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What is most important to you?

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Poll Question: What do you consider to be the single most important feature?
Poll Choice Votes Poll Statistics
19 [76.00%]
0 [0.00%]
1 [4.00%]
1 [4.00%]
2 [8.00%]
0 [0.00%]
1 [4.00%]
1 [4.00%]
0 [0.00%]
0 [0.00%]
0 [0.00%]
You can not vote in this poll

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/28/2006 at 16:59
Chris Farris View Drop Down
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What is the most important feature you consider when buying a binocular in any price range?

 

I know its hard to just pick one.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/28/2006 at 23:50
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The most important quality of a binocular would be the clarity.  The first binocular I ever picked up was a Lecia.  So, I guess you can say I am spoiled, and at the time, did not know it!.  I knew very little about sports optics when I I discovered hunting, about 10 years ago.  I have tried several other binoculars on my hunts and I always end up disappointed with the quality.  By far Leica has the best clarity and light gathering.  Just when you think the sun has gone down too far for hunting, just look through the Leica binoculars.  You would think it was day light again.  They are that good and well worth the big $$$$. 

 

Chances are.... If you get a good binocular that has impecable clarity, it will also have superb light gathering.  Believe me, you will not regret the purchase.  It is a binocular that will last you for a long long time.  For now on, I don't think twice on choosing between which binocular I will take on my hunts.  Without thinking, I take the Leica.   have been on several hunts that required 300 yard shots and it could not have been done without a good binocular.  I would not have seen the animal or been able to judge the quality of the animal without good binocular.  A good binocular does make a HUGE difference.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/29/2006 at 02:59
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Chris, "light gathering"? It is such a misnomer?  Instead of "optical clarity" and "light gathering", I would probably be inclined to say :optical resolution" and "light transmission".

ILya
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Ladyhunter is right in their opinion but use a Leica binocular needs the use of a rifle scope with a very hight quality for the night hunting.

Regards

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/01/2006 at 09:50
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Hard to pick just one when it comes to a hunters most important tool, IMO.

 

I had to go with "light gathering" even though "clarity" is as equally important.........

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/01/2006 at 10:50
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Originally posted by koshkin koshkin wrote:

Chris, "light gathering"? It is such a misnomer?  Instead of "optical clarity" and "light gathering", I would probably be inclined to say :optical resolution" and "light transmission".

ILya

 

I know, I know.  I debated over which term to use and although 'light gathering" is technically incorrect it is the more widely used and understood term.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/01/2006 at 16:12
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Lady Hunter,

    Welcome to the OT!   It is nice to see more woman post. 

 

I will have to agree that "The most important quality of a binocular would be the clarity."  Swarovski's clarity is very close to Leica's.  At times, it is very hard to tell which one is which.

 

Even though Leica is very bright and clear, which plays a large part in deciding which optic to buy, the second most important thing to look for is weight.  If you are out for several hours you don't want something heavy.  Or at least I don't. 

 

For instance,  the Leicas seem more bulky when I am holding them.  I have small hands and Swarovski offers a better grip for me and seem less heavy when holding them for more than five minutes.  But this is just my opinion on Bino's...

 

Once again glad to see more woman post....

Mary



Edited by mary
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/02/2006 at 13:47
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I love to bird watch, so my choice would be Leica 8x42 BN for there optical clarity and focusing. The

 Leicas are great for observing the tiniest detail of birds and insects along with other wildlife.

 

You have a short close - focus distance of 3.1m/10.2 ft and extremely wide field of view of 389 ft at 1,000 yards

compared to 331 ft at 1,000 yards with 10x, which makes it much hard to locate a distant bird...

 

 



Edited by Stephanie
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/02/2006 at 15:27
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Originally posted by Stephanie Stephanie wrote:

 

You have a short close - focus distance of 3.1m/10.2 ft and extremely wide field of view of 389 ft at 1,000 yards

compared to 331 ft at 1,000 yards with 10x, which makes it much hard to locate a distant bird...

 

While I don't dispute that there are some advantages to having a nice wide Field of View especially for someone not particularly experienced with binoculars, I have come to the conclusion that technique is more important in locating whatever the item of interest might be. With practice getting on even a bird in flight, where there generally are not landmarks to provide assistance, is not a difficult task even with high magnification (12x +) optics. This despite the fact that they almost invariably have narrower fields of view.

