Best Quality birdwatching/astronomy binoculars for theprice?
Just wondering what you may have in superb optics, light weight, bird watching/astronomy? I want fully multicoated, Bak4, waterproof, maybe even attached covers.
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Superb optics in a binocular usually translates into Swarovski, Leica, Zeiss or high end Nikon, Pentax and Swift.
It is easy to make a top end birding glass do a lot of work for astronomy. I have used the following binoculars personally for birding and astronomy and loved them all. The idea here is to choose a binocular with a 40 mm objective or larger to make it qualify for use as an astronomy binocular. This list, of course, is just a sample of what is available, but it will give you an idea of where to start.
Some of the models I have used as both a birding binocular and an astronomy binocular are the Leica Trinovid 8x42, http://www.opticsplanet.com/leica-8x42- ... ulars.html, the Leica Trinovid 8x50, http://www.opticsplanet.com/leica-8x50- ... ulars.html, the Swarovski SLC 7x42, http://www.opticsplanet.com/swarovski-7 ... ulars.html, the Zeiss 8x56 Classic, http://store.yahoo.com/opticsplanet/zei ... pouch.html, and the Nikon Premier SE 10x42, http://www.opticsplanet.com/nikon-10x42 ... ulars.html. Although the Nikon is technically not waterproof, it is so excellent optically that I could not put it down.
Be advised, however, that it is much more difficult to turn an astronomy binocular into a birding binocular. Giant astronomy binoculars in a 10x70, 11x80, 15x80 are not only too large and heavy to carry around your neck all day, they also have poor minimum focus distances. The IF (individual focus) astronomy binoculars are fine for long distances, but are far too slow to focus at the short distances typically encountered in birding.
In the end, most astronomers purchase a binocular just for astronomy. (We optics nuts are always looking for an excuse to buy another binocular anyway.)
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Joanie (Jne) K
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