A birder demands a lot from their binoculars. Their binoculars should be sturdy enough to survive many years of heavy use and light enough to carry all day long. They should also be able to reveal subtle colors and delicate details with accuracy and be easy to hold steady. They should also be able to focus quickly and work well in dim lighting situations. Birding binoculars need to be sealed from moisture and dust and must display the whole picture, even for the birder who wears glasses.
Birds are probably the most ornate creates are the planet. In order to get the most from birding, you’ll definitely want to view these majestic creates as well as possible. A set of compact binoculars are portable and small, however, they’re not typically recommended for birding because they are unable to gather enough light to discern feather color and plumage subtleties. Because of this, most birders can agree that the best combination of aperture and magnification for birding is 8 x 42.
Birding is a popular hobby for wildlife enthusiasts and it requires high quality bird watching binoculars. Before you go out and buy a pair, it’s important that you do a little research. Each model can vary in size, function and weight.
If you plan on doing a lot of hiking you may want to choose a smaller, lightweight pair. If you plan on keeping your binoculars at home and want to use them to view local wildlife, then you can choose a larger model that features heavier optics that you can attach to the binoculars via tripod.
Where you do most of your sightseeing or birding is also important. All-weather devices will allow you to use your binoculars in all types of weather, without getting damaged. Some models are also fog resistant.
If you mainly use your binoculars during early morning or at dusk or in highly wooded areas, you may need to purchase a model that features lager objectives which results in a clearer, brighter image.
There are couple of basic styles and shapes of binoculars. Porro-prism models are the most common type of binoculars, while roof-prism models are usually straight barrel, smaller and lightweight. There are some difference between them when you compare the image quality, however, the roof-prism models are usually more expensive because of the complicated manufacturing process and size of the device.
Next you’ll need to look at the numbers associated with each model. These numbers indicate the device’s strength and ability to gather light. The first number stands for magnification power and will tell you how many times lager an image appears. The next number will tell you the size of the front lenses and also determines how bright images will appear.
Magnification is also important and many beginners are tempted to purchase the highest magnification possible. High magnification can cause the hands to become shaky, resulting in a smaller FOV. It also amplifies the earth’s processes, such as rain and heat. Higher magnification can also make it difficult to track moving objects.
Objective lens size is the size of the lenses in the front. This is important because the size will affect the amount of light that’s allowed inside the devices. The larger the lens, the brighter and clearer distant images will be.
The coatings help to improve contrast while also minimizing glare. There are several levels of coatings. The highest quality models will include the term fully coated or fully multi-coated.
Depending on what you’re using the binoculars for, you may want to purchase a fixed zoom model, or, if you’re in the market for bird watching binoculars, you should probably stick with a fixed power model. This is because zoom models have quite a few limitations and drawbacks. While a zoom model is great they’re able to scan areas and allow you to zoom in on an object of interest, they tend to provide pretty distorted and darker images.
The cost of bird watching binoculars will vary, from $600 to $3,000. The higher costing models will include such features as extra lens coating and higher quality lenses.
When someone asks you why you enjoy birding, you probably offer a variety of explanations including the fact that birds are fascinating, inspiring and beautiful creatures. But birdwatching also helps to sharpen your sight. You’ll be able to spot a ruby crowned kinglet or identify the subtle upswing of the bill on a greater yellowlegs before you know it. You may even be able to spot the inch wide band found on the breast of bank swallows as they fly in the air at forty miles an hour.
Birding also encourages people to closely explore and examine their world. You can spend endless hours searching for that rare bird and the feeling once you do spot it is very satisfying and rewarding.
This hobby also gives you something interesting to write about and discuss with other people who share your interests. At the same time it also provides you with a number of opportunities to meet new people who enjoy birding.
Above all, this is an inexpensive hobby that you can enjoy year round, with the entire family. Birding is a great way to teach your child more about nature, giving them a new appreciation and respect for wildlife.
This is also a fun hobby that doesn’t require much equipment. Most birders can get by with:
- a good pair of binocolars
- a spotting scope
- a field guide
And birding can be done just about anywhere, which is what makes this activity so fun and challenging.
Best Bird Watching Binoculars
Swarovski Optik EL Swarovision Binocular Review
The Swarovski Optik El was rated as our top model, thanks to the highly positive reviews provided by consumers. Typically, bird watching during the early morning hours or during a sunset can be pretty difficult and even frustrating.
