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Monthly Archives: June 2012

29 Jun

With the nearly 1300 Binoculars blogs I’ve posted, to date, I am all binocular blogged out.

Just kidding. I could easily write another 1300 blogs on binoculars, but the truth is, it’s time for this gal to take full retirement and turn the binocular blog reins over to someone else. This, then, will be my last Binoculars blog.

Thanks to all of you who have been reading my blogs about my daily/nightly adventures with astronomy binoculars, birding binoculars, compact binoculars and thank-you for allowing me to share my passion for birdwatching and astronomy. I’ve enjoyed writing on these topics each …

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28 Jun

Summertime, for me, is more about using binoculars for astronomy than birdwatching, though, of course, I do plenty of both.

Summer IS a slow time of year for birdwatching, no doubt about it.  Birds are well hidden by the dense foliage and they’re in no hurry to announce their presence, since mating season has passed and they’re busy raising their young. Summer birding does have its rewards, mind you, but if you want to see a lot of birds in your birding binoculars, you have your work cut out for you. The good news is that fall will bring a …

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27 Jun

When it comes to birding optics, need and want are funny things and not always one and the same.

For instance, I keep looking for an excuse to buy full size birding binoculars to add to my collection. I want to buy another birding binocular. Unfortunately, I can’t justify another birding binocular on the basis of need, given that I already have more birding binoculars than I need and that I actually use compact binoculars for most of my birdwatching, instead of larger birding binoculars. True, compact binoculars have some serious shortcomings, but I am an experienced user and lover …

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26 Jun

I get a bit greedy or, maybe I should say, I get a bit spoiled when using astronomy binoculars with great optics. My Nikon 10×70 Astroluxe,for instance, shows stars as crisp, pinpoint specs of light with amazing brightness and color, but 10x for magnification in astronomy binoculars just doesn’t cut it for viewing some objects in the night sky. So, okay, just buy binoculars with more magnification, right? 

Problem is, I want that higher binocular magnification with the same image quality, but I don’t currently own astronomy binoculars that can do that and buying such binoculars ain’t cheap. That means …

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25 Jun

One of the great advantages of compact binoculars is portability. These small binoculars are so light, you barely know they’re around your neck until you see something that calls for a closer look and then you’re set. This “take them with you anywhere you go” aspect of compact binoculars is the reason I use my compact binoculars more than any other types of binoculars and I own and use all types of binoculars. In fact, because I make it a habit of taking compact binoculars with me every time I step outdoors, I’ve probably done more birdwatching with my various …

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22 Jun

For the last several mornings, I’ve awakened to the sounds of Crows and Blue Jays making a ruckus, no doubt mobbing a hawk or owl, but I’ve yet to locate the object of all their calling. I did step out on the deck several times with binoculars in hand to try to spot all the action, but no luck. Sure, I could have taken a hike back in the woods with birding binoculars around my neck, but heading into the deep woods, this time of year, is like taking an expedition. You need to lather yourself in mosquito and tick …

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21 Jun

Chasing down double stars with astronomy binoculars is a lot of fun and is part of every one of my observing sessions with binoculars. I recommend sampling a few of these binocular doubles for anyone who owns binoculars and a star atlas.

Even though the majority of “doubles” in the night sky require the magnification and resolution of telescopes, there are still plenty of doubles that can be seen in binoculars, even ordinary birding binoculars, but if you have larger astronomy binoculars, so much the better.

So, why binoculars for double stars? First, there is the viewing advantage of using …

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20 Jun

My next binoculars will be 10x50s. A 10×50 binocular is, indeed, a versatile binocular size, at least the way I will be using them.

First, 10×50 binoculars, assuming good optics, make terrific handheld astronomy binoculars, especially for those of us at an age where our eyes no longer open enough to take advantage of the larger exit pupils (beams of light that leave the binocular eyepieces) that are produced by some larger binoculars. My much larger Nikon 10×70 Astroluxe, for instance, produces 7mm wide exit pupils, but my eyes now open only to 5mm, so a lot of the light …

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19 Jun

Haven’t had a wildlife report for some time, so this is the latest from the north woods. Here goes.

Birdwatching has been it’s usual summer pace of slow, so the birding binoculars have not been seeing a lot of use. Still, I do carry compact binoculars on my daily walk with the dogs, just in case I see something interesting in the way of birds or other wildlife. Back home, in the yard, we do have Ruby-throated Hummingbirds visiting us on a daily basis, mostly to sip nectar from our honeysuckle vine flowers, but also to smaple nectar from our …

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18 Jun

Want to do both birdwatching and astronomy with one binocular? It can be done.

Birdwatching with binoculars, by day, and doing astronomy with binoculars, by night is a fairly good way to describe the way I use binoculars. Of the two, the bird watching is the more frequent, simply because I can use the birding binoculars on any given day, but the astronomy binoculars only see action when the sky is clear at night. 

In years, past, when money was tight and I could afford only one binocular, I used the same binoculars for both my birding and my astronomy. …

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