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Hi. im thinking of buying the Meade 15×70 . It will be mainly for astronomical/stargazing use. It will also be used for day time (bird watching, etc). We wont be using a tripod and we’ll be travelling with it. So portability/weight will be a requirement. I also were an eye glass. Plus, should be easy to use. Do you reckon this will be the best option? Thanks.
Alpen Shasta Ridge: Though we loved this company’s more-expensive Midas model, we were less impressed with this cheaper sibling. Focusing was difficult, feeling soft and difficult to get exactly right. These also offered noticeably inferior light-gathering compared with the Athlon Optics Midas ED pair. Plus, since we tested this pair Alpen has ceased operations. We expect these to become hard to find.
The good news is we really didn't run into any binoculars that were uncomfortable to hold. No matter what model you buy you'll likely be able to use them for hours on end without any nagging discomforts. However, small touches like the nice thumb indents on the Vortex Viper makes the bins feel a bit more ergonomic and comfortable. Likewise, the tacky rubber coating of the Nikon Monarch models lends a solid feeling grip whether you're fondling the barrels like you're double fisting beer cans, or using a dainty fingertip grip as if you're sipping tea at a fancy party.
Modern binoculars all come with an adjustable eyecups around both eyepieces. This is either a foldable rubber cup or one that adjusts in and out using screwing motion. The simple rule of thumb is that if you wear glasses make the eyecup as small as possible, i.e. you need to get your glasses as close to the glass eyepiece in your binocular as you can.
The idea of purchasing a rangefinder binocular is to observe things which are far. So it is ideal to have the maximum range for the rangefinder binocular you purchase. With the increase in magnification, you get an increase in range. Choose the kind of magnification which would suit you the most. If the range you want from your rangefinder binocular is less, then you do not have to go for one with higher magnification. Also, in cases such as bird watching, people need rangefinder binoculars which can have great minimum range. They would be using the binocular for closely watching birds in the nearby tree branches. So the minimum Focus distance has to be less than the distance between the person and the tree. So, keep both these aspects in mind.
Convenience. It’s certainly more convenient to have both important devices combined. Imagine the situation where you spotted a prey and you would like to estimate it’s distance from you. When you took out your rangefinder device, it’s gone already. I bet you are going to be pretty frustrated. Furthermore, carrying both devices (that could be combined) during a hunting trip is just not wise.
Look at your binoculars as a long-term investment. Unlike the latest electronic gizmos your binoculars won’t become obsolete in six months, and if properly cared for the view through them won’t deteriorate over time. A good pair of binoculars will keep delivering value week in week out, year after year for decades. More expensive binoculars are also made with better quality materials and to tighter production tolerances, and are built to cope with the rigours of life in the field.
The clear majority of binoculars use a center focus system. The main focus wheel is set on the bridge between the two oculars and moves them symmetrically. With center focusing, many manufacturers will have a dioptric adjustment dial on one of the eyepieces to fine-tune the focus to match individual optical prescriptions. The dioptric correction amount is decided by each manufacturer, usually by model, and can be on the left or right eye, or both. Certain models have the dioptric correction integrated into the center focusing mechanism.
The Geovid HD-B also has an internal ballistic calculator that works off of your rifle’s bullet weight, ballistic coefficient and velocity. One thing that sets the Geovid apart from the rest of the pack is the fact that they take into account angle and barometric pressure. This is important because if you are hunting at different elevations your drop can vary greatly, the HD-B’s will modify your drop accordingly automatically. It’s worth noting that ballistics do not read out past 1000 yards.
Looking at the basics, you’ll find that all binoculars come with a set of two numbers. They can be 7×42, 7×50, 8×42, 10×52 etc. This is a pretty important number with rangefinder binoculars, and any binoculars in general. The first number will tell you the magnification. For example, a 7×42 will show you objects 7 times closer than the naked eye. The second number tells you how big the objective lens is in mm. A larger objective lens lets in more light, and you’ll be able to see a brighter image. This could be especially beneficial in darker conditions. What you should know is that higher magnification will reduce the amount of light that’s available, and a large objective lens will make the binoculars large and heavy.
Often, but not always, the optic will employ some type of seal—an O-ring or gasket—to keep moisture, such as from general humidity or a light mist, from getting into the optical tubes. You can take a weather-resistant binocular out in moist conditions without causing damage. The air inside the optical tube will probably be just ambient air from the factory where they were assembled, and due to air conditioning and other factors, will usually have an extremely low moisture content. What this means is that under most normal conditions, a binocular right out of the box shouldn’t have fogging issues, even if it is O-ring or gasket sealed.
There are two separate categories that your binocular use can fall into. The first is bird watching and hunting. These activities generally require higher quality binoculars. Recommendations from the Audobon Birding Society call for binoculars that have a magnification of around 6 to 8 times for optimal bird viewing. Any higher, and you will likely have trouble locating animals in the scope, as you’ll lose points of reference when putting the binoculars up to your eyes. The same should be taken into account for hunting – where getting an animal in your binoculars’ viewing range quickly is paramount.
True, the differences in data between your left and right eyes are integrated into depth information by your busy mind. Even though the vast distances of the universe make it challenging to perceive depth, if you inform yourself in advance with some knowledge about the objects you are going to be observing, you can begin to see the universe in 3D. Binoculars make this mental gymnastics faster and easier.