the insight you need before you select your next set of Binoculars.
distinction between birding and birdwatching is probably best described
as one of 'passion'.
The birder has an over-riding passion for their subject and as such, is
likely to got to greater lengths, and expense, to ensure they have
absolutely the best birding binoculars they are able to afford.
Birding enthusiasts often specialise in one type of bird, and know all
their plumage variations, together with all the habitats they are
likely to frequent. They will often travel large distances to view the
object of their 'passion'.
Birding takes place most frequently in temperate climates, when the
birds are in migratory mode, during the spring and autumn. Birds are
easiest to spot in the early morning when searching for food. Early
mornings have low light levels.
The specification of birding binoculars therefore, needs to allow for
this low level of light, by permitting the greatest transmission of
light possible, through the optical path of the instrument.
Such are the advances in optical coating technology over the last five
years that it is now possible to reduce the loss of transmission to
less than 3%. In other words, a transmission percentage of 97% is
possible, with the coating technology available today. This results in
the brightest image possible under all lighting conditions, an absolute
'must have', for any serious birder.
Of equal and possibly even greater importance to the birder is the
ability to identify the colors of the plumage of the bird they are
observing and the variegations thereof. To this end, the binocular must
transmit colors without aberration, a difficult proposition, in a light
path that consists of two lenses and two prisms as a minimum.. Once
again optical coatings come to the rescue and can reduce chromatic
aberrations inherent in all lenses and prisms to levels, where natural
colors and the contrasts between these colors, is clearly identifiable.
So what is the best specification for birding binoculars?
The commonly agreed criteria are an 8x magnification with a 40mm or
42mm diameter objective lens.( the big one at the front of the
binocular.) This provides the best combination of magnification, field
of view, depth of field and light transmittance. The optics all need to
be multi-coated, to minimise reflections, and maximise color
transmission and contrast.
This specification can often add up to a significant purchase price. To
the serious birder, the cost of the best birding binoculars is
considered money well spent.
Buying Tip #1
what type you need. There are
several different types of
binoculars and they have considerably different features. Zoom,
stabilized and digital to give an example. Decide what type of
binoculars you need to meet your needs before you start to look in
Buying Tip #2
on your budget Binoculars lens
quality has a big impact upon
the final price. Before you fine tune your selection make sure you have
set a budget for the features and type of Binoculars you need. You will
avoid wasted shopping time if you have a budget you are working to.
Buying Tip #3
or Zoom.The larger the zoom the
larger the binoculars tends
to be the rule. The larger the lens size the brighter the image. Both
these elements increase the size of the binoculars. Before you shop
decide on the maximum physical size of binoculars you are happy with.