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  • Binoculars


    Hi guys,
    The big brown truck and the nice man that brings goodies to the house stopped yesterday with a package from Cabela’s.
    I was deprived from sleep for the five days that it took between order and delivery, but finally the Nikon Monarch ATB 8x40 binoculars are here, and I will sleep soundly tonight.

    Although I have quite a few binoculars in my safe, I don’t have nearly as many of them as I do flashlights (most of you know me as the crazy guy that owns all those flashlights); but fear not, I am getting there.
    So it occurred to me that I should make a post about binoculars for those that are bored of hearing about my lights.
    I had owned quite a good amount of binoculars since I bought my first as a 15 year-old with an itch about optics. I even owned an expensive Zeiss when I was single and didn’t had a family to take care of.
    And I am here to tell you that the quality, brightness, sharpness, and durability of the new binoculars now on the market; it is better than ever.
    Not long ago, if we wanted all these features in a good binocular the choice was between spending a thousand in a Zeiss, Swarosvki, Leica or Minox or looking for good Porro prisms in the Nikon or Pentax lines.
    But since a couple of years ago, the Japanese starting coating the roof prisms of their binoculars with Phase Coating, and the sharpness and definition of their roof prism binos had increased to the point to rival the European imports from the big four, and all at very modest cost.

    Take, for example, the Nikon Monarch ATB (All terrain binocular) 8x42 I just received, or my Pentax DCF WP 8x42 that I bought last year.

    All lenses are fully multicoated (that means all surfaces, not only the glass to air surfaces) prisms are phased-corrected and have mirror-coated lower prisms (not cheap aluminum). They have blackened tubes to avoid reflections and are waterproof and fog proof; they have a nice outer coating of rubber (silent) and very good ergonomics. I particularly like the twist eye cups for eye-glass wearers and the ample eye relief: no problem using it with my glasses and instant acquisition of the picture even with glasses on.

    All that can be said for the Nikon Monarch can be said also of my Pentax DCF WP 8x42, except for the weight: the Nikon is lighter at 22 ounces but I don’t know how much my Pentax weighs until I get a new battery for my fish scale.

    I like the approach of securing the objective caps to the body of the binocular that the Nikon uses as well. I had to get creative with the Pentax and cook up something home-made to hold the caps to the binocular body.
    I did the usual checking for good prisms by holding the binos a few inches away and looking at the light spot in the ocular lens, nice and round without any hint of flattening, just like I was expecting. I checked collimation by holding it a few inches away and pointing them at the yellow line in the road, straight and sharp with not sign of being distorted.
    To test the sharpness and resolution most people look from the inside to the outside thru an open window, and most binoculars will perform well under those conditions. I look for a dark corner in the room and try to read some labels or a newspaper print set for the occasion; that is what separates the mediocre from the good or great binoculars.

    As the Nikon and the Pentax are so the same in quality I tried to spot any optical differences between them by perching one on top of the other and alternatively looking thru them. After several minutes of this I have to admit that they are both the same optical quality as far as my eyes can tell, without resorting to an optical laboratory.

    I have looked thru many Swarovski and Zeiss lenses, (I hunt the stores) superb optical quality in those glasses. I can tell you for sure than the new Nikon and Pentax are almost the equal of those expensive brands; that I only paid just over $300 with shipping for such a superb glass as the Nikon still amazes me.

    Kind regards,
    Black Bear

  • #2
    Oh yeah. Those twist eye cups are the koolest thing since ice cream. Now I can leave my glasses on and obtain the objective as quickly as a non-eye glass wearer. As you know, I had to take the glasses off to use the non-twist bino's. And it seemed I had to refocus the right eye piece every time.


    • #3
      Thanks for the info. We might be purchasing them. If you check the Montreal media of this past week you will see that my hotels were hard hit in the newspapers about car thefts from our open air free parking lots last weekend. 20 people attending a softball tournament in my city claim to have had there cars stolen while here. (The papers said 5 from one of my hotels, in fact there was 1 & 1 attempt-others were at other hotels & at the parks). 20 is an exagreration too.

