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.
>> 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
>> 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...
>> Kevin Cross
There is a very good store in Yarmouth, Maine. It is called The Wild
Bird Center and has a very nice selection of optics.