 

I'm not sure how to vote on this poll.  Optical Clarity seems the most likely choice but, I'm not sure exactly what you mean by it:

     By "clarity" I assume we are dealing with the resolving capacity of the binocular?

     Do you mean edge to edge clarity, or just the "sweet spot" in the center?

     Do you include accurate color transmission and contrast as part of clarity?

     What if there is good clarity out close to the edges but, the optic exhibits either pincushion or barrel distortions?

     What about the opposite (nice straight lines but, a bit soft around the edges of the field?)

     Is "flare" something that would be considered a detriment to clarity or, is it a seperate category?

    

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/02/2006 at 15:42
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What is the purpose of this poll?  It didn't tell us anything we didn't already know.  I expected Optical Clarity with a few outliers, and that is what we got.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/02/2006 at 16:06
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Originally posted by bill47 bill47 wrote:

What is the purpose of this poll?  It didn't tell us anything we didn't already know.  I expected Optical Clarity with a few outliers, and that is what we got.

 

I don't think it was intended as a teaching aid, simply a questionnaire to see what folks look for when shopping for glasses......

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/03/2006 at 03:09
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lucznik:

Could you elaborate on your post??

The more I read it, the less I understand it.

 

Are you saying "it's the singer, not the song"??

What "technique" are you referring too that's more important than Stephanie's FOV comment?

 

Thanks.   

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/03/2006 at 09:24
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Good poll, it surprised me the amount of people that voted for optical clarity, I guess more bird watchers than hunters.....I voted for "light gathering" under the premise that it stood for low-light perfomance.....Still a cool poll.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/03/2006 at 15:51
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Cheaptrick:

 

Stephanie had indicated that having a lower powered binocular with a very large field of view was better because this made it easier to find the object of interest. She further indicated that having binoculars of 10x or higher made this task of finding what you want to see very difficult. I simply am pointing out that, while this statement may hold some truth for someone inexperienced with binocular usage, it is not so true for anyone willing to learn proper technique.

 

Most people I know who have difficulty finding the object of their interest in a binocular do so because of a failure to follow good technique in getting the binocular up to their eyes.  These people tend to look down to pick up their binocular. They then bring the optic up to their eyes and start to re-scan the area hoping to catch a glimpse of the object.  This results in a lot of "blind" panning around and is very easy (and humorous) to see.  Just watch some novice user sometime and you will instantly recognize what I am describing. This works with people just learning how to shoot a rifle as well.

 

People with more experience and/or knowledge sooner or later learn that if they don't take their eyes off the object of interest but rather, keep looking at it while they bring the optics up to their eyes, it is a very simple matter to visually lock on to the object without having to do any searching.  This is true even with high powered (12x + ) optics.  All it takes is a bit of practice. Using this technique a person can easily bring even moving objects (like birds in flight, running deer, etc) instantly to view and with more magnification, the individual can enjoy a more satisfying view of whatever it was they wanted to see closer.

 

Of course higher magnification involves greater difficulty in hand-holding a binocular as there is increased shake involved.  So there are practical limitations.  But, the notion that a larger field of view is necessary to find what you want to see is simply not true.

 

Consider two binoculars of the same make and model: The Leica Ultravid for example.  At 8x this model has a field of view of 388 ft.  The 10x has a 330 ft FOV.  That gives a difference of 58 ft, which seems at first blush like a lot.  However, you must keep in mind that this FOV measurement is taken at a distance of 1000 yards!  This is a distance at which neither of these binoculars is going to provide a whole lot of useful information whether you are a hunter or birder or whatever. For viewing at this distance, people are well advised to be pulling out their spotting scopes and tripods. A much more common and realistic distance for binocular users would be something in the 100-200 yard range.  (The average deer is killed at a distance of under 100 yds.) At such a range the difference in field of view for these same binoculars ranges from a mere  5.8 ft (@ 100 yds) to a maximum of 11.6 ft (@ the 200 yard mark.)  As you get even closer this difference becomes even more minute. However, at any distance the view from the 10x model is significantly larger and (I would contend) more satisfying.