      Anyway, one of our side-by-side hotels is a high rise overlooking the 2 parking lots. In the past we have set up in a room watching with binoculars. Looks like we might have to do so again.
      I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
      Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.


      • #4
        Hi guys,
        Here are two more I have:

        Hi guys,
        Here are two more I have:

        BINOCULARS 8 X 56

        Hi guys,
        This post will be of little help to those looking to buy a binocular in the 8 x 56 size, because what I have here is a little outdated, my Tasco 8x56 is about twenty seven years old and my Pentax DCF 8x56 about six.
        Still let me talk a little about them so you can see what job the monster can do.

        Great improvement has been made lately, especially in the phase correction of prisms that has sharpened the image considerably.
        These big and heavy binoculars together with the 7x50 are called night glasses and they have a very specialized job of taking advantage of the last available light at dusk and before dawn to see game in their habitat, they are mostly used by European hunters with their liberal shooting hours and used mostly from machans or hotchsit where the bulk and weight are of no consequence.

        In the eighties I was involved in doing some research in the habits of black bear, I have seated many times at bait stations armed only with these heavy binoculars, learning the feeding peculiarities and the pecking order of the American black bear.

        Although I had lusted over getting a Zeiss 8x56 I had to conform myself with the Tasco 8x56 for many years until I found a brighter binocular in the Pentax DCF.
        Brightness is a function of many things (including the objective diameter) the more prominent of them is quality of glass, the better factories use heavy and expensive Bak4 glass in the prisms and extra low dispersion glass for color correction and aspherical lenses that have multicoats of anti reflection coating as much as seven times; it looks like the Pentax binocular uses several of the new techniques to be brighter and sharper than the Tasco 8x56.

        Although my Pentax DCF is not corrected for phase distortion at the prisms, it is extremely sharp and bright; the new binoculars in the line of Nikon, Pentax, and others are, being made even better by the addition of phase correction in the prisms.
        In my Pentax the correction for eye relief for eye glass wearers is made on the old style fold down rubber eyecups, so you get only fully retracted or fully extended eye cups. I am very impressed with the new system in the Nikon line of helical retracted eye cups and in the Pentax line with the pull up or down eyecups that have come out in the last few years.

        My six years old Pentax DCF 8x56 has the objective and ocular caps not attached in any way to the body of the binocular, I had to get creative and cook something home made with a ribbon and some Velcro to have those caps at all times together with the binoculars, new binoculars in the Pentax line will be better in this regard (at least they have a solid ocular lens cover) and I am impressed with the system of retaining the covers that Nikon is using now.

        I pulled both binoculars from the safe a few days ago and compared the brightness and sharpness by putting them in the tripod perched in top of each other and taking alternate peeks throughout them at a ADT sign that is in my neighbor house, located at 50 yards from the tripod (by laser rangefinder) it reads in very small letter “protected by” ADT in big letters and again in small letters “security systems”.

        Both binocular let me read the sign and the small letters, but the Pentax was sharper than the Tasco and the quality of glass on the Pentax resolved much better when the light was falling down.

        At dusk when other binocular have quit, the big 8x56 continues to show you a clear picture. As I see its utility is for those that are willing to carry them in a back pack to use only after the daylight binoculars carried in the neck have quit showing detail.

        I don’t think many of these big 8x56 are sold, many people from hunters to bird watchers prefer top carry the compacts 8x42 that are lighter and less bulky and can show birds or game quite well until just before dusk, still I am writing this so everybody is aware that they exist and that they perform a very special function.

