Go to a Hawk Watch site and you'll find lots of 'try' options.
> Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2007 18:23:15 -0400> From: [log in to unmask]> Subject: Re: [VTBIRD] another optics question> To: [log in to unmask]> > Kevin Cross wrote:> > > Jason: Thanks for the very useful feedback. I would love to "try > > before I buy," but alas there are virtually no shops here that carry > > much of a selection. I may have to rely on Eagle Optics' buyer > > satisfaction policy and return a pair if I have to.> >> >> >> Kevin,> >>> >> While the Swifts remain to be an excellent pair of bins, a lot has > >> changed in the way of binocular manufacture technology in the last > >> 8-10 years.> >>> >> There are numerous pairs to choose from in the price range you > >> mention ($300-500). One thing I will caution, it is very important > >> to handle the binoculars you wish to purchase before you buy. Many > >> people have no second thoughts about buying sight unseen. You > >> wouldn't buy a car without a test drive, right? And, in my > >> opinion, the feel of the binocular is just as important as the > >> optical quality. After all, you could have the finest glass and > >> coatings in the world but if the bins don't feel good in the hand or > >> are too heavy, you probably won't want to use them.> >>> >> Aside from Swift, you might look into the following manufacturers > >> who produce high quality optics in your price range; (in no > >> particular order) Zeiss, Kowa, Vortex, Leupold, Bushnell, Minox, > >> Steiner and Nikon. My guess is that you'll have twice as many makes > >> and models to choose from in comparison to when you originally > >> purchased your Swifts. One additional note; if you can make the > >> jump to $600-800, there are some superb optics which rival the top > >> end glass.> >>> >> I second the earlier close focus comment. Birder's are continually > >> finding the joys of butterfly watching. Just make sure the parallax > >> is not too bad.> >>> >> Hopefully this helps aid your decision just a little.> >>> >> Good luck,> >>> >> Jason Guerard> >> Sales Manager> >> New Jersey Audubon Society> >> Cape May Bird Observatory> >> Northwood Center> >> 701 E. Lake Drive, P.O. Box 3> >> Cape May Point, NJ USA 08212-003> >> Ph: 609-884-2736 Fx: 609-884-6052> >> www.BirdCapeMay.org> >> www.njaudubon.org> >>> >> Take A Kid Birding®> >>> >> Subject: another optics question> >> From: Kevin Cross <kevc AT GMAVT.NET>> >> Date: Tue, 4 Sep 2007 13:32:33 -0400> >>> >> On the way to Algonquin last week, my beloved Swift Ultra Lites> >> (8x42, the old design, paid $200 about 8 years ago) were stolen from> >> our vehicle. I always thought the clarity and light-gathering of the> >> Swifts were as good as binos costing quite a bit more.> >>> >> As I research a replacement, I'd love to hear what folks like in the> >> mid-range, say $300-500.> >>> >> I'll be sure to check the archives for previous threads. Please> >> respond off-list if you prefer...> >>> >> Thanks,> >> Kevin Cross> >> Richmond> >> >> >> There is a very good store in Yarmouth, Maine. It is called The Wild > Bird Center and has a very nice selection of optics.> > Jonathan Comeau
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