Whether you’re hiking the rugged Bruce Trail, paddling the Grand river, or hunting in the farmlands of Southern Ontario a high quality pair of binoculars or spotting scope should be an essential part of your outdoors gear.
There are two schools of thought when it comes to binoculars; compact or full size. If you can manage a full size pair, that definitely is the way to go. Although you can buy some very high quality compact binoculars that will get the job done, the only real advantage they offer is the fact that they are indeed compact.
Full sized glasses allow for a larger objective lens; this is the end closest to your subject, providing the viewer with a crisper clearer image while capturing more light. This is particularly important during those times just before dawn and just after sunset when light begins to diminish.
People often get confused over the meaning of those numbers like 10x32 or 8x40 but I assure you there is no real mystery involved. The first number simply refers to magnification. For example, if the first number is 10 the object will appear to be 10 times larger than if it were viewed with the naked eye. The second number refers to the diameter of the objective lens. Again, this is the end closest to your subject. The larger the number, the greater the size; generally, bigger is better, but remember that overall size and weight will also increase.
Because of their high magnification and large objective lens, spotting scopes change your experience from that of a casual observer to a close-up participant. If you have the means to pack a scope you’ll be able to check out that trophy before you make the long trek up the mountainside, only to find that it wasn’t really a trophy after all. Serious birders will find that they are able to make highly accurate observations from a much longer distance than with a pair of binoculars.
Don’t be fooled by low cost knock-offs. In terms of quality you really do get what you pay for and there is no substitute for high quality glass and superior craftsmanship. Choose wisely and you’ll have a great outdoors accessory that will last a lifetime; and more.
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