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Old Tuesday 6th February 2018, 21:03   #26
dwatsonbirder
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Originally Posted by Alexis Powell View Post

The most annoying problem that I face is seeing birds in forest canopy when there are many small breaks in the canopy (bright spots of light in the view) coupled with rain or extremely hot and high humidity conditions. In these cases it always seems that my eyeglasses and bins are fogging and that everything is lurking in the dark with a veil of back-lit fog between it and me.

--AP
Alexis hit the nail on the head, this for me is the single most challenging situation to find oneself in, particularly if it is a target bird you are finally seeing after months of planning, a long haul flight, a knackering walk, and then locating something on call in steamy dense forest!

Apologies for the slight diversion, but does anyone have a suggestion to reduce fogging of glasses and/or binocular oculars when looking at an acute angle in rainforest?
I suspect the issue relates to the size of the surface area of the glasses and the combination of sweat and high humidity - would a smaller "reading glasses" type pair be more appropriate (even with the limitations of a reduced fov being in focus? Is there an anti-fogging spray which can be applied to prescription glasses?
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Old Tuesday 6th February 2018, 22:10   #27
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Bright overcast winter skies are toughest for me.
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Old Tuesday 6th February 2018, 22:35   #28
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Apologies for the slight diversion, but does anyone have a suggestion to reduce fogging of glasses and/or binocular oculars when looking at an acute angle in rainforest?
I suspect the issue relates to the size of the surface area of the glasses and the combination of sweat and high humidity - would a smaller "reading glasses" type pair be more appropriate (even with the limitations of a reduced fov being in focus? Is there an anti-fogging spray which can be applied to prescription glasses?
The anti fogging compound Rain-X would be helpful.

https://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&ke...l_2j5adq16u2_e

The stuff is a high weight alcohol which dissolves the moisture from breathing or condensation into the coating. Does not last forever, so needs to be refreshed periodically. Works on windshields in Canada and on shower doors in NYC. Should be harmless for any of the optics coatings afaik.
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Old Tuesday 6th February 2018, 22:41   #29
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Originally Posted by dwatsonbirder View Post
Alexis hit the nail on the head, this for me is the single most challenging situation to find oneself in, particularly if it is a target bird you are finally seeing after months of planning, a long haul flight, a knackering walk, and then locating something on call in steamy dense forest!

Apologies for the slight diversion, but does anyone have a suggestion to reduce fogging of glasses and/or binocular oculars when looking at an acute angle in rainforest?
I suspect the issue relates to the size of the surface area of the glasses and the combination of sweat and high humidity - would a smaller "reading glasses" type pair be more appropriate (even with the limitations of a reduced fov being in focus? Is there an anti-fogging spray which can be applied to prescription glasses?
I used to use stuff like RainX with moderate success but it's another thing to carry and has to be re-applied and at times I felt like eventually optics ended up dirtier as a result. Honestly, the best results for me when fighting glasses and bins fogging have been a combination of learning to breathe out in a directed breath away, and taking off my hat when possible. You can avoid it most of the time except for the most strenuous hill climbs where you're really warm and then suddenly have a canopy flock. That'll always be a battle :)
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Old Tuesday 6th February 2018, 23:50   #30
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Wonderful, thank you both - not sure if I can get RainX this side of the pond, but I will look for an alternative and give it a go. I've certainly found that a hat compounds the issue, though can be useful for reducing glare. Unfortunately I'm really rather unfit for my age, so heavy breathing, sweating and cursing is sadly par for the course when birding in the tropics. More exercise and rainx before December I think! All the best and again apologies for the slight tangent.
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Old Friday 9th February 2018, 20:59   #31
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Thank you very much, everyone - really interesting reading about how your binoculars are actually used. I very much agree with those who have noted that identifying, and even finding, forest environments, is difficult - I know when I have found myself in forest or even just wooded areas, both here and on a recent visit to Singapore, I have found it quite challenging. I did get a great (but fleeting) view of a crimson sunbird there, but that was more by luck than by judgement. I'm very fortunate that my birding doesn't involve trying to ID species - I'm interested in just one species and that species can easily be recognized, even at long distances. The main challenge is keeping track of a bird, often fast-moving, flying across a cluttered backdrop and staying with (and to a lesser extent picking up) birds that can be very distant. When using my brother's 8.5x42 Swarovski I once picked up a peregrine leaving the Palace of Westminster just over 5km away. Resolution, aka sharpness, is probably the most important factor in finding/holding these tiny targets and my experience is that at distances of say 1km or greater, unfortunately, quality truly wins out - I say unfortunately because I truly wish that non-alphas could perform as well. I like a very wide field of view to follow their acrobatics or find them after they have disappeared into patches of cloud, but it would appear that tracking a bird over a difficult background is best achieved with higher magnification optics and magnification is diametrically opposed to field of view. I tend to go for field of view but must admit I would like to try a quality 12x some day.
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Old Friday 9th February 2018, 21:22   #32
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I find it difficult to keep my lenses focused on the gulls, shore birds, cormorants, ect ...when at the shore on warm sunny summer days with all the young college girls walking and laying around half naked...
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Old Friday 9th February 2018, 21:38   #33
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I find it difficult to keep my lenses focused on the gulls, shore birds, cormorants, ect ...when at the shore on warm sunny summer days with all the young college girls walking and laying around half naked...
Once again you have crossed from the technical to physiological. The prior can be dealt with at a moderate cost; the latter can't be dealt with REGARDLESS of the cost! So, how long have you had an OCD disorder? And, does your spousal unit know?

