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Monthly Archives: November 2008

26 Nov

Pedaling to work the other morning and just happened to turn onto a side street about the same time as a Sharp-shinned Hawk landed in a tree right above me. Had to stop for a look in the binocular. Wow! Most people would have passed it off as a Mourning Dove or even a Robin, but no way can any hawk get by me without setting off my hawk radar. This Sharpie was a mature bird and a beauty. Times like this when a compact binocular is gold and that’s exactly why I always carry a compact binocular like my …

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25 Nov

I sometimes worry that with all my blogging and posting about high end, expensive binoculars, that I am scaring some beginners who are on a budget. A great example is my beloved Nikon 10×70 Astroluxe binocular. Rest assured, that you can do binocular astronomy and do it quite well at one-tenth this price. I know, because I started and learned the basics of binocular astronomy with a cheap binocular and I also test binoculars at all price ranges as part of my job. So you want to do some astronomy and don’t have a budget of $1000 or even $500? …

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24 Nov

I remember the first time I looked at a Swarovski EL binocular. It was the late 90s and I was at a local birding festival, working as a tour guide for a nearby sanctuary. As usual, Swarovski had a table and something was drawing quite a crowd. Having just returned from a tour, I had no idea what magic Swarovski was performing. When I reached the table, I saw a binocular with an unusual body design with two tubes joined only at the ends. I gave a questioning look and Clay from Swarovski just smiled and handed me the binocular. …

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21 Nov

I’ve started to compile a list of “overdue” or “not seen in a long time” objects for my astronomy binocular. These are objects that are simply not visible in my astronomy binocular from my badly light polluted suburban Chicago location. It’s a statement of sorts on my choice of where I have been living for the past seven or eight years. So, one of my resolutions for the new year (why not start a bit early?) is to find a way to get to a dark sky to see some of my long lost objects for my binocular. The list, …

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20 Nov

A customer asked me the other day if image-stabilized binoculars really work. I was happy to answer, “Absolutely”. Image stabilized binoculars do a great job of curing the shakes when holding a binocular. In fact, most people are amazed at how well an image-stabilized binocular works the first time they use one. Using image stabilization is fun and easy. Just press a button and say good-bye to the shakes. Best of all, no tripod needed, even at higher magnifications. The secret of image stabilization in a binocular is not a gyroscope, as some believe, but instead a much more sophisticated …

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19 Nov

Okay, trivia time. What has been the world’s best selling $300 binocular for many, many years? Answer, the Nikon Monarch 8×42 binocular. At this price point, the Monarch ATB (all-terrain binocular) has always been the binocular used for comparison by the competition. Why? Quality and performance are amazingly consistent, year after year. I have pulled a Nikon Monarch 8×42 out of stock, at random, every year for the last four years and always get the same great score. Really no way to make a mistake if you are looking for a $300 binocular by choosing the Nikon Monarch.…

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18 Nov

Looking forward to the Thanksgiving weekend, not only for the traditonal visit with family and friends, but also for some astronomy. The moon will be new on Thanksgiving, so I’m thankful for that and I will be even more thankful if the sky is clear! Not complaining, mind you. This has been a relatively good fall for me and the astronomy binocular with some clear skies for nearly all of the dark phases of the moon. In fact, my last session was the best ever in terms of sky conditions. Hope the streak continues, because I would like to field…

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18 Nov

Looking forward to the Thanksgiving weekend, not only for the traditonal visit with family and friends, but also for some astronomy. The moon will be new on Thanksgiving, so I’m thankful for that and I will be even more thankful if the sky is clear! Not complaining, mind you. This has been a relatively good fall for me and the astronomy binocular with some clear skies for nearly all of the dark phases of the moon. In fact, my last session was the best ever in terms of sky conditions. Hope the streak continues, because I would like to field …

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17 Nov

The photographer in me sometimes carries over to my binocular astronomy. On some nights, I am less concerned with the technical side of binocular performance and a bit more aware of the aesthetic side. When observing the gorgeous Pleiades, for instance, I want a binocular that frames this open cluster just enough to be pleasing to my eye. I prefer 10-12x, though some of my friends prefer 20x in a conventional 20×80, such as the Celestron Skymaster. I want the subject to look just right for my tastes. Once a photographer, always a photographer, I guess. Maybe that’s why binocular …

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13 Nov

Seems like it has been a long time coming, but we are finally adding Fujinon binoculars to our website. I have long experience with Fujinon astronomy binoculars, since we used a Fujinon 10×70 binocular at a club observatory many years ago. I was impressed, then, and am confident I will be impressed, again, just as soon as I see a Fujinon 16×70 FS-X come through our system. I already own a superb 10×70 in the Nikon Astroluxe, so this one may find a permanent home with me. To be continued ……

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