Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Magnifying the passion for nature. Zeiss Victory Harpia 95. New!

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.

Binocular Lessons

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old Sunday 14th October 2018, 02:40   #1
ailevin
Registered User

 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Southern California
Posts: 273
Binocular Lessons

My friends who had been on Safari in Africa returned and we recently had dinner. They thanked me for the loan of a Celestron Nature DX 8x32 and a Canon 10x30 IS, and they both commented on how much more they enjoyed using the binoculars because of the "tips" I had given them. The RYO harness for the Canon 10x30 was also very popular.

Anyway, I asked them what they meant about tips. They mentioned how the eye cups were to be raised or lowered according to whether you were wearing glasses, getting the correct IPD, how to set diopter, and especially, focusing the binocular with a very relaxed gaze.

Then a few days later I gave the 8x32 Celestron to my brother for a trip to Bozeman, MT. As I went through these same steps, I was surprised that it was such a revelation to him as well. All three of these folks owned and/or had used binoculars before, but not one of them had ever been given even the simplest instruction on how to use a binocular effectively.

Alan
ailevin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 14th October 2018, 07:00   #2
Troubador
Moderator
 
Troubador's Avatar

 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Sheffield
Posts: 8,209
Alan

This is probably quite common with internet-buying so popular. If you take a look at the interviews with retailers you will see that a significant part of their service and job satisfaction is in coaching customers about topics such as you mention.

I too have met folks who had no idea eyecups should be adjusted to suit spectacles or no spectacles and have an uncle who had never noticed the dioptre adjustment on this binos.........

Lee
Troubador is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 14th October 2018, 10:41   #3
Pinewood
New York correspondent
 
Pinewood's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: New York, USA
Posts: 3,594
Hello Lee and Alan,

I think Bill Cook has pointed out the same essentials, as he has met folks who were not aware of the proper way to use binoculars. I had a coworker, a bird watcher, who took a look through my binocular and complained of the view. I was surprised but I noticed she did not wear specs, as I do. I pulled up the cups and she wanted to borrow the binocular. Unlike Alan, I do not lend binoculars to anyone, unless I am accompanying him on a bird walk.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur
__________________
Bread is not enough. Give us circuses!
Pinewood is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 14th October 2018, 14:01   #4
ceasar
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: NE Pennsylvania
Posts: 11,411
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinewood View Post
Hello Lee and Alan,

I think Bill Cook has pointed out the same essentials, as he has met folks who were not aware of the proper way to use binoculars. I had a coworker, a bird watcher, who took a look through my binocular and complained of the view. I was surprised but I noticed she did not wear specs, as I do. I pulled up the cups and she wanted to borrow the binocular. Unlike Alan, I do not lend binoculars to anyone, unless I am accompanying him on a bird walk.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur
I had the same experience on the bird watching platform at Cape May a few years ago. A gentleman next to me was using a Canon 10x42 IS and he loved it! (I later got to compare it with my 10x32 EDG.) His wife did not like it. I noticed that she was wearing glasses and he wasn't. After I showed both of them the reason why the eye cups screwed in and out she became a happy camper!

As for me, with my elbows braced on the railing and the IS off, I came to the conclusion that their respective sharpness was equal but when I put the IS on and used them free hand it was no contest! The Canon won hands down!

Bob
ceasar is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2010 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Sunday 14th October 2018, 15:09   #5
Tringa45
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Cologne, Germany
Posts: 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinewood View Post
Unlike Alan, I do not lend binoculars to anyone, unless I am accompanying him on a bird walk.
That reminds me of a photograph of (I think) Edward Weston's study. On the bookcase was a note, "I do not lend books to friends. I don't want to lose my books or my friends".

John
Tringa45 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 14th October 2018, 15:30   #6
Binastro
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: S.England
Posts: 3,914
Astronomers usually know how to use binoculars, as they ask how to adjust IPD etc.

Others usually don't.
Binastro is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 14th October 2018, 15:54   #7
cycleguy
Registered User

 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: mile high, colorado
Posts: 902
Quote:
Originally Posted by Troubador View Post
Alan

This is probably quite common with internet-buying so popular. If you take a look at the interviews with retailers you will see that a significant part of their service and job satisfaction is in coaching customers about topics such as you mention.

I too have met folks who had no idea eyecups should be adjusted to suit spectacles or no spectacles and have an uncle who had never noticed the dioptre adjustment on this binos.........

Lee
A lot of U.S. big box sporting goods sales experience for binoculars is: "you go to the display wall and select which binocular looks best in its blister pack - then take it to the front register for checkout (which is usually the only place staff can be found and they usually know little beyond how to operate the register)."

I know... sad but true!!!

CG

Last edited by cycleguy : Sunday 14th October 2018 at 15:59.
cycleguy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 14th October 2018, 15:59   #8
Troubador
Moderator
 
Troubador's Avatar

 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Sheffield
Posts: 8,209
Quote:
Originally Posted by cycleguy View Post
A lot of U.S. big box sporting goods sales experience for binoculars is: "you go to the display wall and select which binocular looks best in its blister pack - then take it to the front register (which is usually the only place staff can be found) for checkout."

I know... sad but true!!!

CG
Indeed this is why former Zeiss Sports Optics USA boss Mike Jensen opted for transparent plastic boxes for Terra ED models rather than the usual card cartons. Appearance is all, demonstrations unheard of.

Lee
Troubador is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 14th October 2018, 16:08   #9
Troubador
Moderator
 
Troubador's Avatar

 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Sheffield
Posts: 8,209
Quote:
Originally Posted by Binastro View Post

Astronomers usually know how to use binoculars, as they ask how to adjust IPD etc.