        Kind regards
        Black Bear


        • #5
          I live near a Cabelas. I'm my own "big brown truck".
          Retail Security Consultant / Expert Witness
          Co-Author - Effective Security Management 6th Edition

          Contributor to Retail Crime, Security and Loss Prevention: An Encyclopedic Reference


          • #6
            LEUPOLD YOSEMITE 6X 30MM

            Hi Guys:
            Some things are changing in the world of optics. It uses to be that you had to spend a good chunk of money to get good optics; after all, it is difficult and requires expensive lenses, expensive anti-reflection treatment, some quality components, and precise work to mount it all and to get the optics to perform as they should.
            Some optical aberrations and distortions can only be corrected the best possible. It is difficult to make good glasses to deliver a flat picture of good quality when the light ray has to pass through curved lenses.

            But the new computerized optics programs than the optical engineer is using these days has brought a solution to the trial-and-error and time-consuming work that was needed to produce decent binocular blueprints in the old days.
            They are several factors, beside objective size, that will determine how good the image quality in binoculars will be.
            They include optical coating, quality of optics, distortions and aberrations, optical alignment, and manufacturer tolerances.


            Back in 1970, I came back from the jungles of South America in one piece, but minus my good Zeiss binoculars. In seventy-one, freshly married and planning a trip, I was in need of a binocular, but my budget was $25.00 (you bought a lot of gasoline with $25 in the seventies).

            After looking at several on that price range, I selected a 7x35 Porro prisms Sunset (Japanese). It says in big white letters that it is an extra-wide angle (10 degrees), which, at the time, didn’t affect me since my young eyes in those days didn’t need prescription glasses (wide angle will reduce the eye relief, an important consideration to eyeglass wearers). But poor eye relief means that you have to get your eye very close to the lens to see the whole picture, which can put a drop of perspiration on the glass in hot days or fog them in the cold climate.

            It also makes it impossible to focus the edges of the glass. The center will be in focus, but the edges will be blurry: this distortion is called “curvature of field,” so keep in mind to stay away from wide field-of-view glasses if you want your picture to be relatively sharp all around.

            It also says that it has coated optics, which means (and I can see it) that only the exterior lenses have been coated on the outside, and that translates that a good amount of light is going to be lost throughout reflection, making them inferior to glasses that used multi-coating lenses to see in deep shadows and at dusk .


            So brightness and sharpness are affected by the amount and quality of the coating that are used in binoculars- the more the better (as much as seven coats for glass surfaces are been used now). When you think that as much as 4 % of light is lost through reflection from uncoated surfaces and that a binocular uses a total of 14 or more optical glass inside them, you will understand why multi-coats are so important for light transmission.


            I can see that the lenses in the Sunset haven’t been corrected for chromatic aberrations, which means that the colors will be more muddled if I were looking at birds. Of course, correcting for color needs a set of different glass, all keyed to a certain spectrum on the color scale, which makes binoculars more expensive and will have taken me out of my $25.00 budget in those days.

            Be careful of cheap binoculars with big lenses (50 to 60 or more mm of objective), as the bigger the lenses are, the more intense the chromatic aberration will be, unless it is corrected by low dispersion glass that will make the binoculars much more expensive.

            Good glasses should be corrected for another aberration called “astigmatism,” which is the effect of the light at the edges of the glass that is elongated into an oval that points toward the center. This together with the “curvature of field” tends to make glasses fuzzy toward the edges. I believe my Sunset 7x35 glasses shows a good degree of astigmatism.

            Of course, my 38 year-old glasses also show a good deal of spherical aberration. There is no way that ray of light passing trough the center of a normal glass can be in the same focus as the ones passing through the edges. This makes the image loss detail. Newer binoculars are now using an aspheric lens (usually in the oculars) that corrects the focus by bringing the center light rays to the same focus as edges rays of light, making the glass brightest and with increased contrast.

            My Sunset glasses show some “barrel distortion.” Were a straight line placed on the edge of the field of view, it will bow outwards at the center. If that line will bow inwards at the center, it will be called “pin cushion distortion.” Good glasses correct for this distortion with quality glass, although you can still find just a little of it even in expensive glasses.


