Friday, May 24, 2013
From Barry R., Venice, FL:
Excellent value: more pros than cons
I bought my classroom a pair of the Eagle Optics Shrike 8 x 42 binoculars. It amazes me that for under $100 you can get a light weight, waterproof, full size binocular this well constructed.
For high school age beginning birders, this is more binocular than they need. The lenses are good, the field of vision is adequate, and the body has an excellent feel.
The cons are the lack of close focus (13') and slightly tight focus wheel. The pros are light weight, easy to handle, better lens caps than more expensive models (such as Nikon Monarch), twist up eye piece, and an excellent warranty.
Anyone on a budget should give these binoculars a serious try. I give them my highest recommendation if you are on a budget, and in general rate them very good. Serious birders could leave a pair in your car at all times as a backup. You will not find a better binocular for under $100 period.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
From Pat D. in Ohio:
I have used this Vortex Viper HD 8x42 binocular several times over the past two months, and I am very pleased with their performance.
I just came back from Magee Marsh during the migration. I have always only used a pair of Zeiss 10x binoculars that I have treasured for 25 plus years. I didn't think another pair could match these, but I needed something lighter to carry and with less magnification at this point in my life.
Well, I was not at all disappointed by the Viper's performance. They are sharp and clear with excellent definition and brightness, very much the equal of what I had come to expect from Zeiss.
My only concern is the tightness in the focus ring which others have mentioned in their reviews, but it would not cause me to rethink my decision on these binoculars. They are superlative.
Monday, May 20, 2013
From Jon in North Carolina:
More than meets my needs
I recently purchased a Vortex Viper 15-45x65 Spotting Scope from Eagle Optics. I purchased the product based on my price range and the online reviews. I use the scope for birdwatching.
From the first view until the present I've been very impressed with the clarity of the view. The view is crisp and details and coloration accurate throughout the range of the zoom lens. The view darkens as the magnification increases but is still very usable at the higher powers.
My only concern for the product to date is the main focusing knob often has to be turned excessively to achieve focus. The focusing capability overall is excellent including the fine focus knob.
I'm very pleased with the scope and feel like I got a great deal for the money. I'm a serious birder and this scope more than meets my needs for a lot less money than the "higher priced" ones.
This scope is well built and should hold up to heavy use.
I readily recommend this scope to any birdwatchers who want a quality scope without having to get a 2nd job to pay for it!
As always, Eagle Optics service and delivery were top notch!
Friday, May 17, 2013
From Isaac G., Staten Island, NY
Let me start by saying that I am a birder and use my scope for birding. I have owned the 88mm Kowa scope for a few years now, and I could not be happier with it.
I took one look through this scope and immediately sold my Swarovski ats 80 HD. Never regretted it for a second. The Kowa with the 20-60x zoom lens was amazing. When I heard that Kowa released a new wide angle zoom eyepiece I bought it immediately.
Take one look through this Kowa 77mm/88mm 25-60x Zoom Eyepiece and you will be amazed. It is crystal clear, amazingly bright and perfect in every way. The wide angle image is clear to the very edge and gives a larger field of view at 25x than you got at 20x with the old eyepiece. Color rendition is spot on.
When using zooming in, the eyepiece impresses even more. With every other scope I have ever seen, once you pass 35x or so, you get a dark image that is not very good. And the field of view is so small that it is almost useless. With the new eyepiece zoomed all the way to 60x the image is great. There is a wide, bright and very clear image that is leagues better than its predecessor. This proves very useful to birders because I can now zoom in all the way and still get great light and detail. The previous 20-60x was dark and not very good at 60x, but not the new eyepiece.
I can not recommend this eyepiece highly enough. I spent a while using this in the late evening watching ducks and have never seen a better image in a spotting scope. Saw details on Ruddy Ducks that I have never seen before. I could see every feather, I could see water drops clinging to the feathers.
Now, I have not compared this directly with the ATX 85 HD, so I can not speak as to how the Kowa with this eyepiece compares with the new modular Swarovski. What I can say is that the Kowa 88mm with the 25-60x wide angle zoom is as good as I have ever seen.
I did compare it to the Swarovski ATS 80 HD and the Kowa was leagues better. Looking through the Swarovski was like looking through some lousy scope compared to the Kowa. The image was nowhere near as bright or clear. It is a big improvement compared to the previous 20-60x eyepiece. It is $665 very well spent. If you own this scope and want to be blown away, buy it.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
From Daniel in Oxford, MS:
Enjoying my new scope!
I've never even looked through another spotting scope, so I can't make any direct comparisons. However, with my new Celestron Regal M2 16-48x65 ED Angled Spotting Scope, the image is bright and clear, especially from 16-25X.
I have good binoculars (Viper HD 8X32), and the image quality seems comparable to those. I've been doing some birding and very basic astronomy with the scope, and it works great for both.
I really like the rotation option, since I can let my 7-year-old see through things by rotating the scope so that the eyepiece points downward.
Monday, May 13, 2013
From Thomas in Dallas, TX:
My wife and I already owned the big brothers of this binocular, the Vanguard Endeavor ED, and were really happy with the optics. I wanted my own binocular, however (as my prescription is different), and decided to go with a smaller, lighter pair.
This Vanguard Spirit ED 8x36 is a terrific binocular, especially at the price, and delivers supremely bright and crisp views.
I found it's beneficial to your time at the front end to really dial everything in properly - diopter adjustments, pupillary width, etc. - as opposed to the larger Endeavors, which seem a bit more forgiving of slight differences in these areas.
I am super happy with them. They are excellent for a dedicated, lifelong amateur birdwatcher such as myself, as well as just backyard birding. I bet they'd be great at sporting events, too, but can't speak from experience.
Friday, May 10, 2013
From Linda in Oregon:
Just what I was looking for!
I have been birding for about 25 years and started out with Zeiss 10 x 40's which were "top of the line" for the time. I later bought a pair of Eagle Optics Ranger 8 x 42's for butterflying. I discovered that I really liked the Ranger's lighter weight as well as the ease of focus and close focus. The optics were acceptable, but I wanted a similar pair with better optics to use as my main binoculars.
I'm very happy with the Zeiss Conquest HD 8 x 32' binocular. They are brighter than either of my other binoculars and the image is very sharp. I notice the difference especially when looking at birds in the shade, such as in the interior of evergreen trees.
The focus is smooth and fast, only about 1 1/4 turns from end to end. I have not noticed any downside to this as far as fine focus-ability. The close focus is excellent.
I originally bought a pair of Swarovski 8 x 32's at over twice the price. They were lighter, but the focus locked up completely in less than a month of gentle use and I returned them. Aside from that problem, I like the Zeiss better and they feel more durable.
I have good repair experience with Zeiss. I sent in my 10 x 40's twice for focus repair and was not charged either time.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
From Doug J., Hickory, NC:
I can see clearly now!
Thankfully, my backyard has become a bit of a sanctuary for birds of many varieties. I have put out feeders, houses, water sources, etc. over the past year or so and didn't realize how much fun watching these fury little jewels would become.
Wanting to better see and understand them, I decided to seek out a good set of binoculars and spent many, many hours researching various websites, etc. After much reading of product reviews, birding advice sites, and blogs written by avid birders, I determined that 8x42 would be a good place to start. Since most of my use will be in my backyard, I also wanted a binocular with a very close focus as well as one that could reach further out for hiking and nature walks.
I went to several local suppliers who have binoculars on open display to try out in the store and really liked the feel of the Vortex sets I handled. I stopped in at our local Wild Birds Unlimited and asked for the owner's advice on birding binoculars. "Here's what I use," he said, and produced a pair of Vortex 8x42 Diamondback Binoculars from the back room. He then let me go out back and watch one of his bird houses with them.
Experiencing the detail and clarity of these binoculars was simply amazing! A Mockingbird family was nesting in a house that was some 40 yards away and it seemed as if I could reach out and touch them. I asked what the owner thought of Eagle products in general and he advised it is the best selling line he carries and sited the VIP warranty.
He had a pair of the 8x42 Diamondbacks in stock and I bought them on the spot. I have to say that I am totally enamored with these binoculars. They are sturdy, feel great in hand, and work perfectly both with and without my glasses. The ability to focus on at less than 5 feet away is incredible and really allows you to see every tiny detail.
The instructions are well-written and help to get you started off with perfectly focused binoculars straight from the box. The right eye diopter was a bit difficult to turn at first, but I appreciate its tightness because it should prevent this feature from having to be reset frequently. The focus turns very smoothly and is positioned intuitively so that transitioning between distances is simple and effective without fumbling.
All in all, I can't imagine being more pleased with any of the other binoculars I researched and couldn't recommend them more highly!