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September 2007


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Vermont Birds <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 10 Sep 2007 15:09:35 -0400
text/plain (95 lines)
Just a suggestion-- the way I've always decided what optics to buy is to 
hang out where there are other birders and/or go on organized field 
trips and just ask everybody what they use and how happy they are with 
them and ask to swap binos for 10 minutes.  People generally love to yak 
on and on about their optics and are usually quite willing to let you 
have a look, especially if they like the ones they're using.

I'd also suggest that if you ask the the sales people at Eagle for 
recommendations, tell them what kind fo birding you mostly do and give 
them a general sense of what bugs you and what you like in binos, they 
know birders and optics so thoroughly that they can usually make 
terrific suggestions.   Worth noting that the last I knew, anyway, they 
were on straight salary, not commission, so they don't pressure 
potential customers to spend as much money as they can squeeze out of them.


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