There are many dos and don’ts when considering bird watching binoculars. These are important things to know if you are a keen bird watcher, and should help bird watchers of any level of experience excel.
1) The power, or magnification, of you bird watching binoculars optimally should be at least 7. 7 power binoculars are considered the lowest requirement to capture a good image of bird. However, do not be tempted to oversee this and opt for a 10 power for instance. With greater magnification comes less stability, so there is the constant balance of magnification vs. image quality.
2) Weight. Weight is important when considering bird watching binoculars. At the end of the day, you are going to be carrying your binoculars with you on your walks, and something uncomfortable is not suitable. Also make sure that the binoculars come with adjustable straps, as you do not want to have them bouncing off your stomach whilst your walk.
1) Pocket sized binoculars. These compact binoculars are good in their own right, but definitely should not be picked as a main bird watching binocular. They do not offer quality or stability, or even often the magnification that larger binoculars do. This will impact on your viewing in a detrimental way.
2) Do not purchase binoculars until you have fully tested them out. It can be tempting to see an item on sale with a seemingly good spec range on paper, but unless you have tested them out, you will never fully know how well they will function. After all, bird watching binoculars should be comfortable, and this is very hard to test in the environment of a shop.
For those folks who just can’t resist the urge to throw on a backpack and explore the great outdoors, lightweight kit is essential. You need devices and equipment that both perform and don’t weigh you down!
We offer a brilliant range of compact binoculars designed specifically with portability and easy use in mind. The leading brands we carry on our roster – Nikon, Olympus etc – all offer great models that excel in use, durability and portability. Our recommendation of the day is Nikon’s Sprint IV 8×21 binoculars; perfectly designed for easy usability and extreme adventure!
Some folks struggle to find a practical use for night vision optical devices, but when you’re looking for a lost hiker or trying to spot something on the dark slopes of Snowdon, you need high performance, lightweight night vision optics that deliver high quality images. Lightweight (620g) single lens models like the Cobra Nemesis offer high performance at low cost via hardy design (rubber armouring) and cutting edge technology.
The Celestron Astromaster range features several lightweight and compact telescope designs (between 8.16-10.69g) ideal for the intrepid stargazer. The entire Astromaster series is designed for multi-purpose celestial and land viewing, making the budget price models in the collection a good investment for those looking to a) meet their adventurous viewing needs, and b) not spend so much on a device that they’re too worried to use it out in the mud and wind of Mother Nature!
Yes, Christmas time is upon us once more. While you may be in shock that 12 months has elapsed since the last round of festive celebrations, there is no point in entering a state of denial.
Those presents still have to be bought, and the sooner you set about the process, the easier it will be.
Of course, you may be organised and have already purchased most of the gifts you will be handing over.
However, if there are still items left for you to buy, you might want to consider getting binoculars for one or more of your loved ones.
Such items can provide many hours of entertainment and as such are a great offering at this time of year.
If you do follow this path, there are a number of things you should bear in mind.
Obviously, the type of binoculars you decide to get will in part be decided by your budget. After all, there is no point in spending too much money otherwise you may find yourself in financial difficulty when your credit card bills come through in January.
But it is not only cash that should influence your decision. You should also take into account the preferences of the person you are buying for.
For example, if they love getting out and about to experience nature, you might want to get bird watching binoculars for them.
Meanwhile, if they are only young, you should make sure the items are small enough for them to hold.
By putting enough thought into your purchase, whether you end up getting bird watching binoculars or not, you will be sure to select the perfect item.
Buying telescopes specifically design for activities, such as bird watching, means nature fans are able to get great views of the animals.
Some prefer monocular types over binoculars, as these often provide great clarity, allowing users to see feather and plumage details they may otherwise miss if they were viewing the creatures through the latter instruments. Devices designed for outdoor use in bright conditions also tend to be favoured over those created for looking at the night sky, as these feature fairly delicate mechanisms that may be affected by poor weather conditions. In addition, some kinds may not have lenses wide enough to emit the light needed to see animals clearly over long distances.
