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