Thursday, September 5, 2013

Tele Vue 76 invades Rattray Marsh

Rattray Marsh is for lack of a better term, a "gem" in an urban environment. If you visit there and block out that usual drone of the city surrounding it, you'd think you would have entered a wilderness zone. Alas, that is not the case, but Rattray Marsh is nicely tucked away between a subdivision on one side and a municipal park, Jack Darling Memorial on the other. I had spent the morning photographing the sunrise at Jack Darling and then moved over to Rattray later in the morning as the sun came up. Once again, I used the Bexhill Road entrance which has easier access to the marsh's observing area although this time, I entered from the lake shore instead of setting up on the boardwalk. That involved a little walk on the beach (and yes I was still looking for fossils at times!). Rattray at times can be inundated with A LOT of people on weekends. If you can slip away during the weekday, DO IT. It's much quieter. You will feel like you have it all to yourself.

The set up.

I brought in the Tele Vue 76 for it's portability although it is still a chunk to carry around. It fits nicely in a spotting scope back pack with the camera body, a couple of Tele Vue eyepieces and other items that have to be carried out just because...I also employed an Orion Field Flattener to sharpen the edges. This is not typically required for this kind of photography but then again for whatever reason, it helps me focus. So I guess I contradicted myself...I suppose it's required...for me anyway.

I don't particularly like to make much noise when I do this because it disturbs the birds but my arrival did not seem to flush them out. The '76 went up quickly and I got all the camera gear up and running without a hitch...and basically stood there. Suffice to say, limiting my movements and keeping quiet went a long way. I was visited by a Great Blue Heron, a Green Heron, Northern Harrier (most likely looking for an easy meal no doubt), Killdeer, and a mocking Belted Kingfisher among others, that proved to be harder to photograph. I felt it was laughing at me. I also had our usual friends, the Canada Goose, Mallard Duck and of course a couple of dog walkers breaking the quiet.

I have yet to do a proper or thorough impression or thoughts on the Tele Vue 76 mainly because it's results will speak for itself. As an awesome grab-and-go astronomical telescope, I have pressed it in to service as a birding/terrestrial (and air shows!) telephoto lens, an effective alternative to the Canon L Lens series. But does it deliver? Let the results speak for themselves. It should be noticed that I am using an older Canon 30D to take these pics. Todays DSLR are vastly improved over what I have in terms of noise reduction so take it with a grain of salt. If anything, I have always found focusing the '76 to be the hardest part of this process, but that should not surprise anyone given that it is an astronomical telescope first and foremost. I don't struggle much with the field of view at 480mm plus the crop factor bringing the focal length up to 768mm but one must keep in mind to keep your shutter speeds up. Higher ISO's might be required, but it also doesn't hurt to have a nice, bright morning which I did. And it did help that these birds weren't moving around much. I have to say the '76 subs as a great birding/terrestrial instrument.

Here are some of the results.

No comments:

Post a Comment