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BrianBM

binoculars

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I was in Cape May this week past, visited the Bird Observatory, looked through various binoculars in the store...WHAT a revelation. The Zeiss 7x42 took my breath away, as it damn well should at Zeiss prices; the Brunton Eterna 7x42 was astonishingly good at a third of the Zeiss charge. I didn't know such eye relief was available for eyeglass users. There have to be some birders and binocular fiends here. For semiserious birding as well as use on the beach, are there any particular pairs I should inspect? Swift has updated the 8.5x44 "Audubon" to an ED version, at around $380 - same as the roof prism Brunton, and probably brighter. Nikon has a multitude of glasses that would do. My own bias is to bigger objectives, and since I don't hike and the glasses will live in the truck, I can put up with size/weight/bulk for good low light performance. (The Nikon Prostar 7x50 seems a bit much). Recommendations? I have no prior experience of roof prism designs.

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BrianBM, I have an older pair of Minolta 7X50 that have served me well. If I was going to buy another pair I would give the Pentax High resolution roof prism some serious consideration. Cabella's has them for about $300. If you check out www.skypoint.com/members/dac/FAQ.html it has all kinds of helpful info on optics for birding. Your right about those Zeiss, they are really sweet. Mike

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I also have the Minolta 7X50, and they've served we long and well. Some of the marine grade Steiner stuff really gets my interest, but I have a hard time taking that big a plunge considering the use I put them to.

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This is another situation where a middle-size lottery win would be ever so helpful. Zeiss also has an 8x56 ..... talk about low light levels, a 56 mm objective lens. Wow.

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IMO

Swarovski binocs are the best, but very expensive. The Nikons mentioned are fine. I keep a pair of 8X42 Attaches in the car. If you want to see bright, check the Swarovskis with the 52mm lens.

Tasco makes some pocket styles for less than $20.00. A pair of those go with me in the surf.

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Leica makes the best binos, period. Wish I could afford a pair.

 

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[This message has been edited by gadwall8 (edited 09-23-2001).]

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Brian, Check out this site, www.bigbinoculars.com

 

They deal mostly in astronomical binos, but they have some smaller models also. They are Russian or German made, and at incredible prices. I have a set of 15X60's that I leave in my truck for fishing. I originally bought them to stargaze, but found that they are really handy for the beach.

 

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One of the surprises I encountered while playing with binoculars is that my eyes are far apart, enough so that many don't open enough for me. Swarovski 7x42 didn't; Leica and Zeiss 7x42 did, the Brunton Eterna 7x42 was the best. I will check out the bigbinoc site (thanks) as I'd wondered if binoculars made expressly for night use would be good in the role of a beach buggy birder's tool. I don't care if it's too big for hiking, it'll live in a padded case in the Explorer anyway ...

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Brian, I have the Ziess 7x42. I bought them many years ago when they were a little cheaper. The biggest difference between quality binoculars such as Ziess and the others is their ability to capture light during low light conditions. Under those condition there are no comparisons. When looking through binoculars on a bright sunny day with the light source behind your shoulder you may not see much of a difference. My suggestion is if you are going to be birding a lot and you can afford quality binoculasr buy quality. If you need binoculars as an aid for fishing save the money and buy something cheaper. Then take the money you saved and buy a Van Stall smile.gif

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