 

I was once enamoured by the siren call of the wide field of view.  And on paper, as you compare the published specs of each binocular, this song rings loud and alluring.  I even have counseled people to look for the widest field of view they can get and have made optics purchases of my own based on this logic.  I still try to find the widest field of view that I can in a given optical configuration but, I will no longer sacrifice reasonably high magnification in order to gain a few feet of extra FOV. I have come to discover that in the real world this seemingly large advantage does not pan out like it would seem that it should. 

 

 



Edited by lucznik
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/03/2006 at 17:03
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Originally posted by lucznik lucznik wrote:

While I don't dispute that there are some advantages to having a nice wide Field of View especially for someone not particularly experienced with binoculars, I have come to the conclusion that technique is more important in locating whatever the item of interest might be.   

 

Now when you talk about experience, you are talking about yourself correct?  No one here in the OT knows each others experience.  So it is safe to say when you are commenting about experience you can only state the facts about yourself.  Stephanie may have a easier time with the 8x than the 10x.  I know I do.  For my hands and how I hold them (my technique) the 8x are more comfortable to hold.  I tend to shake when holding higher magnification for a long period of time. 

 

Everyone is entitled their own opinion. Yours in no exception.  However, Stephanie I completely agree with your post!  Now, that is my opinion.

Mary

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/03/2006 at 17:09
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I am not all that concerned with field of view, but I do see an advantage with wide field of view binoculars.  I tend to use 7x or 8x binoculars because of hand tremors, and I am generally most concerned with optical resolution and how easy on the eyes binoculars are (often a fnction of mechanical alignment).  Also, when I am looking at something I usually end up trying to scan the area thoroughly with the binoculars for things that I can not see with the naked eye.  That is usually a little easier with wide FOV binoculars.  Ultimately though, I would not base my purchasing decisions primarily on field of view.

 

ILya

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/04/2006 at 12:48
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Lucznik wrote:

"Stephanie had indicated that having a lower powered binocular with a very large field of view was better because this made it easier to find the object of interest. She further indicated that having binoculars of 10x or higher made this task of finding what you want to see very difficult. I simply am pointing out that, while this statement may hold some truth for someone inexperienced with binocular usage, it is not so true for anyone willing to learn proper technique."

 

 

The Gun Digest Book of Sporting Optics Wrote by Wayne van Zwoll, says:

 

 

"Stay with 7x glass-8x at the most. More powerful optics are harder to hold steady without rest. Also, the lower the

power, the bigger the field of view and greater the depth of field. Field is especially important up close because, while its angular measure is the same as when you're looking far, the actual window is much smaller. A wider field helps you quickly fine something you spotted with your naked eye, and to see more without moving the glass"

 

Lucznik wrote:

"She further indicated that having binoculars of 10x or higher made this task of finding what you want to see very difficult. I simply am pointing out that, while this statement may hold some truth for someone inexperienced with binocular usage, it is not so true for anyone willing to learn proper technique".

 

 

I made that statement because I can't hold a 10x without some hand tremors. The 8x works best for my eyes! It may also work better for someone who can hold a 10x without tremors and for someone who's eyes allow so much exit pupil.

 

Lucznik wrote:

"Most people I know who have difficulty finding the object of their interest in a binocular do so because of a failure to follow good technique in getting the binocular up to their eyes. These people tend to look down to pick up their binocular. They then bring the optic up to their eyes and start to re-scan the area hoping to catch a glimpse of the object. This results in a lot of "blind" panning around and is very easy (and humorous) to see. Just watch some novice user sometime and you will instantly recognize what I am describing. This works with people just learning how to shoot a rifle as well".

 

 

If I were bird watching, I would be glassing for my point of interest. I would not have the binoculars down. You assume that you know my technique, but yet you have never seen them.

 

 

I find there is always room to learn more about optics and I always strive to learn more. I can't say I know more then the next guy, but I do know that you get out of it what you put in to it. There is always going to be someone out there who strives to know it all. Working here at S.W.F.A., the world largest optic dealer, I have learned over the years, everyone has there own "technique" and are put in different situations when it comes to hunting or bird watching. One scope or binocular may not work as well for one as it will for another. Also, one person's "technique" may work well for them, but not work well for the next person. You know what they say about opinions, everyone has their own!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Edited by Stephanie
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Lucznik, your treading on dangerous ground when you mess with Stephanie!!!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/04/2006 at 18:30
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Originally posted by Roy Finn Roy Finn wrote:

Lucznik, your treading on dangerous ground when you mess with Stephanie!!!

