Nature and Sports are for everyone this Christmas!
Part 3 – Affordable Binoculars and Spotting Scopes for nature and sports viewing this Summer.
Summer in Australia is a perfect time to head outdoors. Over the Christmas 2022 season, there’s a flurry of wildlife including birds and marine life, and a pair of quality binoculars from BINTEL well bring you closer to action at the cricket or major concert events. If you want to view the land or nature in the distance, BINTEL can help with a powerful spotting scope and tripod.
Many people don’t realise how almost any pair of binoculars make perfect stargazing companions.
2022 sees BINTEL celebrating our 40th Christmas. Over the years we’ve supplied binoculars and spotting scopes to nature lovers and sports fans in all parts of Australia and New Zealand – if you have any questions, please feel free to call one of our friendly experts on 02 9518 7255 or contact BINTEL online here.
Proven optical quality at an attractive price – Nikon Aculon Binoculars from $159
Big name performance plus great value.
For affordable quality companion optics this Summer no matter where you are, BINTEL has good stocks of the Nikon Aculon A211 and Action series binoculars.
The Nikon Aculon binoculars have multi-coated optics for bright, clear views. They start at $159 for the 8 x 42 size and go up to 16 x 50. If you’re not sure what’s the best magnification and size to suit your viewing, we can help with a quick phone call or chat. There’s a number of different models in the Nikon Aculon range and here’s some that are popular with our customers
All Nikon Aculon binoculars come with a carry case, neck strap and can easily be attached to a standard photographic tripod with a low-cost adaptor.
Ideal for outdoor and sports viewing for all ages.
Nikon binoculars for an active lifestyle from $239
Waterproof, rugged to go anywhere with you
Nikon Action binoculars are waterproof up to 1m for 5 minutes and nitrogen filled to resist fogging. The feature a wide field of view and bright image viewing from sophisticated, multi-coated lenses.
Popular Nikon Action binoculars include:
Bird Watching Binoculars from $279
Summer is great for watching birds in Australia – but to be honest, the entire year is magical!
At BINTEL we often get asked “when is it a good time to go bird watching in Australia?”
The best answer is simply – NOW!
There’s always significant bird populations across every part of the country, including in city and suburban environments. Bird watching is a fast growing and fascinating hobby for all ages.
A pair of quality binoculars will bring you closer to birds and let you study their behaviours and get to know them. If you’re starting out your bird watching journey, here’s a few suggestions.
All these are 8 x 42, which is a popular size among bird watchers. Another thing you’ll notice is that each side of the binoculars are straight, rather than having a “dog leg” in them like you see in others called “porro prism” binoculars. This straight through design is called a “roof prism” and bounces light around inside each side. It means that roof prism binoculars are more compact and better to travel with. Water proofing and decent protection from the environment is also included.
What do all the numbers mean?
It might look confusing, but binocular and spotting scope sizes and magnifications are actually straightforward.
Binoculars are usually sized by two numbers – the first is the magnification and the second after the “X” is the diameter in millimetres. eg: 8 x 42 would have an eight-times magnification and each of the front lenses would have a 42mm diameter. A 7 x 50 means seven-times magnification and 50mm front lenses and so forth.
You will usually find the size of binoculars on the body or on the focus knob.
This pair of Nikon binocular at BINTEL have a magnification of eight times and 25mm diameter front lenses
Spotting Scopes (and zoom binoculars) usually have a range of magnifications. For example, 20-60 x 82 would mean a magnification that goes from twenty times to sixty times with front lens diameter of 82 millimetres.
Are bigger binoculars always best?
The answer is a “no, not always”.
You use binoculars to get in “closer”, so those with the highest magnification would always be the best ones to use, right?
On the face of it, yes that would be the case. BUT there are a few things to consider. First of all, while higher magnifications means larger images, they also mean a reduced field of view or how far you can see side to side. A reduced field of view can make it harder to spot what you’re looking for, especially for fast moving objects. One other factor to consider is hand shake. Everyone’s hands shake or move especially when holding something in front of your face like a pair of binoculars. The higher the magnification, the more noticeable any shake will be. (As you learn the best positions to hold binoculars in, the effects of hand movements will lessen.)
For example, eight times magnification is very popular with bird watchers to let them follow birds as they move about. Watching slow moving whales in the distance might be better with ten times magnification.
You’ll read a lot of opinions online about the best magnification for certain types of viewing. It’s not something to worry about too much! You will still get to enjoy your outdoor or sports viewing no matter what magnification you choose. You won’t make a wrong choice, but we’re more than happy to help you make the best possible choice.
Why would I want larger diameter binoculars or spotting scopes?
Binoculars and spotting scopes collect more light than your eyes can. The light they collect is then concentrated, focused, and presented to your eyes. Large diameter lenses mean more light is collected than smaller lenses. It results in brighter views, especially when light is low such as dawn or dusk or even at night.
Larger lenses can also produce more detail in an image as they are simply collecting more information from distant objects. (Bear in mind that higher quality and more expensive lenses can also assist with this as well.)
There are two down sides to larger lenses for binoculars and spotting scopes. One is obviously cost. Larger binoculars are more expensive. The other is size and weight. A smaller, lighter of binoculars might be better suited for travelling.
BINTEL can help you find that “Goldilocks” just right sized optics.
When do I move from binoculars to a spotting scope?
A spotting scope is more power than binoculars and better suited for viewing objects in the distance.
If an object is too small or not detailed enough for viewing in binoculars then a spotting scope might be a better option for you. Examples of this would be trying to see whales while on land, close up views of birds nesting or looking at scenery. For those fortunate enough to have great views, a spotting scope is a must have! It’s not uncommon for BINTEL customers to have both a pair of binoculars as well as a spotting scope if they’re serious about their outdoor viewing.
Spotting scopes have higher magnifications than binoculars and are generally mounted on a tripod or similar to keep them steady. They usually mount directly onto a standard photographic tripod with a swivel and tilt head. (Sometimes called a video head.)
A spotting scope is not ideal for fast moving objects. A spotting scope also has a narrower field of view than binoculars so trying to follow birds in flight or a football match might be tricky.
Like binoculars, spotting scopes come in a range of different sizes. Larger spotting scopes will give you better views but they are more expensive and less portable.
Here’s a few of our more popular spotting scopes that would suit beginners. If you have a view or are keen on whale watching, all of these would be recommended by BINTEL.
If you don’t have a photographic tripod, BINTEL would suggest ones like these –
(They’d also be a good match for attaching to most binoculars using a low-cost adaptor.)
Using binoculars for Astronomy
Binoculars or spotting scopes of any size can be used to view the night sky.
In fact, not only can use binoculars for astronomy, there’s also many situations where they make a perfect observing tool. You can certainly use your existing binoculars for astro viewing. If you’re planning on buying binoculars especially for astronomy here’s some suggestions. These Celestron SkyMaster binoculars feature large front lenses that collect more light for brighter views. Any of these are handy to exploring the Milky Way or the Magellanic Clouds. They’re also well suited for daylight viewing as well