“The birding was excellent, the hotel was first rate, the food good and nobody was ill!  The tour had been very enjoyable on all counts” .
 
Michael Arthur
The 10 myths of birding optics
 
 
Myth 1: Higher power binoculars will let me see more.
Reality:
Actually, with a higher power binocular you may end up seeing less! The usable power of a binocular is limited by the steadiness of the hands that hold it, and the inevitable wobble in any handheld binocular image is common. The higher the magnification, the greater the unsteadiness. The bottom line is that a binocular with higher magnification might not let you identify more birds.
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Myth 2: Bigger binoculars are more powerful.
Reality:
The size of the binocular tells you absolutely nothing about the power. S ometimes 10-power binoculars are smaller than some 7-power ones.What determines a binocular’s power, or magnification, is the design of its eyepiece, and this has little or no effect on the size of the binocular.
 
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Myth 3: Bigger binoculars are brighter.
Reality:
Bigger can be brighter, but only in dim light! In late dusk when you can hardly see to walk around, you might see a brighter image with a full-sized binocular than with a mid-sized or pocket binocular. In the dark, you get the benefit of the larger objective lenses only when your eyes are fully darkness adjusted and your pupils are fully dilated. It’s a matter of how much light gets into your eye, not the size of your binocular.
 
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Myth 4: Bigger binoculars have a wider field of view.
Reality:
Field of view is in the design of the eyepiece. A person might expect a bigger binocular to have a wider field of view, but it’s not necessarily so. In fact, a smaller binocular can have an even wider field of view than a big one. Although the field of view depends primarily on the binocular’s eyepiece design, the magnification also has a bearing.
 
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Myth 5: I can share my binoculars.
Reality:
No you can’t. Somebody’s going to end up missing the bird, and they’re going to be cranky. Just buy a second pair of binoculars to save hassles! Unlike scopes, which birders commonly share, binoculars are strictly monogamous. You need your binocular ready to grab when you glimpse leaf movement that could be a cuckoo or a warbler. What you don’t need is to have to hand over your binocular to the person next to you before you get a satisfactory look at a bird.
 
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Myth 6: A good binocular is outside my price range.
Reality:
There’s some good stuff now in mid-priced binoculars! Although the top end of binocular prices has gone stratospheric, mid-priced binoculars have been rapidly closing the quality gap.
 
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Myth 7: I don’t need waterproof binoculars. I don’t go out in the rain.
Reality:
You do need waterproof binoculars. Even if you never go out in the rain.Binoculars may fog up inside when they go from a cool environment, such as an air conditioned car or house, into a warm or moist environment, such as outdoors in summer, or near the ocean, not to mention a trip to the tropics. Even if they eventually dry out and clear up again, the trip or the day’s birding may be ruined.
 
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Myth 8: I can just buy what my friend has. He’s an expert birder.
Reality:
Binoculars need to fit the individual. Everyone is different, and what works well for your friend may not work at all for you
 
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Myth 9: “Twilight factor” is the key to performance in dim light.
Reality:
The quality of the coatings is much more important. Good coatings can double the amount of light that gets through the binocular. If you’re looking for good image quality in twilight conditions, you shouldn’t just rely on the twilight factor number. You have to take the quality of the coatings into account.
 
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Myth 10: Straight-through spotting scopes are easier to aim and use.
Reality:
Not really!An angled-eyepiece scope is just as easy. It might take you five minutes to get used to it, if you’re switching from a straight-through scope.
 
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