 

Amen, Roy!!

 

Stephanie = Optics Goddess.........

 

Lucznik:

I got dizzy after reading your second post.

 

Brother, I guess you got me beat when it comes to "technique".

Maybe overall optics knowledge too. God bless ya.

I do appreciate you elaborating your first post though. Thanks for taking the time.

 

Stephanie's comments made sense to me. 

She merely offered her opinion based on her experience. FOV means a lot to her.

It's a poll. A way to guage what's important to differant people.

No more, no less.

I don't think you should dismiss her opinion as less than yours.

 

The one thing we can all agree on, is that optics are VERY subjective!!

If optics were less subjective and more absolute, there would be a lot less optics manufacturers running around.   

 

Peace....  

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/04/2006 at 18:57
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Yes Roy, you may be correct but, its not like I haven't tread dangerous ground before.  Challenging the orthodoxy of an established belief system can at times prove perilous.

 

It has at least, proven to be an entertaining "conversation." 

 

Stephanie:

Wayne van Zwoll is certainly a highly regarded and respected individual (he actually runs a outdoors skills camp for women not far from my home in Wyoming) and his advise rings true for the intended core audience to whom he is writing, i.e. people lacking basic optics knowledge and experience who are trying to make good, educated, first purchases.  This is also the core audience for almost every magazine article he (and other "experts") writes.  Actually, if you read what I have posted carefully you will find that I am in general agreement with their comments as they pertain to such individuals. My point has only been that this does not represent an infallible Truth and that, with greater experience and the learning of proper holding, bracing, and steadying techniques, higher magnifications can be used to great satisfaction.  Such processes are not difficult to learn and it is disingenuous to state that lower power is better based solely on the criterion you have given.  They are admittedly easier to use for someone lacking experience but, easier is not the same as better.

 

It's like learning how to shoot.  Anyone can learn to throw up a rifle, look through the scope, and pull the trigger.  Such an individual can even learn to shoot accurately enough to hit a 100 yard bulls-eye with sufficient success to be able to then successfully hunt a variety of game animals. In truth, the majority of shooters probably do little beyond this in their attempts at accuracy. But, if you want to become consistently accurate to any marked degree there are certain techniques that must be employed. These techniques apply to such things as:

     Proper control of one's breathing

     Proper body positioning for maximum stability

     Proper Head positioning

     Proper gripping of the firearm

     Proper sighting in methods

     Proper trigger control

     etc.

Go to a shooting match and you will see that the competitors who are consistently in the top rankings all use the same basic shooting form and control techniques.  Even Mr. van Zwoll will tell you this.  Don't believe me?  Go read one of his books on rifle accuracy in which he says exactly this. 

 

This principle is the same for any skill.  Anyone can pick up a basketball and learn to dribble around a court.  If they want to be competetive however, they have to learn the "fundamentals" of playing the game.  And so it goes with any activity requiring a measure of skill. Using sporting optics is no different and a person who learns to use proper holding, bracing, steadying, gripping, etc. techiques will find that (with practice) they can successfully use greater magnification than they first anticipated was possible.

 

By the way, I spent 5 years working for the largest contact lens retailer in the world and I learned one heck of a lot about contact lenses in that time.  I could tell you all about the various major manufacturers, their products, and the prescription parameters covered by those products.  I could even tell you which brands and models were the most popular. Despite that, you would be ill advised to ask me which were the "best" lenses, how to best care for those  lenses, or how to even get the darn things on your eye. 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/05/2006 at 09:11
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Lucznik,

    Apparently you have an issue with what Stephanie has to say.  Just because she works for a company she doesn't have any experience?  I don't see you saying that to any of the guys that work for SWFA that post in the OT! Sounds like you have an issue with women?  I will tell you I don't know EVERYTHING about optics like you claim to know (or at least that is how your post reads).  However, things you become experienced in you don't just learn in a day.  It is something you learn overtime. 

 

My grandfather taught me how to hold a gun, how to focus (without optics), how to hold it steady and how you slowly squeeze the trigger. 

