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Monthly Archives: February 2010

26 Feb

Can spring really be on the way or are we all dreaming? As a birder and birdwatcher all my life, spring is the peak time of year to be out in the field. Other seasons, of course, have their unique attractions for a birder, but spring is generally the time of year when we see the most variety of birds.

The peak month in spring, in terms of overall numbers of species that can be seen is usually May, but other spring months mark the peak for specific bird groups. For instance, March through early April is the window for …

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25 Feb

It’s no secret to anyone who reads my blogs or checks my OP forum posts, that I am a fan of compact binoculars. Probably lesser known, is the fact that I also like quality monoculars. In other words, I like small optics that I can squeeze into a purse or pocket, so that I am never without some optics.

No, monoculars cannot do the job of binoculars, even compact binoculars; both have their place and their uses – the right optical tool for the right job, as always. So should you buy a compact binocular or should you opt for …

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24 Feb

Can’t say that I have seen too many spectators at the Olympics using binoculars to watch all the action, but, understandably, the media does not waste a lot of coverage on scanning the crowds; it’s all about the athletes, as it should be. It may simply be that there has not been enough coverage of the fans to see any binoculars in use. For sure, unless it violated some security rule, I would carry at least a compact binocular for all the events. It’s not like a binoculars have a flash, as with digital cameras, to irritate and possibly interfere…

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23 Feb

Do binoculars wear out? Do binoculars just plain fall apart after a given number of years, assuming normal wear and tear, rather than abuse and neglect? The answer, of course, is sometimes and when you buy a binocular, you should always keep your expectations in line with binocular price when it comes to binocular lifespan.

Premium grade binoculars by Leica, Zeiss, Swarovski, Steiner, Nikon and so on are made to withstand a lifetime of hard and constant use and this kind of binocular durability is part of why the price on this class of binocular is so high. Short of…

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22 Feb

You can learn a lot about bird behavior by sitting at your kitchen table and watching birds at your birdfeeder though your binoculars. That’s part of the fun of birdwatching. Overall, birds bring those same innate behaviors that allow them to survive in the wild to our bird feeders. For instance, if you are careful to note the technique each species of bird uses to collect food at the bird feeder, you will quickly see that quite a variety of feeding behaviors are used by the various species: some species prefer to feed on the ground, some prefer to feed …

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19 Feb

It’s funny how little has been actually written about how to use binoculars, either in articles about binoculars or the instruction manuals that come with binoculars. I’m referring, here, to advice on how to point a binocular and quickly capture the object you want to see in the field of view, not instructions on how to adjust a binocular. This binocular skill of getting on target and getting on target, fast, is very important for those who use birding binoculars, hunting binoculars, sport binoculars and so on. There is often no time to waste and many a frustrated beginner loses …

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18 Feb

It’s funny how some folks get so attached to their binocular and I’m not talking about using the binocular strap, here. Ha! Ha! I mean, for example, that I have met some birders that were using some pretty awful examples of a birding binocular, in terms of the binoculars appropriateness as a birding binocular.

For instance, I once knew a guy who carried an 11×80 giant binocular around his neck, even on all day birding outings and, no, he was not a big guy. When some of us took pity on him and offered to let him use a smaller,…

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17 Feb

If you have ever sold binoculars, you know some of the questions folks like to ask about binoculars before they buy binoculars. Some of the binocular questions are very good in terms of common sense, but some are … well, not so good. I suspect the one question that most of us binocular salespeople hate the most is, “How far can I see?” We all have our own way of answering that binocular question and, despite the temptation to supply a smart and sarcastic answer, I have always done my patient best to explain that such a binocular question is …

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16 Feb

If money was no object … Okay, for me and for most folks, money will always be an object or, more to the point, an obstacle when it comes to buying our dream car, our dream digital camera, our dream binocular and so on. So, really, if I won the lottery and had the money, what would I buy in an astronomical binocular, for instance?

For my dream astronomy binocular, I would opt for a giant binocular, mounted on an astronomy binocular tripod or even a larger giant binocular, mounted on a pedestal. With such a giant binocular, I could …

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15 Feb

Is there a binocular out there that is a Swiss Army knife of binoculars? Is there a binocular out there that not only gives the user a binocular, but also a laser rangefinder, a digital camera, image stabilization, night vision, GPS, thermal imaging, a radio, mp3 player and more? Where can you buy that cool binocular with all those different functions; the one you saw your movie hero using in the latest Hollywood adventure?

The answer is you cannot buy such a binocular, unless you can manage to get that Hollywood prop and that’s all it would be: a prop. …

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