Follow Binoculars Blog:

Monthly Archives: July 2007

31 Jul

Is a 28mm objective binocular a compact binocular or a mid-sized binocular? Guess that depends on your definition, but I find 28mm roof prism binos to be a great compromise between a true compact and a larger 32mm bino. Just that little jump up to a 32mm seems to make a lot of difference in handling. In fact, one of my all time favorite handling binoculars has been the Pentax DCF MP 8×28.

That’s whay I was pleased to see Vortex add a good 28mm roof prism with their new Vortex Fury binocular. Haven’t had a chance to get my …

Continue reading

30 Jul

Met a nice guy on the bike trail, this weekend, and we chatted a bit about biking. Seems he was a member of a local bicycle club and he was nice enough to invite me to join.

I’ve thought about this in the past and, as much as I would love the company while riding, I also know from experience that I would drive a group nuts with all my stops to take pics of wildflowers with my Pentax Optio A10 camera and, even worse, my sudden emergency stops to look at birds with my compact binoculars. I may forget …

Continue reading

27 Jul

Is there such a thing as too much eye relief if you wear glasses when you use a binocular? This is a question that I do get, though not too often. In case you are wondering, the answer is , yes, there is certainly such a thing as too much eye relief in a binocular. As with so many things, too much of a good thing is not always so good. Too much eye relief in a binocular, specifically, causes “blinking” or “blackouts” at the edge of the field, which can be annoying and distracting.

My Nikon 8×32 Superior E, …

Continue reading

26 Jul

Had a customer ask me the other day what “leatherette” meant in reference to a binocular. This is not surprising, given the fact that the preponderance of today’s binoculars are covered with rubber “armor” rather than leatherette. When I explained what leatherette was, he wondered why anyone would want such a covering on their binocular.

Okay, good question. About the only technical advantage leatherette has over rubber armoring is its lighter weight. That is one of the reasons, I suppose, that Leica offers their Ultravid in both leatherette and rubber armored. Indeed, the Leica Ultravid 8×42 BL (L for leatherette) …

Continue reading

25 Jul

When folks ask for a recommendation on a binocular I have tested, I can give them the usual rundown on optics, including resolution, contrast, brightness, color correction, edge sharpness and distortion. I can also make comments about binocular focusing smoothness and speed and also make a few comments on handling, though this ventures into the realm of subjectivity. These things I can test, right out of the box on a binocular.

On the other hand, there are some binocular features that can’t be easily measured. I can’t give a customer much more than a guess as to a binocular’s durability …

Continue reading

24 Jul

Now and then I get a customer looking for a magnifier of at least 8x, but one that also has a large lens diameter and long working distance. That’s a tough order to fill, since both lens diameter and working distance in a magnifier shrink as magnification goes up.

Sometimes the answer is a stereo microscope, such as the LOMO SF-50, but that’s not going to work when a customer needs something to take in the field. Are there other possibilities? Yes, and one, surprisingly, is a binocular.

Pentax has a binocular called the Papilo 8.5×21 with an amazing close …

Continue reading

23 Jul

As a product specialist for both cameras and binoculars, I am frequently asked for my opinion of digital binoculars, both from a camera perspective and from a binocular perspective.

Honest answer is that a digital binocular is an inexpensive digital camera mounted on an inexpensive binocular. In terms of performance, then, you can get either a better binocular or a better camera for what you would spend on of these products. In other words, digital binoculars are about the convenience of having two instruments in one, not about performance. If you are concerned about pic quality, this kind of product …

Continue reading

19 Jul

Like many an urban bound astronomer, I make the most of what I can get from a light polluted sky. That means my observing has shifted away from deep-sky objects (really hurts) and more to planets and the moon.

I can remember a time when I selfishly cursed the moon for interfering with my quest to see the dim stuff, but I am a bit wiser, now. As an astronomer, I see the moon as less of a nuisance, now, and more of a gift. (I have always loved it for its beauty, though) In particular, as a binocular astronomer, …

Continue reading

18 Jul

In this “bigger is better” culture of ours, it is sometimes hard to convince a customer to think small, especially when it comes to binoculars. Yes, larger binoculars offer more performance than smaller binoculars, all else being equal, but never underestimate the importance of portability. This is especially true for activities like birding and photography, where opportunities pop up in the most unusual places and at the most surprising times. Oh, I could tell you stories, here. Thank heavens I just happened to have a small camera, small binocular or even a monocular at hand. Wouldn’t have happened without one …

Continue reading

17 Jul

Not too long, ago, we purchased the Apogee website along with several models of their remaining stock on binoculars. We did not, however, purchase the company. Unfortunately, this means we cannot supply Apogee accessories or offer service on Apogee products.

The good news is that you can now purchase Apogee giant binoculars at a better price than when Apogee was selling them – definitely one of the best deals going on giant binoculars. Try the Apogee 20×100, the Apogee 20x100NB (with nebulae filters) or the interchangeable eyepiece model, the Apogee RA-88SA.

By the way, these are BIG binoculars, so buy …

Continue reading