 

"By the way, I spent 5 years working for the largest contact lens retailer in the world and I learned one heck of a lot about contact lenses in that time.  I could tell you all about the various major manufacturers, their products, and the prescription parameters covered by those products.  I could even tell you which brands and models were the most popular. Despite that, you would be ill advised to ask me which were the "best" lenses, how to best care for those  lenses, or how to even get the darn things on your eye. ." I gathered in your last paragraph just because she works for SWFA she doesn't use the product. Stephanie, on the other hand, shows that she knows facts along with experience.  Unless you are someone that is close to her I don't think I would be making that comment.

 

Who's to say YOU know anything about optics?   I have heard your "technique" all of my life, which I am not disputing.  Technique is important, however the purpose of the poll,something you obviously missed, was What is the most important FEATURE when buying a binocular at any price?  Your constant comments on "technique" shows you missed the point of the poll all together.  You can have the high magnification like you want and be using a pair of crappy bino's and use your "technique" and STILL not see the image clearly, because the glass, coatings, light gathering capabilities & etc...  You can't use a lesser quality  and get the same clear picture, no matter how good the technique, as a higher quality Leica or Swarovski.

 

Next time you respond to a post perhaps you should try sticking to the facts of the post and not personalize your comments by suggesting that another persons OPINION means that they are "inexperienced".  Especially when you have no way of knowing their degree of experience.

Mary

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/05/2006 at 10:05
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Mary you need to calm down and breathe.  I'm worried that you will hyperventilate and that can actually be quite dangerous. 

 

O.K, breathing normal?.....

 

First, I don't pull punches simply because the source of an innaccuracy originates from a woman.  That would be silly and sexist.

 

Second, in reviewing the sum total of the thread and all of my posts, (and with the possible exception of describing my previous work history with the contacts retailer) I have not made comments that were specifically addressed any individual's level of experience, or expertise (and even the aforementioned snippit from personal history can only be reasonably interpreted as a generalized statement illustrating that employment is not the same as knowledge.) I have maintained both a gender and an individual neutral stance, speaking in generalities and addressing percentages and majorities. I also have backed my statements with objective and verifiable facts, rather than with vitriolic emotions.

 

You are correct in stating that I don't know of your or Stephanie's level(s) of experience.  The reality is however, that I don't need to.  Nor in fact, do you specifically need to know mine (though I'm happy to share if there is interest.) The scientific method requires that we place the greatest weight on the greatest quantity of similar experiences and not on one (or two) individual entities within that group.  I have offered you verifiable examples from various sources which would tend to contradict the basic premise originally postulated.  Instead of getting angry and defensive, I invite you to address those issues.

 

I'm concerned at your turn from the topic at hand toward a rigid interpretation of the thread's "original intent" (as if there were some specific life-altering goal that we were failing to accomplish by allowing the "conversation" to follow a natural course to other, more salient issues.)  Is it possible that in your research you have found nothing concrete by which to debate the merits of the information I have given you?  I sure hope not because if the matter is that easily settled, I will be sorely dissapointed. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/05/2006 at 11:03
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Originally posted by bill47 bill47 wrote:

What is the purpose of this poll?  It didn't tell us anything we didn't already know.  I expected Optical Clarity with a few outliers, and that is what we got.

 

The point is precisely what you just pointed out as being obvious to yourself, but maybe not others.

 

If we had the ability to do a poll that would allow you to rate each feature on a scale instead of just vote for one it would look like this poll.

 

 

People get caught up in a lot of other factors that are really not that important to them.  You can get spec'd to death, so much that it becomes overwhelming while trying to make a decision.  I hear people say that they bought the Swarovski EL solely because it focused closer.....or I bought the Zeiss Victory solely because it was the lightest weight.  Overall you should rate what is most important to YOU, then start looking for a binocular that matches YOUR requirements.

 

Most important to me would be:

Optical Clarity

Light Transmission

Durability

Magnification

Weight / Size

Waterproof

 

Someone else might only need binoculars in a well lit wet setting and most important to them would be:

Waterproof

Optical Clarity

Durability

Magnification

 

Someone else might have super thick glasses and have a hard time using binoculars so they would want Eye Relief above and beyond everything else.

 

The next person might be packing in and out and their biggest concern is size/weight.

 

Point was to make you think what is most important to YOU and hopefully help in your decision making process.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/05/2006 at 11:27
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Optics Master
Optics Master


Joined: November/27/2004
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Originally posted by 357mag 357mag wrote:

 

Dang, you are FUNNY!!!!  --and talented!!!

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