Magazine article Whole Earth

The "Best" Binos

Magazine article Whole Earth

The "Best" Binos

Article excerpt

If size and weight are crucial (many days of backpacking), then buy pocket binos, Remember that they have limited capacity in dim light and small fields of view (birds hop out and can't be found).

Wear eyeglasses? Buy binos with at least an 18-20 mm eye relief.

If good light is paramount (birds at dawn or dusk), then divide the first number into the second. For instance, 8 X 40 or 7 X 35 equals five. "Five" means great viewing in dim light. Anything "three" or be. tow is a pain and limits viewing at dawn, dusk, deep forest, or cloudy days.

If you need power, read the first number. "IO" is great for eagles in the sky and planets at night, but the image may be hard to hold steady; "7" is the best for beginners because it allows a wide field of view so you don't lose track of the moving basketball player or flushed parrot.

In foggy places or at sea, the nitrogen-purged and O-ring sealed binos are the best (e. …

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