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Monthly Archives: October 2011

31 Oct

As much as I dearly love my compact binoculars, I know quite well they have faults and shortcomings. All compact binoculars have shortcomings, thanks to their diminutive optical systems. Yes, there is an optical penalty to pay for that small size and weight that makes compact binoculars such a joy to carry.

However, much of this is exaggerated. Are small binoculars as bright as large binoculars? No, not on paper, but for all but the most extreme low light applications, compact binoculars are bright enough. Yet this lack of image brightness in compact binoculars is the shortcoming most likely to …

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30 Oct

It’s true. You get more in terms of optics with your binocular dollar if you choose a porro prism binocular. Roof prism binoculars may be slimmer, nicer handling and offer more durability, but it does cost more to make a roof prism binocular to the same optical standards as a porro prism. If you are on a budget, then, and you want the most for your optical dollar, it makes sense to buy binoculars with a porro prism design. Porros may be a bit old school, but they are anything but outdated. If you gotta go cheap binoculars, porro prisms…

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27 Oct

Haven’t had a good, stiff north wind to kick bird migration up a notch for over a week, now, so no new birds seen in the binoculars this week. It’s a temporary birdwatching lull, to be sure, but, as usual, I’m a lit too eager. Winter winds will be here soon enough. Besides, what we do have for birds in the area has kept me and my birding binoculars plenty busy.

Still, I find myself thumbing back and forth through the pages of my bird field guides in anticipation of birds yet to arrive and hopefully be seen in the …

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26 Oct

As north country lakes go, there are the large lakes that are popular with tourists, power boaters, jet skiers, water skiers, swimmers, resorts and the like. These are important lakes for a north country economy that needs and depends on tourists. These lakes are also prime real estate for those who want a home on a lake. Waters are clean and clear with either rocky or sandy bottoms. The north country is famous for these lakes. We don’t live on one of these lakes.

On the other hand, for every one of these better known lakes, there are dozens and …

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25 Oct

I own … heck, I darn near collect premium compact binoculars. I have my pick of top grade compacts from Swarovski binoculars, Leica binoculars, Zeiss binoculars, B&L binoculars and Nikon binoculars any time I need a compact binocular. Which is my favorite?

I refuse to answer that question because I can’t. Each one of my compact binoculars is unique and I choose based on the task at hand. My Swarovski Crystal Pocket binocular is my show off binocular that I carry to the opera and sporting events. My Leica Ultravid 10×25 BL is my et birdwatching binocular and gets the …

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24 Oct

I don’t know the actual percentages, but I do know that a significantly large number of people that use binoculars use them while wearing glasses or eyewear such as sunglasses. Binocular manufacturers know this, too, and have done something about it, but this hasn’t always been the case.

There was a time, some fifteen or twenty years past, when you had your work cut out for you if you needed to wear glasses when using binoculars. First, the binocular spec that eyeglass wearers need to know, namely eye relief, was only sporadically listed for binoculars. You might find it for…

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23 Oct

When does the portability of compact binoculars become more of a factor than the loss of performance that comes with compact binoculars due to their smaller optical systems?

There is, of course, no hard and fast rule as to when you should opt for compact binoculars instead of full size binoculars, but, in general, if you find yourself tempted to leave full size birding binoculars or hunting binoculars at home or in camp because of their size and weight, then you may want to at least think about compact binoculars as a backup for such occasions. Any binocular, after all, …

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20 Oct

What can you add to binoculars to make them better?

In all truth, no one has yet to add something to binoculars that you could classify as an absolute, must have, essential feature that every binocular in use should have, though it’s not from binocular manufacturers lack of trying.

Digital binoculars, which incorporate a cheap digital camera built-in or, more correctly, built on an inexpensive binocular frame have met with limited success. These camera binoculars allow you to take a picture of whatever you see in the binocular, but nothing you couldn’t do better with even inexpensive digital cameras, these…

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19 Oct

Our lawn, this week, has been covered by flocks of Juncos and the numbers are building. Oh, yes, winter is coming and the birds and I both know it. Despite the fact that I have seen who knows how many thousands of Juncos in my forty plus years of birdwatching, I still love to see them in binoculars. They are a handsome bird in an understated way – no flashy colors, but their markings are eye-catching all the same.

I also watch flocks of Juncos in the birding binoculars for a less aesthetic reason. Other birds, particularly other species of …

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17 Oct

One of the reasons that I generally prefer to wear my glasses when looking through binoculars is steadiness. Planting the binocular eyecups, gently, but firmly, right on the lenses of my prescription eyeglasses, makes for a steady hold. That little bit of extra bracing really makes a difference in steadiness, and, no, I have never scratched my glasses doing this. Just a matter of choosing binoculars with rubber or plastic eyecups that don’t allow the lenses in the eyecups to touch the lenses on my eyeglasses.

On the other hand, I much prefer to wear my contacts when out in …

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