“It is a monumental decision in the life of any birdwatcher. At stake is nothing less than the pleasure you
|Green Jay by Dick Mansfield|
get in the company of birds. So here is some wisdom on buying and using binoculars.
First recognize that bigger isn’t always better. Binoculars bear two numbers: 7×35, 8×30 or 10×50, for example. The first is magnification. You’re fine with 7- or 8-power. Sure, a power of 10 makes the tanager appear even larger, but it also magnifies your own trembling (and who doesn’t tremble in the presence of a tanager?). Higher magnification also reduces your field of view – the breadth of habitat you see out there. You spot a bird, lift your binoculars for a look … and find no bird in view. If this is all too familiar, your optics might be too powerful (or your aim needs practice). I bird with a pair of 8x42s….” (Read whole post by Bryan Pfeiffer)