To: "'Lloyd Nielsen'" <>, <>
Subject: Binoculars
From: "Tony Russell" <>
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2007 12:01:58 +0930
Good morning Lloyd.
Shouldn't that be divide 42 by 7 = 6. Then square it for 36 ?

And 40 divided by 10 = 4 which squares to 16 ?

And 50 divided by 16 = 3.12 which squares to 9.75 ?


-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Lloyd Nielsen
Sent: Thursday, March 29, 2007 4:33 AM
Subject: Binoculars

I think the first thing when purchasing binoculars is to decide where 
you are going to be doing most of your birding. That is in high light or

low light situations etc. If in low light (e.g. rainforest) you need the

most light you can get through your binoculars i.e. a high light value. 
To work this out, multiply the magnification by the exit lens and square

it e.g.  7x42s gives a light value of 36 which lets in alot of light; 
10x40s gives a light value of  16 - moderate light; 16x50 gives a light 
value of 9 - difficult in dark situations. The higher the light value, 
the better your binocs will be in low light situations - and they will 
be excellent in other situations as well. I think this is far more 
important than comparing brands - Leica against Swavarosky etc and also 
more important than magnifications - 7, 8, 10 etc. I would sacrifice a 
little bit of magnification for alot more light every time. Weight is 
also another very important consideration - often weight goes up with 
higher magnifiactions.

I am not an expert on seabirding but I was told by someone who regularly

does pelagic trips that 7x42s are great for seabirding, being very wide 
angle which gives a steadier image on a rocking, moving boat than higher

magnifications - which I can understand.

I recently bought a pair of 7x42s (Minox) which have proved superb in 
low light situations such as rainforest - and excellent elsewhere as 
well. I can clearly see a dark bird such as a Fernwren in light too low 
to see the bird clearly with the naked eye other than its movement. If 
you will be birding mostly in higher light or need more magnification, 
then 10x would be fine but then with higher magnification they may not 
hold as steady on the subject. I have had many binoculars over 50 years 
of birding from 7x to 16x. A few years ago I bought a pair of 7x42 
(Swift - which were great but fell apart with use) and was initially 
quite impressed - I had had 8x40s for some years previously. I can 
honestly say that the Minox 7x42s is the best pair I have owned by far. 
They are nice to hold as well and have a very close focus - you can 
almost focus on your feet!

Minox is a brand not sold commonly in Australia. They are German made 
with a 30 year guarantee and compare well with other higher priced 
brands such as Swaravosky etc. The only retailer I could find in 
Australia handling Minox was asking $1500 for a pair of 7x42s plus 
freight. I hunted around on the internet and found the best price from 
one of the big stores in New York (Digital Foto Club). Total cost landed

at my local post office was $900 (AUD) which included freight by Fedex 
and GST (those came to over $200). Another surprise was that I had the 
binocs 6 days from ordering and they were insured and trackable all the 
way. The only turn-off was that Digital Foto Club wanted to know every 
last detail from a new international customer. Anyway, it was worth the 
$600 saved.

(Their website is - they have a gigantic range 
of optical and other equipment)

Lloyd Nielsen
Mt Molloy  Nth Qld

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