Binoculars To Take Along Riding - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 11-04-2012, 11:01 AM Thread Starter
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Binoculars To Take Along Riding

I've found a nice set of compact binoculars can be a great thing to have along on some rides. I carry them at all times and use them at least once on most rides to check something out at a distance, watch animals, etc.

I have several sets of binoculars from cheap "throw 'em on the floorboard" Bushnells to larger and more expensive sets I use for astronomy. Here's what can share about a set of "riding binoculars" if anybody's interested in acquiring a set.

Binoculars are always a tradeoff of size, performance, magnification and field of view. I've learned to heed the old adage "you get what you pay for" when buying any kind of optics.

Things to look for:

Compact size and a padded carrying case. 8x25 or 10x25 binoculars are about the best choice when it comes to decent performance vs. size. Some come with carrying cases, some don't.

Diopter adjustment and a central focusing adjustment. Since most peoples' eyes are different, this allows you to adjust the binoculars for one eye (usually the right) and from then on the binoculars will be in focus for both eyes even when using the central focuser mechanism. I personally avoid any kind of "quick-focus" or "rocker-type" focuser as they're not as precise or durable as a "wheel-type" focuser you turn to achieve focus.

A wide field of view is the most essential feature to look for. Small, cheap models with a narrow field of view are frustrating to look through. Look for a field of view of at least 60 degrees.

Eye relief (how close your eyes have to be to the eyepieces to see through the binoculars) is a factor with larger binoculars, but I've found that with these compact binoculars, if you wear glasses, you might as well plan on taking them off to view through the binoculars. It's possible to leave your glasses on, but that will greatly reduce your field of view as noted above. I've never come across a pair of binoculars of this size that would allow me to comfortably and effectively view through them with my glasses on. If you don't wear glasses, not a worry.

I think the most important advice is to buy them somewhere you can try them out first. Just picking them up and looking around a store will give you a good idea of whether or not you find the view acceptable. Compare a set of $30 ones to a pair of $100 ones and you'll most likely find a big difference in favor of the more expensive ones. Or, you might not even notice the difference, in which case you'd be perfectly happy with the cheaper ones.

These are the ones I carry: the Nikon Trailblazer 10x25's. They usually go for around $80 but I think they sell some packages that have the padded nylon carry case and some that don't include it. These are about the best I've found as far as size/useability and acceptable performance.





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post #2 of 6 Old 11-04-2012, 02:04 PM
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Mine are very similar, being either the made in China Nikon Sportstar (newish and fair quality) or the older Nikon 7 X 20 Made in Japan and excellent.

T

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post #3 of 6 Old 11-04-2012, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Schmitz View Post
Mine are very similar, being either the made in China Nikon Sportstar (newish and fair quality) or the older Nikon 7 X 20 Made in Japan and excellent.

T
Hard to beat the old and coveted Japanese-ground lenses. You're lucky to have a pair of those old Nikons. Even the optics from cheap Tasco, JC Penney, Sears, etc. store- branded optical imports from Japan in the 60's and 70's are still considered superb, even by today's standards. They're basically non-existent today except for a few companies that produce high-end instruments.



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post #4 of 6 Old 11-04-2012, 03:29 PM
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I carry these.


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post #5 of 6 Old 11-04-2012, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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[QUOTE=Rainier_Tom;115054]I carry these.

Excellent choice there, Rainier Tom. Those are top-of-the line!



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post #6 of 6 Old 11-04-2012, 04:35 PM
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Oh my. Steiners.
What Erik said.

T

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