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Monthly Archives: August 2009

27 Aug

After promising so many folks that I would review the new Bushnell Legend Ultra HD binocular, I finally got one to put through its paces and, even better, managed to find the old standard Bushnell Legend 10×42 for a direct comparison. The standard Bushnell Legend binocular tested was a black Bushnell 10×42 Legend 130142. The Legend Ultra HD binocular tested was also a Bushnell 10×42 Legend Ultra HD 191043, but in camo.

Bushnell does a good job with both Legend binoculars and, in true Bushnell fashion, you get a lot of binocular for the dollar with each. In fact, the …

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26 Aug

It’s a no-brainer if you are canoeing or kayaking to use a waterproof binocular, but another issue is just how expensive waterproof binocular do you want to take with you in the canoe or kayak? It’s one thing to drop a binocular in the grass, but it’s quite another to drop a binocular overboard in a lake or river and kiss it good-bye, especially if that binocular cost big bucks. Then, too, we all know that canoes and kayaks do tip over. It’s all part of the … fun? Okay, you just can’t bring yourself to leave that premium compact …

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25 Aug

At first glance, a 10x binocular, instead of a 7x or 8x binocular would seem to be the best choice for a hiking or hunting binocular in the mountains. After all, distances can be enourmous in the mountains with great valleys, ridges, canyons and so on greeting us as we hike. Is a 10x binocular, though, really an automatic choice for mountain work? Put yourself in my place. I have backpacked and camped above 10,000 feet more than once. I am in good shape, but I am a flatlander (not by choice). The air is thin at high elevations and, …

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24 Aug

Most folks who use a binocular, never use a binocular under really severe conditions of climate or dust and dirt, but I certainly have. For example, I guarantee that eastern Wyoming dust and grit will make you cry, not just from the junk in your eyes, but from all the dust and grit that has worked itself into every opening and pore on your ultra expensive birding binocular. It can actually be worse when you are traveling on the back roads than when carrying the binocular in the field. Even with the windows rolled up, I remember days when the …

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19 Aug

Are you looking for a premium compact binocular, but not quite ready to spend what it takes to get the likes of a Swarovski Pocket binocular or a Leica Ultravid compact binocular? You won’t do better than these, of course, but there is an affordable option in the Bushnell Elite 7×26. This Elite has a long history. It began life as the Bausch&Lomb Custom Compact, then changed its name to the Bushnell Custom Compact and finally became the Bushnell Elite Custom Compact. Throught all its name changes, this little 7×26 compact binocular has won the hearts of many users for …

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18 Aug

One of the things missing from my domestic life these last years, here in the Chicago area, has been putting out bird feeders. I love feeding birds for so many reasons. When it comes to learning birds, studying birds, photographing birds, helping birds and, most importantly, enjoying birds, it is hard to beat a bird feeder. The only reason I don’t have bird feeders is that my apartment complex does not allow me to put in bird feeders. I can understand this, as a poorly maintained bird feeder can create a mess. I guess you have to draw the line, …

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17 Aug

As tools for bird identification goes, using a bird’s size is a sometimes thing. Just noting that a lone bird is small, medium, large and then using it to identify a bird is almost worthless, since an individual bird’s apparent size can appear to change, greatly, under various conditions of lighting, distance, plumage and so on. I was burned more than once on using size on a lone bird as a birding identification tool in my early years. Okay, so when is size a useful birding tool? A bird’s size is actually an excellent way to identify a bird when …

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12 Aug

With everyone traveling and vactioning this time of year, I am always surprised that I don’t see more people with a binocular around their neck. To be sure, I do see a lot of toursits and travelrs with cameras in tow, but not to many wearing a binocular. When I travel, I always have a compact binocular closeby and ready to use, even if I don’t actually wear a binocular around my neck. In other words, think of a compact binocular as a travel binocular. I use a binocular when traveling for close up views of the sights, especially on …

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11 Aug

Always good to see another very affordable compact binocular, but still a solid compact binocular in terms of optics and construction, in the Leupold Rogue 8×25. The reverse porro prism (Leupold calls it an inverted porro prism) binocular has always been the mainstay compact binocular design when you want an affordable compact binocular, but you do not want to sacrifice optics. The Leupold Rogue binocular gets Leupold right into that very popular $100+ compact binocular market against the excellent Nikon Prostaff and Pentax UCF WP. Like these other two popular compact binoculars, the Leupold Rogue offers enough eye relief for …

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10 Aug

I was pedaling home, late the other night, just about dark and added a bird to my ’09 birding list that I have not seen in some time. I have heard the Eastern Screech Owl in the area, but, as usual, you hear owls like the Screech more often than you actually see one. Can’t say I have actually had a Screech Owl in the birding binocular, since I left Nebraska, so it was a very welcome sight. I was in a commercial area with a lot of retention ponds and railroad right of way, so basically good habitat for …

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