            My Sunset 7x35 binoculars did fine for a few years (I didn’t use them much in low light) until I replaced them in my neck for a Bushnell Custom Compact 6x 25 CF in 1974, which then started my love affair with 6x lenses.
            The Bushnell Custom Compact are beautiful binoculars; light, small, and highly good optics that still sells today and is highly sought after by those that don’t want to carry full binoculars when birding or hunting.

            The street price on the Custom Compact is around $250.00, and it is well worth it. I have used mine for years in hikes into the high peaks of the Adirondacks. I think so highly of them that I had bought a pair for my wife in 1976.
            The only thing I always wondered was how it would perform in poor light if the objectives were as big as 30 mm instead of 25mm.
            Now, after so many years, another 6x binocular has fallen into my hands, thanks to the advice of FirstFreedom, a member of TFL forum.
            The Leupold Yosemite Porro prisms 6x30 is in my hands now and a beauty it is, both physically and optically.

            This Leupold is miles ahead of my Sunset 7x35, the comparisons I made in low light gives a great edge to the Leupold even than the objectives are 5mm smaller in the Leupold, and the numbers for exit pupil gives both the same 5mm value (35 mm divided by 7x = 5mm and 30 mm divided by 6x = 5mm of exit pupil). The Leupold outperforms my Sunset glasses, due to better coating and better optics.

            I was surprised when I put both in my fish scale because both weigh 1 lb. 1 oz., but the Leupold feels much lighter. The rubber covering and the twist up eye-piece guards are a big asset for the Leupold, as the Sunset doesn’t have any eye-piece guards at all. The Leupold Yosemite comes with a rain guard that is tethered to the elastic strap and regular caps in the objectives. That is one thing I would like to see changed; objectives should be protected with covers, such as the ones find in my Nikon Monarch, that are attached to the binocular body and not by caps that are easily lost.

            Optically, the Leupold Yosemite is very superior to the Sunset glass. Some aberrations and distortions are still in the glasses, but only in a reduced amount and in the edge of the field of view, and it is okay, because only very high quality glasses like the Swarovski and Zeiss can make those defects disappear almost completely, and after all, most of us look through the center of the field anyway, and not through the edges.

            Color seems to be fully corrected in the Yosemite, although I have yet to find a proper test medium to judge it (hummingbirds or woodpeckers).

            Sharpness and definition are well up in the scale, leaving the Sunset glasses in the dust. That all this optical quality is attained at the cost of only less than a hundred USD is a miracle of new manufacturing techniques. I am well pleased with the new Yosemite binoculars by Leupold, I took a calculated risk when I bought them, based on the Leupold name in others optics and I am well satisfied with what I got and for the little money I got them.

            Black Bear


            • #7
              Having shot through Leupold scopes a majority of my shooting life, I wouldn't expect less from the company.

              I was much disappointed when my young self learned that not every scope was as good.
              Some Kind of Commando Leader

              "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law


              • #8
                LEUPOLD KATMAI 6X32

                I must be off my rocker. I have binoculars coming out of my ears and I just went out and ordered another.

                This time the culprit that captured my heart is the Leupold Wind River Katmai binoculars, a roof prism model that is quite compact and light but offers superior viewing comparable to full sized premium binoculars.

                I had seen them before in catalogues such as Cabela’s and Red Head, but I never got interested because I thought they were only available in 8x32.
                Having recently bought the Leupold Yosemite 6x30 binoculars, I became interested in seeing what others models they offered and discovered that the Katmai were also available in 6x32.

                The reason that I am particular about the six power binoculars is that they offer a perfect magnification for the kind of close woods hunting I do.
                When available in the 32 mm sized objectives, I am getting a 5.33 mm of exit pupil, giving good quality optics; the right pupil opening for the low light condition that I often glass under. I never saw any reason to own them in 8x32, as I will be getting only a 4 mm of eye pupil: no doubt good for daylight, but no good for the use I put binoculars through.
                If I am going to use an eight power, then it will have to have 42 mm objectives to give me 5.25 mm of eye pupil. I already have two great pairs of glasses in that size (the Pentax and the Nikon) and I use them often, but the new Leupold Katmai is going to fulfill the same task, using less bulk and weight, which is important for me in certain instances.

