Binoculars and Scopes
More ways to find quality optics
For binoculars, how easy are they to focus? If it seems difficult, try others and compare. Also, examine the hinge adjustment that holds the two eye-pieces together; make sure it's neither too stiff nor loose.
Check for Misalignment
With binoculars, this could be a problem: The two telescopes that make up the instrument may actually be pointed in slightly different directions, now what you want.
To test them, focus on a distant object (at least 100 feet away) and slowly move the binocular away as you continue to keep the instrument level and look through both eyepieces.
At arm's length, with an exit pupil of 5mm, you should still be able to keep both images almost visually fused together as one.
Don't be alarmed if the images start shifting from side to side; that's normal.
But if they make an up-and-down shift, look for another pair.
Examine the Exterior
If a manufacturer hasn't done a good job with cosmetic touches to make his product look good, he probably didn't go to much trouble putting together what you can't see.
Read the Warranty
Warranties run for as little as a year and for as long as the owner's lifetime. A manufacturer willing to give an extended warranty probably has built something worth the risk.
Beware Bargains Too Good to be True
Good optical glass is expensive. So when you buy a scope or binocular, you usually get about what you pay for.
Once you decide what type of scope or binocular fits your needs, buy the best you can afford. Since an optical instrument often is a one-time, lifetime expense, you probably won't regret paying a little extra for quality.
Some of the top brands include Nikon, Sheltered Wings (for the National Audubon Society), Swarovski, Leica, Zeiss, Bushnell, Celestron, Bausch & Lomb, Eagle and more.To Part 1 Choosing Quality Optics
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