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Monthly Archives: May 2012

31 May

The only bird feeder that I currently have setup in the yard is our hummingbird feeder, but it is doing its job. Have seen several hummers at the feeder and, as always, it is fun to do a little birdwatching for hummingbirds. These birds are so full of energy, you can’t help but get a little excited when one is nearby.

Away from the feeders, it is sometimes hard to get these very active birds to sit still long enough for a good look with the birding binoculars. Putting up a hummingbird feeder, though, greatly improves your chances for a …

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30 May

When it comes to binoculars, I tend to gravitate to the extremes in binocular size.

I like my dedicated birding binoculars on the small size, usually something in a 30 or 32 mm objective and I also use compact binoculars for much of my birdwatching. In other words, I’ve never been a fan of big binoculars, especially in situations where I am wearing binoculars around my neck for any length of time. Just makes for a stiff neck and a long day. Smaller is better when it comes to binocular size, right?

Not always. With astronomy binoculars, the name of …

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29 May

I’m not sure when my new old Untiron 20×80 binoculars were made, but I suspect it was in the 70s or, perhaps, as late as the mid-80s. The fact that they were premium astronomy binoculars in their day and only fully coated, instead of multi-coated, suggests a 70s vintage, since multi-coating technology did not appear until the 80s as a commonly available feature. 70s vintage or 80s vintage, these vintage astronomy binoculars that I received in the mail, last week, are in showroom new condition, even though I am now the third owner of these binoculars. Fortunately, the previous owners …

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25 May

Porro prism binoculars no longer rule the roost in the binocular world, the way they once did, but they are a long way from being extinct. To be sure, most birding binoculars, hunting binoculars, sports binoculars and general use binoculars are now of the roof prism binocular design, but the venerable porro prism binocular design still offers advantages.

For one, porro prism binoculars are optically more optically efficient – they use no mirror surface, as in roof prisms, so they transmit more light, all else equal and, porros have no phase correction problem, so no need for special phase correction …

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24 May

I’ll be putting up the bird feeders in another week or so, now that we’re confident the bears have settled into their back woods summer homes and won’t be visiting our feeders. Fortunately, the bears were not an issue this spring for anyone in our area because everyone took down their feeders, early, thanks to the record-breaking early warm spell we had in March.

My birdwatching, however, has suffered for lack of our bird feeders during our neighborhood “bear season”. It’s amazing how often I’ve reached for the binoculars out of habit since taking down the feeders, before it dawns …

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23 May

At the risk of being an old fogey in the world of binoculars, I still like the old fashioned leather covering, sometimes called leatherette, on my binoculars. Sure, rubber or synthetic armored covering on binoculars is the height of practicality and efficiency, but the feel and the look and, yes, even the smell of leather-covered binoculars is in my blood. To me, that old-fashioned leatherette covering spells binoculars. Maybe that’s why two of my compact binoculars are covered in leatherette and all of my astronomy binoculars are covered in leatherette.

I’ll be the first to admit that this attachment to …

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22 May

I’ve been looking for astronomy binoculars with more magnification to complement my excellent Nikon 10x70Astroluxe. While 10x is wonderfully useful for so much of binocular astronomy, it is lacking for some types of work, such as splitting double stars, seeing detail on the moon or resolving some star clusters. Then, too, it is nice to have another excuse to buy binoculars.

The first option that comes to mind is a Nikon 18×70, which is the higher power version of the Nikon 10×70 Astroluxe, but that kind of money isn’t in the budget. I do wish to stay with that old …

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21 May

What makes binoculars, say, astronomy binoculars or birding binoculars or hunting binoculars or any other so-called “type” of binoculars? Are there “must have” features that make a given binocular one of these types of binoculars?

The truth is that all types of binoculars are really just variations on the same basic design and that any binocular will work to one degree or another for any application. This is especially true with current binocular models, thanks to binocular manufacturers loading their binoculars with all the features they can in order to market the binoculars to more users. Thus, it is quite …

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18 May

When it comes to binoculars, I’ve always been one to push the limits of what a given type of binocular can do; I tend to think outside the binocular box, so to speak. I’ve done this on several occasions with both astronomy binoculars and birding binoculars with mixed results.

There was a brief period in my life (very brief) when I was down to only one binocular, my 11×80 astronomy binoculars. I had some new birding binoculars being shipped to me, but I was scheduled for a birdwatching outing with a group and didn’t want to show up without binoculars. …

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17 May

The birdwatching for warblers has been a bit slow. There’s been no great influx of warblers in the area, as of yet, though it’s unlikely i missed any great push of warblers through the area, since I’m outdoors most of the day and constantly carry binoculars around my neck. That’s not exactly a burden, since the binoculars are small compact binoculars. When I start seeing a major movement of warblers, I’ll start crying full size birding binoculars, of course. In the meantime, I am outdoors and how can that be a bad thing and, heaven knows, there is so much …

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