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Old Friday 9th February 2018, 21:46   #34
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I'm convinced that a large part of the difficulty in back lighted situations is in the human eyeball rather than the optics.

Of course better optics are better in these conditions, but ultimately I think it comes down to the eyeball being the limiting factor unless you have really crummy optics.
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Old Friday 9th February 2018, 21:47   #35
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first signs of the disorder seemed to surface in my early teen years....as far as the spousal unit is concerned....I used to tell her I was WED not Dead, and looking couldn't do any harm....now that I'm in my mid 60s she takes a ..."yea right" attitude....

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Old Friday 9th February 2018, 23:27   #36
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Backlighting, funnily enough, is fine by me unless the bird gets too close to the sun, where flare can become an issue (the Noctivid with its apparently superlative baffling would be fantastic right up to the point you looked into the sun without realizing it!). There's nothing I like better than having a bright white sky to track that falcon silhouette against, it's amazing how much more easily you can lose them against a grey or even a blue sky.
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Old Friday 9th February 2018, 23:35   #37
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Backlighting, funnily enough, is fine by me unless the bird gets too close to the sun, where flare can become an issue (the Noctivid with its apparently superlative baffling would be fantastic right up to the point you looked into the sun without realizing it!). There's nothing I like better than having a bright white sky to track that falcon silhouette against, it's amazing how much more easily you can lose them against a grey or even a blue sky.
That's fine if all you are looking for is a silhouette, but if you want to see diagnostic markings on the near side it can be problematical.
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Old Friday 9th February 2018, 23:51   #38
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Absolutely, and I'm mighty glad my birding doesn't require me to pick out such details. If I visited your area I would love to know if what I was seeing was an anatum or a tundrius, but all things considered I'd be happy just to see one!

Regarding the fog problem discussed by dwatson and pbjosh - I also noticed this when the humidity was particularly high in Singapore, as well as, of course, here in the UK in cold and damp weather. Short eye relief binoculars are incredibly frustrating to use under the latter set of conditions. For what it's worth, I've found "directed breathing" to work better than anything else - I also suspect glasses that hold the lenses further from your face might help somewhat, but I much prefer wearing (and using binoculars with) a close-fitting frameless pair. I've had my glasses fog over briefly on occasion, but not too often.