Carl Zeiss Conquest Binoculars Review
The Carl Zeiss Conquest binoculars received highly positive consumer ratings as well.
- A lightweight model, and also waterproof, the Conquest features an extensive warranty and a no fault policy, which will cover the cost of repairs or a replacement, should these become damaged during normal use.
- This type of extensive warranty gives consumers confidence in this product.
Leica Duovid Binoculars Review
The Leica Duovids offer something more than the average model.
- This model features two magnifications each and you’ll also be able to switch between eight and twelve magnifications.
- The two magnifications feature allows you to easily toggle between each option in order to get the clearest view possible.
- The manufacturer cautions user against using mismatched magnifications, as it can cause undue stress to the eyes and may result in a headache.
- The lightweight sleek design allows you to use these comfortably for hours on end.
Binocular Buyer’s Guide
The objects you view through a set of binoculars are eight times closer or larger than what you’re able to see with the naked eye. When you divide the aperture by magnification, it offers an exit pupil of 5. 25 MM.
These days, most pairs are nitrogen purged for fog-proofing and waterproofing. If you enjoy birding around wetlands or plan on watching birds in diverse climates and weather conditions, you’ll want to be absolutely sure that the pair you choose offers these features. When you’re birding you’ll quickly notice that birds are often found in hard to reach locations and because of this, accidents often happen, so a pair of durable binoculars is a must. But even the hardiest pairs can break regardless of how expensive they are. So make sure the model you choose is covered by an extensive warranty. The best option is a model with a life time warranty and no fault coverage, which protects your stuff even from accidental damage.
A relatively close focus is another good feature found on most pairs designed for birding. Even though all models are able to focus on the horizon, the closest point to which they are able to focus tends to vary with each model. The ideal nature binocular should have the ability of focus on an object within ten feet. If you love looking at nature and capturing even the smallest details, you’ll benefit from binoculars that are able to focus down to five feet or possibly closer.
Really, there’s no such thing as beginner or advanced binoculars. The money you spend on binoculars will have a direct correlation to how well you’re able to view nature. A pair that features high density glass that’s equipped with many optical coatings designed to minimize reflection will come with a higher price tag, but you shouldn’t considered them advanced or for professionals only. The beginner birdwatcher can also benefit from the ability to view birds better, which is what high quality models provide.
When you’re shopping around for binoculars, spend what you can afford. Not everyone has a huge budget to work with, but the more money you’re able to spend on tools, the better the chances of you getting a quality pair. The larger the field of view, the better. When you’re looking at the specs, you’ll see they’re rated by using two numbers, such as 8 x 42. The first number describes the magnification power, while the second number involves the size of the objective lens, which is measured in MM. The larger the second number, the larger the field of view will be. You should also look for the ratio between the size of the objective lens and the magnification number. The higher the ratio the better it’ll be for birdwatching.
If you do a little research and read some binocular reviews online, you’ll notice that most birdwatchers think that zoom models are not as good as a regular pair of binoculars. With a zoom model, you’ll cut down on the field of view, which can really negatively affect your vision when you’re birding.
If possible, try before you buy. The pair you purchase should feel comfortable in your hand. Keep in mind that you’re going to be holding them for several hours during a birding expedition. Not everybody has the same size hands. The binoculars you choose should suit you.
Birds move very fast and because of this you need a pair of binoculars that are able to focus quickly.
Also consider the weight of the device. You’ll want to watch birds when there is plenty of light outside because most models are unable to see very well in low light, so search for a pair that features good light gathering ability.
Buying the right pair can be a lengthy process, but it’s definitely well worth it to take the time to get the best pair that suits your needs. If you’re unsure where to start looking, speak with other birders and learn about their preferences and experiences with specific models. Their input can be very valuable when it comes time to make a final decision.
While price should not be the determining factor, it will definitely reflect the overall quality. Learn more about the pair you’re interested in before you buy. Remember, a lengthy warranty with extensive coverage is very important. If you wear glasses you must also ensure that the pair you choose will be able to accommodate your vision needs. The model you buy may also depend on the type of birds you enjoy viewing, in addition to the type of environment you do most of your birding in.