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Tell me about binoculars

(24 Posts)
kittylester Mon 12-Dec-16 16:10:34

I'm thinking of getting DH some binoculars for Christmas as the free National Trust ones we had were stolen out of the car. I just con't seem to manage with binoculars so has anyone any advice as to what to look for?

Thank you.

Liz46 Mon 12-Dec-16 16:39:38

Sorry, I have never been able to get on with binoculars. I wish I did as we are going on a bird watching cruise soon in Goa. The boat supplies the binoculars, bird books and very enthusiastic young men to spot the birds for us but by the time I am focused it is too late.

granjura Mon 12-Dec-16 16:51:01

How long is a piece of string. It really depends what you want to do with them and how much you are prepared to spend.

I use mine for bird, wildlife watching, but also to look at architectural detail ... recently, on busy roads in Cape Town- to look ahead for the road signs and warn OH of which lane to use. I live with mine and take them almost anywhere- but not cheap. Bought them about 10 years ago at the British Bird Fair on Rutland Water. They are Opticron DBA 10X42. They have a great roof prism which allows them to be used in poor light - and used to use them all the time when going badger watching at dusk.

The most expensive piece of equipement I've ever bought- but worth every penny. About £750 at the time. Otherwise look at the RSPB website- or go to the Bird Reserve at Egleton for advice and purchase.

granjura Mon 12-Dec-16 16:52:19

Liz46- I used to find it difficult- but you really need to practice lots for your eyes and brains and reflexes to coordinate- it took me quite a while as I do not have good 3D vision.

kittylester Mon 12-Dec-16 17:33:26

Thanks a lot. Can you tell me what the numbers mean, the something x something else. Or any help to choose which ones.

kittylester Mon 12-Dec-16 17:33:49

What do I need to look for?

granjura Mon 12-Dec-16 17:41:01

DBA is the name of the Opticron Model - and the 10x42 is the best magnification I was told for all round use and for good dusk vision. Perhaps buy the RSPB magazine this month - lots of advice and ads in there. I really am no specialist- just followed the advice of the Opticron guy and am truly satisfied with the 12+ more years of use.

Shame Jacobs is no longer opened in Leicester, they were very good too. As said, the bird reserve at Egleton (Rutland Water) have people who know what's what, some for you to try and purchase too- a nice day out. Joyeux Noël x

granjura Mon 12-Dec-16 17:42:40


kittylester Mon 12-Dec-16 17:42:49

I had planned to go to Jacobs until I realised!!

kittylester Mon 12-Dec-16 17:44:23

Thanks gj, that has helped a lot!

granjura Mon 12-Dec-16 18:13:25

You are very welcome- Joyeux Noël to you and family.

Greyduster Mon 12-Dec-16 18:17:10

I will second Opticron - DH has a pair of waterproof ones but they are porroprism as we both find roof prism difficult to align. If you want to spend big bucks I would recommend Leitz Trinovid 8x42, but you can get a 10x42. Weight should be a major consideration - if they're too heavy they will be quite literally a pain to carry round your neck for long. My favourite pair are the Swift Audubon I have had for some years. Wonderful clarity but they weigh a ton and I only use them in hides now. I would also go along to an optics and event at a reserve, as suggested. You can try them and get good advice.

Greyduster Mon 12-Dec-16 18:56:40

I would say that modern Swift binoculars are probably much lighter than the ones I have.

MrsEggy Tue 13-Dec-16 17:29:40

I have some opticron taiga 8x25 which I have found really light and practical for everyday use, walking to find signposts in far corners of fields, birdwatching and general everyday use. They cost about £80-£90 and can be hung on your belt in their carrying case for walking. I found more expensive binoculars too heavy and tiring for all day use.

granjura Tue 13-Dec-16 17:35:21

Ouch, yes, terribly miss those- lent to a friend and never seen again. Will get a pair when in the UK in Jan.

Wobblybits Tue 13-Dec-16 18:00:10

Buying binoculars for some one else is very difficult, there are so many depending on the intended use. I spent weeks trying different ones at RSPB etc events before I chose the ones I have.

Wobblybits Tue 13-Dec-16 18:23:12

One thing to consider is does your DH wear glasses ? Some binoculars are more suitable than others, definitely try before you buy.

As a glasses wearer I did not find that many that performed well, this article explains the problem

I even found some of the high end ones were poor in that respect ie £1000 +.

The ones I finally chose were mid priced at £180 -

granjura Tue 13-Dec-16 18:32:58

Agreed- perhaps a voucher for visiting Egleton bird reserve at Rutland Water with a voucher for binocs, once tried. Go the whole hog and add lunch at the Finches Arms at Ambleton Road around the corner, or go totally posh and lunch at Michelin * Hambleton Hall. The Lunch for Less option Tuesday to Friday (do check, from the top of my head- is actually very good value for the quality and the place an views.

granjura Tue 13-Dec-16 18:34:52

Wobblybits Tue 13-Dec-16 18:48:04

I don't get this voucher thing. The ones I give are accepted in every business in the UK, even eBay, they never go out of date and not too much chance that they will go broke. Bank of England Tokens in values of £5 £10 £20 £50.

kittylester Tue 13-Dec-16 19:47:26

My neice had her wedding at Hambleton Hall, gj, but we love The Finches and intend to go for the weekend in the new year. We also like The King's Arms.

I've ordered some bins!

granjura Tue 13-Dec-16 19:59:42

Love both - some gorgeous bedrooms with lake view at Finches, and much cheaper too.

Where is the King's Arms?

Hope he really enjoys the binocs- just keep receipts in case he needs to swop them.

Love the Michelin * pub, the Olive Branch in Clipsham, but a bit further- or the George in Stamford (DD2 got married there, the other at Oakham Castle and Normanton Hall)- both great venues.

kittylester Tue 13-Dec-16 20:48:19

Kings Arms is in Wing.

granjura Tue 13-Dec-16 20:53:41

ah yes, remember now. Thanks.