Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old Friday 2nd July 2004, 00:13   #1
Tony Adkins
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Cairns, Australia
Posts: 7
Exclamation Binoculars for birding in tropical rainforest

Hi All,

Just found the birdforum. This is an urgent call for opinions on which Bins might be the best for birding in tropical rainforest (very wet and humid), mainly in regard to power, field of view and birding in dense vegetation. I'm starting a research project soon in rainforest fragments on the Atherton Tablelands (Queensland, Australia). I'll be observing foraging behavior and habitat use and was thinking 8x42 might be best for that. But, will also need to read color leg bands and was thinking 10x42 might be best for that. Currently leaning toward 8x42 Nikon venturers (LX/HG) because they would be easier on the checkbook (remember, I'm a student on a tight budget ) than Swarov ELs, but SLCs are a possibility.

I need to buy the bins in the in next week, so quick responses would be VERY APPRECIATED. Wish I had found the forum earlier!!!!!!

Too bad the Nikon SE aren't waterproof, they look like a great bin for the price.

Thanks, Tony
Tony Adkins is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 2nd July 2004, 00:35   #2
KCFoggin
Super Moderator
 
KCFoggin's Avatar

 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Myrtle Beach SC "Smiling Faces, Beautiful Places"
Posts: 148,070
Hi there Tony and on behalf of the staff here at BirdForum.net, a warm welcome to you.

I will leave your question to those more experienced in the bin dept. Have you, by any chance, gone throught the threads in our optics forums? You might find some information there until someone more knowledgeable can answer your question here.
__________________
KC a/k/a common KC

Karma - What you send out
Comes right back at ya
KCFoggin is online now  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Friday 2nd July 2004, 02:04   #3
horukuru
Here I Come !
 
horukuru's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Near with Mt. Kinabalu, Sabah at Borneo Island
Posts: 6,094
by the way, i went to one of the mountain in Malaysia with my friend few months ago for birdwatching and he was using Pentax DCF WP 8*42. No problem at all coz, we were in between the lowland rainforest and montane forest about 1200 m a.s.l

this is my opinion, but other member may have another suggestions :o
horukuru is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 2nd July 2004, 03:49   #4
Wrenman
Registered User

 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Florence, AL
Posts: 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Adkins
Hi All,

Just found the birdforum. This is an urgent call for opinions on which Bins might be the best for birding in tropical rainforest (very wet and humid), mainly in regard to power, field of view and birding in dense vegetation. I'm starting a research project soon in rainforest fragments on the Atherton Tablelands (Queensland, Australia). I'll be observing foraging behavior and habitat use and was thinking 8x42 might be best for that. But, will also need to read color leg bands and was thinking 10x42 might be best for that. Currently leaning toward 8x42 Nikon venturers (LX/HG) because they would be easier on the checkbook (remember, I'm a student on a tight budget ) than Swarov ELs, but SLCs are a possibility.

I need to buy the bins in the in next week, so quick responses would be VERY APPRECIATED. Wish I had found the forum earlier!!!!!!

Too bad the Nikon SE aren't waterproof, they look like a great bin for the price.

Thanks, Tony
Tony,

I am currently using 10X42 Swarov SLCs to see color bands on Carolina Wrens in a relatively dark forest with a dense understory. They perform well and are rugged. I have tried many binocs (e.g., Leica 7X42 and 7X35, Ziess 7X42 classics, B&H elites 10X42, Swarov 8X30, 10X50 SLC, Swift Audubon's 8.5 X 45, Nikon 8X32 SE) over the years and think the SLC 10X42 are the best for my needs. I have found that the extra power does make a difference in seeing the colors and is more important than the larger FOV and DOF that the lower magnifications offer. I also sometimes use a Bushnell spacemaster II (15X eyepiece) mounted on a gunstock-like support that works well.

Best,
Tom
Wrenman is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 2nd July 2004, 04:38   #5
Tony Adkins
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Cairns, Australia
Posts: 7
Tom,

Thanks for your advice. I haven't gotten my hands around a pair of 10x42 SLCs yet, but will definately give them a try. Good to know about your thoughts regarding advantage of 10x vs. FOV under these circumstances.