                Here is a picture of them together so you can appreciate the size difference. From left to right: the Leupold Yosemite 6x30 Porro prisms, the Leuopold Katmai 6x32, the Nikon Monarch 8x42, and the Pentax DCF 8x42.

                I am fifty miles from New York City, so it is not possible for me to go to check binoculars every time I have a whim for them (and it happens often), so I ordered the Katmai over the mail knowing that you will not always get something over the mail that will fulfill your expectations. No such problem occurred with the Katmai binoculars, though: they are great and exactly what I expected them to be for a glass of this price and more.

                I performed the usual checks and was amply satisfied with the optical quality and mechanical precision of the glasses. The ergonomics are also great for a glass of this size, and I was well pleased with my purchase.
                One aspect of this purchase is worth mentioning: when looking at the Katmai 8x32 that Cabela's and Red Head have in their catalogues, the price for them was hovering around $400 to $420. I bought the Katmai 6x32 over the web for $289 shipped.
                Now the question is how they compare optically with the lower priced ($98) Porro prism Leupold Yosemite binoculars, and if the $200 difference is noticeable in the optical quality.
                If that difference is there, I can’t notice it! Both glasses performed well in my low light test and both are sharp and with enough resolution to satisfy the most rabid birdie.
                We all know that roof prisms are more expensive and difficult to make well, so part of the money goes toward that end, perhaps of influence in the price is the fact that the Katmai are made in Japan and the Yosemite in China; we know that our money buys more Yuan than Yen.

                So what is going to happen to the Yosemite 6x32 now that my new love is the Katmai? No problem on that end, since my son already declared ownership of the Yosemite, as he recently took them on a trip to Florida’s Everglades, using them in the Aninha trail and in the Flamingo point.
                He came back saying, “Dad, you will never these back; they are great glasses!” Now if I can just hide the Katmai from him until he goes to college in September, I will be fine.

                For those that don’t understand the obsession that possesses me, I am here to tell you that there is nothing better than to look through quality glasses. I am just in a rush to finish typing this to go and sit in my patio and look for the red-tailed hawk that has been visiting us here lately.


                Black Bear


                • #9
                  I wish I lived near a Cabelas location. I am jealous!

                  Be safe,

                  " We are determined that before the sun sets on this terrible struggle, our flag will be recognized throughout the world as a symbol of freedom on one hand and of overwhelming force on the other" - General George C. Marshall


                  • #10
                    HOW TO GLASS

                    Well, what now, you just put he binoculars to your eyes and look through them, right?

                    Just in case we have new binocular users here, I am going to explain the mechanics of glassing the right way. Not long ago a new hunter in the family was showing me his new binoculars that I noticed were adjusted in the interpupilary distance with a far greater length that I knew his eyes to be set.
                    When I questioned him if he was not seeing two uncompleted circles when looking through the glasses, he admitted it and was surprised when I told him that the binoculars are supposed to deliver only one circle. I guess he has seen too many movies where the view trough binoculars are shown that way.

                    So our first business with the binoc is to adjust the interpupilary distance by bending the barrels at the center hinge until our eyes see only one circle; that will ensure that the optical center of the glasses is in line with the center of our pupils.

                    Second is to adjust the diopter wheel that is usually in the right barrel; as not everybody has 20/20 vision, this wheel will adjust the focus for your right eye. To accomplish the adjustment cover the right objective with your hand or objective cap, look through the glasses and adjust the center wheel until the view is sharp and clear, now cover the left objective and adjust the diopter wheel until the view is sharp.

