 420mm lens on a digital camera doesn’t get you close enough to take a pic of a bird? Nope, can’t go closer or you’ll scare the bird. Okay, add a doubler and get 800 mm plus of telephoto lens? Nope, still not close enough, nowhere near. (Drum roll.) Digiscoping to the rescue.

The Pileated Woodpecker I shot in the pic, yesterday, was only about thirty-five yards, away. Now, newbies to bird photography might think that you should easily be able to fill a frame with a 420 mm telephoto lens and, for sure, an …

Continue reading

23 Sep

There are two types of people who retire. There are those that retire and slow down and there are those that retire and get even busier. Bill and I are the later type. For sure, I can’t remember being this busy since I had young ones around the house.

Much of our current activity is centered around our remodeling projects in our new home, but even when I have taken time off to pursue all my many interests, I am busier than ever. Again, our new home figures prominently in all this, since our north country setting greatly increases opportunities…

Continue reading

22 Sep

One thing I’ve never owned is a Leica monocular, simply because Leica hasn’t made monoculars in my lifetime, until recently, that is. Leica has now announced a monocular in their Leica 8×20 Monovid. No, haven’t had a chance to test one, as Leica has been a little slow to deliver this new item, which is typical Leica, of course. The price is also typical Leica. On the other hand, I’ve never been disappointed by any Leica product and that is also typical Leica. I’ve used and owned and loved Leica binoculars for thirty years and I confident I’ll feel the…

Continue reading

21 Sep

You can’t turn a compact binocular into a giant binocular, you can’t turn small telescopes into big telescopes and you can’t turn small point and shoot digital cameras into DSLRs. Big performance means big lenses and all the wishful thinking in the world won’t change that. You pay a price for going small that is dictated by some basic laws of optics.

Small digital cameras are a good example. I often get asked by parents for a small camera that they can take to their son’s or daughter’s ball game to get some action shots. I tell them to save…

Continue reading

20 Sep

Decisions, for feeling folks like me who operate almost exclusively in the affective domain, are sometimes a matter of stress and anguish, but not always. Sometimes, I like to savor decisions when I’m in a win-win situation. What’s the hurry when you can’t lose, either way? Might as well take my time and have fun.

A good example is my astronomy. Lately, given the incredibly dark skies we get in our new north country home, I have been thinking of buying a telescope to add to what I already own and this next telescope will be a big one, since…

Continue reading

17 Sep

As of yesterday, I knew, firsthand, that there were Bluegill and Yellow Crappie in our north country Wisconsin lake. I had caught a few off the dock with my fly rod and, as far as size, they were respectable, certainly worth casting a fly. I had also heard from some of the locals that there are some good Largemouth Bass in the lake, though I had yet to catch any off the dock.

That changed yesterday afternoon. Just before supper, after Bill and I did some remodeling on the house, I decided to take a few casts with the fly …

Continue reading