When it comes to selecting any piece of equipment, the final decision can be tricky. After all, no one wants to part with their hard-earned cash over an item that is in some way inappropriate.
So, when choosing binoculars, there are a number of things it is important to bear in mind. Firstly, what purpose will the device serve? Do you need it for backyard bird watching, woodland exploring, hunting or for a child to play with?
What you plump for in the end will very much depend on this. Another factor that will clearly play a part is the price and there is no point overstretching yourself financially. That said, going for the best you are able to afford could enhance your experience while using them.
Don’t panic if you do not have a clue when it comes to deciding which make and model is the best in your case as there is a wealth of information available on the web.
If you are seeking bird watching binoculars for use in your back garden, you may want to consider getting a pair with magnification of around eight.
You will also have to choose the size of your bird watching binoculars and you might want to go for a full-size set as they can provide better image quality than compact versions. And as you do not have to carry them around with you, the additional weight and unwieldiness should not be a problem.
Meanwhile in the case of hunting, you would need a pair of binoculars with other qualities. You may well not be able to carry large ones and waterproofing could be a value feature.
Whatever you’re after, by taking some time and seeking advice and information, you’re sure to be pleased with the results.
If you’re looking for a way to encourage your children to get involved with nature and develop an appreciation for the outdoors, providing them with binoculars may be the perfect solution.
Youngsters love the sense of adventure such devices instil and by using them, they get to spend time in the fresh air while getting exercise.
However, if you have never bought binoculars for a child before, you may not know what to look for.
A magnification of around seven or eight could be a good place to start as this should be fairly easy for them to use and they will not get frustrated by failing to view the objects they are aiming for.
After all, high magnification models narrow the field of view, meaning your son or daughter may struggle to follow things that are on the move.
Another point to bear in mind is the seemingly obvious though sometimes forgotten issue that the binoculars must fit into the recipient’s hand. It is no good if they are unable to pick them up correctly and, as well as causing them annoyance, it may mean the object is more likely to be broken.
Also, you should take note of whether or not the youngster can reach and use the focus knob and also if the barrels fold in close enough for their eyes.
By choosing wisely, you could start a lifelong love affair with the devices for the child in question and open up a whole new world for them to explore.
This week has seen the Bushnell Trophy Cam in use on the BBC one program Lost Land of the Tigers. The small size and quick response time of the camera traps made them an ideal choice. I was pleasantly surprised at the results of the quality of video achieved given that the camera is only giving a video image of 640×480 at 20 FPS. Even on the bigger screen of a TV the results although not pin sharp like some other camera traps may be (Stealth Cam Prowler HD – Video) they certainly achieved a very good level of detail, showing impressive images of the illusive wildlife. Interest in the camera has certainly been high since the airing of the program and we have been lucky to keep up with stock of the standard non viewer version which sells at £210. The Viewer version was available from stock in small quantities before the show was on, these were quickly exhausted with more on the way in the first weeks of October. Any advance orders of the viewer version will be rewarded with a complementary 4GB SD Card.
If you have any questions with regard to using camera traps please contact me.
Binoculars have been in use for a considerable length of time and almost everyone will have used them at some point in their lives, even if only for a brief glimpse while they were passed around by a group.
However, the technology behind them remains mysterious to many.
Essentially, they are a pair of identical mirror-symmetrical telescopes that are mounted next to one another and aligned to point in the same direction.
This allows users to view with both of their eyes when they are looking at objects.
The majority of such devices are shaped and sized to be held using both hands, although some vary widely from small, light-weight models to large pedestal-mounted pairs – for example those used on occasion by the military.
Unlike telescopes, they provide a three-dimensional image and therefore allow users to get an impression of depth.
Binoculars have a range of uses, including general activities – such as observing animals and views for leisure purposes. This is one of the most common ways in which they are utilised and as the technology has fallen in price, they are now accessible for virtually anyone who wants a go.
In addition, the armed forces sometimes make use of them in a range of contexts, as do those engaged in range finding and people involved in astronomy.
Indeed, so prolific are the objects that we do not think twice when seeing them in use and it is easy to forget they have made such a substantial contribution to the way we live.
In many ways, now is a good time to buy an astronomical telescope. However, because of the huge choice of such products available, consumers can be left feeling confused.
If you are in this position, don’t despair. There is plenty of information and advice available to help you make sure you end up with the device that suits your personal needs.
Before you go into the details of particular products, you should consider what exactly it is you are after and you should have some basic grasp of how they work. This will enable you to make a more informed choice between the objects.
One of the main aspects of the devices is their aperture, or the diameter of their main optical component – which can be a lens or a mirror. This determines its ability to gather light and its capacity to resolve images.
If you are keen to observe dim galaxies, nebulae and star clusters, you may benefit from opting for a telescope with an aperture larger than ten inches. These ‘deep-sky’ objects can be hard to locate otherwise.
However, if you are not focused on this, a smaller astronomical telescope may be more appropriate for you. After all, you may well have to transport the item and if it is lacking in portability, you’re use of it may be limited.
These are just two factors you should bear in mind when selecting your telescope but they are a good place to start. By taking your time over the decision, you should be able to avoid frustration and disappointment over the end result.
In the case of so many products, consumers can be driven to think power is everything when they are choosing between different options. However, in the case of astronomical telescopes, this is not so.
Some individuals may be surprised to hear that a telescope’s aperture has no bearing on its magnification, but rather it is the focal length – which is the distance from the lens or mirror to a point at which it forms an image of the distant object.
Generally speaking, low powers are used to look at faint subjects such as galaxies and nebulae because if they are enlarged too much, they will lose some of their clarity.
So when seeking an astronomical telescope, simply going for the most powerful possible may defeat the point and you could be left with inferior results, depending on what your goal is.
There are a plethora of such devices available and when searching through the options, you should have your specific requirements in mind.
This way, you will be able to avoid homing in on a product that is inappropriate. By approaching the task of buying in this way, you are likely to be able to avoid possible disappointment.
There are three main categories of such telescopes used by amateur astronomers. Roughly, they fall into refractors, reflectors and catadiopiric.
Whichever of these you need, make sure you take into account all the necessary factors – rather than simply power – when short-listing your favourites and eventually deciding on one that you believe is right for you.
Everyone has their own budget when they purchase an astronomical telescope. While it is important not to exceed this and cause yourself financial strife, it is also inadvisable to skimp on such products.
By aiming too low, you can end up with instruments that are of poor quality either optically or mechanically. And this is not something you want when trying to enjoy your new purchase.
This said, there are a great number of bargains that can be had and the internet has helped in this regard.
So, if you are limited in funds, do not be put off, just make sure you do your research so that when you see something you think seems like a good deal, it really is.
If you are starting out in the field and are planning to get an astronomical telescope, there is no point in splashing out on the priciest model you can find.
This is because if you are learning to identify constellations, for example, there will be many features on some devices that you will not need.
You must also bear in mind that when you purchase an instrument such as this there are extras that need to go with it, such as a mount and a tripod.
It is therefore crucial that you leave some cash to get these pieces.
As long as you avoid poor-quality telescopes and those that are too technical for your purposes, you should be fine and will be able to enjoy hours of pleasurable star gazing.