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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Bino vs Scope (1 Viewer)

Steve Heath

Well-known member
Hope I'm not exercising an old and tired debate, but if you only had the cash for a good scope or bins which would you opt for? My hobby is painting birds. Over the years I have relied on my own photography for reference. I recently indulged in a used Canon 500mm IS F4 for use in hides, to reach distant waders ect. The lens is brilliant but the pain I have developed in my shoulder from lugging the beast around is keeping me up at nights. I plan to sell the lens :cry: and supplement my reference gathering using my shorter, lighter lens and field sketches. Grateful for your thoughts on bins vs scope as I'm out of practice with both.
 

Mono

Hi!
Staff member
Supporter
Europe
If weight is a factor then bins would be better, but it does depend on your painting style. Some folk like to have a tripod mounted optic locked off on the subject so they can glance down it hands free whilst painting/sketching, rather than the up/down swapping back and forth with binoculars.
 

Mysticete

Well-known member
United States
Bins are more multiple use and less of a pain to lug around, although I suppose if you want to make sketches, a scope would free up your hands more.
 

Surreybirder

Ken Noble
at the risk of stating the obvious, have you tried using a back-pack?
I got fed up lugging a heavy scope around so I've bought a lightweight model and a modern tripod.
 

Steve Heath

Well-known member
at the risk of stating the obvious, have you tried using a back-pack?
I got fed up lugging a heavy scope around so I've bought a lightweight model and a modern tripod.
I did Ken. The Alta sky 66. Great pack and definitely helped but with a tripod and gimbal head strapped to the pack my centre of gravity shifted back. Felt like I was towing a heavy weight with my neck and shoulders. Decided to get a scope and supplement my sketching with my canon 7D and 100 - 400 mk ii. I don't think any lens compares for bird photography with the super telephotos from canon and Nikon, but that quality comes at a cost to the ageing body 😩
 

Surreybirder

Ken Noble
I did Ken. The Alta sky 66. Great pack and definitely helped but with a tripod and gimbal head strapped to the pack my centre of gravity shifted back. Felt like I was towing a heavy weight with my neck and shoulders. Decided to get a scope and supplement my sketching with my canon 7D and 100 - 400 mk ii. I don't think any lens compares for bird photography with the super telephotos from canon and Nikon, but that quality comes at a cost to the ageing body 😩
I cannot cope with a backpack... the Joy's of getting older!
I could have done with a camera today with turnstone running around close to me ;-)
 

Hauksen

Forum member
Hi Steve,

The Alta sky 66. Great pack and definitely helped but with a tripod and gimbal head strapped to the pack my centre of gravity shifted back. Felt like I was towing a heavy weight with my neck and shoulders.

Have you considered a hand truck-style beach trolley? A guy I know used one in the Bavarian Forest, with excellent results. He was trying to alleviate knee stress rather than shoulder pain, but I think the key is to get the weight off the back.

At a travel-orientied exhibition, I once saw quite a variety of fancy light-weight trolley types for people who do long-distance, remote-country travel by foot, so I guess if one desires, there are more options than the traditional sack barrow-style two wheeler.

Still, I actually got to try the above-mentioned one in Bavaria, albeit in light terrain, and thought it worked quite well.

Regards,

Henning
 

Steve Heath

Well-known member
Thanks for your thoughts folks. The hand truck sounds a novel ideal Henning, much easier to move. I 'm now using a scope supplemented by the 100 - 400 canon Mk ii. A lot lighter combo for sketching and field notes, but almost developed hypothermia in my haste to get out and test new scope. Birding may be good for the soul but it plays havoc with the body.
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

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