                    I used for years to do this in the reverse sequence, adjusting the diopter first and then the center wheel, you get the same results.
                    Look at the markings at the edge of the wheel to remember the settings in case somebody changes them, (I just put a small drop of white out correction fluid to mark the setting).

                    The eye relief is fixed and in modern binoculars quite generous, but the eye cups collapse to use the binoculars with your eye glasses, some models can be adjusted to stop midway or at increments so you can get your oculars lenses as far or as close as you want to your eye glasses.

                    Now you are ready to glass, if yours glasses are 10x they are marginal in how steady you can hold them, people varies but 10x is the magnification that can do with some serious help in holding the glasses.

                    Sit down and brace your elbows against your knees or sunk them into your stomach looking for the best stable position, grasp you binos with both hands but leave your index fingers free and anchor them against your temples, or alternatively grasp the edge of your cap’s bill to add another anchor point. What you are looking for is to minimize or cancel any tremors, as a jumping up and down picture magnified 10x will not let you appreciate the detail that you bought the glasses for.

                    With the 8x you have a little more freedom from those tremors, I have a very steady hand (I am a watchmaker) and can hold 8x glasses with one hand for relatively quick looks, but it is not recommended, after all glasses are not for quick looks.

                    Don’t scan with glasses, your vision should be concentrated in the center of your view, and the glasses when moving, should be moving in very small increments when you are sure that the picture that you are seeing is completely understood by your brain.

                    The part of the eye that does the stationary looking and captures detail is very small; it is called the macula and covers only two degrees of your vision. When looking through 8x glasses this angle decrease to ¼ of a degree, so if you want to capture the detail that you pay so much money for, keep your glasses steady and look through the center of them.

                    The crouch and the belly down position are also glassing positions that should be not overlooked, take a tip from African hunters and steady your glasses in the standing position with the aid of a mono pod or shooting sticks or even a walking stick.

                    In carrying your glasses you can do as the African white hunters do and use a long strap to place them out of the way in the left side of your body at waist level and under your arm, or hang them from your neck but with a very short strap, so they ride high on your chest and will not swing and strike another object when you bend down.

                    There are in the market some harnesses that will keep your binoculars close to your body when you move around, but they usually interfere with other equipment, at least in my case as I wear a back pack most of the time but for those that carry only the glasses those harnesses work well.

                    All the best
                    Black Bear


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Hank1 View Post
                      I wish I lived near a Cabelas location. I am jealous!

                      Be safe,

                      I've got a Bass Pro and a Cabelas within 30 mins of my house
                      "You gotta look like Rico Suave, Think like Einstein and, only if that fails...fight like Tyson." -Dougo83's FTO

                      Me- "Should we call the police?" My FTO- "Justin, here, we are the police. Go get em."

                      Originally posted by Black Caesar
                      some people just need killin!!!!! (Or Tasing, or pepper spraying or whatever).


                      • #12
                        Black Bear,

                        I mean this with the upmost respect as I have always found your threads to be interesting but DAMN you have too much money
                        Fight what is Wrong, Believe what is True, Do what is Right


                        • #13
                          NIGHT OWL 4X NIGHT VISION
                          COMPACT BINOCULARS

                          I have owned this night vision binoculars for about seven years. They are made in Russia and feature the first generation of Russian intensifiers tubes that are so popular lately.

                          It is my understanding that the Russian tubes were not of new manufacturing, but surplus tubes were released into the market. My first unit of these binoculars had a tube that was much dimmer than the other; however the Night Owl Company quickly exchanged them at my request.

                          As you probably you already know, unlike the older infrared night vision technology, the intensifier tubes do just that: intensify the light that is available (up to 30,000 times according to the instructions) and if ambient light is present, it doesn’t depend on the attached infrared emitter that is placed on top of the binoculars as an extension of the center pivot.

                          The binoculars enlarge the image transmitted to the oculars by 4 times. Not exactly a long-range pair of binoculars, but really very useful at short distances.