I can see why the 7x42 Dialyt was/is highly regarded for woodland birding - excellent field of view, large exit pupil comes easily to the eye and the 7x magnification isn't an issue at shorter distance. I'd imagine if you were looking up into tropical rainforest canopy at small targets a higher magnification could come in handy, though.

Last edited by Patudo : Saturday 10th February 2018 at 00:02.
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Old Monday 12th February 2018, 09:57   #39
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Too heavy, not enough mag.
Try a 10X50 EL
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I was answering the Op' s question, not suggesting a set of bins!

"I'd like to ask what is the most difficult situation you regularly come up against in your day-to-day birding?"

Hence night(time) owls!

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Old Monday 12th February 2018, 12:19   #40
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Like it was yesterday, gray and overcast with light rain. The night owls would have been perfect. I used to have a pair of 8X56 Night Owls, should have had them yesterday. They now belong to a gentleman in a control tower at an airport.

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Old Tuesday 13th February 2018, 12:22   #41
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I'm not sure this qualifies as Optical issues or not for the purposes of the original question, but I do most of my birding when out hiking and I usually like to hike hills and mountains. Consequently I'm usually working hard, heart rate up, breathing well, when I see something that catches my eye.

Each week, unless I have something more adventurous planned I usually take around a 10 mile hike in local hills. There's a decent variety of birds there to glass, some birds of prey and at least one Buzzard that I tend to find at some point on the hills every week.

It takes a few moments to be able to steady myself enough to get a stable view through the binos in those moments after hiking hard one minute and going to stationary, I also have gone with a relatively high power bino though due to the distances often involved that I like to be able to glass at, so that doesn't help either.
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Old Tuesday 13th February 2018, 16:23   #42
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Apologies for the slight diversion, but does anyone have a suggestion to reduce fogging of glasses and/or binocular oculars when looking at an acute angle in rainforest?
I suspect the issue relates to the size of the surface area of the glasses and the combination of sweat and high humidity - would a smaller "reading glasses" type pair be more appropriate (even with the limitations of a reduced fov being in focus? Is there an anti-fogging spray which can be applied to prescription glasses?
Years ago as a motorcyclist in the days before full-front helmets I wore goggles and these fogged up in the rain. A pal told me to wipe the inside of the goggles with a cut potatoe and by golly it worked.

Lee
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Old Tuesday 13th February 2018, 21:32   #43
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There's a decent variety of birds there to glass, some birds of prey and at least one Buzzard that I tend to find at some point on the hills every week.
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Lets just hope that buzzard doesn't have some inside information on you....

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Old Tuesday 13th February 2018, 23:55   #44
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Like it was yesterday, gray and overcast with light rain.
That's exactly how many British days are and in that sort of situation a binocular cannot have too much brightness or light transmission - I also think high saturation (Noctivid etc) helps bring back some of the colour that is leached out by the overwhelming greyness. I would love to observe over the kind of light conditions you have in parts of the U.S.

LastStarfighter... here in the urban jungle there aren't many hills but one of my favourite vantage points involves a climb up several floors of stairs. It's not a big deal, but even so I do notice that five minutes or so after getting there I often have to make a focus adjustment. If it's practical to get into a seated position, preferably one that lets you rest your elbows on your knees, that's probably the best way to steady your view - I try to do this whenever possible when I'm on the hill overlooking central London and it really helps.
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Old Wednesday 14th February 2018, 00:11   #45
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If it's practical to get into a seated position, preferably one that lets you rest your elbows on your knees, that's probably the best way to steady your view
would monopodding help for long sessions of glassing?
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Old Wednesday 14th February 2018, 11:06   #46
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Years ago as a motorcyclist in the days before full-front helmets I wore goggles and these fogged up in the rain. A pal told me to wipe the inside of the goggles with a cut potatoe and by golly it worked.

Lee
fantastic stuff! I may give it a go when nobody is looking. Obtaining a potato in some of the places I've been to may pose a challenge however! I've acquired a pair of 8x32 binoculars so I may try these and see if their smaller size makes any difference. Cheers Lee.
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