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    Canon 12x32 and Selecting Binoculars

    The Canon 12x36 IS II has been my main birding binocular for more than 16 years, having replaced a 7x42. My one dislike is their poor close focus, so the new 12x32 caught my eye. They got serious attention with the recent pricing. I've always embraced "Try before you buy," but the local camera...
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    Friendly Red-breasted Nuthatch

    I feed the birds all year. Last summer a male Red-breasted Nuthatch kept landing on the feeder as I filled it. One day I held out a handful of mixed seed first. He quickly landed on my hand, carefully picked out a peanut piece, and flew off. So I bought a bag of shelled peanuts and started...
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    Eye Relief in the New Canon IS Models

    I am a huge fan of the Canon IS binoculars and have been using the 12x36 IS IIs for years as my main birding glass. The stable view at 12x provides better views and easier IDs at longer distances. However, I've had two issues with them and with my 15x50s. The eye relief is marginal, I can...
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    Canon IS Covering Deterioration

    The rubber covering on my trusty Canon 12x36 IS IIs is deteriorating. Parts of it, especially the top near around the IS button, seem to have softened. Nicks and scrapes are no longer resisted but become recorded in the rubber. I can press on it with a fingertip and record my fingerprint. This...
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    More than Birds: Superzooms and the Moon

    In addition to birds I also enjoy the night sky. Recently I turned my Canon SX50 HS away from birds and toward the Moon. Mounted on a tripod, it does a surprisingly respectable job. I find that underexposing by one stop and doing a little processing helps. Usually I convert the photo to black...
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    Recent Papilio Experiences

    I first saw the Papilio binoculars soon after they were introduced, back when Pentax came to the Northeast Astronomy Forum (NEAF). I was never quite convinced to buy a pair, but have been reconsidering the idea. This year I found a dealer at NEAF who had them. The "floor" model was awful, with...
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    Steiner Predator Coatings - Hype or Not?

    Steiner claims the coatings in their Predator binoculars, which reduce the blue and green transmission, allow hunters to pick out animals (brown against green) more easily. Anyone have any experience suggesting whether this is really true? Thanks, and clear skies, Alan
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    Price "Comfort Level"

    After looking at many binoculars, I bought a pair of Swarovski SLC 7x42s a few years ago (probably more years than I'd guess). They cost $800. I've been thinking I might someday get a high end pair of 8x32s with good close focus ability, but the makers keep making "improvements" and the prices...
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    Chicken Mushroom

    I believe this is called a Chicken Mushroom. A log on one of the local hiking trails (upstate NY, USA) was covered with them. Here is a close up of one. Clear skies, Alan
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    New Canon TX1

    Some time ago I was thinking of the Canon Powershot S3 IS as an alternative to a full blown DSLR - essentially something that would allow reasonable bird photos with its 12x zoom without the need to spend a lot of money. I didn't buy one because I was torn between that idea and the thought of...
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    DCB-A and Canon S230

    I am thinking of getting the DCB-A digital camera adapter for my ATS-65. I have a Canon PowerShot S230 Digital Elph right now. Swarovski says the DCB-A "suitable for almost all digital cameras with tripod thread." Anyone know if the Canon S230 is "suitable?" Thanks! Clear skies, Alan
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    What is ED Glass?

    To an optician the term ED means Extra-low Dispersion. As you know, if you make a prism and pass light through it, it will break white light up into its component colors. The blue end of the spectrum is bent the most, and the red end is bent the least. The prism disperses or spreads out the...
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    Canon S3 IS and Bird Photography

    I did read the other S3 IS thread, and it sounds very nice. I've been interested in trying my hand at bird photography. Initially, I was thinking of a Digital Rebel XTi and the 100-400 USM IS. That is, however, a lot of money, and I've learned I really hate carrying a lot of stuff around...
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    Seed "Jungle" Visitors

    I let some of the seed that fell next to one feeder grow, and it grew into a nice "jungle" higher than my head (although it got beaten down a bit by the rain). It's just outside the dining room window, which is essentially on the second floor of our raised ranch, so I have a fine view down into...
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    What Service!

    In my wanderings over the summer, I lost the adjustment tool for my Swaro Tripod 1. I called them (Swarovski U.S.A.) yesterday morning. There was a very short phone menu and an extremely short wait before I got to talk with someone. The gentleman didn't find the part based on the number I...
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    Canon Rebel and Telescopes

    I am considering buying a Canon Digital Rebel EOS XT for bird photogrpahy. While I may eventually get a dedicated telephoto lens for it, I thought I would start using it with my 90mm aperture f/5 APO refractor. Is there a way to set the camera to use a lens with a fixed f/ratio, and where the...
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    Lens Covers - Do You Use Them?

    My Swarovski SLCs came with tethered caps for the objectives, and a cover for the eyepiece end that is attached to the binocular strap. I recently took the caps and the covers off. When I am not using them they are in the case. When I am using them, they are always ready to go. I am curious...
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    My Next Binocular

    I just got my new Edmund Scientific's Scientifics catalog and have found a new pair of binoculars to lust over... The Carson Super Zoom 20x-80x Binoculars! They can be mine for only $139.95 plus 99 cents for shipping. Or perhaps I should save money and get the "United States Air & Space...
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    Image Quality and the Eye's Pupil Size

    I had a chance to do a little informal experiment today. I had my annual eye exam, and arrived home with my pupil still dilated to about 8mm. I like my 7x42 binoculars because they "snap" into focus, and the correct focus is quite obvious. What would happen when my pupil was open wide enough...
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    Spotting Scope Review in Astronomie Heute

    The latest (June 6, 2005) issue of Astronomie Heute has a review of 7 spotting scopes around 65mm aperture. My German is far too lacking to get too much out of it, but I am sure there are folks here who will have no problem. I suspect the emphasis is on using these scopes on the night sky, but...
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