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Monthly Archives: July 2008

31 Jul

Approaching new moon, so time to dust off the astronomy binoculars. Summer is my favorite time of year for globular clusters in the binocular with not only M13 and M92 in Hercules, but also a half dozen more in the constellation Ophiuchus and a couple of keepers in Sagittarius – under dark skies, that is. Even under my wretchedly light polluted skies, though, I can usually see M10 and M12 as faint fuzzies. Okay, not exactly breathtaking to behold, but for me, the fun and the challenge of observing in the city is in finding objects. I’ll ooh and aahh …

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30 Jul

Spotted a young male Ruby-throated Hummingbird on one of my favorite bike trails, last night. The trail is a wonderful single-track that leads through a meadow with a brush choked stream in the middle. My Swarovski Crystal Pocket binocular allowed me to see the beginnings of a ruby throat on this Hummingbird, so I was able to identify this bird as a young male. Great news, as this means I have a nest in the area and can return again and again to add a Hummer to my birding lists. For added color, also saw a male Yellow Warbler, a …

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29 Jul

The birds have been telling me it is late summer. Seeing lots of swallow families, fully fledged and flying about, getting those reserves up for fall migration. Purple Martins (species of swallow), for instance, are always a treat in a binocular. Want a charge of energy? Just watch Purple Martins for a few minutes. We have a nice house at a suburban lake, maintianed by one of our area’s best birders, so the colony is always healthy and abundant. I make it a point to sit and watch them with my compact binoculars while riding the bike trail in late …

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28 Jul

Had a customer ask why a standard size binocular needs a tripod adapter to mount it on a tripod. Why not just place the threaded portion directly underneath the binocular? Answer is, there really is no place to put a thread piece that would also allow you to conveniently use the binocular without a tripod. A threaded tripod adapter pointing straight down would simply take up too much room and interfere with normal use of the binocular. That’s why the threads are located under the cap at the front of the center hinge. In fact, many binocular owners don’t even …

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24 Jul

For those of you who have been waiting for the new Nikon EDG binocular, just got a couple in, ready to ship. Better hurry, though, we only received one of the Nikon EDG 7×42 and one of the Nikon EDG 8×42. According to Nikon, we may not be seeing anymore for some time. Now as soon as I see an 8×32 Nikon EDG, I will pounce on it, myself. Yes, I see another Nikon binocular in my future.…

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23 Jul

Joanie’s binocular tip of the day. Did you know that most people have one eye that is stronger than the other? It’s actually uncommon to have two eyes that are exactly equal. That’s way all binoculars, with the exception of inexpensive “no focus” models, have a diopter (strength) adjustment. When making the initial diopter adjustment for your eyes, don’t make the mistake of closing one eye and then the other. You’ll get the most comfortable setting, with the least amount of eye fatigue, if you keep both eyes open when you make a diopter adjustment on a binocular. After all, …

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22 Jul

If you need a way to torture a binocular addict like me, here’s a good one. Ask me to choose between a Swarovski EL 8×32 or the new Nikon 8x32EDG. I’ve always loved the Swarovski EL form the very first time I had one in my hand at a birding festival. It was new, it was revolutionary and so perfectly balanced. The EL was so hard to put down, folks in line got angry from waiting. Haven’t had a chance to hold the 8×32 EDG, but I have tested the Nikon 7×42 EDG prototype and, well, wow! The way to …

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21 Jul

Mid summer and warm muggy days are upon us. Unlike most folks, I really enjoy this weather. Just something about these lazy days that makes me want to sit by a lake or pond with binocular in hand and watch, not only birds, but insects, butterflies, bullfrogs, turtles and anything else moving about. I even use binoculars to observe distant wildflowers, grasses and aquatic plants and all form the comfort of a folding camp chair I strap to the back of my bicycle rack. Best of all, I often have the pond to myself, since most folks have retreated to …

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17 Jul

Starting to get customers shopping for hunting binoculars. Guess it’s about that time. Where has the summer gone? Many of my hunters automatically choose a 10x binocular, but I’d like to remind them that an 8x binocular will do everything a 10x will do and, if carrying a lot of gear and using a binocular with one hand, an 8x is much easier to steady and it also provides a wider field of view. Hate to say it, but the steadiness thing becomes more important as we age. Sure has for me, anyway. Getting harder all the time for me …

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16 Jul

One of the things I’ve always admired about Steiner binoculars is their durability. Steiner is one of the leaders in supplying military binoculars around the world and they know how to make a tough binocular. Even the Steiner birding binoculars have an extra heavy armor coating and, yet, they are still reasonable in weight. Don’t let the word birding fool you, either. Steiner roof prism binoculars also make great hunting binoculars and have received a number of awards from outdoor magazines.…

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