Wednesday, April 16, 2008

First looks

Patrick invited us to share a bit about the first pair of binoculars that we used for birding. Unlike Patrick, I came to birding kinda late in life, when I was in my mid-twenties, and bought a pair of Kowa's at the nature center where I would end up volunteering a few weeks later.

They were cheap and pretty awful, but nothing as bad as what I see some people trying to learn birds with. I used them for a couple years until I was able to appreciate the difference between a $100 pair of binoculars and a $1000 pair of binoculars. I saved up for the Zeiss 7X42's I use now and still keep those old Kowa's on the counter to grab when I see something interesting out the kitchen window. They're always dusty, but I still see nice birds with them once in a while.

Now I'm trying to remember what my first bird was with the new Zeiss'... I think it may have been a prothonotary on the first day of the spring weekend in Cape May in 98 or 99.

6 comments:

Jennifer said...

Ha ha... After mon@arch let me borrow his binocs while we were out chasing owls (http://winterwoman.wordpress.com/2008/02/10/short-eared-owls/), I realized that if I had a good pair of binoculars, I might actually become a Real Birder, instead of a Reluctant Birder. $1000, huh? Yikes... But I'm trying to save up for a telephoto lens for the camera... Hmm....

valown said...

I remember asking a lady at the Los Angeles Audubon Society what was the difference between a $150 pair of binos and a $1,000 pair. She let me look through some zeiss (we were using some $150 Bushnells at the time) and the world opened up. Crisper colors, more light entering for better dawn/dusk birding. Needless to say we started saving our money quickly.

Patrick Belardo said...

The Swarovskis are almost $2000 now! Yikes!

And you're right Laura, it's amazing what some people use to learn birds. I'm sure it's very frustrating for them to see the birds and I think it can have negative affects on their continued pursuit of the hobby. It takes a passionate person to get past that obstacle since they can't be expected to shell out $300 for decent bins. I have yet to see someone with true opera glasses on any of my beginner trips yet!

Rabbits' Guy said...

Oh dear ... The bunns will never tolerate diverting greens money for binoculars! Guess I'll have to stick with the old Goldcrest Hand coated, triple tested (?), diamond polished 6 X 30 and keep wondering what I am seeing!!

dguzman said...

I'm still using my first pair--my old Leupold gold-ring 9x38. I luvs dem.

Mary said...

We had some big old binoculars that are terrible for birding. I just got my first paid of Eagle Optics for Christmas and I love them! $2000? Never!

I have a mini-pair of EOs on the kitchen counter for quick views out back and my new ones are used for the elaborate birding trips I take all the time :o)