If you are of the beaten track, enjoys wildlife or just feel to get a little closer look at whatever, binoculars can be the answer. My preparation for my 2015 trip to Antarctica have taken me into my realm of binoculars, and I will present what I have chosen and why.
For me there where a couple of things that I had to consider. First comes what. Whats is it that I want to observe? Second comes how I will be observing. Lastly is other considerations that comes into play.
So what have I been taking into considerations?
There are mainly two different types of observation , either land or sea / water. The problem on land is that you seldom are in the need of very high magnification since there are very few places that have very long unobstructed line of sight. So an 8 , 10 maybe 12 times magnification will be more than enough. When you are going on the ocean a high magnification will be much appreciated, but it can be difficult to get a clear image due to natural instability of the sea , and of the reflections of water, and “mirage effect” under the horizon.
All this factors adds up to the conclusion for me, that I can not get a “One size fits all” pair of binoculars.
So what have I decided?
I have decided to get myself three complementing types of binoculars. And even if them all have the same definitive purpose, they have distinctive features that complements each other.
- For land observation and wildlife spotting
I have chosen to go with the Bushnell Bear Grylls 10×42 binoculars for land and wildlife observation. It is waterproof, well made, light weight, and delivers good quality for its price. One drawback is that it is not all that good in low light, so it is not all that suitable for hunting at dawn or in the evening. Since I am going to Antarctica in its summer season, the light will not be any problem. It is also light enough to bring with me ashore on landings.
2. For medium range maritime observation, and long range land observation
This is my pride and joy. I have procured myself a Canon 18×50 IS All weather binocular. This is a big magnification binoculars (18x) that have Canons magnificent image stabilisation technology included. I have this in many of my Canon lenses, and that makes for the ability to handheld the binocular steady even at such a high magnification. It also have the ability to use a tripod to use it for a steady observation.
3. For long range maritime observation, and (mybe) long range land observation
The brand Sunagor was quite unknown to me, but they offer (claim) to have the largest magnification zoom binoculars available. They offer a gigantic magnification of 30-160x(!!!) and are quite large in size. You have to have a tripod to be able to get a steady shot with such binoculars. My primer reason to buy them, is that I have several days at sea on my Antarctica trip just being transported from one place to another. I am anticipating that I can sit on deck trying to use the binos to spot birds , whales, icebergs or other things that can be interesting.
Bonus: Afocal photography.
After a Google search, I came over a american company Snapzoom, that have an genious solution for enabling your smart phone to shot images directly from your binoculars, and it Works quite well.
Here I will present my binoculars, and what I find important. For more information. Look at my YouTube vide that elaborates a little bit more.
My four binoculars :
1) For general purpose: A Bushnell Bear Grylls edition 10×42 waterproof binoculars
2) For Optical excellence , and longer Reach: I have a Canon 18×50 IS All weather
3) For getting very close : Sunagor 30-160×70 mega zoom binoculars
4) For digiscopeing: A 20- 60 x spotting Scope with a Canon DSLR adapter.
Here is a YouTube video With a little bit more explanation about the subject.