Others usually don't.
David

Are you being ironic?

Lee
Troubador is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 14th October 2018, 16:30   #10
Binastro
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: S.England
Posts: 3,914
Lee,
No, actual experience.

Because they are used to getting the best out of their often not great telescopes, astronomers seem to understand optics and their eyes.

But others when being handed binoculars just look through them, using the centre focus.
They don't touch the eyecups, or try to alter IPD or anything.
They don't even say anything.
So I invariably talk them through the adjustments.

I am not sure most people query their spectacles so long as the view is reasonable.

As to drivers round here.
A lady of about 90 drove round the corner here a full yard onto the pavement. She was looking below the rim of the steering wheel. Luckily I managed to get out of the way in time.
Similar to the old lady driver in 'Ferris Bueller's day off'.
Until recently, even the police could not do eye tests on people who clearly could not see.

I suppose if people read the instructions included with binoculars they would know.
But who reads instructions?

Perhaps school children should be taught how to use binoculars.
They certainly can use digital devices when they are four years old, which I can't.
Binastro is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 14th October 2018, 17:40   #11
Pinewood
New York correspondent
 
Pinewood's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: New York, USA
Posts: 3,594
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tringa45 View Post
That reminds me of a photograph of (I think) Edward Weston's study. On the bookcase was a note, "I do not lend books to friends. I don't want to lose my books or my friends".

John
Hello John,

I lend neither my binocular, nor my toothbrush nor my wife.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur
__________________
Bread is not enough. Give us circuses!
Pinewood is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 14th October 2018, 22:37   #12
fazalmajid
Registered User

 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinewood View Post
I lend neither my binocular, nor my toothbrush nor my wife.
My old French teacher used to say: “There are two things you should never lend: your fountain pen and your wife.”
fazalmajid is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 14th October 2018, 22:38   #13
Tringa45
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Cologne, Germany
Posts: 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinewood View Post
I lend neither my binocular, nor my toothbrush nor my wife.
Hello Arthur,

As a New Yorker you may be unaware of the Cockney slang for the last of those - "trouble and strife"...........

John
Tringa45 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 00:22   #14
Pinewood
New York correspondent
 
Pinewood's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: New York, USA
Posts: 3,594
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tringa45 View Post
Hello Arthur,

As a New Yorker you may be unaware of the Cockney slang for the last of those - "trouble and strife"...........

John
Hello John,

That much rhyming slang is known on this side of the pond.

Hello Fazalmajid,

When my fountain pen is as valuable as my binocular, I won't lend that either.
I have far more fountain pens than binoculars but hardly anyone wants to write with one now.

I have been informed that in writing a good one-liner, the rule of three is preferred.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur
__________________
Bread is not enough. Give us circuses!
Pinewood is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 01:30   #15
St. Elmo
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 495
Instructing others on how to use binoculars, how to adjust eyecups, not lending fountain pens, toothbrushes, or wives... I'm having a ball with this thread... why do I get the feeling we all remember the same songs?
St. Elmo is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 02:29   #16
ailevin
Registered User

 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Southern California
Posts: 273
For the record:
  • I do not gift, lend, or borrow wives; former wives is a more complex topic
  • I do gift, lend, and borrow books
  • I do gift and lend binoculars, eyepieces, and telescopes
  • I gift but do not lend fountain pens
In general, I do not lend anything that I wouldn't be willing to gift. My willingness to gift/loan depends on the recipient as well as my need for, or attachment to what I am giving/loaning.

Alan
ailevin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 06:52   #17
Troubador
Moderator
 
Troubador's Avatar

 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Sheffield
Posts: 8,209
Quote:
Originally Posted by Binastro View Post
Lee,
No, actual experience.

Because they are used to getting the best out of their often not great telescopes, astronomers seem to understand optics and their eyes.

But others when being handed binoculars just look through them, using the centre focus.
They don't touch the eyecups, or try to alter IPD or anything.
They don't even say anything.
So I invariably talk them through the adjustments.
OK. I thought you were poking fun at astronomers when you said they understand IPD adjustments because the complexities of a bino hinge don't seem very challenging.

Lee
Troubador is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 12:20   #18
Binastro
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: S.England
Posts: 3,914
What about lending or gifting the mother in law? (:
Binastro is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 14:40   #19
Binastro
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: S.England
Posts: 3,914
Lee,
To clarify.
When handed a Canon 18x50 IS binocular in the dark, it is very difficult, even for a very experienced observer, to adjust the IPD if one doesn't know how it works.
The rear end is pulled or pushed and it is stiff to operate.

Even in daylight, those who don't know may find it a real puzzle.
Binastro is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 21:13   #20
CalvinFold
Registered User
BF Supporter 2018
 
CalvinFold's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: San Leandro, CA, USA
Posts: 1,502
Quote:
Originally Posted by Binastro View Post
I suppose if people read the instructions included with binoculars they would know.
But who reads instructions?
Anyone who wants the most out of their gear?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Binastro View Post
Perhaps school children should be taught how to use binoculars.
Or to read manuals. Or reading comprehension in general?

__________________
Kevin (aka CalvinFold)
My Gallery • Equipment used: 2013 | 2014 | 2015–2018
CalvinFold is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2015 2016 2017 2018 Support BirdForum With A Donation

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 Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
A few lessons I have learned Terry O'Nolley Tips For New Birders 10 Sunday 18th December 2005 05:40
Lessons from the hide mike hawley Birds & Birding 10 Tuesday 8th November 2005 10:48
Lessons 3 and 4 Woody The Birdforum Digiscoping Forum 3 Tuesday 30th September 2003 09:52

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.19679999 seconds with 31 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 02:26.