Friday, April 13, 2007

Binos, Birds, Bits and Pieces

What a roller coaster this time of year can be! In March we had days warm enough to have our Eagle Optics showroom door wide open. This week brings snow and an Eagle Optics staffer sitting in an airport for two days trying to get out to the Florida's First Coast Birding and Nature Festival 2007. The beginning of the week found me enjoying a sunny, morning walk with my dog. My Eagle Optics Insight Monocular allowed me to spot the very fat male bluebird I've been feeding, fighting his reflection in the window of a house. On the way home yesterday, I wished I had put the monocular in my car as I saw a Sandhill Crane at the edge of a marsh, close to the road.

I have loved feeding the birds for many years, but can't believe how my interest has flourished with the use of my Ranger binocular, Mike's Digiscoping Blog and the great variety of bird field guides we have available at Eagle Optics. My binoculars have allowed detailed views this week of Yellow-rumped Warblers, Fox Sparrows, flocks of Cedar Waxwings, different varieties of juncos and woodpeckers, and the fox squirrel that has been hanging around our backyard for over a year now. I am so hooked, I might even get up for a 6:30 am Saturday bird outing which Ben Lizdas has organized for our staff. I'll let you know if I make it!

Like all the EO staff, I continue my efforts to have hands on knowledge about the many binocular styles available. I like to take binoculars home for a "test drive" and my choices this week were the roof prism style Vortex Hurricane 10x28, and the reverse porro prism Vortex Vanquish 8x26. Both compacts come with the Vortex VIP Warranty. The body styles of both compacts look different at first look, but basics features are similar. Both have a single-hinge design, a center focus knob, a right side diopter, and nicely textured rubber armoring. The Hurricane has the classic straight barrels of the roof prism style and the reverse porro style Vanquish looks chubby in comparison. But this side by side appearance of the two binoculars is misleading. When actually analyzing the dimensions, the Hurricane is 4.8 inches high by 4.5 inches wide and the Vanquish is almost the same at 4.7 inches high by 4.4 inches wide. The heavier looking Vanquish weighs less at 12.7 ounces, while the Hurricane is 14 ounces. A very unusual but useful feature of the Hurricane is its tethered objective lens covers-a bonus not found on any other compact.

Thanks to our weather fluctuations, I was able to use them in the late afternoon with sunshine and the next morning under the conditions of grey, cloudy skies with blowing snow. Both binoculars performed well on the sunny afternoon with the Vanquish really bringing out the blue of the eastern bluebirds. I would have to give the nod for brightness to the Hurricane and its larger objective lens on the cloudy, wintry day. A binocular user with a small interpupillary distance will find it easy to fit either the Hurricane or Vanquish to their eyes. Helped by Mike McDowell, I learned my best view through these binoculars (with glasses off and eyecups extended) was achieved by positioning the binoculars slightly higher and away from the eye sockets. Our customers can receive this same knowledgable help when questions arise about their sport optics. Just call the Eagle Optics Staff at 1-800-289-1132.

I have no doubt, our lucky EO Staffer sitting around the airports, would much rather be sitting around with the Eagle Optics Big Sit Team competing at the 2007 Great Texas Birding Classic. This is a premier birding tournament and the Big Sit competition occurs this Sunday, April 15th. Our team will be birding for a 24 hour period from within a designated 17 foot diameter circle. We wish our team, "The Rolling Turnstones", good luck and will report on their success next week.

Note to self-get compact binoculars for the car so I can get a great look the Sandhill Cranes when they venture close to our neighborhood. Now which pair do I want ... Hurricane or Vanquish?


Eagle Optics Staff

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1 comment:

  1. It seems that all the Vortex Products are amazing for the price! I picked up the Vortex Diamondbacks in 8x42 for just under $200.00
    and they are as bright and comfortable as a pair of 400 dollar Well known name brand binoculars i bought 7 years ago. Wow! Vortex blows me away! Marty in Chiicago


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