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  1. JoeRawles

    It’s May!—has anybody bought/tried out a NL Pure 32 yet?

    Should be arriving with us (UK) this week, provided they make a quick journey through customs.
  2. JoeRawles

    Hawke Endurance ED 8x25 Waterproof Binoculars?

    Honest answer is no. The Taigas and Endurance ED are similarly priced, so I wouldn't expect the Endurance ED to outperform the Taiga. I haven't directly compared the two, but I have compared the Endurance ED 8x25 vs the Opticron T4 Trailfinder 8x25 and there is very little difference between...
  3. JoeRawles

    New Opticron Aurora BGA VHD Binocular

    My early impressions of the new Aurora models are very favourable. We have just taken delivery of them and I've had a quick compare of them vs some of the other Opticron models as well as other brands' less expensive offerings. The improvement over any less expensive model, including the DBA...
  4. JoeRawles

    Reverse porro prism binoculars

    The Taigas are nice optically and the porro design arguably offers better value for money than a roof, however if waterproofing is an issue (as I expect may be the case for a walking break), then I don't think it's the way to go as none of Opticron's porro-compacts are waterproof.
  5. JoeRawles

    Swarovski 8.5x42 purchase

    A serial number starting with K87 means it was from 2017, so that's very surprising! A good deal though for sure.
  6. JoeRawles

    best budget binoculars

    I'd recommend the Opticron Explorer ED-R over the Discovery - they are a much better glass IMO for a fraction more money. On paper they should be better than a Prostaff, but I'm not too familiar with this binocular.
  7. JoeRawles

    Swarovski 8.5x42 purchase

    Just out of interest, have you been reassured by whoever you purchased from that they are the close focus model? If so you have definitely got a steal - we've had "new" ELs for about 4 months now.
  8. JoeRawles

    Hand sanitizers and optics

    Swarovski confirmed their rubber armouring wasn't affected by hand sanitiser, so long as the alcohol percentage is under 80% (if I recall correctly). On a recent 'demo day' here, they cleaned the binoculars after each use with 70% alcohol spray.
  9. JoeRawles

    Dome on bird feeding station

    Logically I'd say yes; more surface area for the wind to catch! To be fair we haven't had many of our customers saying it causes problems so unless you're in a very windy spot it should be fine.
  10. JoeRawles

    Mealworm Feeder?

    Not sure how it differs in the US, but over here in the UK the type of species which enjoy mealworms are generally 'ground' feeding birds, so platform type feeders work best. Any of these will work: https://morebirds.com/collections/all?f_type-of-feeder=feedertype-platform
  11. JoeRawles

    3 birds for iD please

    First 3 look like reed warbler and the last one is a linnet, I think!
  12. JoeRawles

    Swarovski - odd business policy - near point

    The EL 32 always has had 1.9m close focus, so from what I gather it's only the 42 that is changing but will wait for confirmation. This tallies with the 32 coming down by ~10% in price and the EL by ~20%.
  13. JoeRawles

    Like Vortex 8x42 Razor - Looking for similar quality 8x30/32

    My first thought with the Conquest 8x32 is that it isn't particularly light, and only comes in at 55g less than your Razor 8x42, so you wouldn't benefit much if your main concern was to reduce the weight.
  14. JoeRawles

    Vortex Diamondback HD CA

    The hinge is more often than not very tight on the Diamondbacks, same with the 'old' non-HD models. Some examples were more notable than others. IMO it's not the worst thing, particularly if you're not sharing them, as you'll ideally leave them at the right IPD for you so it's not something you...
  15. JoeRawles

    Review of new Explorer WA ED-R 8x32

    Very interesting and a great read, Lee, thanks. Out of interest did you test the close focus to see whether you could achieve closer than 2.9m? On Opticron's website, the specs say 1.9m (6.2ft), but they have also quoted both 7.8 degree and 7.5 degree FOV in the description and specifications...
  16. JoeRawles

    Photoshopped UK Hybrid Species!

    Maybe that one was too easy! I think the colour of the pheasant was just a trick of the light. Well done :)
  17. JoeRawles

    Photoshopped UK Hybrid Species!

    I found myself with a little spare time... so I thought I'd make another 'hybrid' species. Good luck!
  18. JoeRawles

    Canon 350D Lens advice please

    It does depend on your budget. I have previously owned the Canon 350D with a Sigma 70-300, so a similar setup. I now use a Canon 7D II with a Canon 400mm f/5.6. I would personally recommend first upgrading the camera body before the lens. As mentioned above, going up to a 400mm will only...
  19. JoeRawles

    Viking ED Pro/ED-S binoculars

    From memory, it was ergonomic but heavy. I've always liked the ergonomics of 'open-hinge' binoculars. It was some years ago that I used it so I'm a bit vague, but I know I liked it a lot!
  20. JoeRawles

    Viking ED Pro/ED-S binoculars

    The ED Pro is a great binocular for that price IMO. I haven't seen it for a long time but from memory it was a very nice glass. That's a good price for the ED-S but personally I wouldn't buy one.
  21. JoeRawles

    To use objective covers or not

    Personally I keep mine on (also have the EL). When I go out I just uncover the lenses and then I just pop them back in place when I put the bins back in the case.
  22. JoeRawles

    Vortex Diamondback HD CA

    Have just had a look through our 8x42 and 10x42. Looking at the edges of buildings, I couldn't notice much CA. More at the edge of the FOV but nothing really in the centre. The same for a large oak tree. It's a bright day here so fairly testing conditions. The HD glass certainly doesn't...
  23. JoeRawles

    Viking ED Pro/ED-S binoculars

    Both models are being discontinued to my knowledge. The ED-S I thought had all gone; they were around £199 at their final sale price. Personally I'd have a Viking Kestrel ED over an ED-S so unless you can get an ED-S at a very cheap price I would look elsewhere. The ED Pro was Viking's flagship...
  24. JoeRawles

    Dark feathers on wren

    As Lisa says, it sounds like a case of abnormal plumage. The BTO have more information you might find interesting: www.bto.org/our-science/projects/gbw/about/background/projects/plumage
  25. JoeRawles

    Zeiss terra or Hawk Frontier ED X in 8x42?

    Agree very much with Pyrtle; definitely a good idea (if you can) to try them both out. But IMO, having compared the two many times, the Hawke is a much better bino optically, and they are backed by a much better warranty (if the Terra still only have a 2 year guarantee?).