Picking The Best Bird Watching Binoculars

Bird watching is a serious hobby and requires artful skills.  You can’t run out into the woods with any old pair of binoculars and be set to bird watch.  You need binoculars that are sensitive and delicate to the touch so that you can zoom in on your subject with precision.  This will make bird watching more enjoyable and rewarding for you.  Let’s establish some basic criteria for bird watching binoculars that will give you an advantage in bird watching. This information is also great for those bird watching for beginners enthusiasts. 

Select binoculars that have significant magnification power.  If you can’t clearly see the birds you will not be able to appreciate their detail and not their habits from a safe distance.  You don’t want to creep in to closely.  Birds will only fly away.  The solution is high magnification binoculars.

Binoculars are marketed with two numbers and a multiplication sign between them.  This is called the magnification indicator.  Binoculars marked 8×40 offer eight times more magnification that normal, healthy eyesight.  The number to the right of the multiplication sign indicates the amount of light the binocular allows into the prism.

The higher the lighting number, the easier it is to see in poorer lighting conditions.  That isn’t to say that a magnification followed by a 30 wouldn’t be sufficient.  It would not be as optimal as the forty when you begin bird watching. 

One interesting point of note, the higher the magnification the heavier the instruments will be and the more difficult they will be to maintain.  If you are just starting out begin with a 7x or an 8x magnification.  Increase to a 10x when you have mastered the skill of bird watching, or if you are already a professional.  The best binoculars for bird watching will cost a few hundred dollars, which is why you should choose lower end binoculars when you are starting out.  It will save you money and give you time to see whether you appreciate the hobby of bird watching. 

There are a few more important tips before you buy bird watching binoculars.  First, to compare binoculars.  Get a feel for the binoculars, their weight, clarification, and focus.  You should buy the pair with which you are most comfortable.  It is also important for individuals who use spectacles should find scopes that have a minimum of 15 mm of eye relief with a foldable eye piece.  Another factor, often overlooked when buying binoculars is the exit lens.  Check the balance, weather proofing, design, the focus and coating to ensure that if you end up in less than optimal bird watching weather the day is not shot by a pair of cheap binoculars through which you couldn’t even see your hand before your face.

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