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  1. Bill Atwood

    Chicago Birding locations in June?

    You probably should check with your Chicago based co-workers about what areas are safe to travel in.
  2. Bill Atwood

    Chicago Birding locations in June?

    If you are up for some professional guiding try these folks: https://www.redhillbirding.com/chicagobirding
  3. Bill Atwood

    Chicago Birding locations in June?

    ABA guide to birds of Illinois: https://www.amazon.com/American-Birding-Association-Field-Illinois/dp/1935622625/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1M29PXDA2SPGY&keywords=retter+birds+of+illinois&qid=1651785727&sprefix=retter+birds+of+illinoi%2Caps%2C117&sr=8-1 There are many guides to birds of North America or...
  4. Bill Atwood

    Chicago Birding locations in June?

    You could start with placing your request here: https://groups.google.com/g/ilbirds Here is a link to Chicago Region Birding Trail Guide pdf...
  5. Bill Atwood

    What’s about Reviews of the NL 10x32

    I have the same issue with the 10x32s, but not with the 8x42s. It's not too severe and will look for some o-rings to move the eyecups out 1-2mm.
  6. Bill Atwood

    NL Focus Wheel Problems After Washing

    I'm a NL Pure fanboy. However these focus wheel failures are rather troubling. The reason I got into Alpha optics was their waterproofness and durability. After hearing a few stories about bins fogging up and failing on tropical tours I bought my first Alphas, Leica 8x32 BAs, for my first...
  7. Bill Atwood

    Guyana: Jewel of the Guianan Shield

    Sound like a fantastic trip! Guyana is a special place. Did it a couple times years ago just as it was becoming known as a birding destination. Your list is a fair bit better than what we had.
  8. Bill Atwood

    Any customer review of new tsn-99?

    I'm sorta wishing I kept the 883 I had a year ago. I may try replacing my ATX 95mm module with an 85mm and repurchasing the 1.7x extender. It would be more appropriate on my 128RC head. The ATX eyepiece diameter is still too large for my taste, but the panning dampening of the 128RC is better...
  9. Bill Atwood

    Any customer review of new tsn-99?

    After further review I'll be returning the 2nd copy. The ST inner results appeared very good with perhaps slight astigmatism. The outer focus view had a larger center disc and a dimmer outer ring. Performance was pretty good up to 50x-60x, but deteriorated at 70x, especially compared to my S2...
  10. Bill Atwood

    Any customer review of new tsn-99?

    The 2nd copy I received a few days ago is better than the 1st. The STP (Star Test Pattern) is similar to Henry's 2nd copy. Apparent resolution seems to be equal to my ATX95. Contrast might be a touch less. Hope to try it out on some actual birds in the next few days once it warms up a bit...
  11. Bill Atwood

    Kowa vs Swarovski

    I agree with pretty much all of the assessments in this thread of the various pros and cons of the most recent Kowa and Swaro scopes. A couple new topics: 1. With the 77 You could be giving up a fair amount of brightness under dim conditions. Anecdotally the ATXs seem to hit above their...
  12. Bill Atwood

    Any customer review of new tsn-99?

    The outside focus in Henry's focus looks like that in the copy I had.
  13. Bill Atwood

    Any customer review of new tsn-99?

    The ATX eyecup is 58mm, the housing adds another 10mm. The Kowa is a bit more than I like but I found it much better than the ATX. The S2 is only 47mm.
  14. Bill Atwood

    Any customer review of new tsn-99?

    I had one Kimmo and sold it as I intended to sell the ATX95. It did work very well, but found it cumbersome to swap in and out (as well as remember to have it on me.) May give the ATX95 another go around this spring to see if I can get over the eyepiece diameter issue. I thought using the 99A...
  15. Bill Atwood

    Choice: SLC 10x56 or NL Pure 12x42

    You should consider 2 different pairs if you can afford it.
  16. Bill Atwood

    Any customer review of new tsn-99?

    My Meopta S2 star test views are much like the ones in Tmathews post 110 above, so I can't say it's perfect. But it competes very, very well against my ATX95 which seems to have excellent star test results - nice concentric rings on each side. However I'm an advanced-beginner when it comes to...
  17. Bill Atwood

    Any customer review of new tsn-99?

    Unfortunately my recent TSN-99A experience mirrors many others here. At higher mags it refused to snap into focus. At 70x it was immediately apparent that my Meopta S2 was better in contrast and apparent sharpness. Star testing - one side was consistently a bright outer ring with a blurry fog...
  18. Bill Atwood

    Manfrotto 128rc head

    How good of a fit do you get with the 128RC plate and the 883? Does it allow any side to side movement? I'm having some pretty strong second thoughts about the ATX95 on the 128RC. I just tried it out again and it was much more secure and usable than I thought. My ATX95 has the foot that does...
  19. Bill Atwood

    Mid-size spotting scope to replace Nikon ED50

    I recommend the Opticron MM4 50mm or 65mm with either the HDF or SDL3 zoom.
  20. Bill Atwood

    Yet Another Scope Advice Thread

    If you are trying to save money with the MM4 I'd recommend the HDF zoom eyepiece. I had the MM3ED/HDF & MM4/SDL2 for a period and could barely tell a difference when mixing and matching.
  21. Bill Atwood

    9 Bald Eagles Hunting the River

    Glad you're happy with the 100-400. For the fantastic autofocus I still recommend the a9, a9II or a1, but of course they are a bit more $$$ than the a7IV. Mark Galer and Patrick Michael Racy (PM-RTV) have some very good YouTube videos on setting up various Sony mirrorless cameras. Patrick's...
  22. Bill Atwood

    Compact binoculairs and glasses

    +1 on the Zeiss 8x25 Pocket Victory
  23. Bill Atwood

    Swarovski spotting scope

    Swarovski's North America office is in Rhode Island. Any service/repair items need to be shipped there. In turn they will likely send it to Austria. Expect it to take a few weeks. Swaro's NA service contact info is: Phone: (800) 426 3089 Mon - Fri 08:00 AM - 05:00 PM EST Email...
  24. Bill Atwood

    New scope

    I believe most people here would say Swarovski ATX95. I have the ATX 95 and Meopta S2. At 70x, the Swaro is optically better by a smidge, but I prefer the Meopta for ergonomic reasons. To date Swarovski has generally demonstrated the most reliable and responsive warranty service.
  25. Bill Atwood

    Swarovski spotting scope

    From memory the newer 20-60 was a significant improvement over the old version in a non-HD AT. Perhaps the old eyepiece was in poor shape. When my friends old and beat up AT80, which she had paid $500 for, returned from service and repair I did a short backyard comparison with my ATX95. The...
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