Tony Adkins is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 2nd July 2004, 08:16   #6
marek_walford
Registered User
 
marek_walford's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Reading
Posts: 396
Hi there,

I know you've ruled out Swaro EL's but I used them in the Cloud Forests of Costa Rica recently and was glad I ditched my cheap bins last year! If you want to read bands I would probably suggest 10x. My Swaro's are 10x and it didn't give me any problems with regards field of view.

Now, to state the blindingly obvious...

Waterproof
Weight (hacking round a rain forest all day is very hard work!)
Brightness (it's dark in the rain forest!)

Also, don't forget to get some decent optic cleaning fluid etc. You don't want to mess up your new expensive bins under the harsh conditions. I spent a lot of time wiping my lens with a lens cloth. One last thing, find a decent waterproof notebook!

I'm sure somebody can tell you more about the Nikon.

Good luck!
marek_walford is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 2nd July 2004, 08:21   #7
Grousemore
Senior Member
 
Grousemore's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 3,578
Hi Tony,some good advice for your query already.
Just a point though,there is no need to post the same question several times,as eveyone will see it in any event,from the 'New Posts' feature....this will also ensure that everyone can see the previous answers and avoid duplication of advice/information.
__________________

Grousemore is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2004 2005 2006 2007
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Friday 2nd July 2004, 08:50   #8
Edward woodwood
Member

 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 11,309
make sure they're absolutely watertight

this is essential....any humidity in there or fungal growth will be a real pain in the backside....

Go with something reliable and established. I used Zeiss Dialyts for two years in an extremely humid climate non stop and never had a problems. My new Nikon HGs have only done about 3 months jungle so far but are holding up well - DEET has taken the nameplate off though!

field of view is very important so 7 by is great as is 8x and brightness is crucial - hence i favour 7 for serios rainforest birding although 8 is perfectly fine too

I have heard (a friend of mine) of Swarovs fogging in ther forest - maybe he had duff pairs but it happened three time......
Edward woodwood is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 2nd July 2004, 09:12   #9
Andy Bright
Administrator
 
Andy Bright's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Watford
Posts: 4,414
It's been a while since I was birding in a tropical rainforest, but one aspect that I felt was important was the grip on the bino... There was nothing worse than sweaty palms combined with a flat untextured body.
Watch out for DEET, don't get it on the glass... it eats away at any lens coatings.
__________________
www.Digiscoped.com
also, if you're particularly bored, try www.andybright.com - mediocre aviation photography
Andy Bright is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Friday 2nd July 2004, 09:27   #10
Dan drough
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Manchester
Posts: 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Bright
It's been a while since I was birding in a tropical rainforest, but one aspect that I felt was important was the grip on the bino... There was nothing worse than sweaty palms combined with a flat untextured body.
Watch out for DEET, don't get it on the glass... it eats away at any lens coatings.


WTH is DEET?
Do not use lens cleaning fluid - it may affect seals. Use a camera lens paper & spit! Less trash to cart around. Any decent nitrogen filled optic is fine - I use Minolta 10 x 42 (250 in Selfridges Oxford St). Also consider using a waist bag (bum bag?) to carry bins to avoid weight / chaffing around neck. 10 years experience E & W Africa talking here!
Dan drough is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 2nd July 2004, 10:04   #11
Grousemore
Senior Member
 
Grousemore's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 3,578
DEET is a constituent of many insect repellents,particularly for mosquitos.

I have a pair of the Minoltas as well...very underrated binocular.
__________________

Grousemore is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2004 2005 2006 2007
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Friday 2nd July 2004, 10:14   #12
Andy Bright
Administrator
 
Andy Bright's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Watford
Posts: 4,414
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan drough
WTH is DEET?
Do not use lens cleaning fluid - it may affect seals. Use a camera lens paper & spit! Less trash to cart around.
We have a thread on the cleaning of optics, it even goes into the chemical analysis of breath and saliva ... so maybe a thread for a rainy day/weekend
__________________
www.Digiscoped.com
also, if you're particularly bored, try www.andybright.com - mediocre aviation photography
Andy Bright is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Friday 2nd July 2004, 10:50   #13
Edward woodwood
Member

 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 11,309
Dan

deet is diethyl toluamide or something similar and is a powerful insect repellent. Works very well on leeches but is more usually used on mozzies. Makes your face burn a bit though.....nasty stuff and i think it is carcinogenic too
Edward woodwood is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 2nd July 2004, 11:06   #14
Grousemore
Senior Member
 
Grousemore's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 3,578
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Allwood

.....nasty stuff and i think it is carcinogenic too
Haven't heard that one,Tim...any further information available?

