recent birds – new binocular

By , December 5, 2011 7:30 pm

Purple Finch

Purple Finch

Not much birding action lately. Our lake is frozen enough to skate on it. A pair of men were walking across the lake last week when it didn’t look very safe. We have been seeing Purple Finches, some later Brewer’s and Rusty Blackbirds. The Northern Shrike has been visiting. Just today we saw an unidentified bird that I think my be a kestrel but I am not sure.

I purchased a new pair of binoculars. I chose a Steiner Predator Extreme 10 x 42 binoculars. My old Swift Audubons wore out and I don’t think they were worth fixing. These were the best of those I examined. I looked that Nikon Monarchs 10×42’s and a Leupold 10×42. I hate the Nikons. That surprised me because this model is chosen by the NJ Audubon Society. In any event the diopter adjuster is terrible, the adjustment is too coarse. I like the Leupolds but they had a too narrow field. The Steiners are bit more expensive than the other two and a bit better made. The diopter adjustment is the finest among any I looked at. The field is a bit narrow for my taste by not narrow for a roof prism binocular. They are useable. They do have a bit of chromatic abberation. Not unusual in their price range but more than I prefer. ( I compared them with a 20+ year old Adblerblick binocular. That model is not as well made as the Steiner but it has very low chromatic abberation.

Are there better binoculars in my price range? Perhaps. Should I have purchased the newer Swift Audubons? Again perhaps, but I heard a lot of criticism of that model and I needed to know I would be comfortable with what I chose.

Steiner 10 x 42 Predator Extreme

Steiner 10 x 42 Predator Extreme

3 Responses to “recent birds – new binocular”

  1. Shawnne says:

    I am no expert on binoculars but the new ones he bought are nice. I can’t wait till Spring birding to look through them. Winter is “down time” for birding. One thing is, you never know when you will see an oddball bird. We are hoping for Redpolls and Pine Siskins to show up. I can’t wait to observe warblers again. That is my absolute favorite. On the other hand, we are getting more Pileated Woodpeckers again. I wish we’d see them more, but seeing one every other day or so is a treat. We had many more when we lived outside of Randall, but we had more woods there also. The open areas around the lake may be a factor here in fewer Pileateds.

  2. Bill A. says:

    Congrats on the new binos! New gear is always
    exciting. Surprised you picked 10 power, but given
    you are viewing many birds across the lake, I guess
    It makes sense. Also, I have never seen a Northern
    Shrike before. Nice picture!
    Bill A

    • Jerry says:

      I wasn’t sure I could handle 10 power but after trying out a few I was confident that I could handle this one. Still it is at the limit of my ability to keep it steady. One advantage of birding, unlike astronomy, you are chasing moving targets so a slightly unsteady hand isn’t so noticeable.

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