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Monthly Archives: January 2009

28 Jan

The new “buzz word” in binoculars, these days, is a label of HD or ED. These special optical glass objectives supposedly offer better color correction, hence better definition and contrast, though the claims are typically exaggerated by the binocular marketing folks. It’s the binocular trickle down effect at work, with more and more low and mid-priced binoculars boasting ED or HD in the product label. I’ve seen this effect at work in the binocular market over the years with other optical advances, such as full multi-coating, phase-correction coating (PC) on roof prisms, waterproofing and so on. All of these binocular …

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27 Jan

I grew up in a day when the vast majority of binoculars were covered in leather or “leatherette”. Tells you how old I am, I guess. Leatherette just spelled binocular to me, as it was something not found to any extent on other optical instruments. Armoring on binoculars were actually quite rare when I was young – armored binoculars with rubber coverings didn’t appear in any great numbers until the 70s and 80s. Today, of course, armored binoculars rule the binocular roost. If you want a leather covered binocular with that “old time” look and feel, your options are quite …

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26 Jan

Approaching the dark of the moon and that means astronomy for this gal, though I’ll need some help from the weather. My astronomy binocular sits ready, though, mounted on the tripod, anytime the sky should clear. That’s the beauty of binocular astronomy – just grab the binoculars and start observing. It’s something I really appreciate on these cold winter nights. Of course, I also appreciate the beauty of some of my favorite winter star clusters. Maybe it’s my imagination, but the icy cold air just makes winter star clusters all the more dazzling. Stop by and I’ll show you a …

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22 Jan

Some of our folks have returned form the Shotshow – the premier shooting industry trade show – with some good news from Nikon. In their efforts to devote all resources to the Nikon EDG binocular in 2008, Nikon unfortunately dropped their excellent Premier LX binocular at the same time to devote all their resources to the EDG binocular. That was unfortunate, as the Nikon Premier LX was a very good roof-prism binocular, indeed and has won many fans over the many years it was in production. For 2009, though, the Nikon Premier LX binocular is back! That will fill a …

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21 Jan

I hear about some strange uses for binoculars when dealing with so many customers, but who am I to talk? Have to say that I have also found many ways to use a binocular that go beyond typical use. When I flyfish out west, for instance, I often use binoculars to spot rising fish or to see if someone else is fishing a run far upstream. At the other end of the world, so to speak, I often use binoculars in large shopping complexes to spot stores and restuarants of interest. In other words, if you carry a binocular at …

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19 Jan

Technical data and specifications don’t tell the whole story when it comers to binoculars. For one thing, there is build quality and the only way to predict that, but only in a very general way, is price. If you want a binocular that can go the distance over years of hard use, there is no getting by with a cheap binocular. Even price is subject to subjective factors, such as preferences for handling, brand, overall appearance and so on. To be sure, I have owned some superb binoculars that did not earn the status of my favorite binocular and some …

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15 Jan

With temps well below zero, time to remind binocular users to take some simple precautions on these frigid days. Biggest problem in sub-zero weather with a binocular is frosting on the eyepieces caused by condensation of your breath on the eyepieces, which quickly freezes when you lower the binocular away from your face. Try to direct your breath away from the binocular when raised to your face. Keeping the binocular tucked inside your coat where things are nice and warm and then bringing it out into the cold can also cause problems with condensation. I usually just keep the binocular …

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14 Jan

With the unsettled weather in our area, we astronomers are not spending much time under the stars with binocular or telescope. This winter’s stormy weather has even kept from doing much with the birding binoculars. On the other hand, all the snow means cross-country skiing, so I will be experimenting to see how XC skiing works with birding. I know there is a sport that mixes cross-country skiing with shooting, so why not birding? Stay tuned.…

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12 Jan

Last week the moon was perfectly placed outside my bedroom window and, to add icing to the cake, it was not so bright as to produce much glare. Not bad considering it was nearly full. This meant only one thing – I had to grab my astronomy binocular and have some fun. The crater Tycho was unusually well defined and free of glare in the Nikon 10×70 and by steadying the binocular on a tripod, I began to explore other craters in the vicinity. Crater Schiller, due to its elongated shape jumped right out, even at only 10x in the …

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09 Jan

I’ve come to the point of near-obsession with compact binoculars, or, should I say, premium compact binoculars. I now own and use a Swarovski Pocket 8×20 Nabucco, a Nikon Premier LX 10×25, a Leica 10x25BL and after a lot of field testing a Zeiss Victory 8×20, I will be adding one more in the near future. I know, I know, I can only use one binocular at a time, but it’s just that I enjoy compact binoculars, especially high quality compact binoculars and use compact binoculars far more than large binoculars. Small binoculars are a perfect match for my bicycling …

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