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Monthly Archives: November 2009

30 Nov

Been busy keeping the birdfeeders filled at our suburban Milwaukee home. In fact, we are going through more bird feed than any bird feeder setup I have ever placed in a yard. I have the binocular in my hand so often, enjoying the birds through our kitchen window, that I barely have time to sip my coffee. I have no doubt that our proximity to the forests across the street and just a couple hundred feet down the block really helps to add birds to my ever growing list. Yesterday, for example, spotted four Wild Turkeys in the park. Not …

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24 Nov

When you’ve owned and used a binocular long enough for it to become a good friend, you naturally tend to want that same binocular if you ever need to replace it. There was a time when a single binocular model would remain on the market, unchanged, for many years, so replacing that old binocular was usually not that hard to do. Modern-day marketing, though, makes replacing an old binocular a much tougher challenge. These days, binocular models are constantly shuffling and changing and even the same model sold, today, can be quite different than the same model sold a few …

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23 Nov

If you have been thinking of buying that premium binocular made in Europe, now is a good time. Because of our trade imbalance with European countries, the dollar continues to suffer and many companies have already raised their prices. No one can predict the future, of course, but it is very unlikely you will see any price decrease on expensive, high grade binoculars from Europe. When it comes to these expensive binoculars, the saying, “You should have boguht one last year, ” holds true. A premium Zeiss binocular, Swarovski binocular, Steiner binocular or Leica binocular would also make a great …

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18 Nov

What’s the best optical bang for the buck when it comes to pricing binoculars? It’s usually around the $300 price point and that is also a price point where there is the most competition. Beyond $300, you begin to spend more and more for ever smaller increases in performance and quality in a binocular. Still, if you need more quality and performance in a binocular, and you may if you use a binocular, hard, on a regular basis, it is well worth paying more to get a better binocular. In the long run, that expensive binocular may be the better …

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17 Nov

Looking for a good astronomy binocular, but also on that can serve as a hunting binocular or wildlife binocular? A 10×50 binocular has become something of a standard in a binocular for astronomy that does not need a tripod. Once you past the 10 for a first number, you need to mount the binocular on a tripod due to image unsteadiness and once you move much past 60 or 70 for a second number, you need to put the binocular on a tripod for the sake of weight. That’s why the 10×50 is so popular for astronomy – no need …

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16 Nov

Unlike binoculars, which are a pair of matched, folded terrestrial telescopes, opera glasses use Galilean optics with a simple convex objective and a simple concave eyepiece. This allows the device to produce an upright image with a very short length. The bad news is that this primitive optical system is not capable of high image quality. In other words, opera glasses are more about style, than performance. This does not mean you have to settle for marginal optics when you spend a night at the opera. Nearly any compact binocular, between 6x and 8x, will do a nice job at …

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11 Nov

Bill and I will be heading west (love those words), this summer, to attend a family reunion (mine) and to do some camping and exploring. It will be a road trip and a belated honeymoon, and we are both anxious and ready to go. I plan to do some serious birding or, at least, as much as can be done in the summer months. This will give me a long-awaited opportunity to dust off my western bird guides and get back to the country I so love. Bill matches me in his love of the west and his love of …

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10 Nov

Ever wonder why that camo binocular or camo spotting scope costs more than the standard color version? True, it does costs more to add an extra color or two from the standpoint of manufacturing, but most of that price difference is the fee manufacturers pay to the holder or inventor of that camo pattern. Camo patterns are trademarked, so if you want to make some good money, get a camo pattern on the market that everyone wants. That’s easier said than done, of course, but it does explain why the same binocular or spotting scope in camo costs more. Does …

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09 Nov

What makes a binocular a tactical binocular? In truth, no specific feature makes a binocular a tactical binocular. In fact, manufacturers often use the “tactical” logo as much as a marketing strategy as anything specific. In general, the word tactical means a military binocular, which, in most cases is really a marine binocular, as far as features. This can be nothing more than a binocular with a military body color, but color is most often packaged with individual eyepiece focus – the most rugged focusing system – and a 7×50 as a size, since a binocular this size is bright …

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04 Nov

Our new birdfeeders are up, our new kitchen table is in place to comfortably view all the action, the coffee maker is an arms reach, away, and I have Bill to go out and fill the birdfeeders for me. What more can a gal want? For me, be able to sit at the table with someone I love, drinking coffee and watching the birds is a much needed ritual and one that has been too long absent in my life. if you’ve never tried bird watching, putting up a bird feeder and watching the action from the comfort of your …

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