How to Choose Optics
for Wildlife Viewing - Part 3
Focusing mechanism and cost
are your final considerations
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.
system allows you to focus each eyepiece individually.
Though slower, this system usually is more water and dust resistant.
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.
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.
The price, 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.
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.
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?
optics are a lifetime investment. No reason to waste
money on something you don't like because they seemed a good
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