I know the pecentage of DEET varies from product to product and seem to recall that anything above 25% was considered sufficient.
Just looked at one of mine and it's 95% DEET;will give that a miss!
__________________

Grousemore is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2004 2005 2006 2007
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Friday 2nd July 2004, 11:14   #15
Edward woodwood
Member

 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 11,309
Hi Trevor

you're right DEET is not carcinogenic - I'm thinking of the stuff before DEET but i can't remember it's name. I think DEET was the 'safe' replacement.

so keep DEETing tropical birders - loads of garlic works to but your fellow birders may not be so happy!
Edward woodwood is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 2nd July 2004, 11:19   #16
Grousemore
Senior Member
 
Grousemore's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 3,578
That's a relief,Tim !...and for those that don't like garlic (poor fools),apparently Marmite works as well.
__________________

Grousemore is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2004 2005 2006 2007
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Friday 2nd July 2004, 11:23   #17
birdman
Орнитолог-любитель
 
birdman's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Doncaster, UK
Posts: 5,428
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grousemore
...apparently Marmite works as well.
Is that as a lotion?
birdman is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 2nd July 2004, 11:30   #18
Grousemore
Senior Member
 
Grousemore's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 3,578
Quote:
Originally Posted by birdman
Is that as a lotion?
I'm sure it can be used as such,Dave...whatever turns you on !
In case you were serious,apparently by ingesting marmite,subsequently a barely perceptible odour is exuded from the skin,which deters mozzies.
__________________


Last edited by Grousemore : Friday 2nd July 2004 at 11:32.
Grousemore is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2004 2005 2006 2007
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Friday 2nd July 2004, 12:33   #19
seawatcher
Registered User

 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: no fixed abode
Posts: 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grousemore
I'm sure it can be used as such,Dave...whatever turns you on !
In case you were serious,apparently by ingesting marmite,subsequently a barely perceptible odour is exuded from the skin,which deters mozzies.
For info: Another mozzie deterrent which works is vitamin B tablets (careful not to overdo these - otherwise you will have more to worry about than a few bites!!). Vit B to keep them at bay to some extent. Marmite as we all know is full of B-vitamins so it may be something other than the odour that repels insects??

BTW, the word Marmite appears in several of the threads in Bird Forum - shows how many Brits there are in the birding world?

Anyway, this thread has gone off the rails a bit (a lot?). The whole point is that someone wants tips on what bins to take in the rain forest. My Nikon HGs have not provided any problems in steamy or damp conditions.
seawatcher is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 2nd July 2004, 12:49   #20
njlarsen
Opus Editor
 
njlarsen's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Portsmouth, Dominica
Posts: 15,706
My Leica's (10x42) are doing fine after living 2 years in the Caribbean, Dominica has a lot of rain forest!. I know they might be out of your range economically, but you are really asking for something like the 8x/12x Leica duovids; 8x for general id, 12x when you need to see the color of rings.

just a thought
Niels
njlarsen is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Saturday 3rd July 2004, 01:09   #21
Tony Adkins
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Cairns, Australia
Posts: 7
WoW, thanks to all of you for the fast and informative comments!

Marek - Good summary of points to consider, definately keeping those in mind and I think that you are probably right about the 10X magnification (particularly after Wrenman and njlarsen's comments).

Tim I agree with your comments about field of view, but reading color bands (rings) is a very important aspect of my study (home range mapping), otherwise I'd probably go with the 8X.

Tim & Andy and all thanks for the mozzie and DEET tips, makes sense since most of it's similar to an organic solvent, I've had it dissolve plastic surfaces in the past. I've found that although extremely noxious, the 95% is the only may to go when in areas like the tropics or even temparate areas with lots of biting flies.

Dandrough & Grousemore which Minolta is that? I have the 10X50 Activas but was thinking that the optical quality and field of view aren't quite what I need for this project.

Dandrough I have a slide and flex harness (crooked horn outfitters) so that should help carry the load, even for the Nikon HG/LX and will also be using my Mountainsmith Daypack bumpack (I highly recommend it for it's size if anyone needs one, keeps your back cool and lighter than a backpack).

