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Bird Watching Binoculars


 
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Glenn F.
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PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 2:57 pm    Post subject: Bird Watching Binoculars Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Now that the kids are grown my wife and I are getting to do more things together. One of them is bird watching. We have a beautiful bird sanctuary nearby & love going there.

That said, what binoculars would you recommend for some rather serious beginners? I suppose we're willing to spend $200 or so.


Thank you,
Glenn F.
 
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RwEny
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PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 3:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Bird Watching Binoculars Reply to specific post Reply with quote

most over $200 will be OK. I have a pair of Swift 8 x 40 that are great. If you are going to be really serious about bird watching those in the $1200 to $2000 range are the best. They will give you the best in low light conditions.
 
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markiz41
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PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 3:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Bird Watching Binoculars Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Try a few to see if you are comfortable with the size and weight. Some features to look for: AR coated optics, large objective lens for low light conditions, exit pupil of no less than 4mm, soft rubber eyepiece cover for comfort and side light blocking. If you wear glasses, pay special attention to eye relief and don't overdo it with the magnification or you won't be able to hold a steady image.
 
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Bob M
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PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 3:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Bird Watching Binoculars Reply to specific post Reply with quote

My wife is an avid birdwatcher. After trying a bunch of different binoculars she settled on the Bushnell "Excusion EX" 8x36. They have bright, sharp optics, good field of view and are reasonably lightweight. She is delighted with them.

As I recall she paid about $175 new.
 
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big fred
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PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 5:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Bird Watching Binoculars Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Glenn, in addition to a good set, get yourself a relatively cheap set as well. I keep an old cheap binoculars I got from K-Mart about 25 years ago in my boat (I have an enclosed cabin so it's not out in the weather) and we probably use that pair more than the good Minolta, 'cause we're not concerned with damaging a cheap pair in the salt spray. Before the boat, we kept it in the door compartment of the car. The point is unless you have them with you, you can't use them.
 
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GordoSD
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PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 6:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Bird Watching Binoculars Reply to specific post Reply with quote

If you wear glasses. and if you don't you will soon, get the Leupold 8x42, Field 6.5, Waterproof Cascades, They have the adjustable eye relief, incredible clarity and brightness and come with front and rear lens covers. A great large wide strap. And they are somewhat compact. They are a little over your price range but it you go to a store and try them you will be amazed. I use mine in the vehicle, still deer hunting, home sun porch viewing.
 
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GordoSD
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PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 7:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Bird Watching Binoculars Reply to specific post Reply with quote

If you want a great pair of larger , porro prism binocs, for light use, no rain, cold, outdoor serious hunting, the Minolta 10x50W. 6.5 W multi Coated are superior and not expensive. You will need a rest with these.
I have been buying optics in Germany in 66, Hong Kong in 72, US in 2000. You can't go wrong with Minolta or Leupold.
 
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jeffcat
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PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 8:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Bird Watching Binoculars Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I have several pair of binoculars and 7x50 is very usefull. I also used to shoot compatition and used a Kowa set up. MUCH more bucks but oh wow can you see! There are really good ones that are stablized! Yup same as your real good camera lens or video camera. MUCHO bucks but you can stand there with high magnifacation and NOTHING moves! OH baby... jeffcat
 
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TomH in PA
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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 3:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Bird Watching Binoculars Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Kind of a long explanation why, but 7x35 will be just as good as 7x50 for someone over 45 years old.

You would probably be best with slightly higher magnification like 8x40 or 10x50. Your pupils don"t open as wide as they did when you were younger so a ratio of about 1:5 magnification to objective diameter is best. Variable magnification costs you light so I"d avoid them.
 
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GeneMO
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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 4:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Bird Watching Binoculars Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Looks like about every brand has been represented except Steiner. I have a set of 8X30 Steiners that were less than $200. Small and light. Rubber coated. I like them, but would like to have a set of the 10X50's. Except they are around $500+

I would think for serious birding you would want 10 power or 12 power with large objective lenses to let in light.

Someone mentioned Nikon, and I had a set of those in 10X50 that I really liked, they were not all that expensive, but I think I donated them to my ex.

Gene

Gene
 
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pjmo
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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 9:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Bird Watching Binoculars Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Nikon makes a eagle zoom 8x24 power $150
 
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T in NE
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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 10:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Bird Watching Binoculars Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I've never spent much on binoculars, but I think the best pair I have ever used are an old set I bought at an estate sale for $5. I can check for a calf with a cow or an open gate at a mile and a half.
 
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