diwill at uw.edu
Thu Mar 9 13:54:48 PST 2017
I'd like to mention something no one else has:
There really is no "best binoculars."
If you are backpacking a long way, then weight is paramount.
If you are working in low light, then light gathering power is important
[larger front objective lens, the second number].
If you use a tripod or are especially steady of hand, a higher power
(magnification, the first number) may be better.
If you are trying to follow birds in flight or flitting around, then a
lower power with maximum field of view will matter.
If you wear glasses, eye relief (usable distance from the back eyepiece
lens) may make some models unusable.
For much birding, minimum near focus distance is important.
Finally, if like me, you have substantial peripheral astigmatism, even
if it is corrected to first order by glasses or contacts, you may get a
sharper view from a smaller exit pupil diameter (diameter of the cone of
light exiting the back of the eyepiece, equal to objective diameter [1st
#] divided by magnification [2nd #]).
The considerations above are NOT completely independent as several are
But the caveat is that you MUST try out the optics yourself.
Start with reviews in your price range.
Then find stores with demo samples to look through.
Then, perhaps, follow Josh Glant's advice to get several you think might
work from vendors with free return policy.
Try out your two or three favorites in various conditions for various uses.
Finally, make your choice.
You'll be happier with your choice if you do.
And remember, your favorite won't be perfect in every situation, nor for
every other person!
Good luck getting a great pair for a good price,
Senior Research Engineer
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