Follow Binoculars Blog:

Monthly Archives: August 2007

31 Aug

Next to helping customers choose a binocular, directly, the thing I most like about my job is helping cutomers choose a binocular, indirectly, through one of my articles. I enjoy customers, I enjoy binoculars and I enjoy writing, so I’m a very lucky person to be working here at OpticsPlanet.

The first article a beginner should read in order to understand the basics on binocular construction and features is How to Understand Binoculars. From there, a beginner can go to articles for specific applications. These include: Astronomical Binoculars, Birding Binoculars, How to choose a hunting binocular, High Power Observation For …

Continue reading

30 Aug

I’ve noticed that binoculars have been going on a diet like the rest of us these past years. Not too long ago, a full size binocular with a 42mm objective, typically weighed between thirty and thirty-five ounces. Thanks to modern materials and new designs, it is rare these days to find a full-size binocular that weighs that much. Most 10×42 binoculars now tip the scales between twenty-five and thirty ounces and a few full size models, such as the ever popular Nikon Monarch 8×42 actually have managed to squeeze down to less than twenty-two ounces. Wow! No need to carry …

Continue reading

29 Aug

Due to some recent financial setbacks, I’ve been forced to sell of most of my binoculars. Life is like that, sometimes, but material things come and go. This is only a temporary situation.

As the optics shelf emptied, though, I began to wonder which of my binoculars I would NOT allow to go to the auction block, as I was determined to keep one binocular. Life may be hard, but no way would I ever be without at least one binocular. In the end, which binocular would I keep? Would it be one of my birding binoculars? Would it be …

Continue reading

28 Aug

As a fan of binoculars with that little red ball logo on them (Leica, of course), I was quite intrigued by Leica’s announcement of a new version of the Leica Ultravid, known as the Leica Ultravid HD binocular (HD for high definition), featuring fluorite-ion glass , which Leica says will further improve light transmission and improve color rendition. Knowing, personally, that the current Leica Ultravid binoculars are no slouch, optically, could the optics on the new Leica Ultravid HD really be better?

A soon as Joanie gets her hot little hands on the new Ultravid HD, available later this fall, …

Continue reading

27 Aug

It’s been a long standing tradition to offer premium grade compact binoculars in either an 8×20 or 10×25. I’ve owned and used every Leica compact binocular, including the Ultravid and Trinovis, every Swarovski compact binocular, every Nikon Premier LX compact binocular and several Zeiss compact binoculars. All were great compact binoculars and I highly recommend any of them. However, I wish one of these fine manufacturers would break the mold and offer an 8x compact binocular with just a bit larger lens, say an 8×25 or even an 8×28. I think the slightly larger objective would not seriously compromise portability, …

Continue reading

24 Aug

Ever wonder why some binoculars just feel so good in your hands? I know, I know, this is venturing into the murky world of personal preference and subjective evaluation. That’s a place an expert is supposed to enter with some trepidation. Still, there is just something about a Swarovski or Leica compact binocular that makes me drool when I put one in my hands. It’s that elusive “feel” of quality that makes me break out in a sweat and grab my checkbook to see what I can make happen. Most of the time, I have the discipline to hold the …

Continue reading

23 Aug

Binocular weight is an issue on several fronts, but weight is most often an issue of comfort when wearing a binocular around your neck. How much weight does it take to make the weight of a binocular uncomfortable when using a conventional binocular strap?

That, of course, depends on the person and how long the binocular will be hanging on your neck. I’m an average, though tall, gal, but I find anything more than thirty ounces to be very uncomfortable after about one hour. Of course, some of my guy friends have no problem with even heavier binoculars, though I …

Continue reading

22 Aug

As I get older, I seem less and less able to get along with 10x binoculars. I know, I know, today’s fifties is like yesterday’s forties or something, but it doesn’t change the fact that I just can’t steady a 10x binocular the way I could when I was younger. To be sure, as I approach my senior years, there are more important issues, but it does spook me a little to know that I have lost something. Don’t get me wrong – I am not about to go with an image stabilized binocular. The situation is not that critical. …

Continue reading

21 Aug

The idea of attaching a “doubler” to a binocular, as seen in the Swarovski doubler or Bushnell Universal 2.5x to increase its magnification is not new. Amateur astronomers, myself included, have held monoculars and magnifiers to one of the eyepieces of a tripod mounted astronomy binocular for many years. I commonly use a Zeiss 3x or even a Nikon 5x15HG behind my 10×70 binocular when mounted on a tripod to increase magnification when I want to split a double star or to check an ID on a small object. A tripod is essential, of course, and I also recommend a …

Continue reading

20 Aug

It rained heavily this weekend, but I did manage to get some nice miles (35 beautiful ones) on the bike trail, early Saturday morning, before all the rain started. The rest (55 miles) of my weekend biking was on the bike trainer, which I have setup in my living room.

No doubt about it, biking indoors is a poor substitute for the real thing. What I miss most is hearing and seeing the birds out on the trail and the surprise and pleasure that comes with being able to pull off the trail, now and then, binocular in hand, when …

Continue reading