How to Choose Optics for Wildlife Viewing - Part 3 - Florida Wildlife Viewing


        How to Choose Optics
   for Wildlife Viewing - Part 3





Florida Birding

Florida Everglades

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The most common focusing system is the central knurled wheel set between the barrels. With a turn of the wheel, the viewer brings the subject into focus.

On most binoculars, the right eyepiece also can be individually focused to compensate for a difference in eye strength.

Another system allows you to focus each eyepiece individually. Though slower, this system usually is more water and dust resistant.

Some binoculars have slide focusing, with a sliding bar controlling the image. This can make it easier to track fast-moving objects, and it also eliminates some of the heavier parts common in conventional central focusing binoculars.

Zoom focusing binoculars usually focus with the central wheel, which allows you to increase or decrease the magnification by adjusting a lever. Generally, zoom focusing binoculars cost more.


This, of course, is the ultimate consideration. It's possible to buy a binocular for under $100 - as low as $50 for some 7 x 35 models. That may be fine for starter optics or for children, but you get what you pay for.

How long do you want them to last?

For rugged optics, the price generally starts at $300. Prices also vary widely according to who's selling the binocular.

Sporting goods stores may price them close to the suggested retail cost, while online catalog order stores reduce the markup and in most instances, there's no sales tax.

Check the fine print about returns.

But you need to test drive your viewing optics, as you would a car. Make sure you like the way they feel, their weight, and whether they really work well for you?

Good optics are a lifetime investment. No reason to waste money on something you don't like because they seemed a good deal.

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