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Monthly Archives: February 2008

28 Feb

Okay, I know it may be the woman in me that wants a Swarovski Crystal compact binocular, but why not? A Swarovski Crystal pocket binocular is still a fantastic compact binocular under all that beautiful Swarovski crystal and Swarovski Crystal is a girl’s best friend (or close). Who says a gal can’t make a fashion statement and go birding at the same time? Lookout runway, here comes Joanie modeling the latest.…

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27 Feb

I like one-handed binoculars. This is not an official or standard way to describe birding bincoulars or hunting binoculars, so don’t waste time searching for that product description. For those of us burdened with a lot of other gear out in the field, such as a tripod/spotting scope or a rifle, a one hand binocular is a real life saver. To qualify as a one-handed binocular, you must have a binocular that is small enough and light enough to steady with one hand, but, most importantly, it must also be a binocular that can focus smoothly with only one finger. …

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26 Feb

Spring for an amateur astronomer, even a binocular astronomer, is galaxy hunting time. With Leo and Virgo up in the sky, how could you not seek out galaxies? In years past, observing from a dark sky location, this was a given. Now that I am trapped in the big city, old familiar targets like M65 and M66 are well beyond the reach of even my excellent Nikon 10×70 Astroluxe binocular. That’s the bad news. The good news is that I can put these same astronomy binoculars in a pack and ride my bike to a darker location. Okay, that may …

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25 Feb

Most of my bike trails remain buried under snow and more snow is on the way. Even the local lakes remain frozen. With all this winter stubbornly maintaining its grip, I haven’t been able to get the binoculars out for much birding. In a normal year, my binoculars would be seeing a lot of action on migrating waterfowl, by now. That’s the bird group that usually starts off my spring birding season. The good news, of course, is that all this snow will make for some great water conditions, later on, when it melts. My favorite marshes should be up …

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21 Feb

My prayer for a clear sky last night was answered. The lunar eclipse was all I could have wanted. Through my tripod mounted Nikon 10×70 binocular, the moon at totality appeared to be a big peach colored beach ball and it was exquisitely sharp in the Nikon, though I am sure that any binocular would have enhanced the already impressive view. The color during this eclipse wasn’t as red as some I have seen, but it was quite lovely against a backdrop of my snow covered yard and patio. I had no complaints. This was one I will remember.…

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20 Feb

Now and then I meet someone who does not own a binocular. Always amazes me there are such people. Okay, it’s not like that makes them less a person, but with all the uses for a binocular, I find it hard to understand how someone can manage to go through life without owning a single binocular. To be sure, this may be more a prejudice on my part, rather than any deficiency on theirs, but still, I wonder. Guess it is my duty to get a binocular in every home. Probably why they hired me here at OpticsPlanet.…

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19 Feb

Like everyone else, I am getting ready for the total lunar eclipse, tomorrow night, and, wonder of wonders, the forecast is for clear skies in my area. Okay, what do I use for observing lunar eclipses? Well, a binocular, of course. An astronomy binocular is best, but any binocular will do. Use what you have. A good binocular not only brings the eclipse up close and personal, a good binocular will also enhance the color of the moon during an eclipse. The color is a result of light “leaking” into the shadow the earth casts on the moon as light …

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18 Feb

Yesterday, we got heavy rain instead of heavy snow, though it’s still going to be cold this week. To a bicycle nut and full-time bicycle commuter like me, this is progress. Soon, I will be riding my cyclocross bike through the woods to do some birding with the Zeiss Victory 8×20 compact binocular, though I may opt, now and then, for a slightly larger 8×32, such as the Nikon 8×32 SE. The key, in all bicycle adventures, is to keep weight to a minimum. How does a bike nut do astronomy, then? With a 7×50 astronomy binocular and star map …

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14 Feb

They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Now I understand why I am once again, alone, on Valentine’s day – I am not much for cooking. I wonder if we could tweak that saying to “the way to man’s heart is through a binocular?” If so, I stand a chance of finding a sweetheart by next Valentine’s Day. I do know binoculars and have some very nice ones. Anyone want to take a look?…

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13 Feb

Had a customer the other day that balked when I suggested an 8×42 as a dual purpose, birding and astronomy binocular. Like many people, she believed that an astronomy binocular was a specialized binocular, designed expressly for astronomy. I explained that some binoculars are, of course, designed with astronomy in mind, but the distinction between a conventional binocular and an astronomy binocular is largely arbitrary. In other words, there is no one feature that makes an astronomy binocular an astronomy binocular. In general we want something with good image brightness and most astronomers therefore opt for a binocular with a …

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