Sunday, May 31, 2020

Birdwatching Binoculars

In my previous post Wildlife Binoculars, I mention about Swarovski SLC 10×42 WB which is a very sturdy optical device for field use. Actually, there are a lot of other brands that can also deliver clear and crisp images of birds and other wild animals that we would like to watch especially in a distant tree, beach or in the sky. I personally have got some Chinese made 10x 42 mm roof binoculars. They are not the best in the market but they give good quality images. I often bring them into the forest when I guide birdwatchers.
Birdwatching tour in Sorong forest
British tourists were watching birds in West Papua

Bad Binoculars
Several years ago I thought that binoculars with higher magnification were better. In reality I was wrong. I used to buy a pair of binoculars from a shop in my town without checking its performance in the field - a Chinese made Papillon 12-36×70 binoculars. The next day, I brought the binoculars to the field when I guided a French couple on a 3 day/ 2 night riverwalk and birdwatching tour in lowland forest of Manokwari. When I tried the device, I was very disappointed with the image quality it produced. My old binoculars with lower magnification gave me sharper and clearer views of birds, scenery and trees.
Characteristics of High Quality Birding Binoculars
From that day I decided to read more information on the internet about binoculars. I spent more time reading about technical aspects of binoculars, here are some of the features from the binoculars which birdwatchers must know.
  • Brand name and long tradition in binoculars manufacturing - Companies that have manufactured binoculars for tens of years have got more experience and expertise in making high quality binoculars. Zeiss, Swarovski, Leica, and Nikon are some of the manufacturers that have created high precision optical products including binoculars.
  • High quality binoculars are made of high definition glass lenses such as Extra-low Dispersion glass and Bak4 prism.
  • In tropical rainforest, the frequency of rainfall and humidity is high. Binoculars have to be sealed with waterproof O-ring and filled with dry nitrogen. 
  • To ensure the production of clear and sharp bird images, every surface of the lens in binoculars have to be painted with anti reflective compounds. 
Swarovski binoculars El 8,5×42 for birdwatching and wildlife watching
Swarovski EL 8.5×42 binoculars
One example of an excellent binoculars is the Austrian made Swarovski EL 8.5×42. I used test the product when I went birdwatching in Arfak range. The image quality it produced was sharp and clear. I highly recommend this device. Birdwatchers cannot be separated from their binoculars particularly when they go into the forest, the beach, lake, or walk along the banks of a river. High definition binoculars will definitely enhance birding experience. Bad quality binoculars can ruin the whole birding experience of an avid birdwatcher. So, before buying binoculars, make sure that the device has got at least four important characteristics that I mention above. written by Charles Roring
Related Post:
Sketch Red Bird of Paradise and Binoculars
Camping and Watching Wild Animals

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