Seawatcher thanks for getting the discussion back on point, after Tim's comments about Swaro's fogging, and given my additional desire for relatively close focus (I also do butterfly work), I'm leaning toward the Nikon LX/HG 10X42.

But more comments regarding Nikon LX/HG 10x42 vs. Swarov SLC are welcome. Those ELs are nice and would be a lot easier to carry, but they're just out of my price range.

FYI, for those that have not seen this, the Cornell Bird Lab did a bin comparative test with multiple birders and picked the Nikon LX 10X42 as their best in class, although the Swaro EL was not included in their review. You can see the review at the link below.

http://www.birds.cornell.edu/publica...g99/binos.html

Thanks again!
Tony Adkins is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 3rd July 2004, 08:54   #22
Andy Bright
Administrator
 
Andy Bright's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Watford
Posts: 4,414
10x shouldn't be too bad, certainly a slight loss of light/f.o.v. but I'd gues you will have plenty of tree trunks to brace yourself against to improve stabilty.
Nikons do tend to get plenty of good reviews in the U.S.

cigarette smoke is a good mossie repellant, a lit cigarette could also remove a leech or two ... and it's also carcinogenic
__________________
www.Digiscoped.com
also, if you're particularly bored, try www.andybright.com - mediocre aviation photography
Andy Bright is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Saturday 3rd July 2004, 20:55   #23
Swissboy
Registered User
 
Swissboy's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Sempach, Switzerland
Posts: 2,846
Close focussing is another point to consider. I used a Leica 8x32 BA and that 3.25 m minimum definitely was not close enough for certain observations. Of course, it depends what kind of species you are working on.

In addition, I had several frustrating encounters where my binoculars did not allow to identify colors because the picture was too dark. So go for something like 8x42, unless you get a Zeiss. They are brighter. I would assume that the Zeiss Victory II 10x40 might fit your bill. Particularly so, as it might be had at a lower price with its replacement being around the corner. But be sure not to get the Victory (I), it has too much glare when you need to look up into the trees with the sky in the background.

Nitrogen filling is a must, as well, but others have already pointed that out.

Hope you find a good solution for your needs. And all the best for your exciting project.

Robert
Swissboy is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Saturday 3rd July 2004, 21:20   #24
Swissboy
Registered User
 
Swissboy's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Sempach, Switzerland
Posts: 2,846
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Adkins
FYI, for those that have not seen this, the Cornell Bird Lab did a bin comparative test with multiple birders and picked the Nikon LX 10X42 as their best in class, although the Swaro EL was not included in their review. You can see the review at the link below.

http://www.birds.cornell.edu/publica...g99/binos.html
One more thing, I gave that table a brief look again: This review is a bit dated as there have been many new models since. But, apparently, there are also some mistakes. The close focus indicated for Leica's 8x32 BA is certainly not 6'. It's possible they tested the BN model, but I seem to recall that the 10x32 BN has closer focussing that the 8x32 BN. And the table gives 8' for the 10x32. Thus, something must have been mixed up at least in that case. So it makes you wonder about the other numbers as well. Before you buy, make sure the model you have decided on really has the specifications you need. Don't decide just by looking at a less than perfect compilation. However, such tables are a good way to start.

Robert
Swissboy is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Sunday 4th July 2004, 06:13   #25
Tony Adkins
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Cairns, Australia
Posts: 7
Robert,

Thank you for your recommendations and encouragement. I'm very much looking forward to getting into the field. I wasn't aware of Zeiss' brightness, that is a very important factor for me to consider. I'll have a look at the Victory IIs hadn't really considered them.

Regards,

Tony
Tony Adkins is offline  
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
8x vs 7x Bins - Which is best? mike60 Binoculars 8 Tuesday 11th May 2004 02:32
10x bins - Alula Test Results pduxon Binoculars 11 Wednesday 5th May 2004 20:15
Using bins... anything I should know? boyinthebush The Birdforum Digiscoping Forum 9 Thursday 8th April 2004 21:19
UK Customs and Excise Charges on Bins from USA. alan_rymer Binoculars 9 Tuesday 6th January 2004 15:00
Hooking camera up to bins KCFoggin Binoculars 0 Sunday 16th March 2003 12:30

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.23940206 seconds with 34 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 16:09.