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Monthly Archives: June 2007

26 Jun

Is it just me or am I getting picky about focusing on a binocular? I can understand a rough focusing, gritty focuser on a cheap binocular, but I expect much more on a premium bino. I look for a bino that is not only fast to focus, but one that is smooth as butter and which leaves little doubt as to when it is in focus. I don’t have time to focus one way, then the other when focusing on a bird. I want it in focus, right now. Nor do I want a gritty feeling or high spot or …

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26 Jun

Getting ready to leave for a trip back east to the mountains of north central Pennsylvania for a family reunion and am struggling to decide which binocular to pack. As far as size of binocular, this one is a no-brainer – it will be one of my compact binoculars. Given the trade-off between binocular size and binocular performance, I have no problem with a good compact binocular (and all mine are good). What few birding opportunities I have lost due to the slightly reduced performance of a compact binocular, I have more than offset with the many, many birding opportunities …

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25 Jun

How good can a binocular be for $39.95? If we are talking about the Bushnell Hemisphere 8×32, I would say surprisingly good. I looked at one the other day as was pleasantly surprised to find that the optics were, in fact, usable. Would I recommend it a serious binocular for serious applications? Of course, not. Would I recommend it for a family on vacation or schools wanting to get some binoculars into the hands of students? Yes, I would. At this price, you could outfit the entire family or classroom and not have to worry if the kids drop the …

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22 Jun

If you are looking for a great buy on inexpensive binoculars, check our sale on the Bushnell Hemisphere 8×32 binocular. We just received a special shipment from Bushnell on this one.

Ordinarily, the 8×32 Hemisphere bino is fully multi-coated and is being sold for around $80 by our competition. The version of the Bushnell Hemisphere 8×32 binoculars we just bought from Bushnell is a special run that was only fully-coated (single layer coated), instead of fully multi-coated (multiple layer coated). Okay, special run means Bushnell fell asleep on this production run, but it also means you can now buy two …

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21 Jun

A customer asked me, some time ago, to check the color of the objective lenses on several binoculars, all of which were listed as having fully multi-coated lenses. When I asked why, he said that the color of the objective lenses was how you tested to see if a binocular was really multi-coated, compared to only standard (fully-coated). What kind of expert was I?

Okay, fact or myth?

First, I told him to follow up our conversation with my article on the basics of binoculars, How to Understand Binoculars, for a full explanation on binocular lens coatings. I then mentioned …

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20 Jun

“The larger the second number on a binocular (size of the objective), the brighter the image” is one of the most commonly quoted binocular concepts you will hear. I can’t even begin to count all the times I’ve heard sales people making the image brightness pitch to customers. The bigger the better mentality seems to work overtime on this one. Guess that explains why I sometimes need to get a customer to downsize their binocular choice at times. It also explains why I sometimes encounter folks out in the field struggling with the weight of giant binoculars around their neck. …

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18 Jun

Roof prism binoculars are better, optically, than the older porro prism design. Right? Must be true because roof prism binoculars typically cost more than porro prism binoculars and all the top dollar binoculars are roof prisms. Fact or myth?

For those who don’t know the difference between roof prism binoculars and porro prism binoculars, you can recognize a roof prism binocular by its straight barrel body design and porro prism binocular by its offset body design. For more on the design specifics, see my article at How to Understand Binoculars.

Roof prism binoculars offer a slender body design, which most …

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14 Jun

Let’s do an easy one, today.

Some people believe that rubber armoring makes a binocular waterproof or that a binocular needs to be rubber armored to be waterproof. Myth or fact?

Let’s look at a couple of binoculars.

First,the Leica Ultravid BL 8×20 binocular. The Leica BL series of binocular is a leatherette covered binocular, not a rubber armored binocular. “Leatherette” is the old fashioned, textured coating that used to be the standard covering on binoculars before rubber armoring became popular. A quick check of the specs shows that the Leica BL is, in fact, waterproof, just like the rubber …

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13 Jun

As a binocular expert, I do my best to educate. If you visit our website at, you will find a number of binocular articles that explain the basics. These include: Astronomical Binoculars, How to Understand Binoculars and Buy Binoculars, How to Choose a birding binocular, How to Choose a Hunting Binocular, and High Power Observation for Home and Office.

Since I am a big fan of the TV show, Myth Busters, I though it might be fun and useful to continue along this line by using my new blog to bust some popular binocular myths. Today, I’d like to …

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12 Jun


It’s me, Joanie. I will be taking over this blog and adding it my existing Optics blog. Just wanted to let you know in case you visit my Optics blog and don’t see as much talk on binoculars. Didn’t want you to think I’ve lost interest in binoculars (fat chance). Since one of the basic rules of optics is that you can’t shut Joanie up on the subject of binoculars, I may just blog on binoculars on both sites. This blog, though, will be centered on binoculars.

There will be some changes, here, and those changes will reflect the …

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