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September 2007


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Jonathan Comeau <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Vermont Birds <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 13 Sep 2007 18:23:15 -0400
text/plain (80 lines)
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