_Choose Bird Binoculars That Do The Job!
Watching wildlife through a pair of bird binoculars will open
up a whole new world to anyone who is new to using them
when observing birds and other wildlife.
The detail revealed makes all the difference when identifying different birds while out walking or just sat near a stretch of water.
They are especially helpful as we get older as I know from experience, my wife used to be quite impressed at what
distance I use to be able to identify small birds.
Not any more, so when I go walking or out for a drive
more often than not my bird binoculars go with me.
I regularly go to an area to watch Red Kites and enjoy
seeing them perform their aerial acrobatics without
using my binoculars, but I always end up using them
to get a closer look.
This has to be one of the greatest
sights to see while out birdwatching.
Bird Watching Binoculars
Choosing a pair of bird watching
binoculars is a very simple procedure.
Really, it only gets complicated when we try to understand all the technical information which frankly can be mind boggling.
Especially to those of us who like to enjoy the simple things
in life without having to understand the theory of relativity
and how it relates to the light that carries the image of the
bird that we are observing.
For those of us who soak up all the technical detail, manufacturers and retail suppliers provide more than
adequate information to answer our questions or concerns.
What to keep in mind when choosing bird watching binoculars:
Magnification without distortion.
Minimum weight without loss of durability.
Ease of use and Cost.
Cost will govern to some extent the quality of
optics used in the binoculars we purchase.
There are cheap binoculars available, but as is true with most things we get what we pay for, no matter how good they look it's the optics that do the work.
Middle road, reasonable quality and price is often
the more satisfying route to take.
The simple thing to do is try them out first at a local outlet.
Even with Internet purchases there's usually a returns policy,
just check it out before you press the buy now button.
Following the guidelines below will help
avoid a disappointing experience:
For birdwatching 8x40 or 8x42 binoculars with a
center focus wheel are ideal for most people
At the magnification of x8 most of us can hold the binoculars so as to maintain a steady view. The front lens being 40-42mm diameter allows enough light through to get crisp images.
A simple test is to focus on a lamp post or telegraph pole say about 30-50 meters away and if the pole is curved to the shape of a banana then these are poor quality optics and should be avoided.
The Eyepieces need to have adjustment features in two ways.
First they need to be adjustable to the distance between our eyes by being able to swivel centrally.
Second there needs to be an individual adjustment focus on of one of the eyepieces as most peoples left and right eyes differ with focus - this dioptre adjustment feature allows this difference to be corrected.
This adjustment could not be easier.
Looking through the binoculars to say a small notice or
sign some way off, first of all close the eye on the dioptre adjustment side (usually right) and focus the other side
using the centre focus wheel.
Then close that eye and open the other and use the dioptre adjustment to focus the image correctly for that eye.
We now have binoculars that are set up for our eyesight
and we now just use the centre focusing wheel to bring
subjects into focus.
When adjusted correctly and focused we should see a single window that demands no effort from our eyes to maintain
focus and also has a comfortable position that we can hold
for a reasonable period of time.
Other features to look out for:
Fold down eye cups for those who wear spectacles.
Tripod adapter so that it can be attached to
one of the many binocular tripods available.
Rubber armour for shock resistance although
it's never advisable to drop binoculars.
And last but not least close focus
somewhere between 3 and 4 meters.
This helps a great deal when trying to find and get a close
up of a bird in a bush or tree, as well as observing those
that visit our feeders close to the house.