Binoculars: a photographer’s tool
To save some wear and tear on my camera, I purchased my first pair of good binoculars for my routine bird listing. That way, my Nikon D500 camera could stay safely at home on rainy or drizzly days. I was merely intending to use the binoculars on occasional birding outings, but I soon found they are a wonderful tool for wildlife and bird photography.
The first time I put these new optics up to me eyes I was blown away. Compared to peering through the 600 mm camera lens, the field of view was incredible. I could actually move my eyes around in the frame! And since I was looking with two eyes rather than squinting through just one, everything looked so clear, 3D and less flat. Even backlit birds had more detail than through the camera lens.
I was quickly addicted and brought the binoculars on a recent trip to the Okefenokee Swamp. My camera sat in my lap and the binoculars at my side (clipped to the seat with a carabiner just in case). At times it was a pain to swap back and forth between my camera and the binoculars, but the clarity and the field of view with the Zeiss optics was unbeatable!
It was much easier to locate the birds and wildlife with the binoculars. I quickly developed a system of scanning for wildlife with the binoculars, then quickly switching and firing away with the Nikon D500. I feel I was able to locate and shoot a wider variety of wildlife using the binoculars as a locating tool for photography.
Once the photo I desired was captured, I’d switch back to the binoculars to observe the wildlife a bit more closely. I truly enjoyed watching the quirky behavior of the Northern Parulas as they flitted through cypress tress.
The binoculars are a wonderful and useful tool. But I quickly found one problem. When I spotted a pair of gorgeous Wood Ducks (and didn’t have my camera), I quickly realized there was no shutter release button on the binoculars to take a photograph! I guess you have to “rob Peter to pay Paul”, or something like that. So now, instead of carrying one or the other as I had intended, I find myself lugging around both a DSLR with a huge telephoto lens and a pair of binoculars!
Photo credits: William Wise.
Nature and Wildlife Photography