                          The Infrared emitter has a separate button for its operation. It is not really full infrared (infrared light is invisible) but a good amount of red shows out of the lens of the tube, making the fact that you are watching with them noticeable to humans. For game it really doesn’t matter, as most animals are blind to the red spectrum of light.

                          When used with a truly blind infrared powerful source (I just rigged a BOREALIS 1050 lumens flashlight ~2 million candlepower~ with a surplus Israeli jeep infrared filter) the binocular can easily “see” 300 yards away in total darkness.

                          The glasses weigh 31 oz., which isn't bad for a binocular that is 6 ¼ long by 6 ½ wide and 1 ¾ thick. The barrels of the objective adjust for focus individually. The adjustment is very smooth and easy to move; likewise, the ocular also has an adjustment that is individual to each eye, and it is not a center focus adjustment wheel, like in regular binoculars.

                          The metal screw in caps covering the objectives have a little pin hole to limit the amount of light that will enter if the binoculars are used during the day, which is mostly done to make adjustments for distance and focus previous to the projected night use. Those metal caps are noisy to unscrew or screw them, so if you're using them when game is near, I recommend replacing them with Buttler Creek or similar spring loaded binocular caps.

                          The power is supplied by a Lithium 123 3 volts battery that is loaded from the rear where the hinge is in the binoculars. These batteries are more popular than ever, thanks to the amount of tactical flashlights that make use of them.
                          This is better than the present problem I have of trying to find a number 1 battery for my Israeli surplus infrared night vision goggle (and by the way, if one of you readers know a source for such battery, please let me know).

                          For a first generation unit, the Night Owl 4x Compact is a very good binocular, well thought-out in its design and construction, with rubber covering to make gripping easier and to deaden game spooking noises. When I first bought them my son was 10 years old and interested in watching game, so we spent a few enjoyable nights watching deer eating apples at the tree and watching over a bear bait in upper Maine, just to see what was showing up. To all you fathers out there, those kinds of memories can last a lifetime and tend to be the greatest ones, especially when that same son is now a college student and interested in watching other types of game. So cherish them well.
                          Best regards,

                          Black Bear
                          BUILDER OF THE BOREALIS FLASHLIGHT


                          • #14
                            COMPACT BINOCULARS

                            Hi guys,
                            Many people will think that because I am advocating full-sized binoculars most of the time, I don’t have any use for the small, light, and compact binoculars that are so popular in the market.

                            This is not the case at all! I use them and enjoy the lightness and small size when the occasion is favorable.
                            Actually, if you are not into serious birding or need a full-sized binocular to evaluate elk antlers at last light, the small compact binoculars make a lot of sense.

                            Take, for example, initiating my European vacation starting at London about ten years ago. I decided that I needed a small binocular that would fit into my already nearly full camera bag.
                            I found my price in Portobello Road, a small reverse Porro prisms 8x by 24 mm Pentax binocular. Perhaps you are not familiar with what a reverse Porro prisms is; in this class of binoculars (to make it compact), the designers invert the relation of the barrels and oculars. The objectives are actually very close together, and the big separation is in the ocular lenses.

                            The Pentax has the diopter adjustment in the right barrel, like other modern binoculars, this particular model comes very well coated with magnesium fluoride for good light transmission and the focusing of the binoculars is all done internally, unlike other Porro prisms, which means that there aren't moving parts that can bring dirt or moisture inside.
                            The unit is rubber coated and weighs 10 oz. My steel tape says that it is 3 ¾" long by 3 ½" wide. A well constructed and solid unit, as you can see in the pictures.

                            I haven’t seen this particular model in the Pentax line lately, but I don’t doubt that what they are putting out to replace it is as good as the model I have, which has been tested in many hikes and been under rain when accidentally left for two days hanging from a branch at the top of a ridge.

                            Best regards,

                            Black Bear
                            BUILDER OF THE BOREALIS FLASHLIGHT