Funny Tim mentioned binoculars, very nostalgic...I was just thinking about binoculars and some of my old pairs in particular. But also particularly about optics quality.
Is there an ultimately superior binocular that is light years above all others, or even noticeably better? I’ll agree, the top models are better than the mid and low-level models, but is there a significant difference between the big money ($1300 and up) Zeiss, Swarovski, Leica, and Nikon? And, if someone says they see a substantial difference, are they disillusioned, reluctant to acknowledge another binocular, or simply correct? Have you ever seen anyone with an expensive binocular try out another binocular and say “Wow, these are better”? To tell you the truth, I would never spend over $400 on a binocular. It’s just the principle with me; I don’t believe Optics manufacturers can’t bring the price down…c’mon $2200 for binoculars. I would just feel like a sucker! Believe me, there are $350-500 models out there that are excellent and will suffice in any environment. I’ll probably get e-mails for this, but the big manufacturers haven’t improved the glass since the early 90’s…but have done a great job in marketing since then.
My advice, if you are in the process of buying binoculars, make sure the field of view is wide, the image is bright and sharp, and they feel comfortable in your hands and around your neck. I have a brand new pair of Zeiss Victory FL’s, the latest and greatest by Zeiss, and they are spectacular… probably
the best optically (opinion of course). But I still prefer my 1994 Zeiss Night Owl 7x45’s for hawk watching and forest birding, they are heavy and smell like a skunk, but they have the widest field of view ever made and are optically brilliant. I had a pair of Swift Audubon’s in the late 80’s that I absolutely loved, but gave them to my birding mentor after I acquired the Night Owls…still think about those Swift’s though. I have friends who have old pairs of binoculars I can’t even look through without straining my eyes or biting my tongue. Just goes to show, the “best binocular” is really a matter of opinion and personal preference. I’d love to hear feedback about other brands as well as feedback regarding Tim's post.
Labels: commentary, optics