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September 2007


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Mon, 10 Sep 2007 14:21:38 -0400
Vermont Birds <[log in to unmask]>
Kevin Cross <[log in to unmask]>
Vermont Birds <[log in to unmask]>
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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