Follow Binoculars Blog:

Monthly Archives: September 2009

30 Sep

Managed to add a female Cerulean Warbler to my 2009 birding list, just in time. The winds blew in Sunday night, to the tune of 50mph out of the northwest and I have a feeling that will be the beginning of the end for my fall warblers, this year. Not that I am complaining; I had a very good warbler year and that Cerulean was magnificent in my my Leica BL 10×25 binocular and, of course, we have a lot of birding yet to do in 2009. The big push on waterfowl has yet to come and the winter sparrows …

Continue reading

29 Sep

I love compact binoculars, but I realize that many people do not. Compact binoculars offer the most in portability, but they do have their limitations in terms of performance and ease of use. If you are one of those folks that do not get along with compact binoculars, you might try what I call a “nearly compact binocular” size of 8×28, such as the Bushnell Excursion 8×28. That 28mm objective lens is a good step up from the 20mm objective in the typical 8×20 compact binocular. Want something a bit larger, still, but in a binocular that can keep that …

Continue reading

28 Sep

Had a nice gal ask me, the other day, if she could observe with an astronomy binocular though her picture window, just like she does when watching birds at the birdfeeder with her birding binocular.Good question and I can answer yes, or at least, sometimes yes. When the temp is below zero, turning off the lights in the house and placing the astronomy binocular up against the window is surely a temptation. Does it work, though? Again, sometimes. As long as the front lenses on the binocular are parallel to the window panes, you get minimum distortion and viewing is …

Continue reading

23 Sep

Serious birders and bird watchers typically use high quality and expensive birding binoculars. I do, that’s for sure. There are some types of birding, though, that do not require really expensive binoculars and, in fact, you may not want to use expensive binoculars for watching birds at a backyard birdfeeder. Why? For a bird feeder binocular, for lack of a better description, it is more important to have that binocular hanging within reach at all times, just in case that new mystery bird decided to pay you a visit. There will be times when you need to get that bird …

Continue reading

22 Sep

My astronomy binocular and I take back all our complaints about the poor weather we have been having in the Chicago area this year when it comes to astronomy. Last week was great! I love Indian summer and so does my Nikon 10×70 astronomy binocular. Last week we had a wonderful dose of Indian summer. Clear skies, cool temps, dry air – what more can an astronomer want? My astronomy binoculars got a great workout and I had a blast putting the Nikon 10×70 on a tripod to split double stars in Cygnus, Cassiopeia, Andromeda and so on and, since …

Continue reading

21 Sep

Fall birding is quite different than spring birding. This may seem a strange statement to people who are not involved in birding or bird watching, since many assume that a bird is a bird, no matter what the season. Far from it. Bird plumage – their color and pattern of feathers – commonly varies by the season. Birds in spring are typically in full breeding plumage; birds in fall are typically acquiring their winter plumage and identification is further complicated with immature birds who often have plumages all their own. This, of course, makes things more interesting and keeps field …

Continue reading

16 Sep

Was out biking to work in the pre-dawn darkness and rolling out of the parking lot, when I turned east. Wow! I had to stop and catch my breath. The crescent moon and Venus made a spectacular pair low in the sky! You could catch them both in the field of view of a typical 8×42 binocular – I know, because as soon as I arrived, here at work, I grabbed our Carson XM HD 8×42 and put it to work. Although the view was fading fast in the growing light, it was worth a look in the Carson binocular. …

Continue reading

15 Sep

This time of year, I get asked about the difference between an 8×42 binocular and an 8×50 binocular for hunting. Most hunters, of course, are out right at first light or last light, when animals are most active, and they want a binocular that offers the best image brightness. So is the larger lens of an 8×50 binocular really that much better? After all, that 8×50 binocular will be heavier and bulkier, not to mention more expensive, all else equal. In my experience, out in the field where it counts, under the darkest conditions, my vote is no. I’ve seen …

Continue reading

14 Sep

I won’t be living in the Chicago area, forever, so I have been thinking of what to buy in the way of another telescope or binocular when I leave. I really have no use for a large telescope in my area, now, due to the awful light pollution, which limits me to observing the moon and planets and only the brightest deep-sky objects. I would love to get another large telescope or maybe even a truly giant binocular, such as a Kowa Highlander, but that will have to wait until I have a place worthy of an instrument of that …

Continue reading

10 Sep

Bushnell binoculars have been around .. well, almost forever. The Bushnell name, in some circles, is incorrectly associated only with cheap binoculars. Yes, Bushnell does make cheap binoculars; the Bushnell philosophy has always been to offer a product at every price point. However, this same philosophy also provides us with some premium binoculars, such as the Bushnell Elite, either in the open bridge Bushnell Elite or the more conventional Bushnell E2. Is there another binocular out there with as distinguished a pedigree as the Bushnell Elite binocular? I was selling binoculars when the first Elites hit the market and that …

Continue reading