The magnification of bird watching binoculars proves a major draw for nature lovers tracking creatures. The range of devices we have on sale often have wide apertures that bring distant animals close to users, so they get to appreciate clear images. As well as magnification, there are other features of the devices that shoppers may like to consider before going ahead and purchasing one.
For example, size and weight of the instruments could be an important factor if users plan to carry them long distances when tracking creatures. In addition, telescopes of this type come in a variety of forms including those which are angled and others that are termed straight-through. The former are designed to be more comfortable to peer through and when they are stabilised on a tripod, images are particularly clear. On the other hand straight-through types are more portable and can be easily passed between users when necessary.
Bird watching (or twitching) is a truly egalitarian hobby, and all you need really is a pair of eyes. However, if you want to become a master of bird identification you’ll need a pair of bird watching binoculars. Luckily there is a wide range of binoculars available, to suit any level of experience or budget.
The first issue to consider, and the reason why binoculars are ideal for bird watching, is portability, and whilst it is a function of all binoculars that they are portable to an extent, some kinds of binoculars are clearly more portable than others. For beginning bird watchers or birdwatchers that want a truly portable viewing solution, compact bird watching binoculars are ideal, such as the “Nikon Sprint IV.”
If you want telescopic level magnification, however, you’ll need a larger pair of binoculars that will be able to gather a great volume of light. Whilst not as portable as compact binoculars, large binoculars are able to offer greater levels of details and are therefore ideal for stationary viewing activities, such as viewing from hides, a great pair of large binoculars are Minolta’s Classic II Binoculars, which benefit from great quality and a large field of view.
The is another alternative for bird watches other than binoculars, however, namely spotting scopes, which can offer greater magnification thus making them ideal for long distance bird watching, and tripod mounting; a great spotting scope is the “Opticron HR80 GA ED”.
If you find that you take more than a passing interest in the birds in your garden, wonder what the Latin name for a robin is, and fight to get the remote control from your partner when a documentary about birds is on, the chances are that there is a bird watcher in you dying to get out!
You’ve done a bit of research and decided you need to invest in a good pair of binoculars. So you’ve been to the shop and chosen a good power range and a comfortable weight.
Now you have to make the compact binoculars work for you – and don’t be swayed by what your friends tell you or what the salesperson tells you. Get the fittings right for your eyes and get the focus nice and clear. Make sure you have a good clear view and your eyes feel comfortable.
Do they feel ok hung around your neck? Is the strap too thin or not strong enough? You’ll be carrying them around your neck like this, remember, so they need to feel comfortable.
Try them up against your eyes. Check that they feel balanced in your hands and that you can reach the central focusing wheel.
A good tip for glasses wearers is to choose binoculars that have fold-down eye-cups.
Once you have found the right pair, paid up and gone home, it’s worth remembering a few pointers for everyday care of your bird watching binoculars:
1. Keep them clean and dry
2. Treat them gently – they are often more delicate than they look
3. Look out (excuse the pun) for health problems such as eye strain or headaches.
Bird watching isn’t all about hiding in bushes. In recent years it has thrown off it’s frumpy image and is even recruiting the support of celebrities like comedian Bill Bailey.
Bird watching is a relatively low fuss activity – all you really need is some wildlife, patience and a pair of bird watching binoculars. However great your eyesight and observational skills might be, bird watching binoculars really are essential to help you see as much of the bird as possible, in as much detail as you can and without scaring it away.
Choosing a good pair can be tricky though, especially if you are just starting out. Power ranges are the first things you need to get right. Every pair of binoculars will have two numbers on it e.g. 8×24 which refers to the power range.
The first number refers to the magnification. While you might think the higher the number the greater the magnification and therefore the better the binoculars, it’s better to go for a 7 or 8 as any higher than that and the binoculars might be uncomfortable to handle.
The second number refers to the objective lens – the bigger the lens, the more light comes through and therefore the more you can see. Again, while a larger objective lens suits darker conditions like poor weather or night time viewing, it does also mean the binoculars are going to be heavier.
The best thing to do when deciding on what power range to settle for, is have a good think about what conditions you are going to use the compact binoculars in and how much carrying you are likely – and willing – to do.