Saturday, March 31, 2018

5 Reasons I Now Use Pocket Binoculars

One of the first things I did when I started to become interested in birding was to research what would be the best choice of binoculars for birding. After talking to experienced birders and trying out various models I came to the conclusion that a high quality 8x42 roof prism binocular would work best for me.

 I later purchased a more compact 8x32 pair as a back-up option but hardly used them.I still preferred the optics of the 8x42 even though the 8x32's were a little bit lighter.

At the time, no one recommended using pocket binoculars because they were not considered to be good enough for birding but pocket binoculars hae improved over the years. I recently traded in my 8x32's for Swarovski CL 8x25 pocket binoculars (seen above resting on a standard sized smart phone). I truly can stuff them in my coat pocket when I'm walking around and that has some advantages. 

Here are 5 reasons why I have been getting a lot of use of these new pocket binoculars: 
1) The newer models of high end pocket binoculars are really bright and sharp!: I don't feel like I'm missing much using the smaller Swarovski 8x25 pocket binoculars. They seem just as sharp and clear as my larger binoculars with the only sacrifice being field of view. There is a smaller exit pupil which means they shouldn't be as good as larger models in lower light but I haven't noticed that much of a difference.
2) They are great to bring with you while hiking: I was into hiking before I became more interested in hiking. It's much easier to carry pocket binoculars around a just in case  your run into some interesting birds while hiking deep out in the woods.
3) It's easier on your neck and shoulders: You don't have to walk around with heavy binoculars hanging around your neck and it's less stress on your arms and shoulders when staring up into trees. 
4) Less equipment to carry when carrying a camera and/or scope: Sometimes you might be primarily focused on using your camera or scope. Being able to carry your binoculars in your coat pocket in these situations is convenient.
5) They are perfect for the glove compartment: It's nice to always have binoculars available when your driving around. You never know when you come across a bird you want to check out. These binoculars easily fit in your glove compartment even with their protective case. 

I'm not giving up on using my full-sized binoculars but the benefits of the smaller ones are such that I plan to give them equal time this year. 

Note:There was recently an interesting article in Birdwatcher's Digest comparing the different models of pocket binoculars.I purchased mine from the Audubon Shop in Madison.

No comments: