Tuesday, December 22, 2009
From Jim in Maryland:
Rating: 5 (of 5)
I have wanted a rangefinder for a long time. I own a Leica spotting scope and Leica binoculars and I swear by the superior clarity and brightness of Leica optics. So the Leica rangefinder was my choice, I chose the CRF 1200. When I got this device I was amazed how fast and accurate it is! I even went to a sports field and double-checked for accuracy and it was dead on! The size is just right for my pocket. The only thing I wish they had was a cover for the lenses to keep them clean.
Great job Leica!
Monday, December 14, 2009
From: Allen in California
Solid Binoculars, Great Glass!
Rating: 5 (of 5)
I've been using Kowa binoculars, the Genesis 10.5 x 44 for more than a year for hawk migration watching, winter raptors, ducks, and long landscapes. Without being tank-like, the binoculars are solid and feel stable in the hand. Good for older birders or big coffee-drinkers to stabliize hand shake. The Genesis binoculars gather light beautifully and renders hawkspots in clear blue sky as well or better than my Swarovski binoculars. Great edging on the focusing nob for when wearing mittens or gloves.
The only downside is that the eyecup doesn't quite fit up against my eye, so I sort of brace the cup on my supraorbital ridge. I wonder, since Kowa makes such great binoculars and spotting scopes, why doesn't Kowa feature their name prominently on the barrel as the other big-name optics guys (ie Swarovski, Leica, Nikon and Zeiss) do?
Friday, December 4, 2009
From Paul in New York:
Eagle Optics and Atlas Radians Restore Marital Bliss!!!!
Rating: 5 (of 5)
Reasonably good optics in the upper powers almost universally means a narrower field of view, cumbersome weight, darkened images, and that dreaded "shake" - liabilities that kept me favoring my top end 6x to 8.5x binoculars for the past 30 years. But every once in awhile someone would loan me a pair of 10x binoculars that had that little bit of extra reach. My wife would immediately hide my wallet, lose Eagle Optics' phone number [it's 800-289-1132 by the way -Jason], and put a block on my credit cards - sometimes for months - until the urge subsided. Years of following the birding forums and optics forums, looking at, and through every brand I could wrap my hands around while simultaneously stranding the wife and kids in the car for days on end (all the while drooling gallons of spittle on optics counters) finally climaxed this Thanksgiving. I was actually online, staring at the $149 price tag on these beauties and I gagged on the hook as it sank into my large intestine!
That was midnight Tuesday. Black Friday the door bell rang. Three full days later, they're still in my hand. I can't believe it, I just can't believe it! There is no way anybody can make binoculars like this for less than $500!
BAK 4 roof prisms; phase coated; Full Multi Coating in that superb emerald green finish, no smell/warm to the touch rubber armoring, three position twist up eye cups, diopter adjustment that stays where you leave it, solid as-a-brick construction - you've probably already read the particulars or you wouldn't be reading this. What they didn't tell you was how silky smooth and comfortably large the focusing knob is, with that wonderful, no slop, precision fit tactile feel that means it works even with the heaviest of gloves. No - it's not the one revolution close-in to infinity ratio found on some of the newer models - thank goodness! But it will give you absolute perfect focus with great depth of field adjustment every time!
I am, on occasion, a thumber - I turn my binoculars upside down, pull my elbows in, and use my thumbs to fine tune. It's a position I find immensely satisfying and rock solid stable! The Atlas Radians have no bulge or hump on top, and the wheel is set deep enough so that even my extra large nose will slide in nicely without rubbing on a single surface! You can't do that with most of the hardware out there!
The image? No - it's not like the alpha binoculars. But when you get the IPD where it belongs, set the diopter, and adjust the eye cups to eliminate kidney beans, you will realize the center clarity, image brightness at upper magnification, color saturation, and linear definition will get you from point A to point B in the same way a VW Beetle beat living the heck out of a Rolls Royce. And there's a real good chance it just might save your marriage in the process.